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The Marketing Starter's Guide for New Business Owners
 

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    The Marketing Starter's Guide for New Business Owners The Marketing Starter's Guide for New Business Owners Presentation Transcript

    • The MarketingStarter’s GuideFor New Business Owners A quick marketing guide for non-marketing folk. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” - Peter F. DruckerJustin J. DeanFounder of A Couple of Monkeys
    • So  you’re  starting  a  business.    You are likely reading this guide because you’ve decided to start a business or some other venture thatrequires attracting an audience or customers. It could be an Etsy shop, an eBay business or even a newblog. It could be a new start-up company, or a new book you’ve written. It could be a small businessthat you’ve acquired, or a struggling business you’d like to resurrect. Either way, you are here becauseyou’re passionate about your business, but you don’t know much about how to market it or where toeven start.The purpose of this guide is not to give you all the marketing secrets you’ll need to successfully runyour new business, as you’ll likely need help from professional marketers if you’re serious about yourventure (and there are plenty of great marketing books out there that are more comprehensive). Ratherthis guide was written to get you started… started thinking about marketing and the importance itshould have in your business plan.It can be frustrating having a great idea, concept, or talent – something that others need or want, andare willing to pay for - but not having the skills or experience to be able to tell them about it in a waythat will generate the results you are hoping for.My hope is that this guide will give you some quick pointers on where to get started with marketing, inorder to relieve the anxiety that comes with launching a new business. Then you can focus on what youdo best – the idea, the business, your product. Where you decide to go from there is up to you. Mysuggestion would be finding a marketing-minded partner or consultant who can manage marketingtasks for you, because ignoring them or giving marketing a low priority could be the biggest mistakeyou can make when starting a new business. “Marketing isnt magic. There is a science to it.” - Dan Zarrella, Social Media ScientistThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 2
    • Contents   1. Your  Website   2. Social  Media   3. Branding   4. Email  Marketing   5. Online  Advertising   6. Outsourcing  About  the  Author   © 2011 Copyright Justin J. DeanThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 3
    • 1Your  Website   “In todays information age of marketing and Web 2.0, a companys website is the key to their entire business.” - Marcus Sheridan, Author & SpeakerI’m starting with your website, because it’s likely going to be the most important partof your business. Whether your business is online-based or not, a functional andfocused website is going to be the backbone of any marketing strategy.Whether you already have a website, or you’ve never owned one in your life, here aresome basics on how they work and how you can get started building your own:Domain  name  or  URLThis is the name or address of your website. It’s what visitors type into their browserto get to your website, or what others use to link to your website. Examples aregoogle.com, stacysheadbands.com, or yourbusiness.com.Coming up with a clever domain name for your company can be difficult. In 1989 itwas easier, but today just about every website that makes sense is taken (and eventhe ones that don’t make sense). The name of your company followed by .com islikely not going to be available but it’s definitely where you should start.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 4
    • Domains can be purchased from a Domain Registrar. Some of the big one’s aregodaddy.com, register.com and 1and1.com. These are companies that sell andregister domain names. You can search for domain names using these companiesbefore you buy them so you know if the name you want is available. Just because youtype the domain you want into your browser and nothing comes up, doesn’t meansomeone doesn’t already own that name.After searching one of the registrars, if the name you want is not already taken, youcan purchase it for as little as a few bucks a year – usually between $5 and $10 peryear. You have to re-register your domain name every year or you could lose it tosomeone else. Most domain registrars will give you a discount if you register severalyears at once.Personally I use GoDaddy.com to register domains. They are reliable, and you canusually search the Internet for coupon codes and get domains pretty cheap. However,I hate their website, the company philosophies in general, and don’t reallyrecommend that beginners use them. You’ll likely get suckered into buying thingsyou don’t need, and can easily get confused by their intentionally cluttered website. Iwould suggest register.com or 1and1.com for beginners, even if it means paying anextra dollar or two for the domain.If the name of your company isn’t available, you might have to get creative with yourdomain name. Try other extensions besides .com, such as .net or .org. You can evenuse .ly, or .tv or a number of other extensions.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 5
