702-463-1818 info@torchlighttax.com

By John Eberhard

In this article I’m going to discuss the various promotional platforms, or media, or avenues that you can choose for marketing your business. I have long been of the opinion that the best plan for promo avenues for a business is dependent on the type of business and is different for each type of business. There is no “one size fits all” strategy. Determining which promo avenues you use is one of the most important decisions for a business.

So here I’m going to give general comments on each platform/media/avenue.

Email: Email is still a great avenue for promotion today. BUT, as I mentioned in my previous articles, you have to think with open rates. That’s the percentage of people on a given list that actually open the email. For an in-house email list, meaning a list of clients and prospects, you can expect open rates of 7-25%. If you rely heavily on email promotion, you have to be aware that 75% or so of your list is not going to even see it.

With cold email lists, meaning lists of people you’ve had no contact with before, the open rates tend to be around 1-2%. So I don’t recommend having email as your only promo medium.

As far as what you should send to an in-house email list, you should send a regular email newsletter (monthly or better, weekly). The rule that most people follow is, 75% of the content should be useful information, and 25% can be sales oriented.

With cold email lists, you can send out emails directly selling your products or services. Specials work well here. And with some publics, it works well to offer some kind of information product like a free ebook, then send those people a set of autoresponder emails to sell them products or services.

Direct Mail: I am a big proponent of doing relatively inexpensive direct mail, such as postcards. At least you know that most of the people on the list are actually going to see it, so you have a chance to grab them with your message. You can include QR codes on printed materials today that link to further data online.

Google Ads: I have managed Google Ads for lots of companies over the years and am Google Certified. But a key factor to think with in deciding if you want to go this route, is the cost of each click. For search ads it has gone from 10 cents per click back in 2005 to up to $45 per click now in some industries. In most industries today it’s probably about $2.00 per click. When you consider that roughly 3% of them will convert into a lead, then you close a certain percentage of the leads into sales, the math is not encouraging. It is still a great medium for certain industries, where there is not a lot of competition to drive the bid price high, and especially with high ticket items.

One aspect of Google Ads is you can advertise on YouTube, which is owned by Google. The way this works is you produce a video, preferably a short one (1-2 minutes) and you can have that video appear on YouTube in front of the one the viewer went to see. This is called a pre-roll, and you get charged if the person views it for longer than 30 seconds. The cost per click here is generally pretty low.

Another aspect of Google ads which has improved in the past few years is display ads. You can now use one of several targeting methods, including keywords that people have searched for in the last 7 days. And the cost per click for display ads is much less than for search ads. It can be as low as 15-20 cents per click if you manage it right.

Continued next week.