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What a website can do that other promotions can't

Twenty years ago it would've been a dream to change your promotional message, press a button and instantly get it out to 5,000 people at next to nothing.  

Today that, and more, is a reality.

Compare designing, producing artwork and printing 5,000 leaflets and then delivering to 5,000 different potential customers addresses (by mail or hand delivery), to doing the design bit, putting up on your website and then pressing a button to email it to the same potential customers. It's faster, it's a lot cheaper and it's there within minutes. Better still, in the next couple of days you can send an updated message to the same audience. "2,387 sold in 48 hours only 113 left, if you need one order NOW!"

Imagine you are an accountant - with a website alone you can countdown the days to a deadline, reinforce it with email if you need. It shows customers you are on the ball, you know they need reminding over and over to get the figures in.

Imagine you are selling cars, as new stock arrives you can take a picture and within minutes it is up on the website. And you can take down stock you sell so you don't get enquiries about cars that have already been sold. No printed publication can do this.

Imagine you have an offer to make - put it on your website. You're a printer with extra stock in hand to clear, put up your offer and sell it not use space to stock it!

The more you use your website - the better the rankings. Websites that are not updated are dead sites, you know it and so do the search engine spiders. You have a ranking to protect, use it or lose it.

Imagine having a 100 page price list of parts, be they for plumbing or engines, if you've been spending thousands on printing and distributing why not try a web version or an online version that can be changed easily? It can be distributed as a file or you could just email your database and provide a link for them to go straight to the price list.

Imagine running an association or club. You could have a website containing all the basic information, schedules, plans, policies but every month (or every week) you could update it with additional information, info about new events, additional members, scam warnings and up to date news.

Restaurants, clubs, pubs should be creating mini communities to encourage frequenting. Give the punters a reason, create special nights and tell them all about it. The night after the event 

you could be uploading photos and sending another email telling them about the next event and showing them how good the last one was!

Somewhere I read 64% of B to B customers changed supplier because they thought their existing supplier didn't care about them. So here's a thought - send a newsletter with news, promotions, ideas, information, tell them who they speak to on the phone show them a photo, ask them questions, do surveys, ask them to contribute articles, do whatever is relevant to your audience, do it in a newsheet or nesletter. Weekly, monthly or quarterly, one page, 8 pages or 24 pages it needs to be relevant to your customer base - but do it! Remember 64% of your customers think you don't care about them!

No other medium is so instant, so easy to organise and so responsive. You can even measure the response if that helps you improve your methodology.

Does it need effort? Yes it does. Does it take time - yes a little. But in comparison to printing, distributing and spending more money you might begin to appreciate that 'Web Works!'

Alan Reading runs Custom Marketing Resources providing a full range of marketing services (especially websites) to clients of all types and sizes. He's good with customer care too so if you know nothing about websites, branding or marketing yourself you no need worry! Free advice on 01622 820841 or creative@cmr-group.co.uk

Alan Reading is an award winning designer, has judged more than his fair share of design awards, hosted breakfasts, lunches, dinners, dinner dances, balls and networking events, compéred fashion shows, radio programmes and appeared on TV more than once, frequently on behalf of clients. He has presented for Business Link, Enterprise Agencies, Chambers of Commerce, conferences and seminars for The Newspaper Society, the Association of Free Newspapers, The British Hardware Federation, training and marketing companies on starting, promoting and marketing business.

Alan is a business minded Designer (past President - and Chairman - of 3 Chambers in Kent) running his own business - Custom Marketing Resources (01622 820841) - since 1994. Alan has formed The Lenham Valley Business Association where he organises and presents the monthly network meetings. He is also chair of the organising committee. LVBA has a 20+ page website and a 64 page business directory.

You will learn even more about him - and see what his customers say - on his website http://www.cmr-group.co.uk He is willing to provide free advice by phone too - even about websites.

Register with CMR by email today - there's always something new to hear. creative@cmr-group.co.uk

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