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Reading offers a variety of benefits to business professionals, particularly in strengthening leadership skills. Check out these five reasons reading makes you a better leader.

Fortunately, there are some tips out there to help you write a powerful newsletter in order to connect with customers, promote the brand and grow the business.

Securing Your Customers’ Loyalty

Your customers are a hot commodity. Everybody wants them. So how do you keep them loyal to you? Make your relationship so great that they don’t want to go anywhere else.

1. Market in the age of “me.”

Know your customers well enough to give them a personalized experience. This goes beyond targeting with basic demographics like gender, age, and household income. Look at the channels your customers respond to, when they make purchases, and what they buy. Acting on this data helps your customers see that you know and care about them. It helps with cross-sells and upsells, too!

2. Coupons galore!

Consumers have a love affair with coupons, including mobile. According to Juniper Research, mobile coupons are 10x more likely to be used than printed coupons.

3. Don’t be channel agnostic.

Know which channels your customers are most likely to respond to, then use them. If a customer requires two emails to respond but responds the first time to direct mail, get them on the “mail first” list. If someone else is more likely to respond to an email than a printed newsletter, get them on the “email first” list. Keep your branding, message, and imaging consistent regardless of channel.

4. Ask their opinion.

Use response cards, personalized URLs, and other survey mechanisms to get your customers’ opinion on products, services, and potential business changes. When one specialty retailer wanted to give its location a facelift, it used a targeted direct mail piece with personalized URLs to ask its customers about products and services they wanted but the company didn’t offer. It got an earful! The retailer incorporated the most popular suggestions, and its sales soared.

5. Remember to say “thank you.”

Everyone likes to be appreciated. Send a personalized “thank you” letter, postcard, or other mailer once in a while. Attach a no-strings coupon or discount just to engender their goodwill . . . and you will.

Gaining customer loyalty doesn’t have to be rocket science. You just have to put in the effort.

By developing your networking skills, you can continue to expand your business circle, which provides more resources and opportunities. Here’s how to grow your circle.

While natural leaders do exist, it is also possible to learn leadership skills, put them into practice and grow your leadership capabilities.

So, how can you kick off your September marketing? Here are seven super September marketing ideas for you to jump start your marketing this month and head into the season.

Ask any small business owner and they’ll say that Labor Day sales are only as good as Labor Day marketing. But if you haven’t started yet, it’s still not too late!

When businesses fail to market to existing customers—and only focus on bringing in new ones—they leave money on the table, and can end up losing loyal customers.

Needless to say, customer service is an incredibly important aspect of any business model. So, here are five ways your business can have better customer service.

A multi-channel marketing strategy is more than simply launching some marketing initiatives on multiple platforms. Instead, a true multi-channel approach creates a unified experience across more than one channel so you can reach your target audience wherever they may be interacting with you at the moment.

This approach is effective as today's consumers have a lot of technology at their fingertips and want to engage with companies in a variety of ways, but without feeling like they are jumping around while doing so. For example, a potential customer may come across your Facebook feed and click a link to read a post on your blog. From there, they may venture into your business to learn more.

That customer wants to feel like they've accessed a single touch point--your company--even though it was really three unique points. Here are a few ways to adopt a multi-channel strategy into your mix.

Before You Get Started

Before you venture into a multi-channel strategy, there are a few important ducks to get in a row. The first is to have a consistent look and feel across all your channels, so make sure your social media feeds, website, and printed materials all have the same branding elements to create a uniform experience.

Next, take the time to create a thorough profile of your target audiences. Without a deep understanding of their needs along with plenty of details about their online and offline habits, you won't be able to leverage the strengths of different channels in a way that will make your audience respond. In other words, you can't give people what they want if you don't know what that is.

Then, make sure you have specific, measurable goals for your strategies so you'll know whether your initiatives are effective or not. That way, you can double down on what's working and take a second look at anything that's not working so you're not wasting resources.

3 Ways to Approach Multi-Channel Marketing

Any combination of marketing channels is possible when creating a multi-channel marketing strategy. Here are three of them to give you a jumping-off point when planning yours.

