The number of businesses using direct mail marketing now compared to how many used this medium 10 to 15 years ago is staggeringly higher. More and more marketers understand its effectiveness and are on the bandwagon - especially Mortgage Brokers. Years back the novelty of receiving an advertisement in your mailbox was such that any direct mail pieces were not only looked at but mulled over. Not so anymore. The term junk mail was coined sometime since then and Im sure youve thrown out your fair share of unread pieces enough to understand why. So, what can you do about it as a marketer? How can you ensure you get the biggest bang for your direct mail dollar? Now more than ever, you have to understand how to put together a direct mail piece. More than ever you have to really target your mailing to go to a specific market. And more than ever you need to be patient and learn how to campaign because that is the key to success. Dont get me wrong direct mail is not dead and I dont see it dying any time soon. It is still the quintessential part of the largest companys campaigns. Because it works.In this article I will teach you some of these three topics:Designing a direct mail pieceTargeting your specific marketCampaigningA Great DesignMany people think that the quality of any graphic design is determined by how aesthetically pleasing it is: Although making the card look good is important, this couldn't be further from the truth. The only true measure of any design, at least commercially, is "How well does it pull?". By pull we mean what type of response does it elicit? Does it pull in calls, or pull people into the store? In essence, does the design accomplish what it set out to do?From this fact it is not a reach to come to the conclusion that the merit of a graphic designer is based on the performance of his or her designs. You may be able to put together the most beautiful ad that the world has ever seen, but if it doesn't make the phone ring it isn't worth the paper that it is printed on.You need to make designs that are not only attractive but, more importantly, that get the response needed to turn a profit. You want to ensure people see your ad and want your services. In short, if the ad doesn't make you any money, its not a good ad.To BE or Not To BEEasy. Say there is a monkey loose in your office and you can't seem to get any work done. The only solution is to catch the little distraction and FedEx him back to the jungle that he came from. Question: How do you catch a monkey? You have to get into his head, think like him. You have to BE the monkey to find out what is going to bring him close enough for you to catch him.Every potential customer is like the monkey. They are going to do whatever they want unless you can persuade them to listen to you. You have to get into their head, think like them, BE them. A monkey is a simple animal so you can probably get his attention with the stereotypical banana.Human beings on the other hand are extremely complex. Then you add in the fact that the mailing list is targeted and it can get quite challenging. To help you answer the question of what you should say in your ad, you should use three things: Reasoning ExperienceResearch Take an unrelated subject to your own industry sometimes its better learn that way. Pick something. Say you have an upscale Italian womens shoe boutique. You want to appeal to women that like that sort of thing. Get in her head. What would make her want to buy from you? Remember, she gets bombarded with advertisements every day. What can you say that really draws her in? How about Tired of Wearing the Same Styles as Everyone Else? Have a graphic that supports the message - show a fantastic pair of shoes or better yet a good looking woman with a great pair of shoes on. Now pretend you are a family man or woman with a household income of the $75k with revolving debt of $15K and youve got two kids! Kids can be pretty expensive. So, why would you like to refinance? Find a Specialized Mailing ListIf there is one thing I cant say enough it is that the most important part of your mailing campaign is your mailing list. It is vital that you put the right amount of energy into learning about lists who to mail to so that your mailing efforts arent wasted. There are a few different ways that you can get an adequately targeted list.As always the first step is to determine who your target market will be. Say you want to market to homeowners. Good, now we have narrowed it down to only 291,324 people in your area. As a minimum, your mailing campaign should send to the same names three times. So all you have to do is send out 873,972 postcards at $0.185 per piece & you get the point. We need to narrow it down some more.So how do you accomplish the narrowing of your list? Many factors can be considered, including age, gender, zip code, annual salary, profession and number of children are some of the more common qualifiers. It may take a while to figure out what combination works for your specific product. Dont worry about political correctness when considering whom you should mail to. It is perfectly acceptable to test certain lists that may be considered "stereotypical". Many times these lists will work well. But you never know until you test them. No matter how great an idea you have about a certain market, ALWAYS DO A SMALLER TEST MAILING FIRST! Average test mailings run around 1000-1500 names. Once you see acceptable returns on the smaller mailing then you can jump in with the larger numbers. Test, test, test!The purpose of special mailing lists is to target a specific type of customer for your specific type of business. The eventual end result is more customers and a better bottom line. And this is what we all want, right?Repeating Your Messagecampaign n. 1.A series of military operations undertaken to achieve a large-scale objective during a war: Grant's Vicksburg campaign secured the entire Mississippi for the Union. 