Winning SBS is great. It opens up a whole new group of friends who really want your business to do well.
But are we missing a trick as winners and failing to make the most of our new SBS connections?
Following on from a recent post on facebook I thought I'd just share a few ideas for you to help us all make the most of our SBS win and grow our businesses together.
1. MAIL ORDER leaflet marketing.
There are a number of businesses in SBS who do regular mail order direct to customers. Some of us run bigger mail order businesses than others and do more post than others, but we are all supplying direct to customers.
I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing how often Amazon or wine companies add in a couple of leaflets about related services when you open up your delivery? So why don't we do the same?
It costs the person mailing the item out to the customer NOTHING, all we need to do is find related businesses who post out orders to our target market, and ask to piggy back a flyer into their mail order.
For example, I supply murder mystery dinner party kits – boxed – to the customers door. I already include leaflets from Past Perfect music, and would happily include leaflets from other gift companies, or companies related to my business in someway.
In the run up to Christmas this sort of piggy back marketing could be really effecting for us all, and the best part… apart from printing up some leaflets and getting them to the right place, it's free.
2. MAIL ORDER or EMAIL CAMPAIGN cross promotions.
For related businesses, why not link up and do a joint mailing campaign to your shared customer database?
We've already done this with PulseCSI, including her forensic workshop information in a leaflet drop to Private schools, and we've also done joint email campaigns with the Country Castle Company – not SBS winners currently – who we found were referring us business on a quazi regular basis. Since the joint email campaign which we offered to do free and without any reciprocal arrangement, to raise awareness of their business to our customer base, they now refer us more regular work!
Thanks to the SBS website refresh we can now search by category and we might be able to find other businesses in a similar market sector to our own. We are all looking for new customers, but someone in the network might have your next client and visa versa. We won't know until we ask!
3. PROMOTIONAL OFFERS
Offering 5% or 15% of a high value item, still seams really measley to customers sometimes. But offering someone a free gift if they buy something that month, can have a much higher percieved value.
Last Black Monday we teamed up with Past Perfect, to offer a Christmas CD free on any order over a certain value. The CDs were costing me roughly £5 trade prices, but the percieved customer value was £10! I could never have discounted my product by £10, but customers wouldn't have been as excited by a £5 off voucher.
So why not look to your fellow SBS winners when it comes to special offer time on your website. Perhaps we can all help each other by offering a candle, or a CD or another item we've purchased at trade discount – giving the customer a better percieved reward for shopping! It really is a case of "Everyone wins!"
4. DROP SHIPPING
Very few of us can afford to buy in and hold stock when we run a mail order business. So if you operate on a drop shipping basis, why not team up with another mail order person and add your product to their website and visa versa if appropriate.
We drop ship for two SBS winners already. When our customers order a product they stock, we simply send over the invoice, and they ship it directly. And we pay the company the trade price, having pocketed the RRP from the customer. Even if you can only make £2 on a product, it's still £2 for doing nothing other than forwarding an email and paying an invoice. Which isn't a bad deal really when you think about it.
I have a murder mystery website, so am always looking for drop shipping companies that fit in with that theme e.g. partyware, decorations, music, fancy dress, food, gifts.
5. GUEST BLOGGING / GUEST PRODUCT REVIEWING
If you've got social media cracked, why not offer to guest review a product or guest blog on behalf of another SBS winner?
PR agencies often post products out to prolific bloggers (free gratis) on the understanding they will review the item and write a blog about it with photos and links. There are some SBS winners out here who are great at blogging, so why not offer to guest review an item?
Alternatively, get an "expert" over to your blog to guest blog about something of interest to your customers ; or interview them. That will give your blog more credibility, as you've covered something of interest to others, and give the other SBS winner some exposure too.