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Quarter 3, 2015

How to Make Your Invoices Pay Off Twice

You already know invoices are necessary for getting paid, but did you know you can also use them to sell additional products and services to existing customers — without incurring extra postage and mailing fees? Here are five easy, effective ways to sell more with invoices:

1. Add an offer box to your invoices
The simplest way to turn an invoice into a marketing tool is to create an area for promotion. It doesn't have to be box-shaped, but it should certainly be attractive and engaging. Use it to promote any kind of information or offer you'd like: a discount coupon, a product or service introduction or something that motivates a visit to your website. Some marketers even offer an instant discount on the current invoice in return for an additional purchase.

2. Include a flyer or sales sheet
Slipping a sales sheet or flyer in with an invoice is a common practice that provides extra space for promoting your business. A separate sales sheet or flyer also makes it easier for customers to file your invoice without losing sight of your offer. You can even use the offer box on your invoice to direct customers' attention to your flyer to help make sure they keep it.

3. Slip an invitation in along with your invoice
If you host special customer events — after-hour sales, seminars, online meetings, classes, entertainment, etc. — you can slip the invitations into your invoice envelopes. Always make it clear that your exclusive event is by invitation only and include a response deadline, so you can properly plan the event.

4. Insert a brochure into your invoice envelope
Brochures are perfect invoice add-ons when you want to entice customers with a larger product or service offering. Again, you can use your invoice's offer box to reinforce the importance of your brochure. And you can sweeten the deal with a special offer that motivates customers to take the next step and buy.

5. Send out mini-catalogs with your invoices
If you have a lot of different products or services to sell, printing up mini-catalogs and including them with your invoices is a great way to showcase your business and motivate customers to buy. Consider adding a coupon or coupon code with an expiration date to encourage fast action.

Invoices are bills, first and foremost. But that's no reason to pass up an opportunity to use them for smart marketing. With a few simple add-ons, you can make more money issuing invoices than ever before.

10 Surprising Marketing Statistics That
Will Change The Way You View the World

How do you define your marketing strategy? Do you base it on the pronouncements of marketing bloggers? On gut feelings? Or, do you create a marketing plan based on hard numbers that prove what customers respond to? Obviously, the latter is the best strategy. But, though many marketing statistics are easy to come by, many business owners never take the time to review contemporary trends in order to shape a successful marketing plan. You can gain an edge on your competitors by understanding and applying the knowledge found in these ten surprising marketing statistics:

1. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads
A rush to mobile advertising might be all the rage, but blogging remains one of the most powerful ways to earn trust and generate leads — no matter what devices they're read on. (Source)

2. 36% of people don't realize Google AdWords are advertisements
When you're constantly thinking about marketing, it's easy to overlook the mindset of people who aren't — your customers. Many don't know AdWords is advertising simply because they don't have a need or desire to know. (Source)

3. Desktop conversion rates are almost double those of iPhones® and smartphones
Think desktop is dead? Think again. Sales conversion rates on desktops are nearly three percent higher than those of smartphones (0.80%) and iPhones (0.85%). (Source)

4. Only 28% of U.S.-based small businesses sell online
How much time do you spend marketing B2B products and services online? If your customers don't see the value in the online marketplace, is the online market really the place to reach them? (Source)

5. Direct marketing earns ROI at a ratio of 13-1
Sure, Facebook ads are a lot cheaper than a targeted direct-mail postcard campaign, but do they generate such outstanding returns on investment? Short answer: no. (Source)

6. 92% of young people prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions
More digitally inclined shoppers are actually trusting print marketing more, perhaps due to their familiarity with the online environment. (Source)

7. Videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%
You don't have to be a Hollywood director to produce a compelling video featuring your products and services — but a video could help you get paid like one. (Source)

8. 48% of people keep direct mail for future reference
You can increase the long-term value of direct mail by printing helpful booklets and guides that bring your products and services into the mix. (Source)

9. 56% of people think print marketing is the most trustworthy type of advertising
While it's true individual personalities, and even brands, can earn trust and devoted followers online via social media, print marketing is still king. (Source)

10. Christmas comes sooner than you think
Early Christmas marketing makes sense. More than 13 million online searches included the word "Christmas" in August 2013; in September, that figure more than doubled. (Source)

These are just a few marketing statistics you can use to your advantage. Conducting a search for statistics specific to your industry will give you even more insights into effective ways to market and grow your business.