2.An operation or series of operations energetically pursued to accomplish a purpose: an advertising campaign for a new product; a candidate's political campaign. intr.v. campaigned, campaigning, campaigns To engage in an operation planned to achieve a certain goal: campaigned through the jungles of Vietnam; campaigned for human rights. [French campagne, from Italian campagna, field, military operation, from Late Latin campania, open country, battlefield, from Latin campus, field.]Definition number 2 above is the one were using. But from studying the entire definition along with the derivation (the word origin) you can see how all the definitions tie together. Campaigns for marketing are, in a nutshell, a series of advertising steps including repeat mailings that are strategically planned so that there is maximum benefit (more new customers) for your business. Nota bene (that means take note in Latin and I do mean take note): If you are not doing repeat mailings then you are flushing money down toilet. Sorry, I know. The truth sometimes hurts.Why is this true? One mailing of one postcard once is barely going to get anyones attention for more then the minute they see it. Think about it. How many times have you seen the same TV commercials over and over? A one shot in the dark postcard mailing is not going to change your business, your bottom line, your life or your anything.So, if you are not up to confronting that you need to do a campaign then maybe you shouldnt be in business. And that may sound harsh it is harsh. Its a harsh world. And I want you to succeed in it.There is another reason. Credibility. In some cases people will hold onto your postcard for a while. They can hold onto your postcard for six months. They may even hold on to your card for three years. But in most cases theyll think Oh, I may need that some day and then while tidying up theyll throw it away. When you repeat your mailings to those same people and they see your image, logo, slogan, message over and over you become credible to them. Your chances of them responding just got greater. Repeat mailings cannot be repeated enough.To give you an example, I call it the Trickle Down Effect:Say you send out 5000 postcards. Out of that 5000, 150 hang onto your postcard.Out of that 5000, so many call the 1st week.Out of that 5000, so many call the 2nd week.Out of that 5000, so many call the next month.Out of that 5000, so many call in 6 months.Out of that 5000, so many never callThere is a dwindling inflow from that first mailing and therefore can give a false impression of what occurs from one mailing. Someone sends out a postcard and says, I only got four responses from my mailing! But there is a whole dynamic that is going on that is continuing from that one mailing way after the person who sent the mailing expects things to happen. Think about it. Do you jump at every single advertisement that you get bombarded with that you think is a good idea? If you do, you are either a millionaire or broke. But most likely, you see some advertisement that catches your interest and say to yourself that youd like to check that out some day. Then, you see it again and remember that you wanted to check that out one day. And then, you see it again and this time you decide to check it out. You want continuous and consistent growth. So what do you do? Look at this scenario:What if,You send out 5000 postcards one week and you have all that going on that I mentioned above.You send out 5000 the next week and you have all that going on that I mentioned above.You send out 5000 the next week and that dwindling flow chart is going on, on each one of those outflows.What is going to happen? Eventually it is going to snowball its coming in from all different places!You are really putting your communication out there consistently in a big way.And yes, it costs a lot of money to do it. (Once you have your list which youll use over and over only paying for it once postage is more then 55% of your costs) So, FIND THE MONEY. If you are going to borrow money to do a business, spend that borrowed money on marketing!Start with a list and mail to one list one week, another list the next week and another list the following week. Then you rotate those lists again. And again. And again. Now you ask - what if you only have one list? You can still rotate one list. And it is always good to put it on a spreadsheet or a flow chart to track what you are doing and what you have already done.For instance: You get one list of 6000 identities. You can mail to 2000 one week, 2000 the next week and 2000 the third week. Then you rotate. There are your three different lists!A campaign is mailing to the same people over and over and over again. The point is you want to hit your prospects with different communication about the same thing or hit them with different products with the same look and feel or both. The rest will come.Because what you are building with a marketing campaign is credibility. You are building your business through communication. You are communicating consistently, so much that people will believe you (credibility) and they will respond; they will come, they will spend. 1744, Benjamin Franklin published and mailed the first direct marketing catalog which sold scientific and academic books. Direct Mail has come a long way since then, so DONT let your piece get lost in the mail, so to speak, make it stand out by applying these three basics of successful marketing:BeingTargeting andRepeatingGood luck!
