Sometimes the little things can bring big rewards – and when you’re busy it’s good to find some quick marketing wins. Here are five marketing activities that should be quick and easy to implement.

E-mail signatures

Most companies have an e-mail signature – sometimes it’s almost all legalese, usually it contains the sender’s name and telephone number. But it’s a great place to pop marketing information. Consider adding:

  • Social networking information, such as your LinkedIn address and Twitter address.
  • One short line to describe what your company does (in my case: website design | print design | copywriting) – keep it brief and direct. Avoid ‘marketing buzzwords’.
  • A line to promote a campaign you’re currently running. Again, keep it brief and direct. Link it to a specific page on your website which provides more information.
  • A link to download your company brochure so that people can find out more about what you do easily. If the link is to a PDF, say so, so that people know what will happen when they click on the link – something like ‘Find out more about us – download our brochure (PDF 1.2MB)’.
  • A quote from a customer. If you do this, change it every so often.

However, don’t do all of the above as you could end up with a signature that’s longer than your e-mail! Also, try getting rid of anything you don’t need – do recipients need to know your fax number, for example? Is your legal statement as short as it can be?

Rethink your business cards

Sometimes people assume that there are rules of etiquette or design which force them to be more conservative than is needed. Business cards fall into this category. In a world where the Web is trumping print in almost all forms of communication, the humble business card remains in place as part of the expected ‘business handshake’. Yet most could work much harder. Here are some ideas:

  • Use the reverse of the business card to promote products, services or specific campaigns.
  • Use one side of the card for company information and the other for detailsrelated to the person.
  • Make sure your business cards promote all of your company’s touch points – not just telephone, website and e-mail but also Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and so on.
  • Give your designer some latitude to come up with something that’s different – and make the most of colour.

Yes, these ideas will cost a touch more to implement – but they’ll make a much bigger impression.

Send an insert with every mailed item

Companies still send out a fair bit of mail – everything from estimates to invoices. Use this as an opportunity to promote your company and create a very simple, direct communications piece. Design it in a size to match your most-used envelopes and make sure it gets placed into everything you send out. Use both sides of the paper – I received one of these recently; it was impressive but the reverse of the paper was blank. I’m sure it saved printing costs, but it’s a real missed opportunity. Double-sided printing gives you twice the space with only a modest increase in cost.

Beef up your business-orientated social media

Social media can be a powerful tool – especially business-focused websites such as LinkedIn. Do a blitz on LinkedIn – get your personal profile up-to-date, do the same for your company’s page – including adding a logo, all relevant employees and adding in your products and services. Make sure all of your employees are on LinkedIn, and make it a business process to connect with clients, potential clients and partners the moment you start to do business. Give recommendations to those you want to support.

Say hello

Take a look through your address book. How many people in there haven’t you spoken to in six months, twelve or more? Find a reason to call them or send an e-mail. Or, draft a quick mailer to let them know what you’re up to. Better still, find out how their business is doing and see if there are ways in which you can help them. The easiest and most cost-effective way to get new business is through contacts you’ve already made.