No Plan, No Direction, No Success

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Many entrepreneurs think of themselves as spontaneous people. Get an idea, act on it, and it will automatically become an overnight success. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually happen that way. And, it probably won’t happen that way for you.

Despite what you may have heard, most “overnight successes” took a lot of hard work and planning. As a matter of fact, most of the “overnight successes” you and I hear about are only overnight to you and me. The marketer/entrepreneur/business person knows their success was anything but overnight.

It takes planning, implementing, execution, working, re-working, revising plans, and a lot more, to get to the point of massive success. These are not traits most of us entrepreneurial types are particularly good at.

As the business owner and leader, you either have to get better at these skills, if you aren’t already good at them; or, you need to surround yourself with people who excel in these areas, who understand your type of business and who are willing to work with you to continue to grow your business.

A mentor of mine says that most entrepreneurs and business owners make the mistake of trying to strengthen their weaknesses when they should be strengthening their strengths. It’s really true. Most of the time, it makes more sense to hire the skills we don’t like to do and aren’t good at than it does to frustrate ourselves and work really hard at something we aren’t naturally good at. It’s cheaper, and healthier, in the end to surround ourselves with good people rather than trying to get good at every skill in our business.

If you don’t have a plan for what you’re going to do this year in your business, how will you get there? And if you don’t have the plan and the vision, who will?

You may have the vision, but have you shared it with your key people? If you haven’t (and I bet you haven’t) then how can they utilize their skills and talents to help you grow? The answer is they can’t, because they have no destination. They’re simply doing the day-to-day, getting by, until you sit down with them and at least go over your plan.

Almost every day, I hear marketers say one of their main problems is getting things executed in their businesses. They have all the ideas and they know what to do, they just can’t seem to get it all executed. Part of the reason this happens is there aren’t plans and business systems in place so everyone knows what they are supposed to do, when they are supposed to do it, and how they are supposed to do it.

Most of us don’t recognize it, but planning is how you get prepared to execute more. With a plan and systems in place, the execution of your business and projects in your business happen more easily, you make more money in the process, and everybody has more fun.

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Writing and Selling an eBook With Kindle Direct Publishing

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

You’ve written a short novel or novella, and now you want to publish it to the world. The traditional route to getting published was to create your book, and then find an agent to work with you, who will finally get a publisher interested enough to publish it. The problem with all this is that your chances of landing an agent these days are remote, and even if you do, they may not be able to get a publisher for you. Both agents and publishers are inundated with unsolicited proposals and manuscripts, and they therefore reject nearly everything. If you haven’t put much effort into your book, then this is fair treatment, for example if it’s full of spelling errors. But we’ll assume that you have worked hard, and in your opinion, and maybe that of your friends, it’s ready to publish.

EBooks have changed the publishing world, and now offer you new options to publish your novella. Of course, you can still go the traditional route to get a book published as a hardback or paperback, as well as in electronic form. However, if you just want to get to market as fast as possible, you can publish electronically yourself, at no cost, and without an agent or publisher in sight.

There are several eBook readers, but Kindle is the reader we’re focusing on here. It’s the best selling product on Amazon, and it does dominate the market. But the principles are the same for other readers.

Putting it all together for publication

Writing your book for electronic publication is no different than for paper form. In particular, a novella needs an effective plot and characters that the reader can recognize. These days, readers expect to be gripped even in the first few lines, or else they move on.

The first 10% of your novella will be viewable on the Amazon site, as a sample, so make sure this is especially good, and tempts the reader to want to read more. In a novella, it’s great to have some mystery in here, which the reader will want to unravel.

If you have it, use Microsoft Word, as this is the easiest to use with Kindle submissions. But you can certainly write with other software, provided you save the file in the Word format as a ‘doc’. If you don’t have a good word processor already, you can download a superb free one from OpenOffice.org (and get a free spreadsheet and other software with it).

You’ll need to design a cover page at some point. If you were going the traditional route, the publisher would do this, but now it is you who are the publisher! There are free images that you can use for this at publicdomainpictures.net or you can take your own photos. Use Paint or similar programs to create an overall image at least 600 wide by 900 high, pasting in any pictures you have, and finally putting your title and author name on there.
But make it look good. It’s said that unless your title is compelling or intriguing, the potential reader will move on. But next he/she looks at the small version of the cover on the Amazon page, and this too has to attract, otherwise they never get to your ‘pitch’

And the pitch is what Amazon calls the ‘product description’. Amazon say: “Write a compelling description of the book. The description of your book gives customers an opportunity to learn about your book before they make a purchase, so this is an opportunity to convince readers to buy your book.” This is yet another task usually done by the publisher, and is what goes on the back cover. The ideal length is about 100 to 140 words. Not too short, as the reader won’t feel they know enough to make a purchase. And not too long to be boring!

