06 Apr

4 Steps To Making Freebies Work For You

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Synergy Suggestions on 06.04.16 by John Meloche

Free Computer Key In Green Showing Freebie and PromosAll week long, the Synergy Marketing Blog has been focused on the importance of giving things away for free. And why wouldn’t it be? At Synergy Marketing, we’re experts in the “giving things away for free” business. As you know, our promo gifts have long come in handy as marketing tools that help Canadian business owners grow the reach of their companies. But what steps are necessary in order to make freebies work for you?

Here are four:

1. Use freebies to reward loyalty. As most business owners know, marketing strategies should be centered on encouraging repeat business – not just one-time sales. Your objective should be to make people fans of your company. That way, they won’t just support your current marketing efforts, but will be enticed to continue visiting your place of business for years to come. On Top7Business.com, Kate Marsden champions this concept.

Firstly, she suggests that your marketing campaigns be launched with the help of freebies. “Use a free offer to launch a new product or service and get some positive PR going,” she recommends. Marsden also notes that, to keep customers coming back, you should use freebies to thank people for their support. “Use the free offer as an extra reward for loyal customers, especially at the points when you know customers are more likely to leave you,” she advises.

2. Make your offer a “freemium”. What’s a freemium, you ask? As Lee Polevoi explains on Intuit.com, this is when a company offers a basic service for free, but charges a fee for its premium features. He notes that customers that take advantage of such free offers are most often compelled to support the business either right away or in the future. This concept falls in line with the idea of letting people sample your goods to encourage them to buy.

“Freemium offers often involve giving away limited-use software, such as a social game (which costs nothing to download and play), and then charging a premium to unlock advanced features or to purchase related products or services,” Polevoi uses as an example, “Think about the ice-cream shop that invites you to sample its latest flavor on a tiny plastic spoon. Tasting that free sample is your first step toward placing an order, which may end up being two scoops instead of one.”

3. Turn your freebie into a trade-off. It’s true that the idea of giving away something for free shouldn’t necessarily come with any strings attached. But that doesn’t mean that your customers won’t be willing to offer you something in return for your generosity. Marsden recommends that you offer your free products and services to your happiest of customers in return for testimonials about your brand.

4. Use your freebies as contest prizes. Who doesn’t love an opportunity to win something? Contests are often great ways to elicit fun and excitement about your brand. Why not use use particular items as prizes for contests? By requesting people to sign up for your contest, you highly encourage increased visits from passers-by who may otherwise not have entered the doors of your store.

As you know, Synergy Marketing is only too happy to help you along with your freebie-giving ways. To place your order for the promo gift of your choice, call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 between 9am and 5pm EST or email us at info@gosynergygo.com! You can also sign up for our Insider E-Flyer Program HERE!

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05 Apr

2 Of The Easiest Freebies To Give Away To Your Customers

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Synergy Suggestions on 05.04.16 by John Meloche

Free wifi area sign on a latte coffee in a barIn our last blog, we revisited the concept of freebie marketing and explained that there are many advantages of using it to promote your business. As you know, Synergy Marketing provides the best promo products in the industry that can help you to use freebie marketing to your advantage. But there are many different ways to grow your business using the principle of giving things away for free.

Here are two of the easiest freebies to give away to your customers:

1. Wi-Fi. It is nearly impossible to find someone today who isn’t looking for some free Wi-Fi access. People regularly leave their homes, not only with their smartphones, but with their tablets and laptop computers as well. Coffee shops that offer free Wi-Fi are all the rage these days. They offer comfortable places for people to work and surf the internet for free. Naturally, they’re able to better sell their products to such individuals as a result.

“One of my favourite things about Starbucks, besides the coffee, is the free Wi-Fi that I enjoy while sipping my favourite cuppa,” admits Pratik Dholakiya on Entrepreneur.com, “More and more retailers jump onto the free Wi-Fi bandwagon with every passing day. Why wouldn’t they? By downloading a simple hotspot management software you can allow users inside your establishment to access your existing Wi-Fi for free, without trespassing on your secure data.”

