A Crash Course in Direct Mail May Help Get Business Leads

Today’s businesses are looking for an advantage to help them weather the storm and avoid layoffs or losses in revenue. That’s why companies are focusing on a single task to stay afloat – increasing sales.

Typically a recession drives small businesses to evaluate, re-design and refine their product offerings and marketing processes as they focus on cash flow, costs, customer retention and survival.

There has been an upsurge in Internet and email marketing, yet many top decision-makers in businesses nationwide and even globally still rely on traditional marketing tactics such as direct mail when positioning products, developing media strategies.

In fact, in the past, some people predicted email and online marketing would put an end to direct mail. The Winterberry Group estimated that direct mail spending would be at around $65 billion in 2009.

What is happening now is called “integrated marketing” where traditional direct mail, and television or radio advertising is integrated with online advertising, resulting in even better results and bigger revenues.

It is essential for business marketers to research and learn how to be innovative, send the right message to the right person, and create new opportunities for increasing their revenues despite the economic climate.

According to the U.S. A survey entitled the Postal Service’s Household Diary study was released in August 2009 and stated advertising mail spending was at $59.7 billion in the year 2008, accounting for 22 percent of all advertising spending and ranked only below television, while overall households received 99.about 6 billion pieces of advertising mail in 2008.

This is why small businesses need to learn learn insightful direct mail information about understanding list opportunities, improving mail delivery and reducing postage costs, including:

Direct mail is all about the numbers, benefits and expectations. learn how to design a business marketing plan that will turn expectations into revenues. You also need to write compelling copy targeting recipients and maximizing responses. Marketers can use offers and a call-to-action to increase conversion rates and return on investment. You MUST test and track direct mail successes for increasingly effective campaigns. -Identify the right prospects.

Enrich your customer base for better results, and learn how analytics can help target prospects most likely to do business with you. Marketers can choose from more than 40,000 available lists to get the best response rate. More importantly, learn how to maximize on-time mail delivery through effective address hygiene. You can identify the “money wasters” in your mailing lists. Taking advantage of postage discounts for mailings is important, and you should learn how to use drop shipping to enhance delivery and cut costs. One last tip – your mail can be tracked through the mail stream with the USPS’s Intelligent Mail Bar Code.

If you research online, you will learn the answers to the above pointers, you will know how to get new customers, increase your return on investment(ROI)and create comelling direct mail that drives customers.

Check out any one of the direct mail and marketing trade organizations like the Direct Marketing Association.(DMA) They provide a range of current research and resources relating to every aspect of direct marketing, including books, research and other useful resources.

There are also many localized marketers that have set up direct mail crash courses so you can learn more.

Planning Your Local Business Marketing

When planning your local business marketing, replicating what practically all major advertisers do is a good idea. Local businesses of all sizes, particularly smaller concerns with more limited resources, can follow the same methods as far as time and budgets permit. These marketing methods already have many of the bugs worked out, but a business must take the first step in planning a marketing campaign of clearing the decks of opinions, theories and conjectures. This allows for a much more creative and “organic” approach to the campaign.

A second step should be to find a scientific method of testing the real strength of the different advertisements on the local level, as well as the various advertising media, such as publications, broadcasting, outdoor and direct mail advertising.

This takes a three-phase approach. The first phase is initial testing. Test the different ads, commercials, Internet sites, and direct mailing packages against one another in their own media. The second phase for the business is to expand testing of winners. Once the company have found what works best in each medium, test a much expanded list of individual publications and sites on the Internet, radio stations, or direct mail against one another. Phase three is learning from the results. As a business learns from what works and does not work, it will be testing whole media, such as newspapers, magazines, the Internet and broadcasting, against one another for future attempts at selling similar products or services. In other words, a business is not only testing individual newspapers or the sites on the Internet against one another, the business is, at the same time, testing newspapers as a class against the Internet against direct mail, and so on, to learn how each class ranks in providing cost-effective sales results. They may in the end be used together to garner even more new customers from different genres for a more effective campaign.

This preliminary three-phase research takes time. The smart business will allow for the time, as it is well spent. To get started on the right foot, to find the right appeal and the right place for local business marketing, is so important that other considerations are insignificant by comparison. Finding the right appeal is part of this process, and the local demand for a product or service will surface during and after the research is conducted. Discovering the most effective appeal can be difficult, because often there are many seemingly attractive appeals. The optimal appeal will drive future marketing efforts in part or as a whole, and it will inevitably lead to a successful campaign.

Two Types of Advertising Strategies That Every Marketer Should Know About

If you are an internet marketer, you undoubtedly will have paid quite a bit of attention to any advertisements that you see on TV or read in magazines. You may have noticed the various forms of advertising strategies that marketers use to promote their products. This article will introduce you to two basic strategies used in advertising. You may find it profitable to implement certain aspects into your ad campaigns.

The Direct Method

The direct method of advertising is used when a product has many favorable features. Newer products that possess innovative features which are not found in competing products or products that are superior in these features can be promoted using the direct method.

The direct method involves highlighting these special features in the hopes that the consumer will be influenced positively in their buying decision. For example a car that uses hybrid fuel cells and can run on gasoline and electricity, will have these features highlighted. A TV that has an incredibly thin profile and 3d capabilities is a more current example of a product subject to the direct method of advertising.

The Indirect Method

This strategy is employed when there aren’t too many special features of a product. In this scenario, the advertiser may try to bypass the thought process of the consumer and appeal to the consumer’s emotions such as fear, pleasure, desire etc. If you see an ad that vaguely shows a family in a car driving happily, there’s a chance that this product doesn’t have many clear advantages featurewise over the competition.

The indirect method can also be utilized when a company wishes to promote a product line instead of an individual product. We’ve all seen the Sony Bravia line of TVs. In this case, in order to promote the entire footprint of the newly launched line of televisions, Sony launched the colorful bouncy ball campaigns.

So how do these strategies apply to the internet marketer? Well you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to promoting a product whether it be physical or informational. However by integrating both of these very basic methods and highlighting the special features as well as trying to draw the consumer into getting emotionally involved, you can maximise the persuasive potential of your ad.

That’s it for now, but I will be adding more detailed strategy articles in the future so stay tuned. Hope this helps!

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