Bake Up Tasty Marketing for November

November has a cornucopia of special days to use for your marketing promotions. Don’t call me a sourpuss but I’m liking National Pickle Day on November 14th! Or make your whole month healthy with November being National Vegan month. I’m partial to all the dessert days with my killer sweet tooth. How about you? Which days will you use to promote your business?

Week 1

November 1 National Vinegar Day
November 2 National Deviled Egg Day
November 3 National Sandwich Day
November 4 National Candy Day – Everyday is candy day for me!
November 5 National Doughnut Day
November 6 National Nachos Day
November 7 National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

Week 2

November 8 Celebrate National Raisin Bread Day
November 9 Celebrate National Vegan Month
November 10 National Vanilla Cupcake Day – I have an easy frosting recipe!
November 11 National Sundae Day
November 12 National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day
November 13 National Indian Pudding Day
November 14 National Pickle Day – Love crunchy dill pickles!

Week 3

November 15 National Raisin Bran Cereal Day
November 16 Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month – Crunchy or smooth?
November 17 National Homemade Bread Day – I have a great beer bread recipe.
November 18 Celebrate National Georgia Pecan Month
November 19 Celebrate National Pepper Month
November 20 National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
November 21 National Gingerbread Day – Have a Gingerbread house contest.

Week 4

November 22 National Cashew Day – Tasty nut. Mail small bags to your clients!
November 23 National Eat a Cranberry Day – I like cranberry juice and dressing!
November 24 National Sardines Day
November 25 National Parfait Day
November 26 National Cake Day
November 27 National Bavarian Cream Pie Day
November 28 National French Toast Day

Week 5

November 29 National Lemon Cream Pie Day
November 30 National Mousse Day

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Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 12:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Harness Your October Marketing Promotions for Big Sales!

Use your marketing promotions to celebrate:

National Chili Month
National Apple Month
National Popcorn Popping Month
National Pretzel Month
National Seafood Month
National Pork Month

There are food choices for every type of business. Make your promotions healthy fun or guilty pleasures! I’m thinking Chili Cook Offs or have your customers create recipes for apple desserts and use Facebook and Twitter to promote the events.

Pretzels are easily shipped and you can mail them out to prospects with recipes for chocolate dipped pretzels.

October being National Pork Month sounds like its time for a Luau for your customers. Or have a clam bake or shrimp cocktail available for a customer appreciation day.

Let me know what you decide to do for your October marketing promotions.

Week 1

October 1 World Vegetarian Day – All healthy businesses can do something on this day!
October 2 National Fried Scallops Day
October 3 National Caramel Custard Day

Week 2

October 4 National Taco Day
October 5 National Apple Betty Day
October 6 National Noodle Day
October 7 National Frappe Day
October 8 Celebrate National Chili Month
October 9 Celebrate National Apple Month
October 10 National Angel Food Cake Day

Week 3

October 11 World Egg Day
October 12 Celebrate National Popcorn Popping Month
October 13 National Yorkshire Pudding Day
October 14 Celebrate National Pretzel Month – Love ‘em! Send bags to your clients
October 15 National Chicken Cacciatore Day
October 16 Celebrate National Seafood Month
October 17 National Pasta Day

Week 4

October 18 National Chocolate Cupcake Day – Sprinkles strawberry cupcakes and strawberry frosting is fabulous! Bake some for you best clients.
October 19 National Seafood Bisque Day
October 20 Celebrate National Pork Month
October 21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
October 22 National Nut Day – Send your clients packages of nut mixes.
October 23 National Boston Cream Pie Day
October 24 National Bologna Day

Week 5

October 25 National Greasy Foods Day
October 26 National Mincemeat Pie Day
October 27 National Potato Day
October 28 National Chocolate Day – Gotta love this one! Send boxes of chocolate out to show your client’s you appreciate them.
October 29 National Oatmeal Day
October 30 National Candy Corn Day
October 31 National Candy Apple Day – Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory has yummy ones in a variety of flavors.

Make Your Marketing Tasty for September!

I’m digging National Guacamole Day on September 16th. Have a customer appreciation fiesta. Bring out the tortilla chips.

I’m curious about National Blueberry Popsicle Day on September 2nd. I’ve never tried a blueberry popsicle. Sounds yummy, but who makes them?

What marketing ideas can you come up with all the fun themes below? I’m thinking National Potato Month has endless marketing potential. Mail out potato chips to your customers and have a special potato themed sale in your business. Maybe even have someone dressed up in a potato costume!

Week 1

September 1 National Cherry Popover Day
September 2 National Blueberry Popsicle Day – I’ve never had one! You?
September 3 Celebrate National Potato Month
September 4 National Macadamia Nut Day
September 5 National Cheese Pizza Day

Week 2

September 6 Celebrate National Rice Month
September 7 National Acorn Squash Day
September 8 National Date Nut Bread Day
September 9 National Weiner Schnitzel Day
September 10 National TV Dinner Day
September 11 National Hot Cross Bun Day
September 12 National Chocolate Milkshake Day

Week 3

September 13 National Peanut Day
September 14 National Cream Filled Donut Day – Yummy!
September 16 National Guacamole Day – Add tortilla chips and you’ve got a party!
September 17 National Apple Dumpling Day
September 18 National Cheeseburger Day
September 19 National Butterscotch Pudding Day

Week 4

September 20 Celebrate National Biscuit Month
September 21 National Pecan Cookie Day
September 22 National Ice Cream Cone Day
September 23 National White Chocolate Day
September 24 National Cherries Jubilee Day
September 25 National Crabmeat Newburg Day
September 26 National Pancake Day – Bring on the Maple Syrup!

Week 5

September 27 National Chocolate Milk Day
September 28 National Strawberry Cream Pie Day
September 29 National Linguini Day
September 30 Celebrate National Chicken Month

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 11:44 pm  Comments (1)  

Brand Your Business Like Don Draper

Are you acting like Don Draper in the season premier episode of Mad Men when it comes to promoting your business? At the beginning of the episode Don fails to make the most of an interview by a reporter from Ad Age magazine. It was free publicity and advertising from an industry magazine and Don kept tight lipped about himself and SCDP.

Instead of using the interview to showcase their firm’s work, build their brand as the innovative start-up he was terse and unusually modest. Draper expected his work – the TV commercials for Glo-Coat. It didn’t and he came out sounding like a jerk in the reporter’s article which required damage control.

Think your products or services will build your brand for you? Not entirely. You will have to do some branding work yourself. People like to know the person behind the business, product or service. Share your story. Explain why you offer something so great they need to do business with you.

Draper came back with the real story about how he came up with the idea to create SCDP and gave great visuals “I holstered my guns” and his company’s back story came alive for the reporter and soon the readership of the Wall Street Journal. Now SCDP (Sterling Cooper Draper Price) sounds like the company to go to for modern, edgy advertising.

What are you doing to get your brand known? Need some motivational music while you think about your branding campaign? Listen to the song that played in the background as Don Draper built up the SCDP brand during the WSJ interview:

Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Heat Up Your Marketing for August!


