marketing to new clientelle
My two partners and I have a video production company that we started last year. The three of us had worked on various projects together for the last several years before formally incorporating. Our web site is almost ready to launch.
We have some ideas that we think are interesting, that will attract existing clients and prospective "targeted" clients to our site via regular mail or courier. It will be a countdown of sorts to our launch day.
The question I'm having though is on the day of the launch...I had been thinking about sending out an email newsletter to that whole group...with a link to the site. The question I keep coming back to is this...I know personally I don't like getting email from companies I haven't had any dealings with. It takes up too much of my time! So...how does an email newsletter stand out? What can it offer that will be vaulable, other than a link to another company web site???
Thank you very much for any and all feedback.
Bright Circle, Inc.
"We put the Idea in Media"
There lies the secret of good marketing. I think you could start by simply looking at the Cow newsletter.
I would first make sure you have a clear opt out link, with no extra steps.
I think you certainely can bring valuable content to your customers. It could as simple as new features on your website, such as a client area where they can preview content from their own production, free and discounted offers to existing customers, free footage/templates, etc.
The truth however, is that the vast majority of newsletters are deleted before the second word is read, and most do tick off the reader somewhat. How often it's being sent is part of it too.
You should really look into other great ways to advertise.
One is Google Adwords, probably the best bang for your buck right now, and it allows to advertise locally as well (Which is really the only way to advertise for start ups). It's rather inexpensive as well.
Good luck in your venture.
Read up on "permission marketing" for some more tips.
These days any unbidden, unsolicited email coming in my inbox gets treated with great suspicion, if the spam filter doesn't get it first. I'm more likely to be annoyed than intrigued by blind pitches. If I find the same info posted at a site I already visit, that's a very different issue, I might very well be interested in that product or service that day, or at least in seeing how someone else applied it to their business.
Google Adwords takes advantage of that, though it's not perfect. I remember linking to a story about uranium in the Valerie Plame case and Adwords created some hysterical sidebar instant-ads suggesting I click on an Amazon link to buy or compare prices for weapons grade uranium, with next-day shipping. My, how helpful, Alehu Ackbar!! Thanks Amazon!
See, so it can be done wrong, or it can be done right.
When your message is presented in that fashion, the people reading it are pre-qualifying themselves to respond with requests for more info. That's why I think the news stories and tutorials here on the COW are pretty good marketing tool, better than Adsense, because they use and appeal to human COMMON sense.
My take is, if you send something to people out of the blue, it better by heaven reflect a sound knowledge of who they are and what they want or need, or you've just told those prospects what a fake and idiot you are, not to mention a wasteful spender and poor businessman. Not the best first impression.
Give-aways or premiums need to be tightly focused and appropriate to the market as well as what's being marketed. Newsletters need to be timely as well as relevant, with some actual added value content the reader can put to immediate use. You must reward the reader's attention if you ever want them to read you again. You can send out things like calendars or mousepads or desk toys, but they have to be targeted and appropriate.
Think about open-house type events you can stage, a live demo or free training session or special seminar day. Sponsor a local get-together perhaps. Figure out what your target market cares about and see if you can find a fit to what you're selling. Create a news "stunt" designed around one of your specialties. For example, if your shop does high-end 3-d animation, create am animated 3-d model of your town that perhaps grows and evolves from early history to today and a projected tomorrow, then stage a showing and open discussion at a mini conference about architecture and urban planning. Leverage this to tell the story of what your company does and how it does it. Or maybe create an animated version of the town's historic founder and present it to the local library or historical society. Do you do event video? Wedding shows, with the full runway treatment and live IMAG demonstration. What about corporate? Find a charity they all support and create a documentary and PSA's in support of it. Ask them to be interviewed about their contributions to the cause. offer the DVD as a hand-out and post the best parts of it on YouTube.
Yes, all of this costs money up front. Only you can decide what is appropriate and a logical investment to make, based on your specifics. What I can say is, in my opinion any of these kinds of projects are more likely to result in building public awareness of your company and building contacts and business leads, than a simple email spam blast.