Amazon also recommends that you include a Table of Contents at the front of the book, after the Title page and copyright wording. Novellas often only have chapter numbers without titles. But consider splitting your book into 4 or 5 major parts or sections, with titles, to make the Table of Contents look good. NOTE: if you do this, use the built-in TOC facility in the word processor – don’t type your own, as it won’t work in the eBook.

If you have kept things straightforward in your Word document, then it can be uploaded directly as your manuscript, and Amazon will automatically convert it to Kindle format.

So now you are ready to publish.

Becoming a Publisher on ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’

You should have your cover image ready to upload, as well as your ‘product description’ ready to copy and paste, and your manuscript in Word doc format.

Your first step in publishing is to get an account at Amazon.com, if you don’t already have one. Then you need to register as a ‘publisher’ with Kindle Direct Publishing at kdp.amazon.com. You can use your own name as the publisher, unless you’ve set up a company for this purpose. You’ll publish to the Amazon.com site of course, but also your book can go onto the international sites, in the UK, Germany, etc. You’ll need to set up how you want to be paid your royalty, either by bank transfer or by check.

Now you are a publisher!

Publishing your eBook

Now it’s time to actually publish your novella. So in your home page in KDP, you click the button ‘add a new title’.

After that, you follow the guide to upload your manuscript, cover page and to paste in the product description.

There are some other things they’ll ask you, as follows:

What commission do you want? 35% or 70%? This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you go for 70%, your minimum selling price has to be $2.99. As a new author, to get readers, you might want to sell at 99c, in which case you have to settle for 35% Of course, if suddenly you become very popular, you can raise the price later. But it has to be said that most of the best-selling ‘Indie’ books (from independent authors) are priced at 99c
So choose your price. You can set prices too for the international sites if you wish to sell there.
Confirm that you own the copyright.
Digital Rights Management. Yes or no? Basically do you want to restrict people from copying your eBook or not. It’s your choice.
Finally, you ‘Save and Publish’, and that’s it. In about 24 hours, your book will be on sale on the Amazon sites. And if you’re lucky, it might get featured on their special section Amazon.com/kindleindiebooks.

Otherwise, any publicity is up to you. Tell friends, use Facebook or whatever you can.

And the best of luck as an author and publisher!

I published my first novels “Deadly Contract” and “Deadly Intrigue” this way, on Amazon.com.They’ve got crime, corruption, murder, romance, and more… so you may even want to buy them! If you do, I’d welcome your comments on the Amazon ‘reviews’.

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Mulberry Vineyards – A Case for Targeted Direct Mailing Campaigns

Jun 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The Problem
Mulberry Vineyards is a white-label supplier of wines to low cost wine brands. In business for over 12 years, Mulberry had reported a steady revenue of $20-22 Million for 4 years. While this was a sustainable and profitable revenue level for Mulberry, CEO Steve Garlen wanted to increase business by penetrating the restaurant chain market.

The Solution
Mr. Garlen along with the VP of Marketing launched a direct mail campaign for restaurants. They decided on a three-phased approach for the campaign. During the planning of the campaigns, a branding firm was commissioned to create the designs and general feel for the campaign.

Phase 1 of the marketing campaign consistent of an elegantly designed postcard which introduced the brand to the restaurant manager and included a call to action to register for a web seminar on how to increase revenue through private label house wines.

Phase 2 of the campaign was the actual web seminar, or webinar as they’re called in the industry. The web seminar included a wealth of restaurant industry data and concluded with the introduction of the Mulberry brand and their white-label solutions.

Phase 3 included an in-house wine tasting, which was conducted by a Mulberry representative. Mulberry commissioned models to attend the wine tastings along with the Account Manager. The experience was fantastic and the restaurant owners got a real taste for the Mulberry brand.

The Results
As a result of this campaign, nearly 105 restaurant chains signed on to carry Mulberry wines as their house wines. Cost savings for restaurant owners were in the double digits, averaging 18% under retail wine costs. The additional business generated over $15 Million in sales for Mulberry.