He goes on to provide the results of a recent study that shows that stores offering free Wi-Fi have customers who spend a lot more time in their places of business. “Among stores that offer free Wi-Fi, 61 percent had customers spending longer periods of time in the store,” Dholakiya reveals, “Over half (50.1 percent) saw customers spend more money per visit compared to their pre-free Wi-Fi days.”

2. Store pickups. Online shopping continues to grow in popularity. It’s pretty hard to beat the convenience of having items delivered directly to your doorsteps. There are, however, those customers who would prefer to save themselves money on shipping costs by being able to pick up their orders from physical store locations. If you’re willing to offer free store pickups, it could greatly help you to boost sales via your online store.

“A huge reason for customers to prefer shopping at physical stores vis-à-vis online shopping is the added cost of shipping items to their doorstep,” says Dholakiya, “The compromise is for shoppers to order online but get their purchase at the store, without a delivery charge…While it’s understandable that users love free store pickups thanks to the savings on shipping costs, this is a gold mine for retailers.”

You may notice that these two particular freebies really don’t cost business owners any upfront fees. They are among the easiest things to give away for free, and this makes them two of the best. At Synergy Marketing, we excitedly advocate the use of promotional gifts as they have been proven to help business owners grow their companies. For decades, business owners have been telling their customers that they value their support by giving out branded promo products.

And we provide the best promo products in the business! Choose from pens, water bottles, key chains, knives, wine stoppers, USB chargers, rulers, markers, tools, flashlights and so much more! To place your order for the promo gift of your choice, call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 between 9am and 5pm EST or email us at info@gosynergygo.com! You can also sign up for our Insider E-Flyer Program HERE!

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04 Apr

Are You Taking Advantage Of Freebie Marketing?

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Synergy Suggestions on 04.04.16 by John Meloche

Freebie button, isolated over white, 3d renderAnd now something from the land of the obvious…people love getting things for free! And, although we’re quite aware that this is something you know already, it’s important to state that not enough business owners are putting this “no-brainer” piece of knowledge to good use. Don’t be afraid that you’ll be losing money if you give things away to your customers. Freebies have long proven to be great ways to grow a company!

As Pratik Dholakiya points out on Entrepreneur.com, “not all value-adds are a drain on your pocket.” And this is the way that freebies should be looked upon by business owners of all types. Giving away products or services for free is a great way to add value to your customer relationships. Not only does the gesture automatically inspire favourable attitudes towards your brand, but it also helps for people to become better associated with what you have to offer.

How does offering up a free sample of something you sell help your business? Clearly, it encourages your customer to use it at no cost to him or her. And worthwhile products are bound to be enjoyed and therefore, purchased in future. At Synergy Marketing, we highly advocate the giving away of free promotional gifts to boost the good names of the companies that give them out. They’ve long proven to enhance customer relationships and garner referrals.

Are you looking to grow your customer base? Okay, silly question we know. So here’s another question for you. Are you giving away freebies to your clients? If the answer is no, you may want to consider the various advantages to giving things away to the people who matter most to your business. On Intuit.com, Lee Polevoi explains that using freebies as a marketing strategy is a great way to boost your sales.

“Freebie marketing — whereby a business gives away goods or services to promote its brand and boost sales of related products or features — has proved wildly successful in attracting new customers and encouraging customer loyalty,” he writes, “Why? Customers and prospects don’t always understand the value of your offering until they’ve tried it.” Once they’ve tried it, it helps to establish trust with your brand.

How do freebies help to establish trust with your brand? This is best answered by Kate Marsden on Top7Business.com. “Freebies allow customers to build a level of trust with you; encourage people to sample products and services they may not otherwise buy; make customers feel that they are getting something extra; and let you to engage with customers in unusual ways to create hype, launch products and get customer quotes,” she emphatically lists.

