Are Postcards an Effective Way to Reach Out to Local Customers?

At MyLocally, we are always looking for ways to help our customers grow their business.  We know that MyLocally helps businesses owners promote their company online through Search and Social, but we also know that a successful marketing strategy is diversified.  As a result, we have written this article on the value of more traditional postcards as part of your marketing plan to reach out to local customers.

Postcards can be an extremely effective way of getting your message across to your business’s local customers if they’re done in the right way. You want to make sure that when your postcards roll off the presses at the printing company, you’re getting powerful, effective cards that communicate your message perfectly. The tips below can help make your next postcard campaign a great one.

* Hire a graphic designer or use one of the many online services that produce marketing materials, such as Postcards. Postcards allow you a split second to make the first impression you’re aiming for. Customers respond to well-placed visuals and text, and graphic designers are trained to make the most important information pop in an ad. If your resources are limited, check out local design schools for access to talented designers.

* Your postcard messaging must include a Call to Action. A “call to action” is what you want your consumers to do once they’ve received your messaging. For example, you might want them to call you right away or visit your business or even go to your website or like your business on Facebook. The only way the consumer is going to respond to a call to action is if your messaging is compelling enough. A general rule is to highlight your call to action and repeat it more than once.

* Get your cards printed through custom printing. Make sure that the printing company or online service publishes color copies of your postcards using digital printing on high-quality products. Customers will respond positively to professionally printed cards, while postcards run through a color copier and printed on cheap paper could seem amateurish. That look could kill your messaging before it has a chance to convince potential customers to get in touch.

*Use graphics and keep the message simple.  Using colorful graphics are a great way to portray your message.  Remember that you only have a few minutes to grab the customer’s attention.  Keep your message simple, you may have a lot to say, but a postcard needs to be simple and send a clear and concise message.

*Provide a reason to act upon your postcard.  Provide a discount, a special or promotion.  One approach it to give them a time period to act or a “special offer” to the first 50 customers.  The chances are, if they put down the Postcard, they won’t pick it up again.  Give them reason to call or visit your business.

*Be realistic about your expectations and measure the results.  Traditional wisdom says that any mailing will have a success rate of 1% – 10%.   While this seems low, it is still a cost efficient way of reaching customers.  Be certain that you measure the success of each Postcard by recording its success.  One way to do it is to include a promotion code or wording that will help you determine where the sale came from.

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1,000th customer to claim their FREE Micro Site on MyLocally.com

MyLocally is pleased to announce that Anderson Carpet Cleaning of Mill Creek, WA is the 1000th customer to claim their FREE Micro Site on MyLocally.com.

MyLocally is a FREE online directory that merges the best of Local Search and Social Marketing to help small businesses get found online.  MyLocally leverages the power of Search and Social with easy (and free) tools that help small businesses improve their online presence.

Part of the Search Initiatives’ brand and leaders in Local Search since 2007, the team at MyLocally has created a one of a kind product that offers ALL business owners with a FREE online presence and rewards them for actively participating in the promotion of their business.

By combining the SEO/Search elements that are needed to be found online with Social Media features, we provide a tool that allows businesses to reach out to and communicate with customers.

MyLocally is a must have for your Search and Social toolkit; go to MyLocally.com to add your business for FREE!

MyLocally is currently partnering with The American Chiropractor Magazine.
MyLocally has over 300,000 Small Business Listings in over 120 categories.
MyLocally is a Search Initiatives Brand.
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5 Tips for Using Facebook to Increase Your Business

Many businesses do not use social networking and social media to their advantage. For example, Facebook can be an effective way of increasing business.

If you want to increase business through Facebook, there are a few tips you can use to ensure you get the most from social media.

1. Offer customers something for liking your Facebook page. For example, make certain promotions exclusive to Facebook users. Give your customers a reason to go to your Facebook page by offering discounts on products or services.

2. Don’t make your Facebook difficult to read. Make getting information from your Facebook page easy for customers. Don’t use confusing jargon, and keep it straight to the point.

3. Give customers information about the company, as well as trivia facts. You want to build a trusting relationship with customers by offering honest information.

4. Place a share button on the Facebook page. With a share button, customers who visit the page can share information you post with other people.

5. Keep the Facebook page updated on a regular basis. An important aspect of maintaining and increasing business is keeping your customers updated on new happenings with the company.

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How to Build Natural Links to Your Website

After you have built a website, one of your most important tasks is draw traffic to it. One way to do this is to get other blogs and websites to link to yours. This draws people who click on the links to your site and can increase your search engine rankings. There are services on the web that guarantee you hundreds or even thousands of links for a price. Unfortunately, many of those links are low quality and could actually hurt your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts.