In order to sell a solution, you have to build awareness that there is a problem. Once you have built that awareness, you need to build awareness that your firm can solve that problem. Then you need to build awareness that your solution is relatively pain-free, seamless, affordable, and gives companies good return on investment. This article will show you ways to do that.Seminar Marketing is Very EffectiveSeminar marketing is one of the best forms of IT marketing because it builds awareness. Instead of you or your salespeople going around on sales calls and spending an hour or two talking about the fundamentals to individuals, you can do pretty much the same thing in room full of prospects simultaneously.No Pressure on Your ProspectsAnd it's MUCH less intimidating to your prospects. With the right registration, the right follow-up procedures, the right qualifications, the right invitation strategy, and right follow-up calls, you can do a tremendous amount of business from holding seminars on key technology issues for your niche. For more information on holding seminars, check out my Sweet Spot Clients Teleseminar Series (
Joint ventures are the key to financial happiness on the internet, and I do believe that they are related to dating - they follow the same structure. Now most people date a few people and then settle down with one person, or into bachelorhood where they "have to do everything all by themselves"; most people find the dating process extremely difficult and nerve racking. Which is why they'd rather sit at home, even if they really want to "meet someone special". Now internet joint ventures are a lot like that. And the success rate either way, be that in the one time happy hit Casanova stakes or to find long term happiness in mutual relationships, depends on whether the 1st principle of Speed Seduction is known, and observed. Speed seduction, and especially for beginners and before they become so good at seduction that ANYONE AT ALL becomes an easy mark, relies on making MANY approaches RAPIDLY. So as opposed to sitting around in a bar and WAITING all night for the right moment or an opportunity to go after a single target, a beginner speed seducer will simply blanket bomb - try one, get a response, try the next. That way the stakes are significantly shifted in the favour of the young speed seducer; with three approaches the chances of ANY FORM of success are significantly lower than with 30, or 300. Now in seduction, you don't go up to some person and just blurt out, "Do you wanna sleep with me ...?" But even if you did, and did it 300 times on the trot with 300 different people, you WOULD ACTUALLY get many different responses and SOME responses that would OPEN THE DOOR TO FURTHER COMMUNICATIONS. And here's where the process of learning how to become a REAL LIF Cassanova starts, this is the ground point zero of seduction skills. With that many approaches, you can't help but start to LEARN SOMETHING - what works and what doesn't, what is culturally unacceptable and leads to you being beaten, what OPENS DOORS even a tiny little bit. Another thing. Imagine you've spent a WHOLE NIGHT courting just one individual - only to find that they are actually not what you had hoped for, or not really your cup of tea. What happens in relationships of the romantic kind is that when a SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT of time and attention has been paid, people have the unfortunate habit of not cutting their losses QUICKLY and continuing on in the hope that it'll sort itself out or magically get better somehow. And so a pointless, doomed relationship that will never get anywhere just DRAGS ON. Joint ventures between marketing sharks on the internet may SOUND all scientific and bottom line, but actually, they're not. They happen when there's a CLICK between the potential partners involved; when there's recognition, common ground, the mysterious "something" that makes people WANT to interact. And when you're proposing a "joint venture" to anyone, that's what needs to happen just as surely as it needs to happen as you step up to a prospective date with a smile on your face. So here's the trick and the lesson. Go to the meeting places where your prospective dates are likely to gather - marketing groups, for example; or just pick them up from what you can see around and who's successful and who you want to work with. Don't "set your heart on THE one", because we really don't want to get into wrongfully translating our meaningful marriage vows to our business behaviours. Think as a junior JV Cassanova would, and behave accordingly - get up, introduce yourself, see what response you get, and then MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ONE. Don't make one overcautious, over-thought-out, mirror-rehearsed, trembling proposal in a whole long month - make 50! 