As mentioned, Synergy Marketing advocates the concept of freebie marketing. We offer the best promotional products in the business to help Canadian business owners take advantage of its many benefits. For decades, promo gifts have been helping business owners grow their companies in the most cost-effective of ways. You can choose from pens, water bottles, wine stoppers, USB chargers, markers, tools, sunglasses, flashlights, key chains and so much more!

To place your order for the promo gift of your choice, call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 between 9am and 5pm EST or email us at info@gosynergygo.com! You can also sign up for our Insider E-Flyer Program HERE!

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29 Dec

3 Ways To Rejuvenate Your Company In 2016

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Synergy Suggestions on 29.12.15 by John Meloche

2016 growth chart, 3d render, white backgroundWith 2016 right around the corner, business owners from all over Canada will be looking to better the overall impressions of their companies. It would be surprising to find any business owner who didn’t have this plan as part of his or her New Year’s Resolutions list. In yesterday’s blog, we touched upon the fact that ditching old habits and taking better advantage of business events were two key ingredients to a more successful year.

In today’s blog, we’ll look at more ways to rejuvenate your company in 2016. Here are three:

1. Do your homework. You may not be in school anymore. But that doesn’t mean that your time for learning new things is over. It’s important for you to constantly study your industry. As well, it’s wise to be up on new trends and technologies. How else do you expect to keep ahead in your marketplace? Take some time during your holiday break to learn about what your competition may be up to you so that you can come up with ways to better their strategies.

On DouglasMagazine.com, Kerry Slavens writes that this is a worthwhile approach to bettering your business in the new year. “If your business is quiet during the holidays, take the time to catch up on your reading,” she advises, “Comb the Internet for ideas from inspiring sites like springwise.com or sit down with some of the year’s most influential business books for inspiration.”

2. Add creative content to your website. Your website needs to be updated as often as your storefront – maybe more often. It’s important to show your online visitors that your company is constantly up to something. Arguably, more important than your website’s design is its content. Start up a blog and have it written in an informative, yet entertaining way. Keep in mind that many company websites have blogs. Yours needs to be unique.

“Because many other companies are doing the same thing, it’s more important than ever that your content is highly useful to your target audience, unique and engaging,” says Jeff Kalter on SalesForce.com, “Create content that your company can be proud of, shows off your thought leadership, and your prospects will love.” If you don’t fancy yourself much of a writer, it would be beneficial for you to go ahead and hire a professional blogger.

3. Trust in your staff. Too many business owners think that they need to do everything on their own. As a result, they inundate themselves with work, but never have the time to get all of it done. If you need to hire competent staff members, begin your hiring process once the new year begins. But, if you already have a strong team, put more of your faith in the people you’ve hired to help you run your company.

“Get a smarter start on the new year by making a commitment to delegate or outsource those tasks that take you away from working on your business,” recommends Slavens, “For instance, do you need to do all of the social media yourself, or is it smarter to hire a savvy university student who can do it twice as fast, freeing you up to innovate, pursue opportunities and lead your team? The same goes for bookkeeping. Is your time worth more to your business when you are balancing the books or prospecting for new clients?”

Here’s hoping 2016 will be your most successful year yet! Happy new year!

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28 Dec

Making Better Impressions In The New Year

Posted in Promotional Products, Small Business Advertising on 28.12.15 by John Meloche

The words Time to Impress on a white and red clock telling you that now is the moment to persuade others and make a good impression to be successful and achieve your goalsWe certainly hope that you’re enjoying your holiday season! While the Synergy Marketing offices are currently closed until the new year, we haven’t taken time off from thinking about the ways in which Canadian business can grow their businesses. With the beginning of 2016 just a few short days away, we know that business owners all over Canada are thinking up ways to make better impressions in the new year. And how can you do that?