This marketing campaign is an example of the effectiveness of the use of compelling market data. While typical marketing campaigns focus on the company that is marketing, Mulberry focused on the target industry, by proving useful data to restauranteurs in a convenient medium, the internet. Then introducing their solution in a real life tasting.

Melanie Turner is a Business student at Columbia University. She is also a Researcher at Deloitte Consulting where she works with expert marketing teams on Fortune 500 clients. As a growing expert in the field of marketing, Melanie aims to provide insights and resources to Small Businesses.

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Direct Response Advertising vs Traditional Advertising

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

A healthy advertising campaign works hard on raising awareness and share of voice in the market for your brand, and positioning it clearly. Thus the brand becomes a familiar concept in the consumers’ mind. It is up to your quality control to deliver the product or service to absolute satisfaction to become a trusted brand.

This is a lengthy and ‘delicate’ process that can take years, and its success is relatively hard to measure, especially at first. You could be ‘packaging’ your marketing message the wrong way, and only find out that there is a problem a year later.

However, well executed traditional branding campaigns such as coca cola’s enables it to demand premium price for its coke in a saturated and highly competitive market.

Brand and positioning advertising is vital for a company the likes of McDonalds, who finds itself constantly under the scrutiny of the press. It tries to position itself as a professional fast-food restaurant with the emphasis on hygiene, family venues and fun – and since recently it offers the option of healthy snack alternatives. The day McDonalds gives up its traditional advertising, it’s ‘dialogue with the general public’ as it were, is the day it’s going to wake up finding its headquarters surrounded with protesters and the general public too concerned to grab a burger at it’s establishment.

Once your brand is established or at least can be recognized from memory, it will look trust worthier and it will be easier to solicit a response from your prospects and customers.

Direct response advertising is an equal integral part of your marketing campaign. It will help you to understand your customer in depth and even ascertain whether your traditional campaign is effective or not.

Direct response advertising is used when we want to capture more information about our customers, get to know their likes, dislikes, habits, income, etc., any relevant information that can help us segmenting the market. Once we have this data, we can develop products that better suit their needs, and market to our customers in a more relevant and targeted way. This insight will give the savvy marketer a tool to make his advertising campaign into a desired service. The customer wants to hear the marketing message, because it benefits him.

Direct response advertising can also help you grow your database, fill it with new prospects.

And of course, when the holidays come along, it can help you market your product just in time for the shopping frenzy.

In short: traditional advertising teaches the customer about your brand, direct response advertising teaches you about your customer.

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Mobile Marketing Account Manager Interview Questions

Jun 05 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

If you are in search of a good mobile marketing specialist to manage your mobile campaigns, then here are five skills you should look for (in my opinion). You can probably use some of these as interview questions. If you feel there is another essential quality or skills not listed here, please feel free to leave a comment. I don’t claim to be a know-it-all in mobile marketing, but if I were interviewing a candidate for an experienced mobile advertising campaign manager position, I’d want to be sure they knew the following. Here we go..

1. A Mobile Marketing Specialist should know how to track visitors coming to your website via mobile phones. If your mobile advertising manager intends to launch any mobile campaigns, they need a benchmark to compare results against right? This is quite easy to setup using these 5 easy steps if you are using Google Analytics. Once a mobile traffic filter is setup, you will know which mobile platforms and mobile web browsers are driving the most traffic to your site.

2. The second skill a mobile marketing analyst should have is knowing how to track mobile application downloads. Many people go directly to app stores to download their applications. Fortunately, most app stores allow you to link directly to specific applications so that they can be advertised on your own website or directly from your mobile campaigns. Clicking on that link launches the app store and goes directly to the download page. To record when someone clicks a direct link into an app store from your website, you need to use a link tracking technology from a mobile analytics company. A mobile advertising specialist should know how to set this up.

3. The third skill is having experience creating and evaluating QR / 2D barcode campaigns. By using a QR code management platform, a mobile marketing specialist can analyze useful information such as which channels (newspapers, magazines, posters) deliver the best results. A mobile marketing manager should be familiar with a few of the QR Code readers available in the market.

4. The fourth skill is knowing which tools are available to help convert regular websites to mobile sites. There are a variety of tools available, some offer more flexibility and customization than others. Being able to customize mobile sites and test to see if conversions increase is essential.