500! Easy, quick, light, friendly enquiries, that's all that is required. Try it on EVERYONE! The world is FULL of people to JV with :-) and the bigger the sample you go for, the greater the opportunities become. Also, and every real Cassanova knows this, there are other pay offs. So what if you don't get to have an orgy immediately? A nice smile, a dinner invitation, a contact made that can be expanded on later is FINE. That translates to a link exchange or just a pleasant awareness that the other even exists and upon which you can build later on if you want to. The more you do this, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you understand what you have to present, what you have to say or do to "get the foot in the door" and make a contact. The more approaches you make, the higher your chances of finding "perfect fit" JV partners EVERYWHERE. Just as the scared wannabe lover stands trembling in a world of their own, and right next to them the experienced Cassanova is standing in a world that is OVERFLOWING with possibilites, so it is for JVs on the net. Get started. Just ask - lots. Don't be afraid of rejection - the world is FULL of people. Simply say, "NEXT!" and build your experience. And that's the way to really become a true JV Cassanova in due course. Cheers! Silvia Hartmann
What is it and who needs one?The term business marketing strategy might sound like it is esoteric or stratospheric, so lets take the mystery out of it so you can devise and implement your own business marketing strategy that fits in to your small business plan. Strategy comes from a Greek word stratagein meaning to be a general. Think of a strategy as an overall plan of action needed to win a war. The smaller, detailed actions are called tactics. You can have tactical plans which help you achieve your strategic marketing plan or overall business marketing strategy. Thats simple enough, isnt it? A business marketing strategy or strategic marketing plan is an overall plan of marketing actions you intend to take in order to accomplish a specific goal for your company. Start with a goal: $2 million in sales this year; expand into new premises by a certain date; double the size of the company in 2 years whatever the goal may be. Something realistic but challenging. That's the "war" you want to win. Guess who the general is. Then work out a simple, overall plan of the major marketing steps needed to accomplish that (for example): 1.Publish a newsletter for all existing customers and mail out quarterly. 2.Work out 4 special offers in the year and promote them to all our customers. 3.Set up on-line shopping and expand the web site. 4.Direct mail campaign promoting the web site to all customers. 5.Get mailing lists of (target markets) and do a series of 3 mailings of postcards to them and follow up on and close all leads. 6.Etc. You get the idea. Dont rush this. Do your homework. What worked in the past? Read up on successful marketing campaigns.Your business marketing strategy needs to be laid out in the right sequence and you should have some idea of budget when you write it. Run a series of 30 second TV ads during the Superbowl might sound like a good thing to do but can you afford it? On the other hand, when you build your business marketing strategy you mustnt try and cut corners. If you dont promote heavily, it doesnt matter how good your product or service is, no one will know about it and you will go broke. What really works when it comes to marketing?Many business owners don't have a good enough answer to this important question. I learned by a combination of study and trial and error. From my own hard won experience I have discovered that a real marketing campaign will take into consideration at least the seven points which are outlined below: 1. Target Your Market Your marketing will produce the best results for the lowest cost when you target prospects with the greatest need for what you offer. Identify the best people to send your postcards to. Design your postcards to appeal to their greatest need. If you are able to break down your target market into sub markets you can then write postcards that specifically speak to the needs of those people (an example is breaking down your own customer list into customers who buy most often, customers who spend the most money with you, customers who have been your customers the longest and then making them special offers based on the category they fit into). 2. Create A USP For Your Business USP stands for "Unique Selling Proposition". It is a statement of what is different about your company and its products. Your USP gives the reason people should do business with you. It amplifies the benefit of doing business with you and your company. My USP is POSTCARD MARKETING EXPERTS. Create your own USP and put it on all your promotional materials, invoices, shipping labels etc. Use your USP to communicate the benefit of doing business with you and why you are better than any of your competitors. 3. Always Make an Offer Make sure you ask your prospects and customers to do something when they receive your postcard. By offering them something you know they are likely to want and giving them a smooth path to respond on, you are making it easy and desirable for them to respond. 