The Strategist

Today's Top 5

Look for opportunities to add additional products, services, packages or expertise in addition to that which you currently offer. Electronics and appliance retailers offer extended warranties as an extra option.

As outlandish as the above headline may sound – it's possible to purchase thousands of dollars in profit each and every year – for a one-time investment of $500 or less.

Try to make it real easy for first-time customers to buy from you. You don’t have to sell new customers on the whole package or deluxe version of your product or service. Instead, offer something as an introductory level purchase.

Advertising gives you total control of your message and allows you to deliver it in a way that captures attention, interest, curiosity and response. Effective advertising is the engine that powers many successful businesses.

Whatever helps you stay positive is what you need to do first thing each morning…and whenever you find yourself getting off track. Negative messages may be all around, but you don’t have to be adversely affected by them.

October 29, 2014

Look at all your ads and marketing material from a direct marketing point of view. In direct marketing, the purpose of each and every piece is to generate an immediate and direct response from the prospect. Getting action is vital, whether the mission is lead-generation or a direct sale. To improve responses, improve your copy. Bump up the offer to make it stronger, more compelling and unmistakably easy to understand. Allow prospects a quicker and easier way to respond. Eliminate the risk. Offer a free trail or sample. Your copy will be much more effective when you focus your efforts on understanding and empathizing with your prospect and addressing his wants and needs…instead of trying to push your product. Creating a feeling that you truly understand the prospect and have the perfect solution to his problem is the key to having an attentive audience and increasing sales.

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July 1, 2014

Woody Allen is purported to have said that 90% of life is just showing up. That makes sense to me. Actually that comment is one of those things that most people can agree with. And since we all know that "showing up" is so important - none of us will ever make the mistake of not showing up. Right? Wrong!

The simple truth is that "knowing" something is not the same thing as "doing" something. Robert Ringer, author of Winning Through Intimidation,  once wrote that nothing happens until something moves. Marketing great Gary Halbert said it a different way. Gary wrote, "Motion Beats Meditation." What both men were trying to say was that to accomplish anything you have to take action. Thinking will not make it so!

And if we act - we will succeed? Perhaps. But as author William James wrote, "Action will not always bring happiness. But there can be no happiness without action".

How about you? You probably know quite a bit about marketing. You may in fact know more than I do. The question is - what will you do about it? What action will you take today that will build a better future for you and your small business? I'm guessing that you have a long list of possibilities. Remember, you don't have to do everything. But, if you really want more clients, you do have to do something.

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May 19, 2014

Direct response marketing, is designed to evoke an immediate response and compel prospects to take some specific action, such as opting in to your email list, picking up the phone and calling for more information, placing an order or being directed to a web page. So what makes a direct response ad? Here are some of the main characteristics:

It’s trackable. That is, when someone responds, you know which ad and which media was responsible for generating the response.

It’s measurable. Since you know which ads are being responded to and how many sales you’ve received from each one, you can measure exactly how effective each ad is. You then drop or change ads that are not giving you a return on investment.

It uses compelling headlines and sales copy. Direct response marketing has a compelling message of strong interest to your chosen prospects. It uses attention grabbing headlines with strong sales copy that is “salesmanship in print”.

It targets a specific audience or niche. Prospects within specific verticals, geographic zones or niche markets are targeted. The ad aims to appeal to a narrow target market.

It makes a specific offer. Usually the ad makes a specific value-packed offer. Often the aim is not necessarily to sell anything from the ad but to simply get the prospect to take the next action, such as requesting a free report. The offer focuses on the prospect rather than on the advertiser and talks about the prospect’s interests, desires, fears and frustrations.

It demands a response. Direct response advertising has a “call to action”, compelling the prospect to do something specific. It also includes a means of response and “capture” of these responses.

Interested, high probability prospects have easy ways to respond such as a regular phone number, a free recorded message line, a web site, a fax back form, a reply card or coupons.

When the prospect responds, as much of the person’s contact information as possible is captured so that they can be contacted beyond the initial response.