Ditch what hasn’t worked for you in the past. Some business owners are simply too stubborn for their own good. They refuse to assess their past mistakes in an effort to correct them going forward. What good is that going to do your business? Suck it up and realize that not every decision you’ve made for your company has been a good one. Start 2016 off fresh by getting rid of old habits that have never proven to be fruitful.

On DouglasMagazine.com, Kerry Slavens reiterates the importance of ditching old and unsuccessful strategies. “A clunky business strategy, a bad website design, an uncomfortable office chair, a broken printer?” she lists, “Why surround yourself with things that symbolize failure? Shred, refresh, rethink and recycle your way to a better frame of mind for you and your team.”

Take better advantage of business events. Simply showing up to trade shows, conferences and other industry events isn’t enough. It should be your goal to leave an impact everywhere you go. The point, of course, is to be memorable. Leaving a positive impression on everyone you meet can go long way in securing future business. On SalesForce.com, Jeff Kalter advises entrepreneurs to get more out of events.

“Events consume a lot of time and money,” he reminds us, “It’s essential that a trade show or conference goes off without a hitch. Because of this, hours go into creating the perfect trade show booth or conference hall to wow visitors. Time goes into preparing speeches and choosing appetizers for receptions. In the rush to the event deadline, sometimes the overall objective is forgotten.”

At Synergy Marketing, we also highly recommend that you bring your company’s promotional products with you to all of the events that you attend. When it comes to leaving positive impressions and being memorable, few things provide more success in those areas that promo gifts. Branded promotional items not only add value to a recipient’s life by coming in handy on a daily basis, they provide excellent reminders of who to do business with.

Our offices open up bright and early on the morning of January 4th, 2016. We’d love to hear from you in order to discuss the promotional products that would work best in advertising your company. If you have plans to attend trade shows and conferences in the new year – and you certainly should! – then it’s wise to carry along promo gifts that bear your company’s name and logo.

We have so many to choose from. Pens, key chains, flashlights, wine stoppers, ear muffs, knives, tools and so much more! Be sure to give us a call at 1-877-748-9884!

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09 Mar

5 Advantages Of Using Promo Gifts To Build Your Brand

Posted in Promotional Products on 09.03.15 by John Meloche

img-aluminum-water-bottle-1024x1269One of the greatest aspects about what we do, here at Synergy Marketing, is that we’re able to turn just about anything into a fantastic way to promote your business. Pens, water bottles, mouse pads, key chains, knives, tools and flashlights are just a few of the many awesome products that we have transformed into sensational promotional items. The more useful they are, the more effective they can be in promoting your business.

One of the greatest aspects of using promotional products to grow your business is how relatively cheap they are when compared to traditional modes of advertising. These aren’t television commercials, radio spots or print ads. Those promotional methods are often very expensive – and they don’t always pan out as methods that work. Promo gifts, on the other hand, add that personal touch to your interactions with your clients.

As a small business owner, you have the distinct advantage of getting to know your customers more closely than owners of major corporations. Developing relationships is actually a big part of what makes your company successful. Promo gifts are excellent at both creating and nurturing those relationships. Have you used promotional products to advertise your company before? If not, now is a great time to start.

Here are five advantages of using promo gifts to build your brand:

1. Promo gifts aren’t “pushy”. Your standard modes of advertising outwardly push products and services on the general public. Your promo gift, however, is just that – a gift. So, recipients rarely ever view them as pushy attempts at increasing sales. This is why choosing the right promo gift to benefit your customers is so important. The more use they get out of your gift, the better your company looks. This, in turn, will generate greater respect for your brand.

2. They provide long-term advertising. While promo gifts don’t come off as blatant advertisements, their ability to promote your brand is long-lasting. As explained by VerifiedLabel.com, “promotional products are actually useful, so 97% of recipients keep them. The other 3% usually pass the products on to family or friends. Furthermore, 55% of recipients keep their promotional gifts for over a year.”

