Secret Confessions of a Direct Response Marketing Pro

I’m going to go out on a limb and say something that may surprise you.

Everyone out there is either selling a product or service. No surprise there. But even those who are not in sales or marketing in any fashion actually are. Here’s why. Everyone out there has to ‘sell themselves’ in order to convert their ‘wants/desires’ into reality.

For example, if you are unemployed you would polish up your resume and send it off to prospective employers. If you think you deserve a promotion due to performance or tenure than you would have to convince your employer to see things in your eyes. Same goes for a pay raise. If you are a child and you want a toy you have to make a compelling argument why. Many more examples could follow but there is no room or time to expound.

Assuming you agree with what I am saying thus far, I’ll move into the meat and potatoes of this ezine article. Let’s look at one item in particular that has proven effective time and time again for anyone involved in direct response sales and marketing.

The Good ‘Ol Fashioned Stress Ball

Today, millions of people stuck in cubicles around the world will pick up one of these little babies and squeeze them repeatedly until the sudden onset of work-related tension they experienced subsides. As you can imagine, this happens repeatedly throughout the day for many folks who work in high stress-related environments. Without putting much thought into it, examples (you may call them prospects if you like) include those working in:

• customer service
• in-bound and outbound call centers
• telemarketers
• accountants
• executives in any industry
• computer programmers
• internet marketers
• and anyone who works on commission or sits behind a desk

What does Facebook®have in common with stress relief balls?

Those who are fortunate enough to make a living from a job that has little stress cannot escape the innate human response attached to squeezing a stress ball. Not so much because the act of squishing something is fun. No, I’m more interested in the psychological effects of the act itself.

Because the mere act of playing with it breaks up the monotony of the workday, it can become quite NATURAL for you to reach for a squishy stress relief ball any time the urge presents itself. And for those who get bored with their work quite often this can be many times.

How many times have you found yourself playing computer solitaire when no one is looking or checking your Facebook®page on company time? Most people are guilty of succumbing to acts like these.

And this leads me to the secret weapon the best direct response marketers and sales professionals use to their advantage: By giving away branded promotional items that beg to be “touched” or “played with” the amount of impressions created from the item are priceless. What you have is a silent salesperson working on your behalf without any of the added cost – and a reliable means of advertising that beats the cost-per-impression rates of any T.V. or radio commercial, magazine or newspaper print advertisement. That’ not my opinion; it’s a FACT.

Put your advertising on auto-pilot

All successful advertising has the same thing in common: consistency ultimately yields compliance. Remember the last time you went to watch the game at a sports bar and you were blanketed by a healthy mix of Budweiser commercials, Budweiser bucket specials, Budweiser coasters, Budweiser banners…you get the point. By the time the waitress came around you were ordering a bucket of Buds even though you drink imported beer.

Same goes for the stress relief balls – or any other promotional product that affords some sort of utility for the recipient. Your message, logo, name, contact info – whatever it is – gets subliminally implanted into their subconscious each and every day they see it or use it that the next time they need whatever you are selling they know exactly who to call. That promotional magnet with the pizza parlor’s number on it works the same way, as does that wall calendar with your realtor’s mug on it.

It’s almost as if stress relief balls and other highly effective promotional products put your advertising on auto-pilot so you can spend more time getting other things done.

P.S.Now you are aware of something the average sales person or marketer in your field overlooks. Now is the time to help your customers relieve their stress – and meet your quota – by leveraging this marketing weapon in your favor. And who knows… you might just get that elusive pay raise just for telling your boss another one of your brilliant ideas.

P.P.S.Just print this page out. It’ll show you actually did some research. But make sure to cut off the P.S. wording or you can kiss that raise goodbye.

How To Generate Targeted Traffic Through Direct Mail List

Where To Order A Direct Mail List

If you are interested in expanding your business, one area you will want to pursue is direct mail marketing. In order to have a truly successful campaign, however, you will want to ensure that your direct mail list is up to date and that the leads you have are current and pertain to your specific business. This is where you should choose your mailing list provider carefully.

There are many businesses offering to sell mail leads, however you do need to be careful when deciding which company to use. Some of the lists that are compiled are either old and outdated or they are merely a collection of random addresses that are not really focused or targeted at all. The best providers will offer you lists of potential new customers who have expressed interest in your area of expertise, often gleaned from sites that are specifically focused on certain services.

When looking to buy lists you should also look for a company with great customer support as they can often help you narrow down your exact requirements. There are many different list options and it can take time to find one that is just right for your business thus, you should also look for companies that allow you to test different list options before actually buying. Direct mailing list services are actually quite competitive which, as a customer, works to your advantage in that you can often try services before needing to commit to actually subscribing to one.

