EvMark, the group that markets and manages downtown Evanston, is sponsoring a series of marketing seminars to help downtown businesses enhance their customer base and boost sales margins.

In recessionary times, helping existing businesses stay profitable is just as important as recruiting new businesses says Carolyn Dellutri, executive director of EVMark.

In January, EvMark will offer a session on e-mail marketing, taught by business development expert Steve Robinson.

The 90-minute presentation will be offered at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, at One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave. and is free to Evanston businesses.

“This seminar will show business owners and managers how easy and affordable it is to use email to market their businesses even if they’ve never done it,” Dellutri said. “Permission based email programs can produce fast and dramatic results in a short period of time and customers love them.”

In February, EvMark will offer an intensive seminar designed to show firms how to become “destination businesses” able to draw customers from miles away, past larger competitors.

Taught by marketing consultant Jon Schallert, will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1818 Maple Ave.

The cost of $50 ($75 for businesses not in downtown Evanston) includes a continental breakfast, lunch and workshop materials.

Attendees will leave the seminar with a working knowledge of Schallert’s 14-point process for re-inventing a business into a consumer destination and immediate actions they can take to improve sales.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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