3. They promote brand recognition. It should not be understated that promo gifts have the ability to pack stronger punches than traditional modes of advertising. Keep in mind that their usefulness allows them to be part of your recipients’ everyday lives. “Since these items get used regularly, they result in 43% more brand recognition and recall than overt advertising methods like TV, radio, or magazines,” VerifiedLabel.com informs us.

4. They boost employee morale. It should also not be forgotten that your promotional products can do a lot more than simply please your customers. Your employees are hugely important to your business. And they too, should be rewarded with these gifts. Promo gifts work excellently as rewards for jobs well done. Use them to motivate your staff. Be sure to show your appreciation by regularly sending your team members home with these awesome gifts.

5. They are cost-effective. Did we mention how cheap promo gifts are in comparison to other ways to advertise your company? Well, it’s time we underline that point. Promo gifts provide your company with incredible value. For more information on the various promotional products offered by Synergy Marketing, don’t hesitate to call 1-877-748-9884. We make it our job to get you the perfect promo products to build your brand!

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02 Jan

3 Ways To Make Your Resolutions Come True

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 02.01.15 by John Meloche

Empty new year resolutionsHappy new year! Welcome to the first entry in the Synergy Marketing Blog for 2015. Firstly, we’d just like to remind you that our offices are currently closed for the holidays, but we will be opened bright and early on Monday, January 5th to serve you. We look forward to working with you in an effort to make this year your most successful one yet. Naturally, we’ve been blogging a lot lately about how business owners can grow their companies in the new year.

And now that the new year is here, it’s time to get off to making those New Year’s Resolutions of yours come true! But as Melinda Emerson points out on SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com, “many people think resolutions are a waste of time.” She notes that this is likely because so many of us go about them the wrong way. It’s important to set goals that you can actually accomplish, she says. That’s the first step to going about things the right way.

“You’ve got to aim for something in order to move your business to the next level,” says Emerson, “However, don’t expect the stars every time. Remember those 10 pounds you’ve vowed to lose every New Year? Your goal may be too lofty, which makes you feel like resolutions are bunk. Do aim high, but within reason.” And with that, she provides three ways to make your resolutions come true.

1. Be Really Specific. Don’t just say that you want to grow your business. Give yourself a specific goal that you would like to achieve as a business owner. Then consider the legitimate methods you can employ to achieve those goals. Perhaps you need to hire new employees. Maybe you need to take advantage of a new marketing strategy. Whatever your plans are, be sure to know what the end goal is.

“You want your goals to be as detailed as possible,” Emerson advises, “Say how you want to grow it. Quantify how much you want to increase sales. The more specific you are, the better you can measure results. If you can use numbers in your resolution, do so. If you want to increase sales, include what this year’s sales were so you can easily compare.” If you don’t provide yourself with a specific goal, it isn’t all that likely it will be met.

2. Take Action. Too many people make plans, but fail to follow through on them. This has become the stereotype with New Year’s Resolutions. So be sure to write down a list of actions that you plan on undertaking in to order to see your plans through. Emerson suggests that you assign your tasks to the various members of your team and provide deadlines by which they need to be completed.

3. Review at Year-End. Now that 2014 is over, how well did your accomplishments for the year line up with the goals you set when it began? If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s definitely time to start with some better record keeping. How else will you know how much you’ve succeeded if you’re not reviewing what you’ve attempted and what you’ve achieved? Emerson insists that by the end of this year, you’re able to clearly assess your success.

“In a year, look at those resolutions again and assess which you can check off your list and which you didn’t,” she writes, “Pay attention to those you didn’t achieve. What were the reasons? Did your team handle all the necessary tasks? Did your business shift focus? Use this information to guide you in creating next year’s resolutions. Pay attention to the progress of your goals throughout the year.”

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12 Aug

5 Ideas For Keeping Sales Strong This Fall

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 12.08.14 by John Meloche

Sunny autumn foliageSummer is not over. We repeat. Summer is not over! However…business owners really have no choice but to think ahead. And that means that the fall season has practically begun. Recently, we blogged about the importance of getting your place of business “back to school”-ready. But, of course, the “back to school” season only marks the beginning of fall. There are many different things that you can do to prepare now so that your business is successful when the season comes.