It is far better to grow your links naturally. The first thing to do is join the discussion on similar blogs and websites without spamming them. Comment on blog posts or bulletin board discussions and become a part of the community. This may lead to the webmaster or blogger happily linking to your site. It also builds your reputation among your peers, which increases your likelihood of getting more links later.

Try using videos and tutorials on your site. People love content that teaches them something new or how to solve a problem. They will link to your site if they know your content is useful and well prepared. Great content will also draw natural traffic to your site and build your search engine ranking.

Many websites are filled with useful content, so trying something a little different may set you apart from the pack. Humor is one way to distinguish your content. If your articles or tutorials get people to laugh, they will not only remember your website but recommend it to others as well. The more popular your site becomes, the more links you are likely to get.

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Tim Judd of MyLocally/eLocal Listing to Give Local Search Workshop at DigitalNow

Tim Judd, CEO and President of eLocal Listing and Search Initiatives, LLC will be conducting a workshop at the digitalNow conference in Orlando, FL.

Mr. Judd, a Local Search industry expert, author of ThinkJudd.com and a regular panelist at Lead Generation and Search conferences has been invited to present a workshop entitled, “Leading the Way with Local Search, Social and Mobile”. This 45-minute session will educate Account Executives on how to thrive in today’s complex marketplace and will include customer testimonials, case studies and detailed steps on trade secrets to increase visibility, conversion and branding.

digitalNow is an annual conference which brings together CEOs from some of the most influential professional, non-profit and trade associations in America. Produced by Fusion Productions and Disney Institute, this invitation-only conference addresses the critical issues facing association leaders in the digital age (Building Brand, Personalization, Online Community, AMS Integration, Lifetime Loyalty, Member Relationship Management, Taxonomy/Advanced Search, Content Management, One-to-One Marketing, eLearning, and Web 2.0).

Mr. Judd will be introducing MyLocally.com, a revolutionary online directory that merges Search, Social and Mobile to increase a company’s online visibility and encourages B2C engagements that result in increased revenues at the Digital Now Conference.

MyLocally offers partnership programs to Associations and Publications, allowing them to leverage the power of the Internet, promote their organization and share in revenue.

About Us
MyLocally is a Search Initiatives, LLC company. Search Initiatives owns and operates a portfolio of online properties that harness the power of the Internet to help small to medium-sized businesses market their products and services.

The company generates accurate and useful information about these businesses to improve search engine visibility and optimize consumer impact. Search Initiatives’ properties include eLocal Listing, MyLocally, eLocal Profiles, cherrp, and RadarFrog.

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Good SEO is like a Well Orchestrated Symphony

In preparing for the Digital Now Conference in Orlando, FL at the end of April where Tim Judd, CEO and President of eLocal Listing and MyLocally will be presenting a session on “Leading the Way through Local Search, Social and Mobile”, I came across an article on building a better case for investing in SEO that made a poignant point.

It said that “SEO is not one single activity, but a culmination of processes, skills, techniques and people that must work in perfect harmony in order to be effective, like a well rehearsed orchestra. If you have ever listened to a musician practice a viola, a horn, or other instrument where each portion on its own sounds disjointed, you can understand that only when each instrument or section plays its part and joins with the whole, is music really made. It is the same with a business’ Search and Social strategy. A tweet here and there hardly makes music, in the same way that an occasional (and often random) facebook post or a poorly ranked website constitutes an online marketing strategy.

A business’ Local Web Strategy must be cohesive and consistent and must incorporate those elements that assist in visibility and conversion. A well thought out marketing strategy with the various aspects of the “Web Equity” can make beautiful music, but like that one instrument, alone or not well rehearsed will only sound like noise.

In the next few weeks the team at MyLocally.com will be posting the various elements that are necessary to create an online marketing strategy that will encourage engagement, increase online ranking and assist with conversion.

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Reaching Dot Boomers Through Your Online Marketing Strategy

This article was first published in the March 2012 issue of The Business Scene magazine.

“When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now … Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” One can only imagine if the lyrics to this epic song would include, “will you still tweet me, w” if Paul McCartney had written these lyrics today.

If you are planning your annual marketing strategy and think that the Baby Boomer(those of us born between 1946 – 1964) market is anywhere that does not include the Internet -then think again!

Boomers in the U.S. are technologically savvy enough to comprise 1/3 of all TV viewers, online users, social media users and twitter users. You can’t afford to overlook them!  Despite the misconception that since Baby Boomers didn’t grow up with the Internet, they don’t use it -Baby Boomers are fast becoming “Dot Boomers” and are including online activity as part of their daily routines.

