Tips for small business owners to saturate a market geographically and grow with local customers

Here’s an interesting story providing tips and tricks for targeting new prospects to grow a small business with local customers.

If small business owners aren’t sure no how to saturate a certain market geographically, these tips can provide details on what/how to increase sales prospects.

What business can’t benefit from more customers?  Below are nine tips on inexpensive ways to increase sales for businesses by thinking locally.  These tips are both inexpensive in preparation and execution and are designed to reach customers quickly!

Show up locally; this means identifying tools that drive local business.  Examples include hyper-local direct mail tools, email campaigns, and saturation mailings that can be geographically targeted to reach more of your best customers in a radius around your business.

  1. Think DIRECT MAIL because, with the prevalence of email, print mail volumes are low so there is less competition in a mail box.  Now is a great time to be seen!  Saturating a geographic area with a mailing or series of mailings can save small businesses money because these types of mailings are easy for the Post Office to do and they pass the savings onto the mailer.

  2. Use saturation mailings to permeate your message in a select geographic area around your business. These mailings, also known as “occupant” mailings, are directed at all of the resident and/or business addresses in a particular area. These types of mailings are perfect for customer growth efforts or customer retention pushes. Companies that benefit most from these mailings include service- or delivery-based businesses such as auto repair garages, boutique retailers, pizza shops, dry cleaners, and restaurants for example. 
  3. Target email campaigns by geographic location. Find an email list provider that can provide you with accurate, deliverable email addresses by ZIP Code. This is an easy, cost-effective way to promote your business locally.
  4. Include a call to action with a limited time to act on any local outreach effort; requesting from the customer an immediate response with a clear deadline causes a sense of urgency and is much more likely to keep the offer “top of mind” for the customer.
  5. Use local offers to increase local traffic. For instance, a 50% off entrees coupon to drive new customers and entices old ones.
  6. Put your business on the map. According to one report in which Google was cited, 20% of all searches include a geographic parameter — think local to get local!!!!
  7. Get added to Google Placesby claiming your listing. Create a Google Places account and verify your business listing has the correct “NAP” – company name, address and phone number listed.
  8. Promote Internet coupons in your Google Places dashboard. These can help you track the results of your campaign, and equally important, Google’s algorithm supposedly gives your listing a boost if you have coupons.

Greg Brown is Director of Marketing of Melissa Data, www.melissadata.com, a direct marketing software and services company.  Having worked for over 10 years on both the client and agency side, Greg brings a unique perspective to developing creative, results-oriented marketing programs to acquire and retain customers.

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Editor (18230 Posts)

Glenn is a geographer and a GIS professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He's the co-founder of GISuser and several other technology web publications.


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