December 20, 2014

10 Things You Can Do in the Next 60 Days to Market Your Business and Close More Sales

Every small business marketer wants to be intentional about their marketing — ideally, marketers should have a marketing calendar.  Truth is, many organizations do not.

It’s 60 days before the end of the year.  There’s still time to take steps to close out the year strong. The following ideas work around any time of year, but help when they are tied to significant dates or celebrations.  Your results may vary, but most of these are fairly easy to do.  If you pick 1 or 2 of these, and do them well, it could change how your business finishes the year.

Take sales action and measure success

  1. Plan a year-end webinar series. Record the webinar, and sell both the live event and the replays.  Or consider using it as a lead capture tool to bring people into your marketing funnel in exchange for free access to the webinar replay.
  2. Gather and share a compelling customer case study. This can be shared with new prospects, or those who just haven’t made a decision yet.  Be aware of updated FTC guidelines especially as it relates to testimonials, endorsements, and disclosing any compensation.  (I am not lawyer, and this is not legal advice.  It is something to consider before investing in a case study.)
  3. Issue a press release highlighting the case study.  Or issue a press release on anything that would be classified as newsworthy of your company for your market.  There are both paid and free online press release services.  Consider PRWeb.com or OpenPR.com.
  4. Set a goal to contact your top 25 customers over the next 30 days. Show your appreciation.  Ask them what they’d like to see from your company in the coming year — and see if there are any needs you can meet in their business by end of year.  Take this opportunity to also connect with them on any social networks they may be on (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).  Lastly, ask for a referral.
  5. Prepare a Thanksgiving email message, expressing what it is you are grateful for.  Include your customers and why.  And make a special offer to them.
  6. Celebrate “Black Friday” with a “Black Friday” themed campaign of your own.  Since “Black Friday” is for retail businesses who are becoming profitable for the first time in the calendar year (going from red ink into the ‘black’), talk about how your product has helped customers be profitable from day one, or within NN days of purchase.  Build a story around the success customers have had with the product.  Refer to a case study (#2 above).
  7. Consider a marketing campaign themed off of the 12 Days of Christmas. Perhaps build a tip list of the 12 essential tools necessary to get the job done.  Some of these tools can be ones you sell, but don’t make it all about buying from you (yet).  Offer value.
  8. Cap off the 12 days campaign with a special 3 day sale of your tools. Done right, the campaign should help them understand how your product or service would benefit them, and an enticing offer to cap it off will help them make a decision (to buy).
  9. Tell your marketplace of your most successful product, or business activity so far this year.  Then offer a special sale to commemorate the accomplishment.  Use email marketing or social media — or both — to communicate this event.
  10. CRITICAL: Set goals and objectives for whatever marketing activities you engage in for the next 60 days.  This not only helps understand the results, but often yields better results (see Hawthorne Effect).  It will also serve as a guide to future marketing activities, as you learn what your market responds to.

Bonus Tip: When these customers purchase from you, be sure to ask them “why” they did.  This can be done in a simple email.  When they reply with their answer, respond by asking them if you can have permission to quote them.  If they agree, use their quotes in your New Year’s kickoff campaign and marketing literature.  This can give you great feedback, while building a bank of quotes for future marketing initiatives.

Other Ideas/Feedback? This conversation is incomplete without you  :)  Let’s talk!  Chime in with your questions, insights, and ideas below.

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About the Author: Travis Campbell is a professional online marketer who teaches people how to make the most of their online marketing without all the hype.  The Marketers FAQ report is a compilation of his lessons learned marketing online and is available to those who join the site Marketing Professor.

26 Comments ▼

Travis Campbell


Travis Campbell Travis Campbell is a professional online marketer who teaches people how to make the most of their online marketing without all the hype. The Marketers FAQ report is a compilation of his lessons learned marketing online and is available to those who join the site Marketing Professor.

26 Reactions

  1. Travis: Great tips on how to make the most of the rest of the year! I will prepare a special Thanksgiving message and tell the story about the Virginia Company of London.

  2. Travis – Great list. It’s motivating to have this 60 day home stretch for the year too. A supplement to your “Contact 25 customers” tip (beyond phone/social networks) could be to take a good portion of them to coffee/lunch by the end of the year if at all possible. The face time makes a huge impact.

  3. Travis,

    Thank you for this awesome list. Not only did you include some great ideas but spurred me to brainstorm some of my own, too. I’ve been debating about whether to offer a seminar before year-end or wait until next year and you’ve inspired me to make it happen now. No time like the present! I’ll be sharing this list with a few small business clients as well. Thanks again.

    Sally Witzky
    Chief Strategist
    Traction Group, Richmond VA

  4. Great post! All great ideas. I love the ones that utilize the holidays coming up.

  5. Hey Travis,

    Great motivating post – “It aint over, till it’s over!”

    @ajgerritson

  6. @Martin glad you found it useful, and have a plan of action to do something about it.

  7. @jill Way to build on it with a great idea. Doing just *that* before years end could be enough alone to make a huge difference. I would review the list of potentials and rank them, A-list, B-list, and C-list. If you get through the As, then on to the Bs, etc.

    Thanks for chiming in.

  8. @sally the great thing about doing a webinar, is it is forced content creation. When you set the schedule for the webinar, you are forced to deliver it, hard deadlines are good for us small biz entrepreneurs, don’t you think?

  9. @heather and @aj thanks for stopping by. Holiday’s represent something many can identify with, and can be a catalyst for closing the year strong, as people are more likely in the “buying mood” (or mode). As marketers provide value on the front end, prospects just might reward them with a sale on the back end.

  10. Black Friday is big for retailers (and online shops too) but don’t forget to take advantage of Cyber Monday as well. A lot of people that don’t want to wake up at 4 and 5 in the morning on Black Friday will go to the internet come Monday looking for similar deals. Give them a reason to visit your site.

  11. @robert Excellent point Robert. Thanks for that addition!

  12. Here’s a book that’s worth your time — Mark Paul’s “How To Attract Significantly More Customers in Good Times and Bad.” Check it out at http://www.attractmorecustomers.net.

  13. Awesome tips Travis.
    We’ll certainly try the webinar stuff. Great to get something done between now and Christmas
    http://www.onesherpa.com

  14. Great tips Travis.
    Thanks for the timely reminder

  15. Certainly, there are many tips we will begin to build!

  16. Thanks for sharing this. The key is to actually do SOMETHING. We can go into default freeze without realizing it. You offered some cool ideas, many of which are triple win strategies…benefiting more than yourself.

  17. Thanks so much! These are great tips. I’ve been thinking of things to do to end the year and this was perfect.

  18. Depending on the products and services you provide, another tactic is to remind customers and prospects to “stock up” before the end of the year and before the budget year is over.
    Example: printing products like business cards, letterhead, etc. or even office supplies or inventory related materials.

    It depends on what you offer like I mentioned but it gives you an opportunity to make contact and suggest something nonetheless.

    Van

  19. @brian – thanks for chiming in, the key is to get started, pick just one, and go for it.

    @harmony – Freezing is *not* an option :-), yes as I suggested above, identify the one that is the simplest with the best return for your business, and go for it.

    @gelice – Glad to hear it, thanks for taking the time to say so. Come back and let us know what you ended up doing.

    @Van – A nice addition “stock up” marketing. Great approach for the right situation at the end of the year. Many companies spend the most in December.

    Other ideas?

    -Travis

  20. I am so proud of myself, I have actually completed a couple of these things on this list before I even read it. :)

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