August has a different marketing opportunity for each day. I like National Watermelon Day since watermelon is tasty and refreshing and it brings back many happy memories of summertime family picnics and barbecues.

I’m curious what marketing promotion you can do for National Zucchini Day? I’m thinking something for Farmer’s Markets and organic grocers and maybe restaurants.

National Root Beer Float Day sounds like a fun family oriented marketing event. Invite your best customers and their families to your business for Root Bear Floats on August 6th! August 16th is National Bratwurst Day. I’m thinking a Bratwurst eating contest could promote your business.

In the heat of August National Lemonade Day on August 20th sounds like a refreshing way to show your clients how much you appreciate them. I’m visualizing lemon yellow flyers offering free lemonade during a special sale event. I could use some lemonade now. I’m thirsty.

Week 1
August 1 National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
August 2 National Ice Cream Sandwich Day – Great for a summer day!
August 3 National Watermelon Day – Give out slices to your customers.
August 4 National Lasagna Day – If you have a special dinner for top clients.
August 5 National Mustard Day
August 6 National Root Beer Float Day – Yummy!
August 7 National Raspberries in Cream Day
August 8 National Zucchini Day

Week 2

August 9 National Rice Pudding Day
August 10 National S’mores Day
August 11 National Raspberry Tart Day
August 12 National Julienne Fries Day
August 13 National Filet Mignon Day
August 14 National Creamsicle Day – I like the Raspberry sherbet flavor.
August 15 National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

Week 3

August 16 National Bratwurst Day
August 17 National Vanilla Custard Day
August 18 National Soft Ice Cream Day
August 19 National Potato Day
August 20 National Lemonade Day – Drinks for your visiting clients.
August 21 National Pecan Torte Day
August 22 National Eat a Peach Day

Week 4

August 23 National Sponge Cake Day
August 24 National Peach Pie Day
August 25 National Spumoni Day
August 26 National Cherry Popsicle Day – My favorite when I was a child!
August 27 National Banana Lovers Day
August 28 National Cherry Turnover Day
August 29 National More Herbs, Less Salt Day – For health related businesses!
August 30 National Toasted Marshmallow Day – Fun for kids!
August 31 National Trail Mix Day

Make Your Marketing Explode in July!


Celebrate National Hot Dog Month and have a cookout for your best customers. And serve Sundays for National Hot Fudge Sundae Day on July 25th.

Here’s another fun idea. Send out a mailer on National Lollipop Day on July 20th with really lollipops attached. Offer a discount if they bring in the lollipop to your business and make a purchase.

On National Junk Food Day, July 21st you can have clients come in with a package of junk food they can trade for healthy snacks if your business is health or fitness related. Or offer a discount to sign up for a gym membership or diet program on Junk Food Day.

Week 1

July 1 National Gingersnap Day – I love gingersnaps. Give out to best clients.
July 3 Eat Beans Day – You might want to hand out air fresheners. 😀
July 4 National Cesar Salad Day

Week 2

July 5 National Apple Turnover Day
July 6 National Fried Chicken Day – My Grandma makes the best!
July 7 National Strawberry Sundae Day
July 8 National Chocolate with Almonds Day – Send out boxes to customers.
July 9 National Sugar Cookie Day
July 10 National Pina Colada Day – You can serve non-alcoholic ones.
July 11 National Blueberry Muffin Day

Week 3

July 12 National Pecan Pie Day
July 13 National French Fries Day – My guilty pleasure!
July 14 National Macaroni Day – Mail out boxes as a marketing promo.
July 15 National Tapioca Pudding Day
July 16 National Corn Fritters Day
July 17 National Peach Ice Cream Day
July 18 National Caviar Day – For those targeting Luxury market.

Week 4

July 19 Celebrate Ice Cream Month – Just in time for summer!
July 20 National Lollipop Day
July 21 National Junk Food Day – Oh no a whole day? I love junk food!
July 22 National Penuche Fudge Day
July 23 National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
July 24 Celebrate National Baked Bean Month
July 25 National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

Week 5

July 27 National Creme Brule Day
July 28 National Milk Chocolate Day
July 30 National Cheese Cake Day – Send out gift certificates for Cheese Cake!
July 31 Jump For Jelly Beans Day – I wonder if Jelly Belly will do something on this day.

How to Get a Lifetime Customer and How to Lose One Forever

I had my car smog checked a few weeks ago. When I got ready to pay I was given a list of things that needed fixing on my car. This was a surprise to me because a few months ago when I had work done there were no problems. I was told I needed my brake fluid changed, my alignment done, new spark plugs, a new brake light, a new license plate tag light and a few other things. I was puzzled and suspicious especially when I wasn’t given an estimate of prices to make the repairs.

Oh, let me say I went to this new place after the business I had been to a few months ago closed down and had their phone number forwarded to the new place. I was shocked that an automotive repair shop that had been open for years closed suddenly and with no notice to customers. I hadn’t received a postcard, letter, email or phone call that my repair shop was no longer going to be servicing my car.

Hmm, poor marketing could be a huge reason why it went out of business. I also hadn’t received a time to get your oil changed notice and my car was overdue for an oil change. Another failure to communicate with customers. In the past I’ve received repeated postcards from places for months that I only went to once and didn’t like their service and so never went back. Yet this place that I liked, didn’t keep up any continued contact about regular maintenance on my car.

Maybe I should’ve noticed this before hand but I hate getting my car serviced so I don’t think about it unless I have to travel out of town then I start thinking of checking out my car. I don’t want to end up stranded somewhere because I failed to get my car checked out. I have friends who’ve had that happen and then been at the mercy of out-of-town auto repair shops.

This new shop sent me a thank you card which I thought was good follow-up and then I got a letter about the supposed needed repairs. Again with no cost estimate enclosed which aroused my suspicions again. I also got a coupon for what seemed like outrages prices for an oil change and tune up.

I decided to ask a friend who worked as a Fleet supervisor about this list of repairs. After explaining the list he gave a derisive laugh and said I likely didn’t need any of those things done and to see a mechanic of his recommendation.

He told me it sounded like this auto repair shop where I had the smog check done at was trying to make some easy money off me. I didn’t like that at ALL! I called the first shop he told me about and scheduled an oil change. I figured this should tell me what problems I really have by seeing someone new.

At this shop I mentioned up front my car shimmies at higher speeds. Immediately the manager said I needed my wheels balanced and recommended a local tire store to do the work. I noticed he didn’t say I needed my wheels aligned and was willing to refer me to another business whose niche was tires and balancing tires, etc. I was happy to be doing business with the shop already and they hadn’t even started working on my car!

When I came back to pick up my car I found out the only new problem was the replacement of the license plate tag light which cost me all of $1.94. Who knows what the nefarious smog check place would’ve charged me for it. I even asked if anything else was wrong with my car. I was told it was in good working order and reminded to have the balance done at the tire shop.

Wow! What a huge difference. An honest mechanic willing to refer me to other businesses. This was even better than frequent mailers. I could trust this business to take care of my car and not over charge me. They may not know it but they have a customer for life. Finding a mechanic you can trust is vital especially for a woman.