Direct response marketing is focused on the specific problems of the prospect and aims to solve these problems with education and specific solutions. It is also the only real way for a small business to affordably reach the consciousness of a prospect.

Your marketing system must deliver profitable results. You have to know what a customer is worth to you, and then decide what you are reasonably willing to invest to acquire one, and then build systems that work within that limit.

Direct response is an accountable way to run marketing for a small business, as it is highly focused on return on investment. If $10 bills were being sold for $2 each, how many would you buy?

The name of the game with direct response marketing is ‘money at a discount’ e.g. $2 into advertising to get $10 out in the way of profits from sales. When you turn your ads into direct response ads, they become lead generating tools rather than just name recognition tools.

The real key to Direct Response Marketing is the ability to test and measure key marketing metrics. If you’d like to know more about this testing and measuring process, you’ll want to attend our Magic Numbers marketing seminar on June 12th at 7PM – 9PM in Camp Hill Pennsylvania. The seminar is FREE and nothing will be sold.

Come and find out how to use Magic Numbers to boost sales and profits, cut expenses, and measure just about everything in your small business. To register, simply respond to this email with the word “YES” in the subject line. If you have already registered, please ignore this message.

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April 30, 2014

If you pay attention to the news these days, you would think that nothing is “good” and all is bad with the world. Such is not the case when you really look around and see the “good” that is taking place in our community. One shining example of good things happening in Central PA is that for the third straight year, our friends Ed Iovino and Clint Huber, co-owners of Hackman SmartRoof in Elizabethtown, PA, are giving away a new roof to a deserving individual or family in need.

Through the end of May, Hackman SmartRoof invites Central Pennsylvanians, local businesses, churches, and civic organizations to nominate individuals or families in desperate need of a new roof during the 3rd Annual Shelter from the Storm Roof Giveaway.

Since this program began two years ago, Hackman SmartRoof has installed a total of three roofs in Mechanicsburg, Palmyra and Camp Hill. And since the start of this year’s campaign (this past Mon. April 28), the roofing company has already received four nominations.

If you know of a family or individual having a difficult time keeping a “roof over their heads” both physically and financially, please consider making a nomination. It’s very easy…visit hackmansmartroof.com and click on the “Shelter from the Storm” tab.

Again, you have until May 31, 2014 to make the nomination. The roof recipient will be chosen no later than June 30, 2014. Hackman SmartRoof, ABC Supply Company and GAF will donate all materials and labor.

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April 30, 2014

By now you’ve probably decided whether or not you’re going to attend my FREE Magic Numbers seminar in Camp Hill, Pa on June 12 at 7 pm. If you’ll read the rest of this email – I promise to give you one more good reason to say “Yes”.

If you’re anything like me, math was not one of your favorite subjects in school. I still wake up in the middle of the night after dreaming that I missed an Algebra test.

To be honest, I always wondered if and when I would ever run into a situation where an advanced knowledge of mathematics would ever come in handy.

And then I went into the marketing business – only to suddenly realize with great terror that everything that mattered involved math in one form or another. Return on Investment, Cost per Lead, Cost per Acquisition, and Lifetime Value of a Customer – these were just a few of the numbers that suddenly confronted me. And I had no choice but to figure out not only what they meant, but also what contribution they made to a healthy business.

Most people think of advertising and marketing as a business for creative’s. And to some extent that is true. But let me tell you here and now that it was math that allowed me to separate myself from the crowd when it came to this business. And math can have the very same impact on your small business if you let it.

That’s what our seminar on June 12th is all about. In about two hours (plus or minus) I’ll show you the magic numbers that make up your business. I refer to them as “magic” because they’re the numbers and equations that will boost your sales and profits, cut your expenses, and allow you to measure just abut everything that needs to be measured in your enterprise.

I certainly see the magic in that and I think you will too. Won't you join me? There’s only five seats left of the 24 seats available – so you'll need to act now if you plan to be there. The seminar is FREE and nothing will be sold. In fact, the only thing I ask from you is that you return this email with the word “Yes” in the subject line and you’ll be registered. More details will follow in a few days.

Mike Anderson
PS If you’ve already registered – thanks. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

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