|Breast Cancer Information|
Harness the Power of Direct Marketing - More Small Business Power Tools
One of the most powerful tools available to small businesses is direct mail. By this I don't mean electronic, Internet-based mail, but the old-fashioned kind that requires a stamp and a trip to the post office.
Why is direct mail such a powerful tool?
It's a way for small businesses, especially retailers, to separate themselves from the big box stores such as Best Buy and Wal-mart, and to compete successfully with the Amazon.coms and Ovestock.coms of this world.
The power of direct mail, if done right, is that it's like getting a letter from your sister, mother or aunt. The postman brings it to your home. It's addressed to you personally. And when was the last time you received a letter from Best Buy, Wal-mart, Amazon.com or any Internet retailer? If so, it was undoubtedly via email and designed to be read by hundreds of thousands of customers ? not much personalization there.
The first thing you need to do to start an effective direct mail campaign is capture the names and addresses of your customers. This is easy for service organizations like carpet cleaners, auto repair firms, instant printers, and the like. They already have their customers' names and addresses. All they have to do is put them together as a mailing list. Retailers such as jewelry stores, antique dealers, liquor stores, restaurants, etc. have a tougher time because they don't have an easy way to capture their customer's names and addresses.
There are a couple of answers to this. One is the old fishbowl gimmick, where you ask customers to deposit their business cards in a fishbowl with a prize to be given away in a drawing at some later date. I personally think this has been overdone. Plus, I have heard stories of unscrupulous sales people cleaning out the fishbowls themselves and using the business cards as sales leads.
A second alternative is to post a "guestbook" somewhere near your cash register with a sign offering a free newsletter to all those who register. To make this work, you and your employees have to be kind of aggressive in urging all your customers to sign up, and you can expect that many will not. However, persistence is a virtue and if you keep this up long enough, you will capture enough names and addresses to make the effort worthwhile.
I also like the idea of offering customers some small reward for providing their names and addresses. One version of this that seems to work well is a "frequent diner," "frequent buyer," or "frequent customer" card. Give your customers small, inexpensive cards that you can punch whenever they buy from you (or just visit your store) with the promise of a free something after 10 or 12 punches. Naturally, they have to register for the card and viola! You have their names and addresses.
Last, and most expensive, you can buy a direct mail list targeted toward your best prospects. Chances are, there is at least one company in your area selling lists of prospects by criteria such as recent home buyers, camera buyers, child care customers, etc.
Once you have captured enough names and addresses (maybe 100 or more) to begin a direct mail campaign, you have a couple of alternatives. One, you can input the information yourself. Or, two, if you're strapped for time, you should be able to find a local high school or college student to input the information for you. He or she can use either a word processing program or a database program to build the list. It's just simple data entry and you might offer $0.5 or $0.10 for each name/address input. I like to use a word processing program because once the list has been built; it's fairly easy to create personalized letters, etc. using the program's mail merge features.
What do you then mail customers? I like newsletters a lot. They can be as simple as a single page printed on both sides or as complex as four to eight pages. Another good alternative is personalized letters. Just make sure that whatever you choose to send your customers is important and meaningful and always include an offer designed to bring them into your store or to call you for more information or to make an appointment.
It takes time, money and dedication to develop and implement a direct mail campaign. But it's a powerful tool that can pay for itself in just a few months and then keep paying off for years to come.
For more information on creating an effective newsletter, be sure to look for my article, "Small Business Power Tool: Customer Newsletters."
Article by Douglas Hanna. Douglas is a retired advertising and marketing executive and long-time Denver resident. He is the webmaster of http://www.all-in-one-info.com, a free resource for information on a variety of subjects. Please visit his site to subscribe to his free newsletter, "Tips & Tricks to Save Money & Live Better."
Media Savvy ? Media Skills For Rural Women
The ability to lead, persuade and influence are integral skills for effective leaders. The capability of telling a story that inspires, motivates and informs is an essential part of this process. In an age of convergence in the media and increased scepticism over traditional communication methods, a new breed of leader is emerging that sees the media as an opportunity and not a threat. They use the media in a pro-active way to build their community or organisation's image, reputation and identity.
Advertising For The Long Haul and Not the Short Term Gains
New Age Media Concepts issues its first article of many that will focus on the advertising and marketing industry. "If a young man tells his date she's intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he's saying the right things to the right person and that's marketing. If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is -- that's advertising. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is -- that's public relations." By S.H. Simmons. Welcome to New Age Media Concepts, Inc. where we understand your needs and how to maximize your marketing dollar. Marketing is your strategy for allocating resources (time and money) in order to achieve your objectives. People have their own unique perceptions of the world based on their belief system. The most innovative ideas, the greatest products, or a superior service succeed only when you market within the context of people's perceptions. This is true from something as simple as the pet rock craze of the 1970s to the marketing muscle of Wall Street and the Internet boom of the 1990s. Context can be many things, singly or simultaneously. To name a few, you may market to your customers within the context of their wants, needs, problems solved, or situation improved. Current and potential advertisers need to be aware of many other contexts, such as social and economic trends or governmental regulations. People don't just "buy" a product or a service. They "buy" the concept of what that product will do for them, or help them do for themselves. People just don't "buy" a laundry detergent, they buy the perceived notion of what that laundry detergent brand says it can accomplish for them. Otherwise every brand in the supermarket will be a no-frills. This is not to say that if a product fails to meet the customers' expectations that product will be successful in the long haul. No amount of advertising and marketing will help a failed product succeed in that scenario. To have a successful campaign a product or service must understand that they need to start out with something a consumer needs, wants, or improves their situation and that product or service actually does help the consumer for the long haul. The New York Times said it best in a recent article, "Companies can't Buy Love with Bargains" Building brand loyalty is more than just hyping the consumer into buying a product, it's gaining their trust and the trust of their family both today and for years to come. One example of great brand building is H.J. Heinz, (NYSE: HNZ) they have been around for decades and they gained the loyalty and trust of the consumer spanning generations, now that is great brand building. Anyone could hype a brand for short term gains but that doesn't accomplish the goals of the advertiser or the consumer. It looks good initially but what happens when the product isn't flying off the shelves any longer and the consumers have lost trust in the product or the company?. Of course you need new and innovative ways to get your message to the consumer but this message has to be geared to building consumer loyalty and not just hype. Even the largest companies make this mistake and pay for it with decreased sales and profit margins. So whether a consumer is buying a car from Ford (NYSE: F) , a can of beer from Anheuser Busch (NYSE:BUD) or software from Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), the advertiser needs to cater to the needs of the consumer.