While this demographic may have been a bit slow to embrace these new technologies, they are the fastest growing segment on the Internet; using Search and Social Media to stay connected (or reconnect) to family and friends, to make purchasing decisions, conduct banking, research a topic, purchase online, or plan a trip or the weekend’s activities.  Leaving this group out of your online marketing strategy is short sighted and a missed opportunity.

It is important for you to understand that Baby Boomers are willing (and do) spend their money and make up the lion’s share of the spending power in the United States. Baby Boomers are using the Internet to research and make both online and offline purchasing decisions.  Over $7 billion dollars is spent online by a generation that has embraced the Internet as a cyber super mall.  Boomers aren’t just buying online, they now consider the Internet to be the most important source of information for their purchasing decisions. Older adults are finding that the Internet provides a safe and convenient alternative to brick and mortar retail stores that have low lighting, loud music, and young employees.  Small businesses have a huge opportunity to meet Boomer needs online, but most businesses haven’t tried to tap into this opportunity –but now is the perfect time to start!

Understanding Baby Boomers’ purchasing patterns and making small changes to your online marketing strategies can make a big difference.  While younger Americans tend to make decisions based on the “cool” or “wow” factor, Baby Boomers rarely do.  Studies show that Baby Boomers are drawn to a business that garners trust and promotes relationship building.   Your online presence should  include the right balance of images and wording.  While a younger consumer will make a decision to stay on a site in approximately 7 seconds, older consumers stay on a site for much longer.  They want to know how many years a company has been in business, they want to know that they are reputable and promote a feeling of trust and well-being.

Another small change that is easy to make is to include more age appropriate images in your online presence.  Even changing your wording in small ways can make a difference; Baby Boomers have changed the face of “old Americans”, but they are looking for businesses that engender trust and reliability, not flash and pizzazz.  While Americans are working later in life, they often have more flexible schedules; encouraging Baby Boomers to take advantage of off hour specials can fill your restaurant, winery or retail store when the younger crowd is busy with their work or family life.

Going to “grandma’s house” to connect with older relatives may be a thing of the past.  Boomers are using titter, Facebook, LinkedIn and social networking sites in increasing numbers.  Boomers in general have more time to engage in Social Media activities and are doing so.  They are participating in growing numbers in posting original content, writing blogs and reviews.  Like your online marketing strategy, your Social Marketing strategy should take into consideration that Boomers are using Social Media and that they are looking for businesses that solicit trust and loyalty..

The Internet has changed the way we live, play, shop and connect with others.  Savvy business owners who understand their total target audience and who consider Baby Boomers in their online strategies will be able to harness the buying power of a generation soon to make up over 45% of the American population.

About the Author – Carol Lee Collins is the Vice President of  MyLocally, an online directory that showcases local businesses and encourages them to interact with the customers through seamlessly integrated Social Media tools.  She has worked in the advertising, marketing and internet/SEO space for over 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

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Twitter Shortcuts

Twitter can be an effective way to promote your business in 140 characters or less you can post specials, promos, new clients, references and even post your tweet to your Facebook or Google + accounts.  Who would have thought that so few words could be so effective.  Well maybe William Shakespeare when he quoted “Men of few words are the best men.”

Who could imagine that 140 little characters in a post referred to as a tweet could make such an impact.  Be sure to encourage followers and to tweet interesting topics that pertain to your business, including special and promos.  If you find a good article, tweet it.

Here are a few secrets and tips that will make tweeting 140 characters (or less) even easier!

Twitter ShortCuts

Fn|n allows you to post a new status update from within twitter.

Fn|r allows you to reply to a selected post.

Fn|t allows you to retweet another twitter user’s posts.

Fn|G and p goes to your profile page.

 

Twitter Commands

@username + message  directs a tweet at another person.

WHOIS username retrieves the profile information of a public twitter user.

 

 

 

 

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Murrieta Chiropractors Claim Their Free MyLocally Micro Sites

TLC Bodyworks and Murrieta Advanced Chiropractic both qualify for a FREE cup of coffee because they claimed their FREE chiropractic Micro Site.  Check them out.

Claim Your Chiropractic Business on MyLocally and Get a Free Cup of Coffee!
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MyLocally.com Launches a New Online Directory

October 20, 2011 -

MyLocally.com, a  revolutionary online directory and changes the course of Local Search and Social Media launches in partnership with The American Chiropractor Magazine. Each chiropractor who receives the magazine will also receive a FREE listing in MyLocally.com helping to improve a chiropractor’s online presence and helps them connect with customers through Social Marketing and Social Bookmarking tools.

MyLocally Lauch Press Release

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