1. PPC Ad Extensions. Pay-per-click ad extensions from Google give you several options for bringing search traffic to other channels once your ads are seen, especially for mobile users. One option advertisers are given include a "view offer" link that directs clicks to a landing page and allows users to print or save offers for use in-store.

There are lots of other options for ad extensions, too. Some let you provide extra details about your products and services, show specific call-to-action buttons, display store locations, clickable phone numbers that dial the call, and buttons for mobile app downloads.

Each of these can be used to capture the attention of people who are using Google to solve problems and search for solutions, and bring them into the fold of your other channels.

2. Event Warmups. Let's say there's a big tradeshow or conference coming up for your industry and you're deep into the planning stages for the event. Your tradeshow booth and marketing materials are designed and with the printer for production. Your customized swag is on its way. Your collateral packages are ready and you've had extra business cards printed with a custom URL to welcome new prospects you've met at the event.

Along with these preparations, give your audience a bit of a brand warmup in the days or weeks leading up to the event. This will provide them with an opportunity to see your name a few times and have an idea of what you're about rather than encountering you for the first time at the event. For example, a targeted social media ad campaign can help boost your name recognition while also drawing in potential event attendees.

3. Paper Outreach. There are lots of ways to build your digital audience, but an often overlooked avenue is offline campaigns. A direct mail campaign that targets less-frequent digital users can be a great way to bring new people into your online space--especially if you've been unable to reach them with digital efforts due to their infrequent connection to the web.

Consider an offer sent via U.S. mail that invites people to "check in on Facebook" the next time they are in a store to receive a discount. Or a printed insert that can be handed to customers at the checkout that directs them to your website for more offers. You can keep these outreach efforts simple, or try something fun like creating a photo booth in your store with props and signage. Customers can snap a pic and upload it to social media to share with their friends.

When you encourage customers to bring their in-store experiences online, not only will those customers then be part of your digital network, but your brand will be exposed to all of their connections as well.

Always Consider Customers

The key to making cross-channel promotions work is to focus on what your customers will respond to. There may not be much action from a photo booth at the tax accountant's office, but those clients are very likely to be interested in your blog series on how to be smart about tax-advantaged savings accounts. When you put your customer's needs first and keep your branding and messaging consistent across all your assets, your audience will enjoy a seamless trip across channels and you'll meet your marketing goals.

What exactly is responsive website design, and why does it matter for your business? Let’s dive into a few reasons why your business website should be responsive.

As we approach the back-to-school season, you should have a plan in place to market to consumers in order to attract them to buy your product or service.

If you’re not sure where to start with your competition, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of five ways, to get you started.

A vision statement is a vital part of any successful small business, so today we explore how to craft an effective vision statement to move the business forward.

If you want your sales to stay successful after Independence Day, then you’re going to need a second strategy to implement once the day comes to an end.

With all of the excitement surrounding the Fourth of July, consumers are searching for sales. How does your business join in? Here are a few marketing reminders.

When you know how to best represent your brand, you have the flexibility to share that brand with others, while representing the company in a professional light.

Here are five key components for how to make a strategic video script and create a successful marketing video which will help boost lead generation and grow your business.

Whether you choose to take photos with a quality camera or a simple smartphone, there are specific ways to ensure pictures turn out clean, crisp and professional.

In today’s world, if a business is not on social media, it can easily fall by the wayside as technology advances. However, being on social media is simply not enough.

We put together a quick list of our favorite summer marketing ideas to help you get ready for the hot sales season coming up. Here’s how to prepare for summer marketing.

Should your business have a mobile app? Today we dive in and explore some of the reasoning behind having—or not having—a mobile app for a small business.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday, May 13th. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage with consumers by celebrating a day for the mothers in their lives.

Vehicle branding is an exceptional form of advertising medium with few downsides. For just one single startup cost, your vehicle can expose a multitude of people to the business every single day.

Without strong content, a blog can quickly fall apart. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Today we discuss seven post ideas for your business blog.

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