You will probably find that consumer and business lists are slightly more reliable than residential lists, though if you buy from the right lead company the difference between the two should be negligible. Prices will vary depending upon the information you request. While telephone numbers can be included with a mail list they are often not. If you need telephone contact information also, or any other information such as email addresses, be sure to specify that when placing your order.

In summary, look for a company that will allow you to test their services, that has good customer service and that provides you with current mailing addresses.

Marketing Writing – How to Write an Article That Captures Your Target Audience

If you’re new to article marketing or wondering why your articles aren’t bringing you more business, it could be that there are a few things you might consider when you write your articles that could bring you better results. Here are a few ideas.

1) Address the article to exactly the target market you want to attract.

Don’t be afraid to start out with something like, “moms of preschool children”, “owners of businesses with five or fewer employees”, or “CEO’s of retail chains. It’s better to get your information directly to those you want as clients than to make your article so general that no one sees that it is directed at them.

2) If you can, include your target market in the article title.

This makes it clearly directed at the readers you want to attract, and makes it more likely to come up in a search by a member of that market.

3) Consider keywords.

Take the time to do research about the keywords that your target market might be searching for. Write some articles based on those keywords. Sprinkle relevant keywords into your other articles. When you’re writing articles, it can feel like a real annoyance to have to take the extra time to research keywords. You may wonder if doing this is authentic. It is authentic as long as you aren’t using trickery, or attempting to mislead people through the use of keywords. As long as the keywords are relevant to what you are writing about, you’re in integrity. It’s smart marketing to boost your readership results by using those keywords your target market is actually looking for.

4) Talk about the problems your target market suffers from.

Provide solutions to those problems. Become a resource. Show them possibilities they would never have considered themselves. Illustrate your unique problem-solving capabilities. Don’t be afraid about “giving away the store.” Prospects will still need your help to implement the solutions.

5) Know your target market.

Address them directly. Understand their needs, concerns, and emotions. Don’t exploit your knowledge, but do address their situation with respect and tact. Show that you understand and appreciate their dilemma, and also have ideas and solutions for them.

6) Showcase your depth of expertise in your articles – without being a “show off”.

Demonstrate that you’ve worked with all sorts of variations of their issues. Don’t be overbearing. Subtlety is important here. You don’t want to come across as a “know it all”, so there is a fine line. Use all the finesse you can muster and keep it light handed.

Article marketing is a wonderful marketing writing strategy. Take the time to incorporate these ideas, and you will increase your results.

Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site.

5 Steps to Creating A Total Short Sale Marketing Solution

Dominating your market with short sale listings takes a balanced approach. To keep costs in-line that approach won’t likely include marketing methods like newspapers, billboards, or television ads. Yes, it would be nice to have a total media blitz that provided prospects throughout your city the opportunity to use your services, but when you spend too much money acquiring your customers you won’t be left with a net income.

To reach home owners in need doesn’t require branding. It doesn’t even require a certification. To help you get listings and the home owner to be relieved from their home that lacks equity, we invite you to consider the following 5 steps to creating your own short sale marketing solution.

Not just any website will do. To have a website that helps you with your marketing efforts have it focused on the pain of the short sale prospect. Have a section dedicated to asking “common questions” about the process of selling a home without equity. Give them an opportunity to find out more about how your process is different by requesting information easily. Share with them happy testimonials of other clients you have helped to help them see they are not alone.

Social Networking
While some people may be embarrassed that they need to sell they are still talking about. Invite people into the conversation and let them know there are ways to save their credit and avoid foreclosure. Create a balanced social networking presence on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to share information and call prospects to action.

Email Autoresponder
How are you following up with the prospects that aren’t ready this minute? Are you giving them an opportunity to hear from you over time? Consider having an email autoresponder that follows up with prospects for 30, 40 or even 50 days. Make different calls to action from calling you to emailing you to allow prospects to reach you in the methods that they feel most comfortable with.

Direct Mail
A complete short sale marketing solution wouldn’t be complete without direct mail. While many avoid direct mail it still gives you one of the most powerful ways to reach prospects. To get people to respond consider having both postcards and sales letters. Your call to action should be obvious in less than 10 seconds and it should be easy for people to get more information (phone or website).

Phone Scripts
Short sale leads are great, but when you can’t convert them it won’t help you generate listings. Have a series of questions that you can ask the home owner that will reveal if they are worthy of your time. Your phone scripts should only be questions and when they are your conversion rate for more listing appointments will be massive.

When you have a website, a social networking presence, a detailed email sequence, powerful direct mail and phone scripts that convert prospects into leads you will have a marketing solution that will bring you fresh business daily.

Discover the shortcut to putting short sale marketing into action today with a complete system that includes postcards, sales letters and more.

Todd Bates is a national Marketing and Business coach. Through his programs, such as Todd Bates Systems, he shares innovative systems to help businesses owners and sales professionals dramatically grow their sales.