Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Marketing Things I Have Learned

Posted by terrepruitt on June 28, 2012

I am not a marketing expert or guru or anything, I am just a Nia teacher trying to get the word out about Nia to as many people as possible.  As I go I realize that my past experiences have helped me learn a lot.  Plus I learn a lot as I go.  I have a lot of people who encourage me, and help me learn even more.  Here are a few things that I have learned that maybe you don’t know.  Or maybe you forgot, or maybe, like me, you need encouragement to do/use.

1–When posting a flyer or a poster make certain there is contact information on it.  Make certain the information stands out – whether it be a phone number, an e-mail address, or some other way to communicate.
Recently I received a call from someone wanting to take a different class (not Nia), but she claimed there was no phone number for the instructor she wanted to take a class from.  I took her name and number, looked up the instructor on the internet, called the instructor and gave her the prospective student’s name and number.  When I was able to look at the poster myself I saw the phone number on it, but it was somewhat camouflaged.  It blended in with the other text on the flyer.  Make your contact information stand out.  Make it bold, make it a different color, make it a different font, make it larger than the rest, or circle it.  Something that makes it the first thing people see.  Flash a sample at a friend and see if the contact info is the first thing they see.

2–Send e-mail.
I am hesitant to send out e-mails because I don’t like to “bother” people.  I don’t like to clog their in box with a lot of stuff.  I know we all get a lot of e-mails and I don’t want mine to be the one you don’t read because there is an e-mail from me all the time.  I try to keep my e-mail down to “need-to-know” stuff.  I work to only e-mail once a month.  With this past e-mail I sent out a handful of my students thanked me for the updates.  That made me feel better.  People appreciate being updated.

3–Use the subject line (when e-mailing) to get the info across.
When a fellow Nia teacher told me she sends e-mails reminding people to come to class, I shared I didn’t like sending out too many e-mails.  She gave me a great tip.  She said to put the information in the subject line.  If it is just a quick reminder of one thing then the subject line can hold all the info and the recipient doesn’t even have to open the e-mail.  “See you at class tomorrow.”  I thought that was brilliant.  I have employed that method and I love it.  Otherwise, I use my subject line to announce all the items contained in the e-mail.  As an example my last e-mail subject line was:  “Monday Evenings are cancelled / Subbing classes for City of San Jose / Fourth of July”  I bet you can guess without even having received the e-mail what it was about.  Big important news – class is cancelled.  Then exciting news – I’m subbing classes.  Then a note about Fourth of July.  This gives the recipient a chance to decide if they need to open it right away.  I know that sometimes I don’t have time to read all my e-mail in one sitting so I prioritize.  I usually have a few I have to come back and read.

4–Remind people.
In the e-mail I mentioned above, I did take the time to remind people of my regular class schedule, since I was sending out an e-mail anyway.  People get busy, people forget, people need to be reminded of what is happening.  I can keep track of MY schedule, I can have that in my head, but I can’t have other people’s too.  So when they remind me of what classes they have and when I appreciate it.  The same goes with blogs.  I have a few blogs I read consistently, but sometimes the ones I want to read don’t have consistent postings so I need to be reminded that they are there.  This is another thing I need to work on because, again, I don’t want to “bother” people, but when I DO post a link to my blog on FB people read it and they thank me for reminding them.  It’s ok to remind people.  If it truly bother’s them they will let you know.

5–Send Thank you Notes.
One Nia teacher I know would send out a thank you e-mail every once in a while after class.  Made me happy.  I was thankful to be able to attend her class, but she would send an e-mail thanking us all for attending.  Since it made me so happy, I figured it made others happy too.  Of course, you can also send an actual note via the US Post Office.  So many of us seldom get actual mail a thank you note would be a nice surprise.  I appreciate that my students take the time to come dance with me every week, sometimes twice a week.  So sending a note letting them know is important to me.  I didn’t even think of this as a marketing tool until I was writing this.  People liked to be thanked.  Clients deserved to be thanked.

So this is just a short list.  It is not trail blazing information, you probably already know these things.  It is just a reminder or maybe a little encouragement.  I have learned that I write and post things as much for me as for you.  I will probably stumble across this in the future and say, “Yeah, that’s right, sending an e-mail is not as bothersome as you think.”

So what do you think?  Even if you are not a business owner you are probably a customer on the receiving end of some of these things.  What do you think?  Do you have ideas you can share?

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