    • Dot coms (.com) are obviously the most recognized and desirable, but you have to remember that most people who visit your site aren’t going to type it in directly – they are going to get there from a search engine like Google, a link on another site, or they are going to click on an ad if you advertise. So don’t beat yourself up if your domain name isn’t perfect. People are understanding and forgiving when a company’s domain name is a little off.Some examples successful companies who got creative with domain names: Bit.ly MTV.tv Last.fm Del.icio.us Ma.tt Chi.mp Insure.me Will.i.am Blo.gsAlso, using tools like Domai.nr and PickyDomains.com can help you get creative andfind a name that works well for your business.Web  HostSimply owning a domain name does not mean you have a website. All websites needto be hosted on a server somewhere. Large companies host their own websites bysetting up servers in a room, connected to ultra high speed Internet connections andhiring a guy or a team to run them. Luckily, you don’t have to do that.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 6
    • There are hundreds of Web Hosting companies that will host your website for you.Usually the same domain registrar who sold you the domain can host the site for youas well. Often times they’ll even have specials where you can register the domain forfree if you host it with them, or at least get a discount.Web  Design  Once you have a domain name and a host for your site, you then need to actuallybuild the website. There are a number of ways to do this: Hire  a  web  designer   Ideally you’d hire a professional web designer who knows HTML and other scripting languages and they would build you an awesome site that is beautiful, search engine friendly and optimized for your company’s needs and audience. That can mean spending anywhere from $200 to $10,000, but it’s the way to go if you have the budget that can handle it. Do-­‐it-­‐yourself  design  software   Another option is to use web design tools that are geared towards beginners. Your hosting company may even provide a cheap service or free tool to use. Often times these tools will result in quick, easy to setup websites but they won’t be compelling or optimized for your business. They’ll be simple, may be even bland or cheap looking. If all else fails and you have no budget then this may be the only option you have though – at least to get you started. However, I don’t condone throwing up a crappy looking site, as that can actually harm yourThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 7
    • image and potential for sales. If the tool you use doesn’t result in a decent looking website, then maybe just put together a simple site that has your logo and contact information only. Or just wait until you have the money to invest in a real website or the time to learn more. Learn  how  to  design  yourself   HTML and CSS are not that hard to learn if you are already technically inclined. The best web design software is Adobe Dreamweaver and I’d guess that more than 75% of websites are designed using it. It’s not for beginners, but with patience and motivation you can learn it. Years ago I taught myself how to use Dreamweaver by watching online tutorials and videos, as well as finding websites I liked and spending time studying their code. Let me be clear on this though: don’t think you can just step up and teach yourself web design unless you are serious about taking the time to learn by yourself. If you are not already technical, computer savvy and artistic then it’s better to just let someone else do it for you. Your community college may also offer affordable classes. Use  a  CMS  System   My absolute preference for designing and managing websites is WordPress. WordPress is a Content Management System that allows designing and updating of your website to be easy, even for beginners, while at the same time gives you full functionality to create a website that is as dynamic and complex as you want it to be. In fact a study was just released that estimated more than 20% of the websites active today are built on WordPress - major sitesThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 8
    • from major companies that you use every day. The WordPress platform is best known as a blogging platform, but that is just one aspect of what it does – its perfect for designing fully functional business websites, online stores or any kind of site, regardless of whether you want a blog or not.Using  WordPress   Designing with WordPress will take a moment to research and learn, but it will be much easier to learn than HTML or Dreamweaver. You don’t have to know code at all.There are two ways to use WordPress to build your site:The first is to go to wordpress.com and pay a monthly fee for them to host your siteand use the WordPress software. I recommend this option for beginners or those whoare scared of all this geeky technical stuff. Since they host the site for you, you don’thave to pay a website host at all (so the cost is about the same). You’ll get a websiteaddress like this: yourwebsite.wordpress.com, which is OK for a blog, but not idealfor a business. You’ll want to pay extra for the feature that lets you use your owndomain name, so that yourbusiness.com will take your visitors to your wordpress.comsite without them ever knowing it’s a wordpress.com site. Once you sign-up on theirwebsite, following the instructions to setup your site is pretty self explanatory andthey have many resources to get you started.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 9