Are you ready for fall? On Intuit.com, Rachel Hartman reminds us that when the kids head back to school next month, many parents will already be thinking about such things as upcoming Thanksgiving and Halloween festivities. So she offers up some ideas to business owners to help keep their sales strong throughout the fall season. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at our favourite five.

1. Go back to school again. “Offer school-centered deals and promotions,” writes Hartman. She suggests that it’s a good idea to get students involved in the promotion of your business. Clothing retailers, for example, may want to look to hiring students to wear particular articles of clothing on campus. That way, they essentially become walking billboards for your brand. Naturally, you may also want to get going on your “back to school” sales if you haven’t already.

2. Support local sports. Hartman also suggests that you contact local schools in order to sponsor games or tournaments that will be taking place throughout the school year. By being a sponsor, she notes, you’ll be able to offer special deals to spectators and fans, not to mention pass out product samples or promotional gifts to those in attendance. As you know, promo gifts are great ways to make great impressions!

3. Think themes. Although the end of summer is often a bummer for most people, there’s no reason to not embrace the new season. Many people love the fall, especially considering the wonderful changing of the colours that take place in nature. “If you have a storefront, consider putting up decorations in fall colours,” suggests Hartman, “Spas and restaurants could offer special seasonal menus.”

4. Say “thank you.” This tip is very much in keeping with the Synergy Marketing philosophy of handing out promotional items to boost business. It’s all about showing your appreciation and gratitude towards those who support your brand. There are several other ways to say “thank you”, of course. Hartman even suggests that you send out Thanksgiving cards to your favourite customers, along with notes that encourage them to visit your store.

5. Offer space to community groups. “If you have extra room in your business, consider opening it up to local residents,” writes Hartman, “For instance, if you run a cafe or a business centre, try hosting study sessions for students. If you own a youth fitness centre, offer some of your space for PTA meetings during the week.” Giving back to the community, by the way, always presents a win-win situation for your brand.

For business owners, the season of promoting never stops. But when the natural seasons go through their transitions, it’s always good to reflect such changes at your business. It gets people into the spirit of the season. And the more people talk about your business, the better. As you know, promo gifts are great ways to get that talk going. Be sure to contact us at 1-877-748-9884 to order your promo gifts today!

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06 Jun

6 More Inexpensive Small Business Marketing Ideas

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 06.06.14 by John Meloche

Depositphotos_5251374_xsIn yesterday’s blog, we pointed out the reality that small business owners across Canada are faced with. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to effectively promote your business! As you can imagine, handing out promotional gifts is just one of the many ways that you can spend a little to gain a lot. We researched a MoneyInstructor.com article for ideas and listed a few with our take on each one of them.

In today’s blog, we’ll continue our look at that list. As per usual, we like to research the vast array of marketing ideas that are available on the internet. It’s interesting how many of them list promo gifts as a key ingredient to small business success. But you knew that already, right? So what else can be done to effectively market your brand without spending big bucks? It all comes down to customer service.

1. Smile when you answer the phone. Do you believe that a smile can be “heard” over the phone? According to the website, “research has proven that smiling even when the other party cannot see you is proven to be effective in relaying friendliness and an upbeat attitude. Making someone smile will be remembered much longer than any four color glossy slick brochure.” And it’s true. Excellent customer service never fails in impressing customers.

2. Give them something unexpected. Sometimes, you just have to surprise your customers by giving them that little bit extra. Writes MoneyInstructor.com: “When you fill an order, add a sample of one of your products or give a certificate for 15% off the next order. Added value is always remembered and much appreciated.” This is a great way to both please your customers and encourage them to come back to spend some more.

