Smart Marketing Basics

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The following is a list of all entries from the SMBmarketer News category.

Press Releases – How to Convince Your Colleagues to use Press Release Marketing

The goal of is to provide simple marketing plans and templates to small business marketers and entrepreneurs who need simple, actionable tools to help them get started in marketing.  Smart Marketing Basics, our blog discusses simple strategies to help small business owners grow their business, while our featured articles provide more insight into the ten smart marketing plays that can help make your business successful.

Previously, our we featured a post called “Press Release Tips for Small Business Marketers” which recommended some free articles on the subjects of common “do’s and don’ts” of pitching your small business to a reporter, and how to use press releases to market your small business.  These are great resources available at no cost to you.  Be sure to check out this post if you have not seen it yet.

I have heard from other marketing professionals that often times they need help convincing their colleagues, business partners, value-added resellers and other key stakeholders they work with, of the importance of Press Release marketing.  While writing press releases to promote your small business is a “no brainer” strategy to many professional marketers, they often times have to influence their corporate peers to support this activity.

To address this request, has introduced a new, low -cost marketing template, a ready-to-use presentation slide deck available today for only $4.95 from our Marketing Templates Library:

Using Press Releases to Market Your Small Business – A PowerPoint Presentation

Using Press Releases to Market Your Small Business - PowerPoint Presentation

Using Press Releases to Market Your Small Business

Download this 15-slide presentation on how to use press releases to promote your small business. It talks about how the press release has evolved from being a simple news communication device, to a broader tool that supports your marketing, sales, and search engine optimization efforts.  It illustrates when to use press releases and how they can be used in a variety of ways, in an easy to follow format. 

Get your partners and stakeholders on board immediately to support your press release marketing efforts by downloading and presenting this presentation at your next sales meeting, or online marketing event.  Visit our Marketing Templates Page at:

Email Messaging Templates for Small Business Marketers

Most small businesses are created to solve a specific customer problem, fill a gap in the marketplace, or to turn a passionate hobby into a commercial business.  However, it’s simply not enough to get your product ‘production-ready’ for shipping, and ‘sales-ready’ for customers. You must generate demand for your offerings with your target customer.  See below for more insights, as well as a link to more information on some new templates that can help you.
For small business marketers, email marketing provides a cost-effective approach to targeting your markets, either by industry, organization type, specific user profile, or by geography.  Additionally, email marketing is extremely measurable, allowing you to course-correct if you are not getting the results you want.  Email marketing also allows you to test out new product ideas, marketing messages, and promotional offers to test groups, before launching them in full force to the mass market.  It’s easy to see why email marketing can give you a lot bang for your ‘small business marketing’ buck.
Developing a program that incorporates email best practices and effective messaging concepts is critical to your small business success.  Not only will you need to invest in some email system infrastructure, you must invest time into developing a solid marketing message that incorporates the three C’s.  Successful email campaigns require clear, concise and compelling messages that articulate who you are and the value you provide. In order to pass the ‘so what?’ test with your readers, your email message must: 1) quickly identify with the reader and their particular pain or need, 2) promise sufficient value or a compelling benefit, and 3) provide a follow-up step or a call to action for the reader to take. 
Creating successful emails messages is a lot like cooking – it’s important to use the right recipe of ingredients for the end result to turn out well.  For email campaigns, your recipe should include an attention-grabbing headline that commands your readers’ attention, followed by a subhead that helps begin your conversation and persuades them to read the introductory paragraph.   This first paragraph must identify with their pains or challenges, and offer up a value promise that will appeal to them.  Use quotes or industry research to help build credibility for your offering and to validate your message.  Featuring a “call-to-action” is critical in any email you send out, because you want to give your readers to take a “next step” to take to get more information.
Don’t worry if you aren’t a good cook!  Low cost email templates are available that can make this task easy for any small business looking to promote new products, new services, special events or promotions. recently announced a new series of Email Templates that can help small business marketers to easily structure effective email messages (read press release). Rather than using “trial and error” tactics, small business marketers can now quickly create professional emails using easy-to-use, low-cost templates. Email Templates can be used to promote a new product or service, customer win, special event, and special promotion. For example, the New Product email template walks users through creating each message component, such as the headline, introductory paragraph and the call to action. An illustrative example is included with each template.  These Email Messaging Templates are now available for only $6.95 each, and can be downloaded by going to: Remember, in this era of SPAM, your message must resonate in seconds with your reader!  Keep your content short and simple, with the goal of getting your reader interested in learning more about what you do.   When it comes to email performance, a clear and compelling message will always trump fancy design or graphics. 