In the past I’ve had auto repair shops try to rip me off because I’m a woman and not very car savvy. One thing they didn’t realize is I have male friends that I ask questions before getting new repairs done. That has saved me hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars. Plus I keep all my repair receipts so if some dishonest mechanic tries to sell me a repair I’ve already had done I can point it out and save myself money. And let me tell you it has happened more than once over the years!

Don’t business people realize the fastest way to lose a customer is to rip her off? And the quickest way to get a lifetime customer is to be honest and trustworthy? This is especially important when marketing to women. Women value relationships and trust is vital in relationships.

Cheat me out of even a nickel one time and you’ll never see me again. Be honest and I’ll do business with you for years and years.

Oh and I went to the tire shop and since I had purchased tires there before they balanced my tires for free. Now my car drives smooth like frosting on a cake! Sweet!

Tasty Marketing Ideas for June

June 3rd National Donut Day

June is full of delicious days to use for your marketing promotions. As a major candy addict I love National Candy Month. Your direct mailers can be sent out with a variety of candy that ties into your marketing promotion. I like using Smarties candies for smart business people.

I do enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit so National Papaya Month and Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month are healthy marketing options.

Monthly Campaign Topics:

National Candy Month
National Dairy Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Papaya Month

Week 1

June 1 National Hazelnut Cake Day
June 2 National Rocky Road Day
June 3 Donut Day (1st weekend in June)
June 3 National Chocolate Macaroon Day
June 5 National Gingerbread Day
June 6 National Applesauce Cake Day

Week 2

June 7 National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
June 9 National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day
June 11 National German Chocolate Cake Day
June 12 National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
June 13 Kitchen Klutzes of America Day

Week 3

June 14 National Strawberry Shortcake Day
June 16 National Fudge Day
June 17 National Apple Strudel Day
June 17 National Cherry Tart Day

Week 4

June 21 National Peaches & Cream Day
June 22 National Chocolate Eclair Day
June 23 National Pecan Sandies Day
June 24 National Pralines Day
June 25 National Strawberry Parfait Day
June 26 National Chocolate Pudding Day
June 29 National Almond Buttercrunch Day

Are You Making It Hard For Customers To Contact You?


I collected several business cards at a mixer recently. When I tried to follow up with people I noticed several cards had missing information. They could be missing out on a lot business by leaving off key information. And so could you by keeping your business contact information top secret.

Leaving information off your business card hurts your credibility. It made me wonder what these people were hiding. And I wondered how much they could really know about their industry or if they were even a real business.

The cards lacking the most info I tossed. How could they be worth my time if they didn’t really want me to get in touch by leaving off valuable contact information on the business card?

Red flag problems I noticed:

No website – Seriously in this day and age you don’t have even a one page website? Especially if your business is internet related? What kind of scam are you running? People often like to check out your website before doing business with you. It gives them an idea if you will be compatible for business.

No physical address – Get a post office box if you’re a home based business and don’t want people to have your home address. Without an address listed how can I find your business or write to you? If your customers feel comfortable sending mail and you have no address on your business card there goes a chance to get a new customer. One that was really bizarre was the card with a city, state and zip code but no street address. What was that about?

No zip code – You gave me your card and wanted to be mailed information. Putting your street, city and state but no zip code is just lazy. Are you being charged by the letter for printing your business cards? If you make your prospect go the extra mile to have to look up a zip code, goodbye new sale, your business card may go straight into the recycle bin.

No email – If your prospect wants to email you with questions before doing business with you, you just lost a sale. Not many people are going to hunt around for your email address on your website. They’ll just move on to your competition. At least get a free Gmail address using your business name if you don’t have a website.

Remember to use your business card as an advertisement and put all contact information on it. Don’t give prospects a reason to move on another business because they couldn’t reach you in a way that made them comfortable.

No one is asking you for personal information on your card. It’s a business card use it to promote your business and catch all the prospects you can with it.

Published in: on May 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How Not to Market to Women

When you market to women you need to consider their wants and needs. If you don’t you’ll miss the mark entirely and possibly turn the women off from buying your products.

This happened to me today when I came across a Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color Collection ad. I saw this promo video on a makeup blog I subscribe to in my RSS reader and my first thought was “Yikes, this sleazy ad does not make me want to buy lipstick.”

I love cosmetics and usually the advertising reaches out to me and has me eager to try new products. I don’t know about you but when I buy lipstick I’m not thinking about starring in some cheesy erotic video. Even the copy was creepy: “From Sublime to Perverse”, um how is implying perversion going to make a woman want to buy lipstick? More likely make her think of buying pepper spray to keep perverts away.

This ad turned me off to the whole idea of ever trying Tom Ford’s lipstick. What does a shot of low cleavage have to do with my wanting to buy lipstick? Or the phallic symbolism of the lipstick tube when the woman holds it up to her mouth as some anonymous man is ogling her?

Nothing in this ad made me want to buy lipstick. Instead it seemed like a commercial for a late night adult channel and not cosmetics. The video was clearly directed to men…when do straight men buy lipstick?

With a $45.00 price tag on a single tube of this supposedly high-end luxury lipstick Tom Ford needs to do a better job appealing to women.

You can check out the video for yourself below:

Is Your Website Like The Loch Ness Monster?

Occasionally sighted and only rumored to exist? You need to drive more traffic to your site and get getting your customers buying.

What do you do if you’re not sure why your website isn’t getting found on Search Engines or if you not sure why your site isn’t bringing in more sales? You need to get a Website Diagnostic Review Audit done.

Direct Marketing Rx will do a content audit of your site to uncover its strengths and weaknesses. We’ll review how your website performs in search engines like Google and Bing. Are your competitor’s websites doing better in search engines and do they have more appealing web content?

You’ll get an extensive report showing the results of a 31 point checklist on the health of your website. You’ll find out if you’re using the 5 components of web content that works. And if you website is easy to navigate and user-friendly.

May 22nd is the anniversary of the first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster in 1933. Don’t let your website be hard to find and cloaked in mystery like the Loch Ness Monster any longer. Contact Us and get your prescription for a website that sells today!

Check Out these Resources if You Market to Women

If you are trying to sell to woman you need to do some research. I found a few links you need to check out as you plan your marketing promotions.

If you want to find out if your website content markets effectively to women check out our Website Diagnostic Review. Direct Marketing Rx will do a Site Content Audit to see if your web marketing message is selling to your target marketing. Get started in two easy steps. Read about it at “Is your Web Content Earning or Burning Money?” or Contact Us directly for help now.

Wonder Branding
by Michelle Miller provides news & views on the female customer. Check out her post about The New Demography of Motherhood. The post discusses the change in age range for mothers and the impact cultural differences will have on your marketing campaigns.

Mashable
has a great article about marketing to women read it here: 10 Musts for Marketing to Women on Facebook.  My favorite point – Listen! Women like to have their needs heard and met. You can do it with the right marketing.

She conomy
is a guy’s guide to marketing to women. Check out some quick facts about marketing to Boomer Women.