    • The second option is wordpress.org where you can download a free copy of theWordPress software. This option is for the more advanced user, and requires that youhave a separate website host like we talked about above. You’ll need to upload thesoftware to your website and install it. It’s not as complicated as you think, but itdoes require a little bit of knowledge about hosting and website databases.The wordpress.org version of WordPress has more functionality and controls than thepaid version at wordpress.com. If you want full control of your website then this is theway to go. If the installation is scaring you, it might be a good idea to hire aconsultant to install it for you, then once it’s up you can log in and take over thedesign. Most web consultants will simply install WordPress for as cheap as $20.Again, if you are a beginner or just scared, wordpress.com is a great option.Using  Templates  The cool thing about WordPress, whether you host it yourself or pay them to host it,is that you can start designing your website using a template. Some will argue that atemplate is not ideal, because theoretically another company could use the sametemplate and it may make you look sloppy or unprofessional.In my opinion, unless your business is a web design company, using a templateis perfectly acceptable and is a very affordable way to get a professional webdesigner quality site up and running with very little effort.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 10
    • The chances of one of your competitors using the same template you used, and alsousing WordPress to build their site, is pretty minimal. Worse case you switchtemplates if that happens.Now, there are a ton of crappy templates out there – so don’t use them. Invest in agood template. ThemeForest.net is a great marketplace to buy quality templates,often for as little as $12 to $30. Within WordPress there are a lot of free templates aswell. All you do is download the template, upload it to WordPress, and start addingyour content, images, logo, change colors, etc. Everything about a template is fullycustomizable, so you can make it your own. Some things may be more complicatedthan others, but it’s up to you what you want to change.You can also hire a web designer to setup the template or add your content, and theywill usually charge you a lot less than what they would charge for a website fromscratch. If you go the WordPress.com route, they make it easy to select and installtemplates right from the website.Shopping  Carts  If your business requires selling things online, then you have several different optionsfor setting up an online shopping cart as well. Accepting credit card payments onlineis also easier than you think.WordPress has plugins that help you extend the functionality of your site, and thereThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 11
    • are many shopping cart plugins that are free or very cheap. The most popular iscalled eShop and you can also find templates that integrate the plugin in their design.However, you may want to ditch WordPress all together, and use a shoppingcart/website service like Shopify.com. They provide the shopping cart functionality,payment processing and web design – all for a low monthly fee. Again, they host yoursite so you don’t have to pay a hosting company as well.If your business relies on Etsy or eBay for sales, then you’ll want to setup your shopon their sites directly, and you won’t necessarily have to worry about having your ownwebsite.SEO  I don’t want to spend a lot of time on SEO, because it can get a lot more complicatedand exhaustive than I want this guide to be. However, its worth noting because SEO,or search engine optimization, does play a significant part in promoting your websiteand keeping it competitive.SEO is basically the practice of designing and managing your site so that it naturallygets picked up and ranked well with search engines like Google. This way, whensomeone searches online for products or companies like yours, your website willshow up in the results. Without proper SEO your site might get buried deep in theresults and never found by searchers.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 12
    • There are varying techniques and strategies to SEO, and because of this I highlyrecommend getting a professional to help ensure your site is properly optimized.Making a bad SEO mistake could get you delisted from Google all together, or at leastpenalized so you don’t rank as high. This could cost you lots of visitors and sales andis hard to reverse.At the same time, you have to be very careful whom you hire to help you with SEO.There are many companies who guarantee you the first page of Google results – Iwould stay away from any company who guarantees that. 99% of the time that meansthey are going to deploy strategies that are against Google policies. It might get youthe top result for the search terms you want to target, but it will only last as long asthe company takes to cash your check. It can also diminish your brand and you’ll losethe trust of your customers.If you’re serious about your website and want to ensure you are maximizing itspotential, then I suggest you get serious about its design and SEO. If you’re going tohire help, here are some tips to help choose a good SEO professional:  Content is king. Good content and offering what people want is what gets you ranked high on search engines – not a page full of keywords, filler crap, and duplicate content.  A guarantee to focus on your customer or audience, not a guarantee for first placement.  SEO is an on-going effort not a one-time adjustment. They should understand that search trends change frequently and so should your website and SEO efforts.  They should do research on your company as well as what people are already searching to find companies and products like yours. This includes an in-depth look at your competitors as well.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 13