Using Awards to Market Your Small Business just received – a Small Business Standard of Excellence Award from the Web Marketing Association.  The 2010 WebAwards is the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks for the best web sites.  Industry expert judges scrutinized more than 2,000 website entrants based on seven criteria, including design, content, and ease of use.  Complete award details are available on the 2010 WebAward website.

While I am honored that the 2010 WebAwards recognized our new website as an effective way for small businesses to quickly create professional press releases using low-cost templates, it also presents me with an educational opportunity to write about in this blog, Smart Marketing Basics.

Remember, issuing press releases is a great way to build awareness for your small business. Smart marketers invest in developing a pipeline of potential announcements, to ensure they are putting out a steady stream of news throughout the year.  Researching and applying for awards specific to your industry or product application, is a great way to get your company known.

Awards are also a great way to get validation on your offering. For, the 2010 WebAward provides independent validation that small businesses can benefit from easy to use, low cost tools to jumpstart their marketing efforts. Outside experts put our site to the test and commented that we “had a great site that was fast, informative and interactive.”

Awards and industry recognition are a great way to supplement your own marketing efforts, and give you credibility among potential customers.  A good way to find appropriate award programs is to research the industry events that your customers attend, as well as local business associations within your community.   Be sure to also check with magazines or publications that follow your industry.  You can also analyze the web sites of your competitors or related companies to see what recognitions they might have garnered.

Award applications often involved long lead times, so invest some time early on to determine application deadlines and to plan around any other requirements.  To learn more about small business marketing using press releases, download our free article, Using Press Releases to Market Your Business at

Announcing the Press Release Tutor for Small Business Marketers

For small business owners, getting started marketing your business can be overwhelming, confusing and costly.  I founded the website to help small businesses address this issue head on with some easy to use templates to guide them along.  My philosophy is that there are several smart marketing basics that small businesses can use to get going.   Once you have a few initial successes, then you will be more apt to invest and expand after seeing the value of marketing. 

I am excited to share our news announcing the new Press Release Tutor, a new smart marketing template for small business marketers.  The Press Release Tutor was created to help small businesses create well-written press releases, in 5 easy steps.  Writing press releases to promote your small business is essential, but creating the right message can be challenging, especially for non-marketing professionals.

Press Release Templates

How the Press Release Tutor Templates Work

By using the Press Release Tutor, small business marketers can preview and select from a collection of announcement templates, craft a boilerplate marketing message using basic questions about their business, and then automatically generate a well-written release draft. Tutor Tips also provide advice on effective messaging fundamentals. After some final review and editing, users can download their press release and distribute.
Please check it out at  We would love to hear your feedback!


Getting Ready for Launch…

I am looking forward to the launch of my new website,, which will provide smart marketing tools and templates for small and medium businesses. I am proud to take a key step, in setting up my blog, “Smart Marketing Basics,” where my plan is to write about easy, actionable steps that small businesses can take to start marketing their business fast.

My inspiration for the site, and respectively this blog, comes from working with many small organizations, specifically technology solution companies, such as VARs (you know who you are). These entities are run by tech and business savvy principals who do a great job at solving problems for the customers, but lack the time and knowledge when it comes using the discipline of marketing to grow their business.

And, it’s no wonder. As a professional B2B marketer for more than 20 years, I still find it challenging to keep up with all the new developments going on in our field. The discipline of marketing is a vast, deep subject, with many sub-topics and skillsets to explore and develop. A novice can easily become overwhelmed in trying to get started. My goal is to help you get started with some basic plays that good marketers do on a daily basis, so that you can see some positive results, and prove the value of marketing to your organization’s success. If you can get started, then the rest will follow – I would like to help you go from doing no marketing at all, to getting you on your way to investing in the discipline on a full-time basis.

Watch for more news, when launches – Stay Tuned!!

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