Adweek Media
has a downloadable pdf report you can find here: The Family CFO.

Find out what women really want.  Knowledge about your target market can only enhance your marketing campaigns and increase response rates.

Is Your Web Site Just Slowing The Rate Of Revenue Decline?

Are you happy doing nothing  then don’t read any further  But if  you want a website bringing in leads and making sales then its time to take action!

You need to find out whats ailing your website now.  Its time for a website diagnostic exam.  Direct Marketing Rx is here to do a review of your website with a 31 point checklist to see why your website is sickly and under performing.

Avoid Wally’s satisfaction in improving his rate of doing nothing.  You’re web site is not static but an ever changing and improving profit machine.  Let’s get started today: I’m ready for my web site diagnostic review!

Do You Fascinate?

I recently took the {F}Score Brand Personality Test to find out which triggers I use to persuade. According to brand innovation consultant Sally Hogshead fascination is what allows us to influence people.

Every day, intentionally or not, you’re using fascination triggers to persuade people at work and home. Whether you’re pitching a new client, or inviting a friend to lunch, or lulling a cranky toddler to sleep, you’re using triggers to elicit a certain response.

Which triggers are you using to persuade and captivate?

You have seven potential fascination triggers: power, trust, mystique, prestige, vice, alarm, and lust. Each trigger leads to a different style of communication, and a different type of relationship. The more accurately you identify your personality triggers, and the more intelligently you hone them, the more influential your message becomes.

Through proprietary research of 1,059 people, with bite-sized video explanations, the F Score has been carefully designed over the course of six months to highlight which triggers you naturally apply.

In the battle to fascinate consumers, brands apply triggers, too. Volvo uses trust. Godiva uses lust. Fedex uses alarm. Apple Computers uses several triggers, most notably prestige and power. Triggers help companies sell products off shelves, persuade shareholders to invest, and convince key employees to stay.

Now back to my results. The test was quick and easy. I think it took me five minutes or less. I found out my primary triggers are Prestige and Mystique. Who knew I was so fascinating? I figured I’m a bit quirky and funny but fascinating? Woo Hoo! Check out the two videos below about using Prestige and Mystique as your fascination triggers. They’re less than 2 minutes so watch them both.

I’m ready to read Fascinate Your Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead. If you want to find out how fascinating you are take the {F}Score Brand Personality Test. Let me know what triggers make you fascinating!

Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fun Marketing Promotion Ideas for May!

May has a variety of special days that can be used to promote any business with fun marketing campaigns. And help you ease into your summer marketing promotions.

I like National Barbecue Month. You can throw a BBQ for your best customers to show how much you appreciate their business.


Monthly Campaigns:

National Barbecue Month – Yummy! Think of the tasty marketing ideas.
National Hamburger Month
National Egg Month
National Salsa Month
Have a Salsa competition – food or dancing!
National Salad Month
National Chocolate Custard Month
National Strawberry Month
Where’s the whipped cream?

Special Week Campaigns:

May 1-7 National Raisin Week

May 3-9 National Herb Week – Give your clients packets of seeds to grow herbs.
Week 1

May 1 National Chocolate Parfait Day
May 3 National Raspberry Popover Day
May 3 National Chocolate Custard Day
May 4 National Candied Orange Peel Day
May 4 National Hoagie Day
May 6 National Crepe Suzette Day
May 7 National Roast Leg of Lamb Day
May 8 National Coconut Cream Pie Day

Week 2
May 12 National Nutty Fudge Day
May 13 National Apple Pie Day
May 14 National Buttermilk Biscuit Day

Week 3

May 17 National Cherry Cobbler Day
May 18 National Cheese Souffle Day
May 19 National Devil’s Food Cake Day
May 20 National Quiche Lorraine Day
May 22 National Vanilla Pudding Day
May 23 National Taffy Day

Week 4

May 24 National Escargot Day
May 25 National Brown-Bag-It Day
May 26 National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
Have a bake-off promotion?
May 31 National Macaroon Day
Love this day for a promotion

I have an easy recipe to back your own macaroons. You can give them to your customers in decorative gift bags. Or just have them on your counter by the register for people to enjoy. Or have some special where they bring in a coupon and get a free macaroon.

Here’s my recipe for Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz can)
14 oz bag of Shredded coconut – sweetened or unsweetened
6 tablespoons of flour
1 tsp of Vanilla extract – imitation Vanilla is fine
(optional) 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips – I like the mini chips the best
Parchment paper for cookie sheet.

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Mix the condensed milk, vanilla and flour in a bowl. Add shredded coconut slowly. I use a hand mixer which is why you want to add the coconut slowly so the mixer doesn’t clog up. Once everything is mixed you can add the cup of chocolate chips into the batch.

Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet. If you don’t the macaroons will stick to the cookie sheet and crumble apart when you try to remove them from the cookie sheet.

Drop scoops of cookie mixture on parchment paper cover cookie sheet in sizes you want. I like to use a cookie scoop dropper tool to make it easy to make the cookies.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on how hot your oven cookies. If they start to turn golden brown take the cookies out of the oven.

I like to lift of the parchment paper with the cookies still on it and place it on a wire rack to cool. I put new parchment paper on the cookie sheet and drop more cookie mixture on the sheet. Repeat until mixture is gone and you have a pile of delicious macaroons.

Want to Market to Women?

Check out the Central Coast Women’s Conference on April 29th. There will be over 30 vendor booths on site and some valuable presentations. Check out the details of the presentation by the Founder and Coordinator of the event:

Simple, Low Cost Marketing Ideas that REALLY Work in Any Economy (Both on or off the Internet)
And Strategic Steps to USE What You Learn at the Conference

Consuelo Meux, Ph.D., is the Founder and Coordinator of the Central Coast Women’s Conference Series. Dr. Meux is an expert in power marketing and networking techniques that help businesses grow a client list fast. Her additional expertise is in leadership, organization and systems development and writing coach.

Her clients praise her ability to provide innovative cutting edge concepts that result is increased income and new opportunities for their business. “A business or organization doesn’t have to fall victim to the changes in the economy when the leadership understands market trends, innovative marketing techniques and consumer needs.”
A former Peace Corps Volunteer, Consuelo has an international perspective from her travels and work in Africa, Europe, Mexico and most US States. She’s been a Small Business Analyst with California State University Fresno, Assistant Manager of the Central California Small Business Development Center, and owner of an independent Marketing Consulting Firm.

Consuelo earned her PhD in Human and Organization Systems and facilitates doctoral programs in organization development with the University of Phoenix online and has taught advertising and marketing courses at Cuesta College. Her book “Yes I CAN Success Online: 5-Easy Steps to Your Confident Online Business Presence” sold out the first printing in six weeks.

Want to find out how to register check here:

I’ll see you there!

Reese’s Gets Customers Coming Back for More!

Every so often I get these cravings for peanut butter and chocolate so I buy Reese’s peanut butter cups. I noticed writing on the bottom of the card stock that holds the cups in place as I finished the last cup. See the photo below:

The comment was cheerful and then the end was an ingenious way on Hershey’s  part to get you to buy more Reese’s candy.  I read it and was moved to buy more. The candy was so yummy I think I even went specifically to the store just to buy more Reese’s peanut butter cups.

