Archive for

Promotional Stress Balls

You may think that because of its name the main use of a stress ball is to relieve stress, in some regards this is correct… however they are more commonly used now as an advertising tool for promotional purposes. A promotional product is basically an item that you can give or send to other people; in turn that product promotes your company.

In order for this method to be effective you correct choice of item is essential, when deciding on a promotional product to brand you need to think of something that people will actually like or use and not just throw away, there are a lot of items that have proven to be effective and one of the most popular to date are Promotional Stress Balls.

They are the type of quirky item that when handed to you, you don’t just throw it away or disregard it. They are the type of items that you pick up just for the sake of it and start squeezing, they become an item that you pay attention to and in turn you will notice the company branding on them.

You may think that stress balls are quite plain boring items but that would be where you are wrong… companies today can make you any shape, size and colour balls you like. You simply have to tell them their idea and they will make it, no matter how crazy or funny your idea is, there is a possibility it can be manufactured.

Marketing and Promotion – Are They the Same Process?

Merriman-Webster.com notes that both the words, marketing and promotion (the terms, or the present day meaning), came into existence around the 15th and 16th centuries. Interestingly, although both marketing and promotion seem to be used in place of each other, and marketing is regularly used in place of promotion, they are separate processes. Well to be more clear, promotion is a process under the marketing umbrella.

Marketing, according to BusinessDictionary.com:

Management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. As a philosophy, it is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. As a practice, it consists in coordination of four elements called 4P’s: (1) identification, selection, and development of a product, (2) determination of its price, (3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and (4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.

So, marketing is taking your product from the idea to the sale. While you may not think that marketing is necessary in the idea stage of a product, think again. If you don’t produce a product that your target market will be interested in, you most probably will not get to the “sale’ stage. This means the product will need to be saleable in every aspect, from the product itself, or in a writer’s field, its content, to the package, price, and distribution. All this takes marketing research.

Promotion on the other hand is the marketing process of bringing your product or service to the attention of your target market. Promotion encompasses the needed strategies for actually selling your product. Promotion is done through publicity and advertising – in essence, through visibility.

Visibility can be done using social networking, taking advantage of services/sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Digg. It can also be accomplished through traditional promotional techniques, such as ads, business cards, and flyers, as well as through inbound (organic) promotional strategies: providing valuable blog and article content, reports, e-books, and newsletters.

Organic promotional strategies are those that bring visibility to your product/service through processes mentioned above such as blog and article content. This type of promotion may take a bit of time to establish, and involves work, but its long-term benefits will be worth the time and effort. This type of promotion creates trust and reliability. You will develop a relationship with the potential customer/reader. She will come to value the information you provide, and look forward to it.

Digital-Web.com defines organic traffic as:

Organic traffic, as the name implies, is traffic that comes to your Web site naturally and without being driven there by a specific marketing campaign. In essence, Web site visitors are there because they found the site and thought it had something they wanted. And like anything organic, organic traffic isn’t there instantly; it takes time and nurturing to grow into something healthy and with longevity.

Small Business – Email Marketing FAQ

Getting started in email marketing can be a daunting task. There are lots of considerations and you probably have lots of questions. Here are the answers to the 10 most common questions about small business email marketing.

1. I’m a small, local business…I don’t sell anything on the web…how will email help me?

Email is a great tool for building relationships and staying in touch with your customers, even if you don’t sell anything online. For many of your customers email is the most reliable way to reach them. You can use email to send tips and information, coupons and special promotions that drive immediate sales.

2. Do I need a big list to benefit from email marketing?

No. While having a big list can be beneficial because you’re reaching more customers and prospects, it is not essential. What you want is a responsive list. One in which the recipients are excited to receive your emails and respond to your offers.

3. Should I buy or rent a list of emails?

No! Don’t be lured by the offers of 10,000 email addresses for $100 that you see on the web. Sending email to people who haven’t opted-in to your email list makes you a spammer. And it will get you blacklisted by the major email providers. In short, it can permanently kill your ability to use email marketing.

4. What’s the difference between single opt-in and double opt-in?

“Single opt-in” refers to email addresses you have collected on your list from people who asked to be added, but for who you have not electronically confirmed their email address. “Double opt-in” (sometimes called “confirmed opt-in”) is a process that sends a confirmation email to each new address added to your list asking the recipient to click a link in the email to confirm that they requested information from you.

5. What are the costs involved in email marketing?

An email marketing system can be started for less than $20 per month. Costs increase as the size of your list and the number of messages sent grows, but email is still one of the lowest cost marketing methods available.

6. Do I need special technical skills to begin using email to market my business?

No. If you can write an email or use a word processor, you can create an email marketing campaign.

7. How do I avoid being a spammer?

First, only send email to people who have asked for information from you. Second, make sure the messages you send are relevant to the recipients.

8. Do I need to signup for an email marketing service or can I just send my emails from Outlook?

You absolutely want to invest in a professional email marketing service. They will help you comply with the requirements of the CAN-SPAM law; they will improve your the deliverability of your messages; and they’ll give you tools to track the success of your campaigns.

9. How do I build an email list?

If you have a website, you can put a signup form on your website. If most of your business is done offline, simply ask for each customer’s email address as they checkout.

10. What should I look for when choosing an email service provider?

Choosing the right service provider is critical. Look for a provider that has high deliverability ratings, is well respected and can provide strong references. Major providers include AWeber.com, Constant Contact and Infusionsoft.com.