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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Marketing by text - checklist

Text message marketing can be an excellent way to reach potential customers and encourage them to use your business. Here are ten tips to help you run brilliant text message campaigns.

  • Have a clear call to action. Make sure your customers immediately understand why you have texted them. You want the recipient to act on your text, so tell them what they need to do to benefit from what you're telling them.
  • Think carefully about when you should text your customers. If you want to generate an action or response, give your customers enough time during the day to do so. You can use a scheduler to prepare messages in advance and send them when you want.
  • A single SMS message consists of 160 characters. For the most cost-effective campaign you must choose your words carefully. Get to the point and include the most important information at the start of the message.
  • Manage your database properly and avoid texting the same messages to the same people over and over again. Keep your communication fresh and engaging.
  • Sending messages to old numbers is costly. To save time and money, regularly check and delete numbers that can't be reached. 'Three strikes and you're out' is a good principle to use.
  • Measure how effective your mobile marketing campaign has been so you can improve next time. How many responses did you get? What was your return on investment? Try sending different offers on different days - or target different groups of customers.
  • Use an SMS keyword (eg 'Text FISH to 60777 to receive the latest news and offers') to grow your SMS list. Print this everywhere. Remember: the law says all recipients must have opted in to receive your messages.
  • Make sure every message offers a simple opt-out option. Always ensure you make it clear to your customers that they can stop receiving messages from you at any time.
  • Target your texts. Make sure the recipient is going to be interested in what you're offering. There would likely be little logic in texting a man with news of a two-for-one offer on nail varnish, for example.
  • Insert names, appointment times or other details into your messages to make them more personalised and relevant. You can also brand your text by setting the sender name on the SMS message as your company name.

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