    • 2Social  Media   “Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.”When it comes to marketing your website, business, or products you want a - Jay Baer, Convince & Convertstrategic mix of mediums to get your message out there. Depending on youraudience, and where they live, work and play, your strategy may be narrowly focusedon certain mediums, or it may be wide open dabbling in many different mediums.One of those mediums is social media, and it will likely be the most importantmedium of your marketing strategy.The term “Social Media” is used to describe all of the web apps,websites, mobile apps and technologies that allow users and brandsto communicate and dialogue with each other, as well as sharecontent and media.It’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIN, Flickr, Last.fm, MySpace,Digg, blogs, and the like.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 14
    • As a business, social media can be used for two main purposes:Social  Media  for  Brand  Promotion  One aspect of social media is certainly to promote your brand and products. Manycompanies use Twitter to update the world when they have a new product, a pressrelease, or something to say about the company. Collecting Twitter followers who payattention to your updates creates loyalty, and return visits and sales. A Facebookbusiness page do the same, and allows you to easily share photos, videos, or even sellyour products directly from your Facebook page. With Facebook it’s easier for friendsof your fans to see your brand, as your messages and activity will show up on yourcustomer’s friends news feeds as well. It’s also easier to have a conversation withcustomers since Facebook has a commenting system.Anytime you launch a new product, post a new blog post, make a change to yourwebsite, or have anything meaningful to share, it’s a great idea to blast that out toFacebook, Twitter and any social network you are active on. Make a few YouTubevideos explaining your products or demo it in action, then blast the videos out on allthe networks so you can reach the most people.I believe its important to active on all of these sites, especially the main ones likeFacebook, Twitter and YouTube, but be sure that you are actually active on eachone or you may hurt your image rather than enhance it. You have to rememberthat the users of social media sites are there to engage with their friends and shareThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 15
    • content, they aren’t specifically looking to be sold something. So don’t get into thehabit of treating it as a one way street - promoting your business without engagingwith the readers.The really cool part about social media is that, if done right, your customers can joinin the promotion as well. Encourage your customers to post their own photos andvideos using your products, or even just a quick status update on how they are usingit or like it. Their friends are more likely to join the conversation or try your productfor themselves if their friend is the one promoting it, and not you.Social  Media  for  Customer  Service  The heart of social media is engagement with your customers, not promotion of yourbrand. Whether you like it or not, your customers (and your enemies) are going to talkabout your business on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and more. You can’t control theiractions, but you can join the conversation.If your customers are on Twitter, then you should be on Twitter. If they are onFacebook, you should be on Facebook. “Businesses used to have a small suggestion box near the door that mostly housed dust bunnies and an occasional piece of gum. Rarely would someone get back to you. But people can now make a post from an iPhone or a BlackBerry while they’re sitting in your restaurant.” – Charles Nelson, President of Sprinkles CupcakesThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 16