Ten Ways To Sell Advertising Space Fast
1. Give your customers a discount when they spend over a certain dollar amount for ad space. You can also apply this tip to the amount of ads they buy.
Why Your Ads Aren?t Working
The president of a manufacturing company recently asked me, "Why isn't my advertising working?" Have you ever been asked this question? Have you ever asked it yourself?
Is Your Advertising... Sexy?
Ever hear the term 'sexy' advertising? It's not necessarily what you think. Sure, some people's idea of sexy advertising is hot babes in bikinis spraying beer all over each other, but that's overtly sexual and not what we're about to discuss here.
Top Design and Marketing Tips from a Branding Expert
This month, we wanted to share some general tips relating to your graphic design that we've come up with over the past year:
Dont Be a Secret Agent
This tactic of the game was hard for me to master and at first I failed many times. I carried my business cards only in my briefcase, because I thought they were only used in business. Wrong! I missed quite a few opportunities to toot my horn because of that misconception. Not only did I miss the opportunity, but when it did arise, I looked like an amateur. Here's what happen on one of those occasions.
Constructing Business Advertisements
What many may consider the most important part of advertising is writing an effective ad. The information provided in a classified ad may be the deciding factor if it is successful or a, "bomb". In addition, there are three important angles to consider when writing business advertisements.
Mobile Detailers; Customer Window Displays
Mobile detailers have all types of customers, many of whom are self-employed. We know that these customers love their automobiles as most Americans and therefore love the services we provide. So much so that they will refer us new customers and tout our services. But they are willing to do much more if you ask them. Like referrals you get more when you simply ask. Let me give you another couple of ideas.
Organizing Business Cards for Effective Contact Management
Now that you've had colorful new business cards printed, and have been distributing them diligently, what do you do with the cards you collect from other people?
7 Unique Ways To Get FREE Advertising
1. Give Testimonials When you purchase a product or service and it exceeds your expectations e-mail the business a testimonial. Tell them in the testimonial the benefits you got from the product or service. Give them permission to publish the testimonial on the web site if they include your sig file at the end.
The Ultimate, ?Must-Have? Home-Based Business for YOU
The Ultimate, "Must-Have" Home-Based Business for YOU a Underemployed, Unemployed, or Industrial Age Individual
10 Tips For Writing A Profit Producing Ad
1. You can get ad copy ideas by studying similar product's advertising material. Collect their sales letters, classified ads, web ads, e-mail ads, etc.
The Power of...
You certainly must know that Many Big Marketers consider COPYWRITING to be the most important skill you need to be earning online.
The Key To Marketing New Ideas!
Imagine tossing a pebble into a crystal clear pond on a still day, & watching the ripples make their way to the shore. A tiny cause has a massive effect.
Business Ideas: 5 Uncommon Ways To Generate More Online Business
Sometimes, it is not an obvious business idea that will make you more money.
Advertising Headlines and How to Write Them
1. Attract prospects with your headline Use your headline as a flag to attract readers who are interested in your product. If you are selling a solution to premature hair loss, put PREMATURE HAIR LOSS in your headline. Your headline will catch the eye of everyone who suffers from this predicament. If you want teenagers to read your ad, put TEENAGERS in your ad. Be careful that you do not put anything in your ad that excludes prospects. For example, if you are selling a cellular phone that can be used by men and women alike, do not slant your headline toward men alone. That will only cause women to think that your ad does not apply to them.
11 Ways To Make Your Business Cards Work For You
1. Spend money on decent quality business cards. Home made cards just don't compare to the quality of professionally printed cards. Your cards reflect your business - do you really want your cards screaming cheap!
Take Advantage of Your Foes
Let's take an example that is easy to check: I am French. Among the readers who reacted while reading that, an half felt their painful stomach ulcers starting up again while the others remembered their burning desire for visiting France. Nothing inexplicable. If the French-haters had not been that determined, the French-lovers would never have had to be so supportive. How long would it take to a Finn or a Bulgarian to provoke any reaction?
How To Write Really Good Ads
All sales begin with some form of advertising. To build sales, this advertising must be seen or heard by potential buyers, and cause them to react to the advertising in some way. The credit for the success, or the blame for the failure of almost all ads, reverts back to the ad itself.
|home | site map|
|Copyright © 2005 Bisey.net|