How’s that for copy that moves the customer to action? It had a positive message: “Have a perfect day” and “This is not an empty package but a REMINDER TO GET MORE”, how cool is that? I had been feeling sad that my candy was finished until I read the message on the card. Then I was moved to buy more peanut butter cups.

Hershey’s came up with an excellent and tasty way to encourage more sales. Now that’s what I call direct response marketing at its best! I had more peanut butter cups to enjoy and Hershey’s had more of my money. =) A win/win situation!

What are you doing to get your customers wanting more of your goods and services? Any notes on your invoices, sales receipts or follow up contacts encouraging them to do even more business with you?

Does Your Voicemail Get You Clients? Time to Change That!


By Fabienne Fredrickson

If you’re serious about attracting clients consistently, I believe you should use every single piece of marketing “real estate” you can. Whether you’ve been in business for one year or 22 years, when you’re marketing your business, you want to have systems in place that PULL in clients without you having to do much to make it happen.

It can even be as “little” as using your outgoing voice mail as a Client Attraction tool. One of the key things you can do to PULL people in that most people in business do not do, especially when they’re working from home, is have an outgoing message on your voice mail or answering machine that describes exactly what you do, for whom, and what results they can expect.

The idea here is to have your voice explain what you do and how to give you referrals . So, instead of saying, “Hello, it’s Mary, leave a message,” you can say, “Hello, it’s Mary of so-and-so business, helping (insert target audience) who struggle with (insert common problem) achieve more (desired outcome).”

Once they know exactly what you do and for whom, don’t forget to list the best ways to reach you (other than phone) : your e-mail, your website, and your tag line. Oh, and don’t forget to include a call to action, like inviting them to visit your website and signing up for something. There are lots of different ways you can use your voice mail outgoing message as a way to get new clients. Remember to keep it pretty short or people will not want to call back.

You’d be surprised how many people over the years became my client, when all they had originally was my phone number. As a result of the voicemail, they all told me they went onto the website, signed up for the ezine, attended teleclasses, and after a while, wrote in to say they were ready to work with me. Not bad for a simple voicemail message!

My motto around marketing real estate? “If you’ve got it anyway, use it to attract clients!”

Your Client Attraction Assignment:

Create an outgoing message that can also act as a marketing tool, if it is brief. Include your tagline and e-mail address if it is easy to remember, direct callers to your website, and make sure to tell them about your newsletter or list any upcoming workshops you are promoting. You’ll not only impress callers, you might just get a few new clients out of it.

© 2010 Client Attraction LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System , the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your income, visit http://www.ClientAttraction.com .

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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April Brings More Audacious Marketing Ideas


Need new ways to get your clients a reason to spend money? There are enough special days in April to cover any business and any target market.

National Cordon Bleu Day can work for upscale restaurants. Jelly Bean Day for family oriented promotions. Chocolate Mousse Day for your chocolate loving customers.

Or if you want a promotion that lasts all month, check out the four different national month topics:

National Soft Pretzel Month – Who doesn’t like a soft pretzel?

National Soy Foods Month – Are you targeting Vegans? Use this for your promotions.
National Fresh Celery Month – Healthy snack for your customers.

National Pecan Month – Pies and more. What yummy promotions can you dream up?

Week 1
Sorry I forgot to post this earlier. Week one is gone. But you still have 4 weeks left.

April 1 National Sourdough Bread Day
April 2 National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
April 3 National Chocolate Mousse Day
April 4 National Cordon Bleu Day

Week 2

April 5 National Raisin and Spice Bar Day
April 6 National Caramel Popcorn Day
April 7 National Coffee Cake Day
April 8 National Empanada Day
April 9 National Chinese Almond Cookie Day
April 10 National Cinnamon Crescent Day
April 11 National Cheese Fondue Day

Week 3

April 12 National Licorice Day
April 13 National Peach Cobbler Day
April 14 National Pecan Day
April 15 National Glazed Ham Day
April 16 National Eggs Benedict Day
April 16 National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day
April 17 National Cheeseball Day
April 18 National Animal Crackers Day

Week 4

April 20 National Pineapple Upside-down Cake Day
April 21 National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day
April 22 National Jelly Bean Day
April 23 National Cherry Cheesecake Day
Ohhh, yum.
April 24 National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day
Sound like fun!
April 25 National Zucchini Bread Day

Week 5

April 26 National Pretzel Day
April 27 National Prime Rib Day
April 28 National Blueberry Pie Day
April 29 National Shrimp Scampi Day
April 30 National Oatmeal Cookie Day

Ok, with all these special days to fill your April marketing calendar let me know which ones you use.

Hmm, Now National Prime Rib Day sounds good. Must be time for lunch.

Are There Too Many Acronyms In Your Marketing Message?

Beware of using too much industry jargon in your copy if your customers are not familiar with it. They may end up interpreting it like the gal in the Dilbert comic above.

The problem with that is you won’t make the sale because the prospect won’t have a clue what they should buy. Keep the content clear and easy to understand.

Even when targeting a specific market familiar with industry lingo be careful with using too many acronyms. It will make the copy difficult to read and make the reader eager to move on from your marketing messages.

You don’t want the customer so busy trying to sort it all out in his mental dictionary and missing the benefits of your goods or services in the process.

Keep your marketing messages from getting stuck in a Dilbertesque zone of lost sales.

If you need help with your website content consider having Direct Marketing Rx do content audit of your site to uncover its strengths and weaknesses.

You’ll get an extensive report showing the results of a 31 point checklist on the health of your website. You’ll find out if you’re using the 5 components of web content that works.  And if your website is easy to navigate and user friendly.

Contact Us and get your prescription for a website content that sells today!

Squeeze Out One Last Marketing Opportunity with Your Old Business Cards

Do you have old business cards that you don’t know what to do with besides dump them in the recycle bin? Wait, there’s a promotional opportunity for your business in those old cards.

Have a card tossing contest for you customers where they win prizes. You could send out an email, Tweet and post a notice on your Facebook fan page to let you customers know about the event. Really promote and have specials going on the day of the event.

Or if you don’t want your customers tossing your business cards create a competition among your employees and have your customers come and watch.

Maybe even post videos of your employees prepping for the competition on your website and YouTube. Give the employees competition nicknames like Discount Rustler or Super Sales Rep. See how I had the promoting your business benefits to your customers? Do that and maybe even end up with a new brand character.

Whatever you decide to do turn it into a marketing event and offer special prices on competition days. It could turn into an ongoing promotion for a few weeks or months or an annual event that customers look forward to seeing.

Be sure to be safe during the competitions. You may want to have safety goggles for competitors to wear. Or make it an easy card toss like those toss a ping pong ball into the goldfish bowl games you see at Fairs and Carnivals. Turn it into a toss the business card into recycle bins at various distances and each distance gets an increasingly better prize or discount.