4. Create and Maintain a Database of The Customer Information You Collect From The Responses To Your Mailings Most people who receive a postcard from you won't contact you the first time they receive one. But once they contact you, you must create and maintain a database which allows you to repeatedly contact them with offers to respond to. Fifty percent or more of many businesses' sales come as a result of following up with people who were previously contacted, but didn't buy right away. No kidding, repeat contact does drive sales. One-time mailings can get response, but are bound to leave sales on the table. Those sales can be picked up with repeated mailings. 5. Take Away the Fear of Loss People don't want to be fooled, plain and simple. Unfortunately trust does not run high today between customers and businesses in general. People have been disappointed too many times by being sold one thing and getting another. A guarantee or warranty is a good way to reduce or eliminate the customers risk of getting something other than what they bargained for. Guarantees and warranties increase response and sales by reducing customer risk. 6. Expand Your Product Line Getting new customers is more expensive than selling to existing ones. By regularly developing new products and services to sell to your customers and offering these new products and services to them, you can expand your business efficiently and easily. 7. Test Your Postcard Promotions Track the effectiveness of your postcard mailings. How many people responded to your mailing? What dollar amount of sales resulted from those responses? Is the money you are spending to attract new business giving you a good return? What can you do to make your marketing more effective? Change your offer, headline, price, the timing of your offer. When you do track the results and improve your response. These are the points to follow when designing your own marketing strategy. When you are done, you will have laid out the steps needed to accomplish your goal using existing resources to achieve a great marketing ROI (return on investment). After that, you simply have to get those steps executed and that might require further planning but it is all in the context of your main business marketing strategy.
Graphic design is an art and for professional results you should be utilising the skills of someone that can demonstrate relevant experience in the field of design, advertising, typography, print and the use of colour. Desktop publishing is not graphic design. It is important that your advertising materials should be well designed to create the initial visual impact before the user reads the information or explores the website. As the number of companies, products and services increase, an effective eye catching design is a critical element for marketing your business. An innovative design will help differentiate your company from the competitionA professional qualified "graphic design" er should take an individual approach to graphic design and with each clients project should produce strong creative designs appropriate for that business or service.Graphic design done for print can be adapted for use on the web and CD ROM which means you can have strong corporate branding throughout your range of advertising materials.High quality graphics for print should be processed by a highly regarded professional printer, one who has demonstrated that they can consistently produce high quality printed materials. Dont cut corners and for the sake of saving a few pounds use a printer that will not do the graphics justice. Do you need to consider branding & image for your companies materials?Brands are not just for big companies, they can also make smaller businesses stand out from the crowd and can play a significant part in helping your business or services become the first choice for customers. In increasingly competitive markets, it is important to establish a strong company (corporate) image or brand which will give potential new customers a true idea of what they are buying before they buy it which should make that decision easier to make for them. Existing customers trust strong brands because they know exactly what to expect and they will keep coming back to you.If you want to build and manage a strong company brand or image you will need to convey a consistent message to your customers in all ways that you communicate with them. Strong branding is achieved by a consistency in your marketing tools of which the following are examples:Web site, Business name, Names of products or services, Company slogan, Company logo, Style and quality of your business stationery including brochures, business cards, letterheads, flyers, folders, Product packaging.It is important that you commission a professional designer to obtain good quality visual images - photographs and graphics, which will ensure that your marketing materials have maximum impact.A professional graphic design service will provide high quality graphics which can be adapted for use on your website as well as in all your printed materials such as business stationery, letterheads, business cards, brochures and flyers. High quality graphic designs can also be used on your large conference boards and to build interfaces for an interactive CD Rom which is becoming a more popular way of distributing information about a companies products or services.graphic design and web design Scotland