3. Donate your services or product to a local fundraising event. It’s rare that we will research a list of marketing tips and not find some sort of reference to charity within it. It’s always a win-win situation to give back to your community. Firstly, it helps to get the good word out about your brand to the people who live closest to your business. But secondly, and more importantly, it offers those in need the help they deserve to attain better lives.

4. Teach a class. You’re an expert in your field. And if you don’t think that you are, then the first step you’ll need to take is building your confidence to a place where you feel that you are a master in your industry. How else will people believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself? Accomplish that and then begin offering free classes to teach what you know at your place of business. Providing free information is a great way to market both yourself and your brand.

5. Send a thank you note. You may have noticed that appreciation is common theme in the “how to advertise your business” world of advice. As MoneyInstructor.com points out, “nothing beats a note of appreciation. Think about it. How many pieces of mail do you receive in a week? Real mail – not bills or junk mail. Personalized, handwritten notes are a steal of a deal in promotional weight for just the price of a stamp and the cost of a card.”

6. Take your advertising outdoors. This piece of advice couldn’t have come at better time! With the summer practically here, it only makes sense to start taking advantage of the warm and sunny outdoors. Host or take part in outdoor events that will give you the opportunity to better expose your business to people who otherwise may never have heard of it. Outdoor events during the summer are the perfect places to hand out your promo gifts too!

And you know where to get them! Call Synergy Marketing today at 1-877-748-9884 to get the perfect promo gift to advertise your business.

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30 May

7 More Incredible & Inexpensive Marketing Tips

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 30.05.14 by John Meloche

Business man pressing round social buttonsHow can online marketing help your business? In yesterday’s blog, we attempted to answer that question by listing a number of tips suggested by Kathy Yakal on ITProPortal.com. These days, business owners are in need of cost-effective ways to promote their businesses. And the internet has provided many of those ways. Considering how popular the internet is, how could you go wrong? In today’s blog, we’ll list seven more great tips!

1. Reward existing customers. It has often been said that marketing to your existing customers in order to retain them is a lot easier than promoting your brand to new ones. Never forget those who have already supported your brand. Yakal suggests that you provide exclusive offers to your regular customers. Notify them through email or social media so that they are aware of the benefits that come with your relationship.

2. Use downtime for marketing. You should make every effort you can to keep in touch with your loyal customers. Don’t let them think that they’re not appreciated. Your efforts will go a long way in securing their loyalty. Yakal recommends that “when business is slow, keep employees busy contacting customers. Create email marketing documents your employees can send to individual customers.”

3. Get your customers to bring in new customers. There’s nothing like a good old referral, is there? When you get a referral from one of those amazing existing customers, be sure to reward them. In fact, Yakal recommends that you “offer an incentive like a discount to customers who get a new customer to make a transaction with your business.” Use social media to deliver the news about this incentive.

4. Provide free, helpful information to your customers. A big part about owning a successful business is the ability to give your customers unforgettable shopping experiences. That means going above and beyond the call of duty to please them. They shouldn’t just want to enter your store for your products and services. You add value to the experience by sharing free information, offering tips and taking a genuine interest in their lives.

5. Increase visibility in your community. If you haven’t yet, it’s definitely time for you to jump online. Locate local organizations that can help you with growing your networking opportunities, suggests Yakal. By doing so, you’ll be getting yourself better acquainted with like-minded individuals who will inspire you to develop new marketing techniques. The more people on your team, the better your chances of success will be.

6. Get active in the online community. It’s not just your own community that you need to get involved in. Getting online to make your company known is integral to its success in today’s marketplace. Be sure not to spam discussion forums and other social sites, warns Yakal. “Establish common-sense rules for yourself and your employees regarding social networking and discussion sites, and always strive to be positive and helpful on them.”

7. Check out your suppliers’ websites thoroughly. Relationship-building takes two. But take the initiative to let those you work with know that they have your support. It only helps you out in the long run. Yakal suggests that you “add links on your site to informative and helpful content on those sites. Many corporate sites offer instructional videos and other material that can inform your customers and lead them back to you, ready to do business.”

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