Check out this video of the Master Business Card Thrower to get some ideas. It’s worth the 2 minutes to watch it. I wonder how much practice the guy had to do. You’ll never look at your business card the same way again.

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Inigo Montoya Was Right About Social Media Too

By Sid Smith

If I asked you about social media, would you conjure up images of Facebook and Twitter?
And did you also think, “I haven’t got the time to waste on such mindless drivel”?
Ah … but wait! In the unforgettable words of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Will the REAL Social Media Please Stand Up …

Forget what you think you know about social media. I’ll buy you a beer if you read this entire post and can honestly say “Yes, I knew all that.” Seriously. If we ever meet, the beer is on me.
Let’s first turn to Wikipedia, a bastion of social media. Go there and you’ll read that:

“Social media is content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content.”

Not what you thought?

What most people think of as “social media” is in reality “social networking.” There’s a huge difference, and if you’re going to live on the beach while working part time on your web business, you’ll need to understand the differences.

Both are highly useful. They weave in and out of each other like two lovers on a moon-lit tropical beach, so it’s easy to confuse them as one giant sea creature.

Social media is information in the form of content – articles, white papers, special reports, video, audio, and other forms of content. It’s social in that it is meant to be shared.

There are tools specifically designed to share content:

• Blogs: Blogger, WordPress …
• Content Management Systems: Joomla, Drupal, and high-end proprietary systems..
• Video sharing: Youtube, Blip, Dailymotion, Viddler … (there are about 20)
• Audio sharing: Podcast Pickle, Podcast Alley, The Podcast Network …

Social networking is how people communicate with each other online. Sometimes they communicate about content (social media) and sometimes they just blather on (and on, and on … ).
There are tools specifically designed for social networking (communication):

• Twitter (did you know that Shaq has over a million followers?)
• LinkedIn
• User Forums
• The “old” Facebook and MySpace

And … this is where it gets tricky … there are tools that facilitate communication AND share content:

• The “new” Facebook
• Teleseminars (audio conference calling)
• Webinars (video and audio)
• Twitter (it can serve both masters)
• LinkedIn (it also serves both masters)

Use The Right Tool For The Right Job

As a web marketer and entrepreneur, you’ll be eons ahead of the pack once you understand how to use the right tool. After all, the ultimate goal is to make a pile of money for you and/or your client … right?
Non-marketers use the social media and social networking tools primarily for connection. They want to belong.

Marketers use the tools for BOTH purposes – to connect with, bond with, and communicate with their prospects and customers … AND they use the tools to make money.

Here’s my 7-step “Get Social Money Machine” (in a very tiny nutshell):

1. Get online and start connecting with people through Twitter and Facebook (their use is growing, while the use of Hi5, MySpace and LinkedIn is shrinking).
2. Create valuable content – a blog with articles and video.
3. Use social tools to share your content: video syndication tools (YouTube, etc.); blog syndication tools (RSS, blogging communities, Syndd) to share your blog entries.
4. Create a fan page on Facebook and start sharing your blog posts and videos to your Facebook community.
5. Tweet your blog posts: Install a “plugin” on your blog that automatically “Tweets” your blog post to Twitter.
6. Get Social: Once you’ve got a list of fans and followers, host a couple of free content-rich webinars that you announce to your fans and followers. To attend they must provide name and email address. They’ll announce it to their friends and followers.
7. Make money: If you read my previous blog post, you know what to do next … lead them down the path of becoming raving fans who will buy anything from you.

And PLEASE (with pretty hearts and flowers) …

Remember that the foundation of social media and social networking is the SOCIAL element. Your FIRST order of business is to connect. If you are providing value through your connections, then you will be rewarded by having many fans, followers, and eventually paying customers.

One final note: A recent $499 webinar was filled entirely through blogging, Twitter and Facebook. The marketers who created the webinar raked in well over a million dollars, with NO advertising costs and NO shipping or product costs.
Yes, Dorothy. We’re certainly not in Kansas anymore.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.

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Last Minute Ideas for Getting Business during Tax Season

Most dread the April 15th deadline to file taxes. But you can turn it around and help your customers relax and making money too!

Have an “EZ” Discount – Use the tax form numbers as promo codes when ordering for example 1040EZ.  If you have a product you can price at $10.40 you can offer the special price good on April 15th only.

“Enjoy Your Refund” Promotion – Have a special sale for your customers who filed their taxes early and are ready to spend the cash the got back.  Have a follow-up sale a few weeks later for the people who filed at the last-minute and won’t have their refund by April 15th. Offer it to early birds too and get them spending twice.

Relieve the Stress of Paying the IRS –   Offer special coupons for a spa day, special dinner or box of chocolates. Encourage your customers to have a relaxing treat of their choice on April 15th.  Send an email to your best customers to get them spending. Or even entice new prospects to your business.

15% off Discount – Make April 15th a positive date not a bad one by offering 15% off purchases made.   Send out a quick email or post on your blog about the special discount only available until midnight on April 15th and pick up some extra sales on a potentially slow business day.

Use these last minute ideas to bring in extra sales on Tax Day April 15th.

Meanwhile enjoy this YouTube video of the Taxman by the Beatles while you come up with your own April 15th Tax Day promotions:

Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Is It Better That They Buy from Their Heart or Their Head? 4 Ways to Support Prospects in Making a Great Decision!

by Lisa Sasevich

I’m thrilled to address this topic today, because it really transformed my own thinking. In fact, the first time I spoke of it during a teleclass last year, I was moved to tears.

The Head vs. the Heart
When you’re in the gap with prospects, which means that you’re supporting them as they feel the distance between where they are and where they want to be, they are also connected to their heart and intuition. In that place, they have the most inner knowing about whether something is right for them or not. They may feel a tingle in their gut. And sometimes it’s an “oh, no” feeling. They may be thinking, I wasn’t planning to transform in this area today. I wasn’t planning to step into my total greatness TODAY!

As prospects move through that tension inside themselves, it can be uncomfortable. But it’s actually a magical place, as they realize the possibility of who they could be.

Now, imagine a prospect, connected to her inner knowing, who never before has seen so clearly how her pain could be transformed. She’s in a lifeboat with you. You’re showing her the way. But, alas, you encourage her to go off and “think about it,” to use her intellect to decide whether she wants to invest. You return to the ship, and she’s out there alone, adrift, with her logical mind, her small self and her fear to help her decide. You probably thought that you were honoring her process, but what if you were actually encouraging her away from her intuition, from her best, highest source of information?

Do you see what a disservice that would be?

Instead, encourage your prospects to remain in the lifeboat with you until they decide from their hearts and intuition YES or NO. Here are 4 ways to facilitate that process.

1. First of all, remember that people are investing in themselves not in you. When you really understand that people are not investing in you, but via you, you take ego out of the equation, and so many things become possible. You’re more able to tolerate a person’s tension while they’re in the gap, you can price your services based on their value to your clients, rather than trying to gauge your own personal value, and you can serve your clients better, from a higher place.

2. Don’t focus on the delivery system. I’ve seen this so often: presenters spend 90 percent of their time talking about the delivery system, whether it’s a teleseminar or CD or webinar, and only 10 percent on the outcome or transformation their offer provides. Prospects don’t care much about the form in which the transformation arrives, they want to hear how your offer will improve their lives!