5. The fifth skill is being able to evaluate mobile publishers and mobile ad networks across multiple metrics. After all, you want to get the best ROI for your investment right? Since a mobile campaign can have multiple metrics like CTR, Enter Phone Number, Send to Friend, and Download Coupon, it can be challenging to try and determine which mobile publisher is the clear winner. Some mobile ad networks might generate awesome CTRs, but are very poor in other metrics. You can download a free tutorial from SmartDigitalSpending.com that shows you how to rank mobile ad networks across multiple metrics here.

Again, these are not skills set in stone. What is really important and cannot necessarily be determined in an interview is how well will your mobile marketing manager create, plan and execute mobile marketing campaigns that generate buzz, brand awareness, and good ROI for your clients? To know that, you better hope this candidate can bring a portfolio or examples of mobile campaigns he or she has worked on that produced great results.

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Rising Postal Rates? Don’t Cut Down the Direct Mail

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The United States Post Office in the past had some trouble with its finances and their solution was to raise the postal rates. Whether or not you agree with this approach to trying to stay in business, like the weather and government in general, it’s something you have to live with.

Many companies have used this as a reason to send out fewer or smaller mailings in an attempt to keep their costs down. Here’s a quote from an issue of Direct Marketing News:

“Despite a string of healthy annual increases, the growth of direct mail expenditures is expected to slow over the next four years. Direct mail continued to grow in 2001 but slowed because of the anthrax scare”, the study said.

The study also said, “Direct mail will continue to expand during the forecast period but at a slower pace than in the past because of the emergence of e-mail marketing and postal rate hikes, which will force marketers to limit mailings.”

The question is: should you agree with this and follow the trend, or should you turn it to your advantage? Just think, with fewer mailing pieces arriving in your customers’ or prospects’ mailboxes, your glossy, full-color postcards are going to stand out even more and have a greater chance of producing the desired response.

When you start looking at what you have to gain by increasing the amount of direct mail marketing you do and what you have to lose by cutting back, there really isn’t a question as to which way to go.

Of course you should be smart about your mailings. Make sure they are really well targeted and put a little more thought into the design and content so as to make sure they impinge. That just makes sense.

So while others are cutting their own throats by cutting back on direct mailing, you can benefit by increasing yours and sending your postcards into a less heavily glutted marketplace where they will receive more attention. Win-win.

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What is the Best Business Model For Internet Marketing?

Jun 03 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are a lot of people that are interested in different ways that they can create a substantially large income from home, practicing the best business model for internet marketing can help you soar way above your expectations.

The internet as a whole has opened up new doors as far as employment is concerned. There are so many different things that you can do with access to the internet that many people would have never been able to accomplish otherwise.

It helps to know what your options are when it comes to making money online. A lot of people try affiliate programs as well as direct marketing schemes in order to obtain an adamant amount of money online, without having to quit their day jobs.

It is imperative that if you are going to step into the realms of internet marketing that you understand the main differences between the different types of businesses that you will have the opportunity to work for. Let’s first dig deeper into what affiliate marketing is. Affiliate marketing is a way to make a great deal of money because there are so many possibilities when it comes to this particular marketing realm.

When you are considered an affiliate of a company you are basically an advertiser for a particular company. Your main objective as an advertiser is to get people to want to log onto a particular website that you are promoting. In turn the company that you are advertising for gives you a commission based off of the amount of people that you bring to their site, or the amount of people that purchase something simply because you drew them over to the site.

Direct sales marketing differs from affiliate marketing because you will actually be your own boss in a sense. You will need to have your own website that sells products. You will then need to market your website in various different ways in order to bring traffic to your site.

After a person pays you for the product that you are selling, most of the money except the amount for the cost of the goods will go directly to you. Now, if you are selling your own goods, than obviously all of the money that you make from the sale will go directly to you.

The sale of different products on the internet has always been a large money making scheme. Business is booming now more than ever and many people are taking their chances with entering into the internet marketing realm.

There is already a wide array of self proclaimed millionaires that were able to take advantage of a market and simply revolutionize it to their benefit. A lot of people are turning to marketing endeavours in order to gain a great income from the comfort of their homes.

The reason why internet marketing is becoming such a craze is because people are desperate for money. The internet allows you to reach billions of people that reside around the world, instead of limiting your income you are enhancing your chances of creating a larger income status when you engage in internet marketing.

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Marketing From Both Sides Of The Ball

Jun 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In the world of business, marketing is often conveyed as a game. It is not uncommon to hear or read of a company “playing the marketing game” or “establishing a marketing game plan”. In many ways, referring to marketing as a game is an accurate way to explain it. In fact, it could serve as a highly effective way to convey the importance of it in any business model.

