Joining Forces To Make The Most Of Your Marketing Dollar


Earlier this year I invited three female speakers to join me in a one-off venture - to host a showcase of our various offerings to our collective client bases. We each have a different speciality topic and it seemed a good way to cross-fertilise our topics and our clients.

When we four speakers were discussing the event, we talked about how we would market the event given that we didn't have huge dollar to spare.

We were staggered when we realised how many people we were able to reach, once we had asked the question - ‘Who do we know?'

Collectively we had a database of 20,000 of thereabouts. Yet when we then thought about professional bodies we either belonged to or knew of, that number swelled to 67,000, and when we thought even further outside the square, and talked about - who did we know who put on events who would be willing to advertise OUR event to their client base, if we did the same for their next event.

Suddenly the list of potential contacts grew to well over 150,000.
Did 150,000 people show up to our event? Thankfully no. But we certainly generated enough interest and business for ourselves to make the exercise very profitable indeed.

Every business needs to market itself in some way, shape or form. And marketing can be our most costly, yet hit-and-miss effort. I have heard other business professionals ask:

How come we sent out 1000 flyers and only 3 people bought what we were selling? How come we paid telemarketers to phone around to rustle up activity and all we got was a lousy .02% return on our time and investment?

I read some statistics recently which may answer those questions, but which could also help us to make our marketing dollar work more effectively in the future, I know it changed my way of thinking about marketing.

Apparently marketing works like this:

    1st contact with 500 potential customers = up to a 1% response rate
    2nd contact with the same 500 = a 1 - 3% response rate
    3rd contact with the same 500 = a potential 5-7% response rate

It is at this point that most of us throw up our hands saying ‘This isn't working' and go and find another 500 new, potential customers and try the whole process over again with them. And of course, achieve the same statistical response rate.

Yet, according to the statistics above, had we persevered with the first 500 customers we could have experienced the following:

    4th contact with the same 500 customers = a potential 7-15% response rate

Which is getting better, however, it is with the 5th and subsequent contacts that real traction is gained, because according to good marketing advice, staying in regular contact with those initial 500 contacts, by the 7th, 8th and 9th contact we can expect anything up to a whopping 60% response rate!

We quit too early.
We all know we should be in touch with our customers every 60 - 90 days. Yet how many of us ever actually stick to that? And yet it isn't difficult.

So 2 tips:

1.    Create a regular newsletter with some interesting stories or facts or quips or items of interest. This is such a cost-effective way of staying in touch. We don't even need to pack the newsletter with info on our products or services, in fact I would suggest you don't. Perhaps a PS at the end of the newsletter would be enough - oh by the way - we have a 20% discount this month on xyz - the first 25 people to contact us hit the jackpot.

If nothing else, it will make your clients read your newsletter to the very end!    

2.    Make your marketing (whichever format you use) stand out in some way. Colour, texture, density, sound, music, pictures, invitations, balloons, tea-bags, chocolate and mints - all work well. Pens are SO last year. 

I run a 100% referral business, and I know it is because of my little newsletter which goes out monthly(ish). I sell very little of my own in it; I offer other people's books and CDs. But the one thing I have become known for is that in my newsletter I always run a quiz. My little quiz has been sent all around the world and I regularly have people who say - can I please be on your database. Of course you can!

So be creative about marketing - don't be afraid to try different things, but always measure the results. See what feedback you get - and you will get feedback.

Happy marketing.


Ann Andrews CSP specialises in working with high performing teams and showing managers how to deal with poor performance.

You may also like:

Filed under Business Coaching. Posted by The Corporate Toolbox on