3. Elicit specific information. Vague questions yield vague answers. But specific questions, such as “How many fights did you have last week with your wife? Or, what is your body fat percentage?” elicit specific information that connects your prospects with their pain. Once they get in touch with what their situation is costing them, you can then have an authentic dialogue about the possibility of transforming that area.

4. Encourage them to make a decision. You’re not trying to get your prospects to say yes. You’re supporting them to make the best decision for themselves. Assisting the prospect to either a yes or a no is a real service. If it’s a no, this isn’t for me, then the person is now free to find something that is. And if it’s a yes, it’s a hell yes! and now you have a client fully invested in the transformation you’re about to embark upon together.

That’s why I believe this work is such a privilege. Whether your prospects say yes or no, you’re doing God’s work in the world.

Sales-from-the-podium expert Lisa Sasevich has x-ray vision for seeing the sales opportunities that exist in every company, and the creativity to convert them into gold! If you’re looking for simple, quick and easy ways to boost sales without spending a dime, get your FREE Sales Nuggets now at www.theinvisibleclose.com.

Your Doorway to a Successful Marketing Promotion!

Today I opened my front door to find a hanger on my door. Annoyance turned into happy surprise. Kohl’s hired someone to hang discount tags on the doors in my neighborhood and possibly every neighborhood in town. It was a coupon for $10 of a purchase of $20 or more. Good sized discount and it lured me into Kohl’s. I don’t usually shop at Kohl’s.

The clothes I like are usually in the “I’d have to be anorexic and flat-chested to fit into” sizes. (I’m a buxom not skinny gal.) And the women’s clothes my size look like stuff matronly middle-aged women would wear. On that note my mother loves buying clothes at Kohl’s. The other items they carry I can usually find cheaper somewhere else.

But Kohl’s does have great sales. Although the coupon said the purchase had to be minimum $20 the part that really got me into the store was the small print that read “off all products, including sale items and clearance items”. I thought “Wow, after I stop in at Borders I’m checking out Kohl’s.” The stores happened to be in the same shopping center where I live so it was an easy decision.

This is where many businesses cheap out and look stingy. I’ve seen numerous coupons where they put so many limits on my ability to use them I end up tossing the coupon in the recycling bin.

Afterward I only think of those businesses with amazed disgust. Why bother offering what amounts to a non-existent discount in your coupon advertisement? You’re only going to alienate customers who will go on to shop at stores that appreciate their business and reward them for it.

I really appreciated that Kohl’s offered me a discount coupon I couldn’t ignore considering I’m not a regular shopper. And with only one minor limitation besides and end date which was also generous. The offer was valid until March 14th and started on February 28th.

I didn’t want to miss the deadline so I felt compelled to go in and use the $10 discount on stuff I hadn’t planned to buy. Kohl’s does have good products and I’m more than willing to shop there when the deal is worth it.

If you’re wondering what I bought I’ll tell you. I got a cool new watch and a set of colorful eye shadows in a compact shaped like an iphone. Oh and the items I bought were sale items and I still got my $10 discount. Yippee!

End result for Kohl’s – they got a reluctant shopper in the door spending money and feeling good with their generous Door Hanger Campaign. Now I understand why my Mother loves shopping at Kohl’s. They appreciate their shoppers and reward them for coming into the store.

Are you ready to try your own Door Hanger Campaign yet? Not sure? Interestingly enough, Dan Kennedy recommends using Door Hangers as a unique promotional campaign. I wonder if someone in Kohl’s marketing department reads Dan Kennedy’s newsletter. Hmmm…if so kudos for marketing savvy.

Let me know if you decide to try your own Door Hanger campaign and the results.

5 Weeks of March Marketing Madness!

Are you looking for some unusual marketing days to promote your business? During March there is at least one new idea for every day of the month.

I’ve separated them by week so you can easily plan your March promotions. Go crazy with as many audacious marketing ideas as possible!

First week of March:

March 1 National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
March 1 National Fruit Compote Day
March 2 National Banana Cream Pie Day
March 3 National Cold Cuts Day
March 3 National Mulled Wine Day
March 4 National Poundcake Day
March 5 National Cheese Doodle Day
March 6 National Frozen Food Day
March 6 National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day

Second week of March:

March 7 National Crown Roast of Pork Day
March 7 National Cereal Day
March 8 National Peanut Cluster Day
March 9 National Crabmeat Day
March 10 National Blueberry Popover Day
March 11 Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day
March 12 National Baked Scallops Day
March 13 National Coconut Torte Day

Third week of March:

March 14 National Potato Chip Day
March 15 National Peanut Lovers Day
March 15 National Pears Helene Day
March 16 National Artichoke Heart Day
March 18 National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day
March 19 National Poultry Day
March 19 National Chocolate Caramel Day
March 20 National Ravioli Day

Fourth week of March
:

March 21 National French Bread Day
March 23 National Chip and Dip Day
March 23 National Melba Toast Day
March 24 National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day
March 25 National Lobster Newburg Day
March 26 National Waffle Day
March 26 National Nougat Day
March 27 National Spanish Paella Day
Fifth week of March:

March 28 National Black Forest Cake Day
March 29 National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day
March 30 Turkey Neck Soup Day
March 31 National Clams on the Half Shell Day

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Five Refreshing Topics I’m Tracking:

I try to read about more than marketing. Here are a few topics that currently have my interest.

Lifestyle:

Introverts Corner – How to live a quiet life in a noisy world.

I’m an Introvert. If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator You’ll now what I’m talking about. Introverts get energy from spending time alone to recharge their internal batteries. Extroverts are energized by spending time with others.

This blog is worth checking out whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. The benefit for Introverts is reading a blog written by someone who understands your needs. Extroverts can benefit by reading the blog if they know an Introvert and want to improve their understanding, communication and overall relationship with the Introvert.

Click here to check out the Introverts Corner.

Tech stuff:

Makeuseof.com

It’s a blog that features nifty websites, computer tips and downloads that help you be more productive. MakeUseOf is like your own personal tour guide to the web, taking you to sites you’ve never seen before to enhance your life on the web. You’ll get daily links to websites with all kinds of useful tool, software and how to tips. Check it out here at MakeUsOf.com


Charitable:

Lemons for Literacy

I love to read. How about you? It’s terrible to think there are people who are unable to enjoy reading like we do. Let’s do our part to stamp out illiteracy. When you play this game for every answer you get right someone gets help learning to read. Lemons for Literacy has two goals:

  1. To help cure illiteracy by providing free literacy materials to people in need.
  2. Provide free education to everyone

Help combat illiteracy while playing a fun educational game: Lemons for Literacy

Modern language:

Urban Word of the Day

Keep track of changes in language by subscribing to this site. Daily you will get a new word or phrase and an example of how it’s used. Entertaining and also keeps you from saying the wrong thing when words take on new meanings.

Click here to get your daily dose of Urban Words.