First and foremost, success in marketing endeavors requires strategic planning. Like a football team preparing for Sunday’s game by watching tapes and running drills, marketing professionals need to research current trends, audiences, public perception, and a variety of other factors to determine the best course of action for success. Strategy is the primary component of the marketing plan because it tells you what your goals are, how you will reach them and how you will know when you have. Without strategy, marketing activities will fall short of their own potential. It is important to establish an objective for each of your tasks, and to ensure that they work to serve each other and the overall goal.

Once the marketing strategy has been determined, it is time to hit the field and begin the game. The marketing game, like most games, involves an offensive side and a defensive side. Clear identification of these two sides and the desired results of each is essential to a cohesive operation of the two together.

The Offensive Side of Marketing

Offensive marketing covers all of the proactive aspects of promotion. These are the operations intended to introduce your company to the target audience. They are the initial steps that you take to plant your image in the minds of the consumer. Offensive marketing is all about branding your company in a unique and memorable way in order to establish yourself for further marketing efforts. The tactics of offensive marketing include:

Press Releases – Well written, properly distributed press releases can serve as the lifeblood of your offensive marketing strategies. The most effective press releases are written in a news format, and pitched to publications that are appropriate to the topic itself, and to your target audience. One press release can do more than a thousand expensive ads in the early phases of your marketing plan if it is done right. Press Releases are important because they establish early credibility for your company or product and pave the way for other messages from you down the road.

Informative Articles – Like a press release, an article has the ability to establish you as a leader in your field and build standing for your company. Articles are different than press releases in a couple of key ways. A press release centers on a newsworthy event. But an article is a written as an informative piece on a topic that is of importance to your company and your customers. Because press releases focus largely on news, they are typically placed in daily or weekly, news-oriented publications. Articles are tailored more toward trade-specific publications or special sections in newspapers.

Special Events – Nothing gets people talking about you and your business early like a special event. Types of special events include charity fundraisers, product rollouts, grand openings, informative presentations and company anniversaries. There are literally hundreds of different types of special events that you could host. The important thing is choosing an event that will appeal to the audience that you need to reach and draw the attention of the media.

Direct Mail – Direct mail campaigns are a unique offensive strategy because they allow you to control your audience, your message and the timing of your delivery. While direct mail alone typically doesn’t yield incredible sales, it is a great way to establish your unique brand by putting your materials directly in the hands of those you are hoping to reach. At the very least, it fosters an early identification with you and your product.

The Defensive Side of Marketing

Defensive marketing covers the reactive strategies of your plan. It is your company’s method of reacting to the effects of the offensive strategies that you implemented earlier. The success of your defensive marketing will be directly related to the quality of your offensive marketing program. Here are some examples of defensive marketing tactics:

Advertising Campaigns – One of the strongest misconceptions in the world of business is that advertising is the most effective (or only) way to draw attention to your product or company. Advertising works best as defensive strategy, building on the effect of your offensive marketing. It should maintain the credible image that you have already established through PR. Advertisements are self-serving, paid endorsements for your company, and your audience approaches every single ad armed with that information. But they are much more likely to believe what you are saying through advertising if they have already been exposed to the message from a secondary source like the media, or have experienced it themselves.

Telemarketing – Telemarketing is an extremely effective way to follow up on a direct mail campaign. It reinforces the preliminary image that you established with your mail piece, and also offers further insight, as well as the opportunity for a sales pitch. An often overlooked function of telemarketing is the phone survey. Telesurveys are very useful for gauging the effectiveness of your overall marketing campaign. They help you to determine audience familiarity and perception of your company.

Websites – A website is a priceless resource, able to inform your customers of all that you have to offer at their own convenience. As a defensive marketing strategy, a website is an excellent tool for creating that second or third contact with your audience by offering them a place to go to learn more. You can monitor traffic on your site to determine what aspects of your business are drawing the most interest. Tracking can also help you optimize your site according to the ways that potential customers are searching for you and your products. Websites today essentially serve as branch locations, with enormous potential for the growth of your company.

Achieving Success in the ‘Marketing Game’

The most successful marketing plans are able to integrate offensive and defensive strategies together on an on-going basis. In these plans, there is seamless interaction between the two sides as they constantly feed and receive from the other. From the outside, the sides blend with cohesion making it very difficult to even identify them as two separate functions. But, from the inside they are clearly identifiable and serve as the basis for success of any marketing program.