    • Promoting your brand using these services is great, as I mentioned above, but that isonly going to entice your customers and the public to dialogue about your companymore. You are going to see good and bad discussions, it’s up to you how you manageit and respond to it.Using social media you can respond to your customer’s complaints, as well asencourage them to share something positive about your company. Staying out of it alltogether is not something I advise. Even if your Facebook page and Twitter accountare hounded with negativity, your presence and responses will reveal to yourcustomers and potential customers what you truly care about and believe in – which ishopefully quality products and great customer service. “Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.” – Seth Godin, Seth’s BlogSocial Media is still evolving. Every day someone comes up with a fresh idea forpromoting their brand and engaging with their customers through social networks.Staying ahead of the game means getting creative with sharing your message.Part of getting creative may mean hiring someone to design a compelling Facebookpage for your business, or even hiring someone who can manage all of your networksand communications for you. There are also many tools out there that allow you torun creative promotions yourself, such as woobox.com, which creates contests andcustom Facebook tabs.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 17
    • 3Branding   "Long-term brand equity and growth depends on our ability to successfully integrate and implement all elements of a comprehensive marketing program." - Timm F Crull, Chairman & CEO of NestleRunning a business is more than just selling products; it’s selling an image and alifestyle. It’s selling a feeling, or an emotion. It’s selling trust.Two companies can sell the exact same product, but the one with the better message,the prettier packaging, and the awesome website is going to sell more than theircompetitor who may not have a website, and whose product is packaged poorly.Your image needs to be consistent and compelling with every interaction thecustomer has with you, your company and your product. This means you need to payattention to the design detail and consistency of your message in the following areas: Logos Email messages Social Media Website Design Business Cards Advertisements Product Packaging Stationary & Letterhead Phone Etiquette Customer Service Uniforms InvoicingThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 18
    • If you can control your image in all of these areas, and if your image is professionaland consistent and in line with your product and the type of audience you want toattract, then your customers will trust you. It will be more about the relationship theyhave with you, and less about the product you want them to buy. That gives you theopportunity to hit a home run by providing them with a quality product that they’llactually love.Once you have a solid brand idea and a plan for consistency, use your brand as yourfoundation. Let it be integrated into every business practice. Your brand should beembraced by your business leaders, and engrained in your employees. It should guideyour every decision.When it comes to printing your materials, don’t run to Kinko’s to get business cards.And for the love of God don’t print them yourself at home. Create a good design, anduse a quality printer to print them for you. GotPrint.net or UPrinting.com are two ofmy preferred vendors for printing, and both are extremely affordable. "Well-managed brands live on – only bad brand managers die." - George BullThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 19
    • 4Online  Advertising   Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. Its freedom from fear. Its a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever youre doing is OK. You are OK. - Don Draper, Mad MenPossibly the first thing you think of when you hear ‘marketing’ is advertising. It’scertainly a very large piece of the mix. Like everything else we’ve talked about, it’srelatively easy to get started, however if you don’t take the time to learn what you aredoing it could be a waste of money.For the purpose of this guide, I’m going to share some tips on how to advertiseonline. Traditional advertising (newspapers, billboards, TV, radio, etc.) is still a veryeffective way to advertise, but for the small business owner or entrepreneur juststarting to grow his business, you are likely going to get better results by puttingyour money online.Online advertising is an extremely cost effective way of generating highly qualifiedsales leads and targeted visitors to your website. One of the main benefits that it hasover more traditional forms of advertising is that the results are easily measurable.You can track the responses to your ads all the way through to the sale. This is whyThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 20
    • online advertising is so attractive, as you can easily measure how well your campaignsare doing and where your money is going.There are several affordable and effective options for advertising online:Facebook  Social  Ads   As I said above, if your customers or potential customers are on Facebook (and with more than 750 million users they probably are) then you should be there as well. However, users aren’t always going to search out your business so you have to go to them.Promoting your business using paid Facebook ads is a great way to get in front ofthem, and Facebook is one of the only websites to allow such specific targeting andoptions. It’s also very affordable and can work with any budget from $5 to $50k plus.Unlike Google, which allows you to advertise where your customers are searching,Facebook allows you to target the customers themselves, on a very specific level.For example: “engaged women age 18-34 who live in Seattle and have childrenand like David Bowie.” That way your ad isn’t wasted on people who won’t like yourproduct.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 21