Advice:

Consumerist – Shoppers bite back

The blog posts information to help consumers avoid scams, fight back against poor customer service and a variety of other valuable information. Its hardly boring – expect to be entertained while learning how to protect your consumer rights.

Visit it by clicking Consumerist.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 12:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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You Can Feed the Hungry with Free Rice

Free Rice has an easy way for you to help the hungry in the world. How? You can help the worlds hungry by playing a fun educational game.

It starts out with English vocabulary but you can select a different category. The other categories are Art, Chemistry, Math, Geography and Language Learning. The foreign language categories are Spanish, French, German and Italian.

There is not cost to play the game. For each question you get right 10 grains of rice are donated to feed the hungry. On the right side you see a bowl filling with rice until there are a hundred grains. Then a pile forms at the side of the bowl and you refill the bowl with each correct answer.

The cost of the rice is paid for by sponsors who advertise on the site. There is also the opportunity for you make your own monetary donation but it is not a requirement to play the game.

FreeRice has two goals:

  1. Provide education to everyone for free.
  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

It’s a fun way to contribute food to those in need. I’ve donated over 2000 grains of rice while testing my knowledge. When I tried the art section I found out how little I really know about great artists. By the time I played a few rounds I could recognize some artists’ painting styles. It was a very satisfying feeling to learn something new and help provide rice to people who need it.

Want to do more than play the game? You can have your business become an advertising sponsor by contacting Free Rice through their contact page.

How cool is it that you can use your marketing dollars to advertise your business while feeding the hungry? People will see your sponsorship banner each time they answer a correct question.

Help the hungry and educate yourself at the same time by clicking on Free Rice.

I want to hear back about how many grains of rice you donate!

The Problem Isn’t the Problem

Wondering how to avoid a Toyota sized public relations nightmare when you have a problem with your products or services?

Check out this two minute video by Tom Peters:

Published in: on February 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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15 Ideas for Your February Marketing

Are you looking for last-minute marketing ideas for February? Take a look at the list below for inspiration. There’s still time to use them.

Some sound really fun like Tortilla Chip day and Margarita Day if you want to have a multi-promotional week use them together. Or if you want a healthy promotion go for Almond Day or Cook a Sweet Potato Day or Strawberry Day.

Reading over the list it seems like there is a day for any business and any target market. Go for it!

  1. National Almond Day – February 16
  2. National Chocolate Mint Day – February 19
  3. National Cherry Pie Day – February 20
  4. National Sticky Bun Day – February 21
  5. National Cook a Sweet Potato Day – February 22
  6. National Margarita Day – February 22
  7. National Banana Bread Day – February 23
  8. National Tortilla Chip Day – February 24
  9. National Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day – February 25
  10. National Clam Chowder Day – February 25
  11. National Pistachio Day – February 26
  12. National Chocolate Cake Day – February 27
  13. National Strawberry Day – February 27
  14. National Kahlua Day – February 27
  15. National Chocolate Soufflé Day – February 28

Which day worked for your promotion? I’d be curious to know if anyone uses Kahlua Day or Clam chowder Day.

Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 12:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Get Gooey Over Gumdrops!


February is about more than chocolate and hearts! Its also about National Gumdrop Day on the 15th! Want to do a marketing mailer with candy and not worry about chocolate melting everywhere? Use gumdrops!

Gumdrops are for more than gingerbread houses. Most of us have at least one memory of gumdrops….oh the marketing aspects of nostalgia. Time to make the most of your marketing mailers and promotions.

Ok, let’s talk about promotional topic tie-ins. Of course the obvious one would be candy stores promoting special gift baskets. Maybe for gift baskets you need to ship across the country or even overseas – sales benefit – gumdrops can travel without melting.

Toy stores can use gumdrops for a promotion sent to parents looking to buy their child a gift. Maybe even the promoting a sale of the Candy Land game.

I remember saving up my allowance so I could buy that board game. I loved staring at the board with all the candy houses and everything else made with candy! Playing the game was fun too. I still have a great love of candy.

Pet stores can send out mailers with gum drops using the headline: “Buy healthy, tasty, chewy treats for your pets and enjoy these gum drops on us.”

Hardware stores can get women customers in with a gumdrop mailer helping them find gifts for their DIY project loving spouses: “Buy your sweetie one of these specially priced items ands get your Honey-Do list done!

My favorite gum drop colors are the green, pink and red ones! What are yours? I’m sure you can think of other promotional ideas to use gumdrops in your mailers. Let me know which one’s you try!

I’m on Alltop!

Check out my badge to the right. Direct Marketing Rx’s Blog will be listed under Alltop Marketing! Pretty cool.

5 Hot Blogs to Make Add Sizzle to Your Marketing!


Are you searching a few informative and topical blogs that are worth your time? With all the useless vanity blogs out there I thought I’d share blogs I’ve found valuable. I subscribe to several blogs but the following are my top 5 daily must reads:

1. Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle Blog – If you want outrageous advertising check it out. Dan Kennedy will never steer you wrong.

2. Sweeties Sweeps – If you want to promote your business using a Sweepstakes or Contest you’ll want to get mentioned on Sweeties Sweeps site. Thousands of people visit the sites mentioned as having a sweeps worth entering. New products are often launched with a sweepstakes or contest which also helps you find out what your competitors are doing to get new customers.

3. ProBlogger – Write a better blog with these tips on blogging. I’m working on the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog program myself.

4. Men With Pens – A web design and copywriting blog from Canada. Good stuff comes from Canada.

5. Chris Brogan – A blog about community and social media

Check them out and let me know what you think about them. Oh, remember to subscribe to my blog too! Did I miss any blogs you feel should make the list?

9 Lumpy Objects to Get Your Marketing Mailers Opened


Curiosity gets your mailers opened and read. Lumpy items create intense curiosity. I know I can’t wait to open mail that has a strange lumpiness to find out what treat is inside.

Be sure the lumpy item matches the theme of your marketing message. Don’t just randomly add an object that has nothing to do with your promotion. You’ll just confuse your prospects and they won’t be motivated to spend money just wonder about why you wasted yours mailing pointless junk.

Send one of the nine items listed below out in your next direct marketing mailer.
I’ve included sample headlines you can use for your promotional mailers.

1. Bank bag – “Here’s an idea you can take to the bank.”
2. Mini trash can – “Are you throwing away money by missing our sales?”
3. Large treasure chest – “You’ll find your treasure when you_____”
4. Pacifier – “Soothing all your aches____”
5. Self mailing message in a bottle –“Don’t get left stranded without your map…”
6. Boomerang – We want your business back…
7. Compass – Are you lost? Find you’re way back to us.
8. Amber pill bottle – We’ll cure what ails you.
9. Pair of Socks – Our Sale prices will knock your socks off!

Let me know if you mail out one of these items and your response rate.

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 1:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Does Your Website Suck?

Check out the Daily Sucker for websites that suck either in layout, design, or copy. There are some nightmarish websites out there that are impossible to navigate or so busy you get a headache. Yuck.

Make sure yours isn’t one of them: Daily Sucker

Published in: on July 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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