Direct Response and Web Sites-Small Business Lead Generation

One of the most important elements to small business success is lead generation because without leads you can’t increase sales. So where do you concentrate your lead generation efforts?

Get Qualified Leads One at a Time with Direct Response

I’m going to make a bold statement: Direct response is the most effective and affordable ways to generate leads on a one-on-one basis. Let me qualify that statement. Direct response is the most effective and affordable way to reach clients one-to-one if you:

  • know your target market
  • attach benefits to your features
  • understand your competition
  • identify your competitive advantage
  • can write your direct response package in a clear and convincing way

Understanding all that means you can have an effective direct response campaign. No doubt, knowing a few tips about direct response copywriting will help by boosting your response rate. For instance, your heading makes or breaks your campaign. It’s the biggest predictor on whether your prospect ill read it or toss it in the garbage.

Forget about where you’re located or how many year’s you’ve been in business, or describing every detail about your product. Yes, your potential consumer clients want to know a little about the features, but for every feature your product or service has, they want to know far more about the benefit. They consistently and continuously ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?”

A specific call to action, and creating a sense of urgency helps too. It seems most of us are basic procrastinators. If you don’t tell us what to do, and you don’t make us believe we need to do it today (with specials, limited-time or quantity discounts, etc.) we probably won’t do anything at all.

And by the way, a P.S. increases response rates too. It’s the second most-read line in your direct response copy. It should restate your main benefits, call to action and special offer.

Generate Masses of Leads with a Small Business Web Site

But direct response isn’t the only effective way to reach clients affordably. It may be the best way to reach potential clients on a one-on-one basis, but did you know a small business web site is one of the best ways to reach masses of potential clients?

Affordable? That depends. Some small business owners I know personally have paid lots of $$ for their web site. It may be a mistake to pay big bucks for a small business web site when a simple 5 page static site will do. After all, it’s not the design that produces results but rather the copywriting.

Copy for your web site follows the same basic rules as direct response copywriting, but with a few important differences:

  • web site copy is shorter because internet readers are generally impatient
  • include lots of free information because readers are searching for information
  • avoid the hard sell–it doesn’t work online
  • write with your readers in mind, but take search engines into account as well
  • include a way to capture email addresses as lead generation

Effective? That depends too. A web site is only effective if it can be found. And to make sure it’s found you need to know a little about search engine marketing (SEM). A good discussion about SEM is beyond the scope of this short article. But, here’s a few tips:

  • write web site copy around keywords, including headings and titles
  • promote your web site online by publishing articles, joining forums, and listing in business directories
  • try Google AdWords
  • promote your web site offline
  • content, content and even more content
  • update content often

Increase Their Interest Level with Direct Response Pointing to Your Web Site

So, direct response generates leads one-to-one, and a web site reaches the masses. What if you combine them?

Direct response and web sites work very well together to generate leads and close sales. You could create your direct response with a call to action to visit your web site rather than asking directly for a purchase. Your web site includes copy that is different from, but related to your direct response package.

Your web site call to action could be any of a number of things. You could use it simply to generate more leads through capturing email addresses. Or you could be the “information guru” on some subject your direct mail recipients would be interested in. Or your web site call to action could be directly asking for sales.

The point is that the purpose of both is to generate leads and to have some way to convert those leads to sales. There are many different ways to close sales. Follow up brochures can be very effective for instance. But possibly using both direct response and your web site solely to generate leads is less effective than using one to supplement the other as a sales tool.

Merchant Cash Advance Steps in During Recession to Save Small Businesses

The global credit crisis has seen banks struggling with cash deficit, barely managing to stay afloat. Small businesses have obviously been badly hit with the drastic drop in consumer disposable income. With no money coming in from consumers, and banks not approving loans, small businesses have been shutting down or on the verge of it.

The Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) industry has saved many small businesses from closing down during the economic downturn. MCA providers focus on the future performance of the business rather than its current financial situation. If the business has an acceptable credit history and shows good credit card sales, business owners can get a merchant advance within 2 weeks to support their business.

The survival of small businesses is integral to the economy

Small businesses contribute to the U.S. economy in a big way. According to the 2004 census, there were at least 25 million small businesses in the United States, with 600,000 new businesses adding to the count every year. These businesses account for at least 50% of the employments in the private sector.

Closure of small businesses leads to the loss of wealth and employment in the economy. Lack of funds is forces small businesses to lay off employees or shutdown service. It is vital that small businesses have the necessary funds to survive this lean time and continue to generate revenue and employment.

With this end in mind, the U.S. government in 2008 and 2009 facilitating funding of banks to prop them up and encourage business loans. However, getting loans from banks is still very tough, even with good credit scores. The approval process is stringent and time-consuming. A failing business cannot afford the time lost in waiting for a loan when it needs funds urgently.

MCA providers have an efficient system that allows businesses to get the business advance fairly quickly. The funds can be utilized immediately to keep the business going while it adapts to the new economic environment. MCA providers have played a key role in keeping many businesses on their feet.

MCA industry – a successful player in the new lending market

The new lending market is seeing the rise of the MCA industry. Traditional bank loans are still an option for business financing but need to rethink their loaning strategy to be useful to struggling businesses. The MCA falls more costly than a bank loan, but it places trust in the business’ capability to perform. The MCA provider gets a percentage of the credit card sales and is with the business in good times and slow times. As MCA does not require posting of collateral, the business owner is saved the worry of losing personal assets.

The MCA industry is regulating itself to shakeout disreputable providers looking to rip-off desperate small business owners. Top MCA providers are setting a benchmark for other providers to ensure the MCA industry stays in business.

Small business funding is a lucrative industry. With the change in the lending market, more players can be expected to enter the arena to fulfill this need. Small business owners will have the option to choose from various financing sources. In today’s unpredictable environment, the MCA industry stands out for its convenient, fast and flexible financing options.