    • It’s true that most ads go ignored, but ads that are designed well and targeted wellusually get better results. With Facebook you can also elect to only pay when an ad isclicked, so you are only spending money on the ad if it brought someone to your site.If your business has a physical location you can also addFacebook Deals, which are like coupons that you can offerto people who check into your location on Facebook.Benefits of Facebook Ads: - Promote your Facebook Page or website - Use the "Like" button to increase your ads influence - Build a community around your business - Connect with more than 750 million potential customers - Add a Facebook Deal and offer a coupon - Choose your audience by location, age, workplace, interests & more.To get started advertising on Facebook, just follow the instructions at facebook.com/adsGoogle  AdWords  While Facebook has more targeting options, Google can often yield better results andvalue. Choosing where you spend your ad budget really depends on your audienceand who are trying to target. If you have the money to spend, I usually recommend abalance of Facebook and Google ads.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 22
    • Google Adwords are the ads or “sponsored results” that show upwhen you perform a search at Google.com. The results appear inthe yellow box at the top of the results page, as well as along theright side of the page. Your ads can also appear on websites thathave Google ads embedded on their website, or within Googleapps like Gmail. Searching on sites like Google and Yahoo is stillthe number one way people find websites, even websites theyvisit often.Advertising on Google is all based on keywords. Keywords are thewords and phrases you use to perform a search. If you are a tshirtbusiness you might want to target keywords like “men’s tshirts”or “t-shirts”. When someone searches for those terms, your adswill appear on the page. You can get more specific in order to hone in on youraudience so your ads will get more clicks.Setting up your advertising campaigns on Google Adwords can be a lot trickier thanFacebook ads. A certified Adwords professional or consulting company is probablyworth the money, as they’ll save you the hassle of wasting money trying to write thebest ads and target the best keywords. It can take a lot of research to find the perfectkeywords to target for your specific business.To get started with Adwords, just got to adwords.comThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 23
    • LinkedIN  Ads  Another great website for advertising, that is easy to setup and cost effective, isLinkedIN. You’ll want to use this site if your audience is older working professionals,HR employees or job seekers.Just like Facebook you can get very specific with the targeting of your audience onLinkedIN, including: - By job title and function - By industry and company size - By seniority and age, gender & location - By LinkedIn GroupsLinkedIN is a social network of working professionals and job seekers. People use the site topromote their work experience, network with other professionals, as well as to find jobs andhire employees. Keep this audience profile in mind when deciding whether or not to advertiseon LinkedIN or not, as it might not be the right fit for you.To get started with LinkedIN ads just go to linkedin.com/adsBanner  Ads  In addition to Facebook, Google and LinkedIN you should target specific websites andblogs that offer advertising and inquire about purchasing banner ads on their sitesdirectly. Rates will vary depending on the site, but they can be very effective.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 24
    • 5Email  Marketing   “A spam campaign feels like a smart idea, but over time, the more you use it, the less your brand is worth. A permission campaign, on the other hand, only grows in value, until it gets big enough that you can build an entire business around it.” - Seth Godin, Permission MarketingOne of my favorite ways to promote a business is email marketing. It’s fast, cheapand easy. And if done properly it’s relatively effective.Think of email marketing like receiving an advertisement in the mail. Except it’s doneelectronically through email, and it’s more direct because it lands in a customer’spersonal inbox. To be clear, we’re not talking about spam. If anything, receivingcoupons in the mailbox at home is spam – you never asked for them, yet it’s yourresponsibility to throw them away if you don’t use them.Email marketing is specifically the process of sending email messages to users whoasked to receive them. In fact, email spam is illegal and sending messages to yourcustomers when they didn’t sign up for them can get you in a lot of trouble.This can look like a monthly newsletter that you send to clients informing them aboutyour company’s progress, new products and other valuable information. It can beThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 25