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Network Marketing History – From Sales to Relationships Business

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The history of Network Marketing is just fascinating to me. When network marketing began in the 1950′s it was very much a direct sales business. Back then, MLMers would literally go door to door getting customers for laundry detergents and multipurpose cleaners.

There was much less emphasis was placed on sponsoring. Independent reps would buy their products from “direct” distributors who had achieved a level where they could deal directly with the company. Direct distributors would have a truck load of products shipped to their home!

Thankfully, MLM has made much progress since then. Every independent distributor deals directly with their own company and there’s no need for huge inventories.

The great thing about the Network Marketing profession is that it is constantly evolving with advances in technology. It is a very fluid and flexible business model.

As the business evolved, and distributors no longer need to go to their Direct Upline for products, the appeal of building a sales force to create a long term residual income stream overtook the direct sales model.

Today, the big promise of Network Marketing is passive residual income. This makes it a much more desirable business to be involved in, because the business is now not a sales business, but a vehicle for time and money freedom.

And because of that, it’s now overwhelmingly about sponsoring people into the business before the direct sales of products and services.

Building a business for passive income introduces many more dynamics into the system than if one was to just focus on product sales. It introduces to the business the dynamics of leadership and relationships.

Creating relationships is what you’ll need to get good at if you want earn the big money this business!

If you ask the most successful non-Network Marketing entrepreneurs and business people what is the single biggest factor in their success, they’ll tell you 95% of it comes from the relationships they’ve created over time.

Relationships are the most powerful asset of commerce, and yet you won’t find them anywhere on a balance sheet because relationships are intangible.

Relationships are especially important in Network Marketing. They are the foundation of the business.

Wealth and prosperity is literally stored in the relationships you build with your personally sponsored people. If you can create solid life long friendships, you’ll never have to worry about money again.

But it’s not just about making friends. It’s about forming a winning team.

Every 7 figure earner in this profession will tell you most of their income comes from just 3 or 4 key people who have gone out and built incredible groups.

That is the power of creating a synergistic mastermind with just a handful of people who have the same vision as you.

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Direct Mail Marketing is a Good Investment

May 26 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Direct mail marketing takes many forms: postcards, magazines, brochures, flyers or letters. Before the last decade, unless you perused ads in newspapers, listened to the news or talked to friends and family, receiving direct mail in your mailbox was a common marketing forum. The popularity of the internet has changed all that.

I like receiving mail, whether at work or at home. To me it shows that someone is thinking about me. Of course I could do without those darn bills, but that is a subject for another time.

According to the US Industry Report from IBISWorld on Direct Mail Advertising:

“Direct mail companies are sitting pretty as a cheaper, more targeted form of advertising than traditional mainstream media… In fact, they often benefit in economic downturns from a redirection of advertising budgets away from expensive main media… Technology continues to impact this industry with advancement such as data matching, mailing list compilation and printing technology.”

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Then why are more businesses not using direct mail as part of a comprehensive marketing campaign?

A personalized piece of direct mail sent to the recipient’s place of business or home is one on one contact. As with any other type of relationship, speaking directly to someone is an important ingredient to that relationship. Direct mail marketing can be used to introduce yourself, offer an existing client a special offer or thank a client for their interest or business.

Research shows that many professionals in a B2B situation prefer their vendors and service providers follow up by mail to apprise them of new developments. It is simpler than checking multiple web sites for updates. When targeting a message to new companies about your product or service, include a Business Reply Mail card to start a dialogue. This gives the recipients the option to respond at their convenience.

If your business is geared more to B2C (Business to Consumer) than B2B (Business to Business), think about this: a number of independent research groups has found that consumers continue to look at mail as a highly relevant and meaningful part of their lives. This is true of even heavy Internet users. Direct mail provides a physical and concrete quality consumers do not receive in electronic communications.

Both B2B and B2C businesses have found that using direct mail marketing side by side with digital media has a considerable impact on the use of commercial websites. People readily flow from a message in the mail to a company website for more information.

One of the best values in direct mail marketing is brand recognition. Whether the brand is a company logo or an individual’s photograph, allowing the end user to associate a business with certain products or services is an important facet of marketing and business growth. Quality, service, honesty and dependability are by-words associated with brands whether the brand is from a local real estate agent or a Fortune 500 company. Direct mail marketing helps keep any business (and their brand) in the mind of the consumer.

The upside of all this is that with a relevant message in the mail, a business can drive web traffic, encourage response and build customer relationships. That is a good investment.

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