Low-Cost Tactics for Attracting New Business In A Tough Economy
November 13, 2008 at Duquesne Univesity Power Hall, sponsored by Duquesne Small Business Development Center
Why eMarketing Makes
More Sense Than Ever
With a global economic crisis that has led to tighter lending and spending practices, businesses need to work smarter and more strategically to attract new business and maintain market share. With its affordability and high rates of returns, eMarketing has major appeal, thanks to evolution of Internet technologies and practices.
In the eMarketing arsenal, e-mail reigns supreme for its affordability and impact, making it one of the most powerful business-building tools available today. But to make the most of these opportunities, practitioners need to understand how recipient preferences, best practices and tracking have changed. Current research suggests that shorter subject lines (less than 50 characters) outperform longer ones, e-mail software provides better deliverability and mid-week e-mails have higher open rates. Do some online research of your own on sites like emailstatcenter.com to learn how you can make your next e-mail campaign more effective.
Your prospects and customers are hanging out online somewhere—do you know where they are? Do some online sleuthing to locate user groups that have an interest in issues and topics that pertain to your business and then find a way to engage them. Check out MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and business-oriented networking sites like LinkedIn and Biznik to see what tools are available and how other businesses are capitalizing on influential social networks to advance their businesses. Digital-savvy entrepreneurs and managers are finding that things like tips, videos, product announcements, surveys and special offers are effective at driving traffic to their websites and forging valuable connections with ideal prospects.
Weblogs, one of the most powerful and influential e-media tools today, provides millions access to your published content, ideas and expertise. While they appeal to your loyal readers and customers, their value is immeasurable when it comes to search engines and driving quality traffic to your site. Check out Wordpress.com or Blogger.com for tools to get you started and tips for becoming a great blogger. Be sure to register your blog with top blog search engines for maximum impact and visibility.
Give your blog a voice with your very own program through a Podcast. The opportunities to connect with prospects and customers through downloadable audio and video files is almost limitless with the proliferation of MP3 players, computers and mobile devices. No longer reserved for entertainment, Podcasts represent the next generation of communications and marketing tools for progressive business owners and managers. Ideas for downloadable files that can help you grow your business include new product announcements, frequently asked questions, latest industry news, tips and strategies for using products and services, testimonials and special offers. Be sure to familiarize yourself with RSS feeds, podcatchers and blogs and check out HipCast.com or Pittsburgh’s own TalkShoe for tools and hosting options.
If you build it, they will come might work for fictional baseball fields, but it doesn’t work for websites. Smart web designers and copywriters know that creating a site built with search engine savvy is critical to attracting quality traffic. Research shows that 68 percent of online users do not venture past page one of search listings, so what are the strategies to get your site onto this valuable piece of electronic real estate? First, identify keywords that are best for your business and use them strategically throughout your site. You can use Google AdWords or wordtracker.com to help you identify key words that will help your search engine rankings. Other search-friendly practices include building inbound and outbound links, keyword density, sitemaps and meta tags.
For tips on using eMarketing and other business technologies to grow your business and lower operational costs, attend the 3rd annual Pennsylvania Business Technology Conference on November 13, 2008, in Pittsburgh, designed to help businesses and managers utilize innovations and digital practices for productivity, performance and profitability.
The event features 12 expert-led workshops, demonstrations, a Technology Showcase, and a keynote address by Nina Kaufman on Online Sales: How to Create Hot Sales In a Lukewarm Market.
For details, visit www.conference.duq.edu.