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NMOA Direct Marketing Article
A painless way to reach 1,000 extra people in 2010 on a shoe-string budget
by John Schulte

One of the most common questions we get from smaller businesses at the NMOA is; "How do I generate more business without spending a lot of money on marketing?"

There's an old saying that still holds some truth; "you need money to make money," so the amount of new business, and the rate at which it comes in, usually coincides with the amount you spend on promotions.

Now, a person could say, with the internet, social media, and email you don't have to spend any money to promote your business, and while there are certainly things that you can do for free, you still have to spend time doing them, and time is money.

The fact remains that many business people still have to do the actual work that makes them money during the day too, so spending a lot of time with free internet marketing tactics may not be the best tactic to invest all of your time in, even though there is minimal 'out of pocket' cash spent.

So here's an easy way to reach 1,000 people this year without breaking the bank. Every day, contact four customers or prospects. Pick up the phone. Drop them a note. Send a fax or an e-mail.

If you stick with this program, at the end of the year, you will have made 1,000 bonus contacts. And you'd better believe it will produce business.

What do you say? If you contact a customer, how about a simple thank you for the business note? If the customer is always prompt with payment, let them know you appreciate that. If you have a new item or service, let them know about it. If you come across a clipping of interest, send it with a post-it note attached letting them know you thought of them when you saw it.

Your bonus contacts needn't be formal communications. They don't have to be long. But every one lets the recipient know that you were thinking about him or her, and took the time to let them know.

When was the last time you got one of those from a supplier? Chances are, not lately. Maybe not in years. That's what makes them special.

Don't skip a day, planning to do eight the next day, or wait until Friday and decide you send all 20. Four a day is a light load, easy to do. Make it a habit. Set a specific time for doing it. And stick with the program. At the end of the year, you'll be glad you did. Because you can't help but generate business you would never have gotten.

About the Author:
John Schulte is a Small Business Consultant and Direct Marketing Strategist. He is a 30-year veteran of advertising, marketing, publicity, promotions and sales. He is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of mail order, direct mail, cataloging and overall direct marketing.

He is one of the few people in the United States that has been certified by a United States Federal Court as a Direct Marketing and Catalog expert, able to act as an expert witness in federally related corporate disputes.

John is also president of the National Mail Order Association and author of the books: "Direct Marketing Toolkit for Small and Home based Business" and "How to Create Successful Small Business Advertising"

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