    • quick blasts about specific products, a new discount or promotion, or even surveys tosolicit feedback from your customers.Getting your customer’s permission to send them messages is easy. Just ask forit. Whether that be in person, or with their order, or as a sign-up form on yourwebsite (or all of the above).Keeping them interested in your messages is the tricky part. You want your messagesto be something that they want to read. Otherwise they’ll treat it like spam andunsubscribe or just delete the email. You want your emails to be frequent enough thatthey don’t forget about you and they keep coming back to your site to buy yourproducts. But you don’t want them frequent enough that they get annoyed with you.You also want your emails to look beautiful as well as have a call to action for yourcustomers, whether that be replying to the email or clicking a link to visit yourwebsite.When creating your emails you don’t want to use Gmail or Outlook – you’ll need anemail marketing platform. There are many platforms to choose from, but the only oneI’m going to mention is MailChimp – and that’s because it’s the best.I’ve used it for years, and it’s simple and easy to learn. What’s also great aboutMailChimp is that it’s free up to 12,000 emails per month. For most small businesses,especially in the beginning, that’s going to be plenty. As far as I know, no other emailThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 26
    • marketing platform offers that price, as well as the ease of use and tools thatMailChimp provides.Email Marketing Platforms, like MailChimp, perform many different functions: 1. They store all of your email addresses, and maintain your lists for you. Every email you send includes a link to unsubscribe from the email list (required by law) and if a customer clicks on the link MailChimp takes them off of your list for you. That way, next time you go to send an email they aren’t included. 2. MailChimp also allows you to deliver beautiful emails with HTML and graphics without having to know code. Using their simple editors you can create great looking emails that will entice your customers to read and click. 3. Once you send your emails, MailChimp will provide you with detailed reports showing who opened the email, who clicked on what, who forwarded the email to their friends, and more. This is very helpful information that you can use for future mailings. For instance, if the reports tell you that most people read your emails at 8am, and hardly anyone reads them at 3pm – you may want to continue sending them early in the morning.Email marketing is a numbers game. You want to send out emails to as many peopleas you can at once, and you can expect about 2% to 3% of your recipients to actuallyopen it and read it. If you send an email to 100 people, that’s only 2 or 3 of them thatThe Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 27
    • will engage with your message. Whereas, if you send it to 2000 email addresses,that’s more like 40 to 60 people who may read it.These are just general averages. If you have a customer base that loves your productsand respects your brand, you could see a lot better engagement than this. Belovedbrands like Apple see response rates as high as 20% to 30%, and services likeGroupOn see rates upwards of 50%.A clever mix of branding, your message, your design, and your timing will gain youthe best results – and sometimes that means sending several emails and testing outwhat works best with your audience.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 28
    • 6Outsourcing   “As technology makes it easier for a business to find and collaborate with outsource expertise, a huge and competitive market for consultants will arise.” - Bill Gates, The Road AheadWhen it comes down to it, running a successful business – not a hobby, but abusiness – takes a lot of hard work, determination, and strategic partnerships thatsometimes cost money. All of the work I describe above can be outsourced to othercompanies and consultants who are experts with marketing and design.Someone once said “It takes money to make money,” and they were absolutely right.If you aren’t willing to spend a little money to make your business grow, then youmay want to rethink whether now is the time to start your business. I’m not saying itcan’t be done without spending money, but it takes a special person who is willing towork extra hard to learn this stuff on their own.There’s nothing wrong with focusing your time and efforts on running your business,and letting a professional take care of marketing. After all, it’s selling your product orservice that is most important to you, right? You call a plumber when your pipes areclogged, and an electrician to fix your wiring. You call a lawyer to represent you incourt, and a doctor to perform your surgeries. Hiring a marketing consultant, webdesigner or freelancer may be the best business decision you ever make.The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 29
    • About  the  Author   Justin J. Dean is a marketing and web geek, entrepreneur, blogger, and technology enthusiast. He has over 12 years of experience leading advertising, technology and design teams for some of the most innovative digital media start-ups, as well as some of the most creative Fortune 500 companies. Through his consulting group A Couple of Monkeys he has provided marketingassistance to small businesses worldwide since 2004. He is also a founding blogger for the tech blog,Mac & Andy (www.macandandy.com).Justin currently resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two kids. You can learn more abouthim at www.jdean.me.Copyright  Information  © 2011 Copyright Justin J. Dean and A Couple of Monkeys Please visit www.acoupleofmonkeys.com for more information. This work by Justin J. Dean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA. v1The Marketing Starter’s Guide | Justin J. Dean 30