Small Business Leads – How to Increase Your Small Business Profits

If you are a small business owner, I hope you have a website. Even if that small business of yours deals with local clients and customers, an online website can go a long way. In fact, many internet users even like to research local businesses online first. So lets say that you get yourself a website and you do some marketing. Great; you are on the right track. But there is one more thing I’d like you to do. I’d like you to go out and find some small business sales leads. These leads are what will connect you with your targeted market. Whether you contact them via email or phone, you can point them in the direction of that online website of yours.

Now, it is a good idea to find some small business sales leads. What you do is search for leads or people who are interested in what you have for sale. You find them and make contact. Whether this contact is over-the-phone or via email, your goal is to entice them to become a customer. You can provide a link to your online store, discuss some of the products or services you sell, and even offer a promotional discount “just for them.”

Making contact with a potential customer you found for your small business is the easiest part. It is finding that potential customer online that can be the hard part. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be very hard. Here are some helpful tips for you:

Examine Online Classified Websites: Since you are a business that has a product or a service to sell, you want to find individuals who advertise online that they want it. You might wonder if someone is looking for a new dining room table (which you sell) why don’t they just search the internet looking for one? I’ll tell you; because it is much easier to just make a post and hope that someone (just like you) comes along to say “I got one for sale.” Buyers don’t want to spend hours on a computer searching when they don’t have to.

Search with Good Phrases: The tricky part about searching online classifieds and other similar sites for small business leads is that you are going to get mixed results. This is just something you have to make do with. So lets say back to that dinning room table, if you do a search with the phrase “kitchen table,” you are going to find a mixture if people looking to buy and people trying to sell theirs. You are looking for the buyers, so find these.

In short, you don’t need to pay a professional to generate small business leads for you. It is easy for you to do it yourself. Best of all, you know that you are getting the best results because you are 100% in control of the searching, the finding, the deciding, and the making contact.

3 Free Ways To Market Your Small Business Online

Most small business owners know they need to be involved in online marketing but many are at a loss on simple free steps they can take to get started or grow their internet presence. It’s unfair too because many small businesses are stuck buying expensive print ads in newspapers and the yellow pages.

So, in this short article, we’re going to learn 3 free ways to market your small business on the internet. With no further ado, let’s do it!

Free Marketing Method 1: Create a Facebook Fan Page

Facebook Fan Pages are not just a novelty anymore. If you look, most “big brands” aren’t even advertising their own websites these days, they’re advertising their Facebook page. You’ve probably seen ads for companies like Ford and at the end it says “visit us on Facebook” or something along those lines.

Why is Facebook so important for small business marketing? To answer that question, let me tell you a story. Imagine you go to a party and when you arrive first. While you’re waiting for everyone else to show up you look around the room. Sure, there are beautiful pictures everywhere and you can read all about your host and even learn a little about why the party is happening.

After hours and hours of waiting alone, you finally figure it out. No one else is coming to this party. So, why am I talking about parties? Because that “party” is your website (if you have one). Websites are good to quickly give information, but there’s no space for interaction. And even if there is, it’s not in real time.

Facebook practically allows you to communicate in real time with your customers, and it allows them to interact with each other. Your best customers will help spread the word about your business and help the “newbies” who have questions. To go back to our party example, it’s like being at a party with all the cool kids – and they all want to talk to you!

So, if you don’t have a Facebook fanpage yet… now is the time.

Free Marketing Method 2: Blogging For Your Business

Besides a Facebook fan page, you need to be blogging. A Blog is simply a type of website that allows you to post articles or posts in order. They aren’t too hard to setup and you can get free blogs from sites like Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Although, I think it’s best to install your own custom blog software.

Blogs are really important because they allow you to create fresh content which in turn get your site ranked for better terms. This is especially important for local businesses because it’s a lot easier to rank for keywords when you have a local phrase. For example, if I wanted to rank for Tarpon Springs Internet Marketer it wouldn’t be that hard because:

1) There’s not a lot of competition
2) I have a blog and can write a blog post all about that topic

Google loves stuff like this because the page that my blog creates is completely optimized for the phrase Tarpon Springs Internet Marketer. And blogs also help solve the “party scene with no guests” scenario because you can actually include Facebook comments in your blog. This is a bit complex, but most web designers can do this for you if you ask.

Free Marketing Method 3: Find Free Small Business Leads Using Twitter

This is a great little tactic for small businesses, especially if you don’t mind reaching out and looking for customers. So many local business owners just wait for someone to walk in the door… so by getting out and looking you’ll be 10 times better off than other business owners.

Here’s how this strategy works. Many people are on twitter. It’s a micro-blogging site that allows people to post short updates about what they’re doing. You can sign up for Twitter by going to Twitter.com. It’s always best to use your name so you appear to be more real. And don’t worry, it’s free to sign up.

Anyway, when you register you can now communicate with other people on Twitter. So, who are you going to talk to on there? Easy. You’re going to go here:

http://search.twitter.com/advanced

Search for words or phrases people might say who need your product or service. The good thing about Twitter is that people love to complain on there over mundane things. For example, someone might write, “dang it! My brakes are going out. This sucks!”

So, imagine if you’re an auto-mechanic you could contact that person and offer them a free check-up or whatever. And the best part is, before you do your search, you can actually type in a zip code area to search in. That way, if you’re in Dunedin, Florida you are going to be seeing updates from people in a different state.

Small Business Internet Marketing: Start Now

You’ve just been given 3 great ways to get stated marketing your small business online. But the real key is to get started now. Don’t wait another second. Your competitors are either already online taking your customers or getting ready to be. One of the real keys to the internet is that the early bird gets the worm.

So, take what you’ve just read and put it to work now.