Before you try to implement any new marketing campaigns, I thought I would give you a brief refresher on REALITY so you can better appreciate the difficulty of the task of acquiring new customers.
- You are GROSSLY IGNORANT to expect success in marketing simply because you’re good at what you do, because you care, because you desperately need more money and therefore decided recently to get hot ‘n’ bothered about marketing, or because you sent out a couple flyers.
- Prospects have a LOT of CHOICES for IT support, including doing it themselves, outsourcing to their ISP, line-of-business vendor, or NOTHING. Therefore, unless you have something truly unique to offer prospects that they cannot get anywhere else, that is significantly better than what they’re getting now, or that will have a dramatic, positive impact on their business, YOU are inherently UNINTERESTING and UNIMPORTANT to the marketplace.
- The easier it is to do what you do, the LESS you will get paid to do it.
- If you PERMIT yourself to be perceived as a commodity, you will have to fight over the crumbs left on the floor, constantly fighting stagnation, margin erosion, and price sensitivity, and finding yourself unable to grow profitably and consistently.
- Being good at what you do is EXPECTED. It is a basic requirement of being in business, NOT a success strategy that entitles you to have prospects lining up at your door with checks in hand, and certainly not an entitlement to success.
- If you want better than average results in anything, you have to put in a much greater than average effort to get it—AND be consistent about it, NOT starting and stopping, starting and stopping.
- Marketing results are cooked in a Crock-Pot, not a microwave—and the effort required is far greater than you initially think.
Finding a strategy that works
The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) reported that e-mail response rates have dramatically fallen over time, with the average response rate being 0.12 percent (response being defined as the user taking action, NOT just opening or clicking a link). In the same report, they noted that direct mail pulls an average of 3.4 percent to a house list, dramatically higher than e-mail, even though response rates to direct mail have fallen 25 percent over the last decade. Telemarketing is currently pulling a 12.9 percent response.
With aggressive spam filters and people using “junk” accounts for most online transactions, it’s no wonder. Given this scenario, you’d have to send 833 e-mails to generate one appointment, one registration, or one download. So here’s my advice to you—use e-mail, but don’t rely on it entirely. You must find ways to get offline with your clients using direct mail, telemarketing, trade shows, networking events, and canvassing.
The BEST strategy is to incorporate a multimedia approach to your campaign where you send e-mail, a letter, and then have a telemarketer follow up. You also need to use other channels to connect with clients and prospects so that IF they opt out of your e-mail, there are other ways they’re seeing you (YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook). Regardless of the channel or media used, you also have to work very hard to stay relevant and interesting. People get bored FAST.
Robin Robins is the CEO and Founder of TechnologyMarketingToolkit.com, the largest sales and marketing consulting firm in the IT channel, specializing in sales-generating marketing campaigns for MSPs, VARs, and solution providers. To date, over 7,000 IT services firms have enrolled in one or more of her programs. Click here for more information and to request a free one-on-one marketing consultation and marketing roadmap for your IT services firm.
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny