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How to get up to speed before you’re ready to get serious using email …

and the importance of knowing the right answers to 7 questions before you send an email off!

There are many questions to answer before you embark on any marketing and advertising program or campaign. What contacts are receiving the message? Prospects? Customers? A recently purchased new list? Or a specific segment in your CRM?

Yes, there are many questions that must be answered way before the email delivery date. Some customers may respond to direct mail, others through social media, a website landing page or even email. Almost everyone has an email address or two.

Email has had its ups and downs. Have you recently used an email campaign? If you answered no, here’s a how to get rid of the dust and cobwebs on your email machine in seven easy steps.

  1. Why use email in your promotional mix?

Email has many different uses. It is used in project management, customer service, a delivery tool, and more. In a marketing and selling campaign it can mean lead generation, retention of clients, cross-selling, and even up-selling. Select one and match a list of contacts that are likely to respond. Caution: Don’t mix and match a marketing and selling campaign. There are different levels of interest.

  1. Is goal setting important in email usage?

If you are a small business, goal setting is easy to develop but difficult to measure. For example, when you use email with direct mail, the response of email emulates a form of two-way communication. If the communication is analyzed correctly, you are probably able to determine what the contact is looking for and what type of communication tool they prefer you use. Email service providers, such as Constant Contact, provide a lot of delivery data and even post your email to your list of social media you select.

  1. How many contacts do I need in my email list?

As with any good list, it is quality and not quantity. If the desired use of email is customer retention, that’s a relatively easy list to assemble. If the use is prospecting or lead generation, you need to capture permission or opt-in email addresses of all contacts you enter.

This takes time but there are many other channel opportunities, such as the use of direct mail, driving contacts to your website landing page, and content marketing.  These are all great tactical communication tools to grow an email list.

  1. Where do I value content in email usage?

How many times have you heard that copy is king? Email is no different, but you need to place its value a lot higher. Your email must engage the reader and move them to respond to an offer, for more information, such as a free sample or a white paper or a special industry report. Short subject lines should attract attention like a good headline in a direct marketing campaign.

Review your answers from question one.

  1. How do we not look like SPAM?

As we wrote above, your organizations contacts must opt-in or you have their permission to email to them. What we look for is called the “spam rule of fours.” Before any email is sent…

¨you have determined that your email is sent on a consistent schedule, such as monthly,

¨the email message is effective for your organization goals,

¨the information is timely and,

¨the message is relevant for the contact receiving it.

  1. What can we do to increase the number of opens and readability?

Who is the email from, creativity in the subject line, and the relevance of the message will help to increase the odds that the email is read. Not to be harsh, but customers are saying give me the right offer/content at the right time, or I am going to unsubscribe and move on.

  1. What type of ROI should we expect?

There are many variables associated with this question. If it’s customer retention, you should expect a better than your average return. In lead generation, it’s the offer and how precise the email was segmented. If the email sends them to a website for additional action, it is easy to look at the data provided by the email provider. The data from the email provider, analysis of click’s and requests from the contacts, enable more developed concise messages as you move forward in the campaign.

Note: Re-read goal setting above, number two.

If you and your team has analyzed the seven questions and put any changes into place, the next email program will be a lot smoother. If not, let us borrow a term from direct mail…

always be testing.

Even a slight change may mean better results or worse yet, poor results.

Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

There are many communication channels in the traditional and social media that have an impact on the customers in your database. Nothing in your communication options should be set in stone. Keep talking to your customers and respond to their needs. Listening is one of the greatest skills to hone with your marketing communications.

Let me know what you think.

There is an post on Quality and Quantity which will answer a question or two.

Need more Direct Marketing Success?

The articles in each issue of Direct Marketing Success are ready to help you acquire new customers, and get your existing customers to buy more. To get your copy today, click here.

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

Sign up for more #SmallBiz success to receive our monthly email newsletter now!

Marketing eValuations – Teaching – Consultation. It’s what I do.

  Evaluate – The easiest path for better marketing and advertising success.

The BEST for your DIRECT MARKETING SUCCESS!!!

Mike Deuerling
aka: MarketingDoc

800.251.3608 / MD@DMCM.net

    

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© 2007-2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash, Stencil or John Deuerling.

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If you tried one offer or another,

just maybe it’s time to try “just maybe.”

Yes, try a “Yes / Maybe” offer to boost inquiries.

You’ve probably heard of and even tried the “Yes / No” offer. It’s common on subscription packages and other promotions where prospects are asked to immediately decide between accepting or rejecting a simple offer.

But have you ever heard of the “Yes / Maybe” offer? It works in a similar way, but it’s usually found in lead or inquiry generation efforts.

There are several variations. If “Yes” means accepting your offer, “Maybe” could mean an offer for more information. Or if your “Yes” is an inquiry that requires a certain degree of commitment, such as an in-person consultation, your “Maybe” could be a softer version of the inquiry offer with less commitment.

One of the simplest and most effective variations on this unique offer is where “Yes” and “Maybe” are worded differently, but result in the same action on your part. For example:

Yes. I want to beautify my home with the EZ Deck system. Please send my FREE EZ Deck Planner and Information Guide which will help me design a professional looking deck in about 30 minutes.

Maybe. I’m not sure if EZ Deck is for me. Please send additional FREE information, especially if you have a side-by-side comparison of the leading deck systems so I can decide which is best for my home.

Both choices result in the same information being sent to the prospect. However, by stating the offer in this way, you can automatically qualify your inquires. Those who opt for “Yes” are probably more interested than those who opt for “Maybe.”

This offer also allows you to use smart design techniques that are proven to raise response in many cases. These include a submission form with check boxes for each option, dual reply methods, or equipping a landing page, cleverly designed with a video to see an aspect of the program in action for a better presentation. These are all ways to increase involvement with your direct marketing using mail and email to help people focus on your offer. Don’t forget to look at social media. It was made to help you reach more people.

This can work for both consumer messages and for business-to-business programs. The only difference is that you should consider the tone of your mailing and apply the appropriate variation. For some lists, something may work. For others, a simple check box may be a better approach. If you have a good understanding of your customer needs, you’re in a great position.

Whatever variation you choose, remember to follow up promptly for each inquiry you receive. People often request information as an impulse, so you want to strike while the iron is hot. If you wait too long, your prospects may not even remember asking for the information.

To keep your momentum going, always fulfill inquiries within one to two days. The faster you can get requested information into the hands of prospects, the greater your odds of converting inquiries into sales.

Summary.

Always record options you offered a prospect or a customer. The more data you can extract from a prospect and customer puts your marketing and advertising in the driver’s seat.

And that’s not a maybe, it’s a YES!

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

Still not sure?

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Here’s a FREE ONE HOUR OFFER of an MCG-eVal. Visit our Web Site, enter your name and email address and in the message box, tell me why you want a FREE ONE HOUR MCG-eVal.

Sign up for more #SmallBiz success to receive our monthly email newsletter now!

Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.

Want to learn more about direct2customer marketing and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

 

 

Searching for growth? Do you find yourself going in circles? Then quick rowing! There are over 325 posts on #SmallBiz marketing. All educational and informative. See for your self.

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

It’s like having another oar! Better yet, more profit!!!

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a detailed report for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

The BEST to your DIRECT MARKETING SUCCESS!!!

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

 

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

 

 

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Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

© 2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

now pounce on them with an offer they can’t refuse –  but be nice.

Direct and digital marketing is a combination of words and pictures and ideas. A great idea without compelling words often goes unnoticed. Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often doom those glorious words to oblivion. Great visual images without substantive words and ideas often diminish the outcome. For example:

  • Give me a call regarding our new pricing for prospects. Change to ring.
  • Would you like me to add you to our customer care weekly email?
  • Visuals attract and make the reader pause…
  • The weekly business after hours is a great place to meet and network with people looking to sell and buy. Build on relationships.

At times, your audience may not understand a visual. Many have heard of the Pareto Principle, but after seeing in use within a post or an article, you deserve a trip to Google to answer all questions.

This is another pause visual to slow or stop the reader to check it out. Make sure the post or article opens in another page so the trip back for the visitor returns to the original page. Also, this is a good way to aid in the definition of a word or phrase.

“Now, why didn’t I think of that?” Or, “the competitor’s new product will kill us.”

Do you know who your audience is, direct or indirectly?

Each is important, but prospects and customers will overlook the best words and most monumental ideas unless something grabs their attention. Coming up with “grabbers” work well with just about any communication channel today.

The grabber for direct mail is the design. It’s the proper blend of color, shape, size, illustrations, photographs, and typography.

I know what you are thinking. If you said our digital and social media communications could use a design makeover, you are right. Try it. You’ll not be disappointed.

A good headline accentuated with a photo or art is – 

“a double whammy, thank you mam.”

Bright colors and bold graphics set your work apart. Illustrations are easily editable to fit your brand, and can even be more universal than photography. Let vector images help your next project pack a punch.

Focus on creating a “how-to” or “why” or a “number series” while adding value and/or providing entertainment in the form of a photograph, vector image, or even a short video or GIF.

As I learned in Direct Mail 101, the how-to is very powerful because it engages the prospect on a deeper psychological level. It’s self-centered and most of us pay more attention when we hear “how-to and whatever follows after it.”

Try using a catchy relevant headline in the email subject line and see your open rate increase.  Go one step further and add vector images or photos with copy.

Headline example:

How to Reach a Qualified Target Audience… and motivate them to seek you out!

Photo example:

Momentum by definition, is not only a powerful force, it can keep people in motion. Eventually, when focused on a segment of your contacts, such as prospects, you will learn how to qualify them.

The copy and the photo is enough to draw the reader in to the post. The copy should appeal to a human emotion.

Ask a question in the headline.

What marketing communication channel delivers over 700 million messages each day?

Curiosity can draw many reasons to find an answer.  A good copywriter will add more subtle information. Such as, in…

Subhead. Hint. Something you do outside the box?

The answer is 700 million of letters and parcels are delivered daily by the United States Postal Service. When you decide to use the US Mail channel, it’s a pretty good guess the contact will get what you sent, in his or her hand, and open it?

Thinking of using direct mail?

When designing direct mail, many people tend to be overly concerned about the individual design elements in the piece. Such as:

  • How does the headline look?
  • Should we put a few bullet points here? How about some additional color here?
  • Stop! Always try to look at your design. Stand back from your ideas and look at it as you would a fine piece of art.

Imagine the blocks of text, the headlines, and various color blocks and photos as design elements – squares, circles, rectangles. See what stands out and what does not.

Summary

If you want to learn more about this channel, direct mail, visit our Direct Marketing and Mail website. On the first page is an Infographic on our journey using direct and customer focused marketing for small businesses.

Then click on the publications tab. The tab is the gateway to learn about direct marketing mail, a very important part of multi-channel marketing. Download a copy of Direct Marketing Success and sign up for our monthly email newsletter.

One last point – visit the blog tab. There are over 300 articles on direct and customer-centric marketing.

Thanks for reading! Life is too short to use disruptive and one-channel communication to try and build your SmallBiz! Give us a –

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Here’s a FREE ONE HOUR OFFER of an MCG-eVal. Visit our Web Site, enter your name and email address and in the message box, tell me why you want a FREE ONE HOUR MCG-eVal.

Sign up for more #SmallBiz success to receive our monthly email newsletter now!

Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.

Want to learn more about direct2customer marketing and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

 

 

Searching for growth? Do you find yourself going in circles? Then quick rowing!

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

It’s like having another oar! Better yet, more profit!!!

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a detailed report for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

Thanks for reading.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

 

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

 

 

Our data policy: Short meaning. Any data shared with us, stays with us. Complete Privacy Statementclick-free-zone

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© 2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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How to determine your direct marketing program’s response rate…

will keep you very busy and the envy of all your employees!

Imagine a crystal ball that predicts your direct marketing and digital marketing response rate. Talk about real job security!

Unfortunately, when it comes to direct and digital marketing, there is no such thing as “guaranteed response rate.” The crystal balls we’ve seen are not that dependable.

Predicting any type of response rate is difficult. The number of variables that come into play are enormous:

  • Price.
  • Uniqueness of the product or service.
  • Your competitor’s price.
  • What the direct and indirect competitors are doing, and how they are marketing.
  • Your list of contacts and “how clean” is the list.
  • Your creative approach.
  • The seasonality of your product or offer.
  • The image or brand you project in your marketing materials.
  • The offer.
  • The weather.

So, what do you do?

Naturally, you need some indication up front to help you plan before the next marketing project. In the prehistoric era of direct marketing mail, someone thought of the “breakeven point” as a way of validating the likelihood that you can sell what you need to sell.

Here’s a simple breakeven point used by many direct mail marketers.

If an item retails for $100 and costs you $50 to buy or build, that leaves $50 of margin to cover promotion, production, postal rates, and so on.

Next, assume that your direct marketing program, including all list of contacts (customers and prospects), printing, production, such as an offer, creative, postal costs and mail processing using a variety of channels in addition to mail, email, landing pages, website and social media costs you $400 per 1000 messages delivered.

Divide $400 by the $50 from the promotion side of your retail pricing. The answer is eight – eight units per 1000 messages. These eight units represent the number of sales you need to have to breakeven from the 1000 messages you sent.

Is it truly a breakeven point?

So, based on what you know about your company, the industry, the product, the time of year (if seasonal), and so on, does the closing ration seem realistic and attainable? Can you sell eight units out of one-thousand messages sent?

If you lean in the direction of “Yes,” you’re moving in the right direction. Next, determine an initial test of your marketing messages to get a glimpse of what your response rate percentage will be. If you lean in the direction of “No,” rethink your offer, the direct marketing channels used, your cost of goods and sales, and each point within your direct marketing program that may be questionable.

Summary

If you are new to direct marketing, there are other tactical tools, you can add with the various methods above. The more you use can eventually lead you to the goals you have in getting a higher response. Here are a few additional articles you can use to help you develop your own ways to measure and get a better response rate.

ONE.

10 Ways to Catch Big Game… while correctly building a database that works!

It’s a Jungle Out There!

In a jungle of leads, finding the right lead to an eventual sale, takes your lead out of the jungle and into to your database, or what we call Camp Profit.”

It’s a well-known fact that companies that bind the power of client information using data management, improve their direct marketing performance and increase their chances for long-term profitability.

Here’s why.

TWO.

Email service providers can provide many measurement tools that are extremely helpful in your response goal. 

Looking for A Lead Generating System? That lives up to your first-rate expectations? ​

Email marketing, when used with direct mail, can be your lead magnet. ​

The first question that we ask a client was regarding the condition of their email list. The second question, how old is your email list?

Even when using a customer-contact management program or a CRM with an email list, without a strong policy to verify that the email address is updated, is iffy at best. If this is the case, send an email requesting to update contact information. Some people will answer, but your email provider will send you:

  • did not open,
  • forwarded,
  • bounces,
  • spam reports and
  • unsubscribed.

Click to read the article…

THREE.

Easy Testing Tools for Your Direct Marketing Tactics…

For use in email, social, direct mail or any other channels of choice.

One of the reasons direct marketing is recommended to use with today’s many communication channels is the ability to test. Testing allows adjustments to be made creating an increase in your marketing dollars.

While there is a lot of creativity that goes into writing and designing communications, testing should be a careful and disciplined process. Here are a few ideas to ensure that you are testing properly and reaping the rewards of more effective and efficient direct marketing tactics.

Click here for Part One

Click here for Part Two

FOUR.

The Heart of Any Direct or Digital Marketing is More Than a List of Names…

It’s a major element for your marketing success.

Lists grow. Some by duplicate records. Sometimes they grow one record at a time. At other times, they grow because your customers are growing. Maybe you decided on bringing two list together and combining them into one.

When two lists are combined, they bring with them the phenomenon of duplicate records. The costs of two letters or mail pieces going to the same recipient and twice the postage is wasted.

No sooner than the time it takes to reach your mailbox, all digital skeptics reached for their can of “All-get-out traditional advertising” to rid them of all bad marketing thoughts. Am I this naive to assume the digital crowd has lists of buyers, customers and prospects? How do they communicate with their customers?

OK digital geeks, I will not tell on you, so keep reading to learn how to make your lists produce better marketing results.

Click here to read more.

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Here’s a FREE ONE HOUR OFFER of an MCG-eVal. Visit our Web Site, enter your name and email address and in the message box, tell me why you want a FREE ONE HOUR MCG-eVal.

Sign up for more #SmallBiz success to receive our monthly email newsletter now!

Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.

Want to learn more about direct2customer marketing and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

 

 

Searching for growth? Do you find yourself going in circles? Then quick rowing!

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

It’s like having another oar! Better yet, more profit!!!

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a detailed report for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

Thanks for reading.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

 

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

 

 

Our data policy: Short meaning. Any data shared with us, stays with us. Complete Privacy Statementclick-free-zone

Deposit Photos, Astrology Blogger or Website© innovatedcaptures and A Fortune Like None Other© robtek

© 2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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If you only have 8 seconds to engage…

here’s a channel of communication that will always answer the call!

When you think of direct marketing using mail for advertising, you probably think of slick self-mailers, 4-color printing, multi-part envelope packages, and fancy dimensional pieces. But did you think of postcards? Not the ones you sent to family and friends while on vacation, but the ones you can use to entice more customers to buy.

Postcards offer a powerful but inexpensive way to market your products and services. They’re usually not the best way to sell something directly, but they’re great for getting people to “consider” what you should offer, such as leading them to a landing page.

Specifically, postcards are good for generating inquiries for information, boosting in-store traffic, getting more people to social media and bringing people to your website.

Direct mail might be in your future.

Here’s an idea to contemplate. Buy or lease a direct mail list of prospects based on your present customer segments and profiles in your CRM. BONUS: If you are thinking about using direct mail, this is good way to evaluate direct mail.

Today’s mailing lists have a variety ways to target, such as segments, or demographics, and more important, updated information on how, and to whom, providing another usage of additional personalization. Approximately, ninety-eight present of people or companies check their mail every business day, excluding holidays.

Let’s look at other ways using direct mail and a clean, updated house list.

First, postcards are first-rate for generating inquiries. If you have a sales staff or if your product or service is new, you know that people want information before they buy. So, the key is to identify who wants that information. In the business world, that’s called “lead generation” or “inquiry generation,” or “prospectation.”

Generating inquiries with postcards is simple. You prepare a mailing list of likely suspects and mail a postcard offering something for free, such as an information kit, brochure, consultation, or even a product sample. Don’t try to sell, just offer the freebie and get prospects to contact you. Now you have more prospects to give to your sales department, which is a great way to start building meaningful relationships.

Second, postcards can be used to boost your in-store traffic. If you are offering a new product or service, you can offer a deal when people bring in the post card. If you run a gardening store, maybe your postcard is a coupon for 20% off all mulch and gardening supplies.

Could you also run a print ad? Sure. But the postcard lets you target your dollars to people you know will be interested in your products or services, such as past clients or businesses within 10 miles of your company. “Just bring in this post card for your special price for the month of April.” A print ad can hit everyone in an area, and not a likely candidate for marketing success.

Third, postcards are great for bringing people to your website and social media. Some companies may prefer digital over print, but direct mail is still the best way to reach people. That’s because good direct mail lists are easier to lease than expensive email lists, which may get a lower response rate.

On your website, use a landing page with a brief description about your products or services, or if you sell products directly from your website, you can use a simple postcard to invite people to visit. You’ll get a better response if you have an offer of some kind, such as dollars off, a free demonstration, or even a contest.

Summary

Postcards are inexpensive when compared to other communication channels, easy to create, and highly versatile. If you’re curious about what postcards can do for your business, call us. We’ll discuss how to put this direct mail workhorse to work for you. And make you an offer you cannot refuse.

Another how-to guide using direct marketing and mail for a #SmallBiz success during 2017.

Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.

DocTake4WebWant to learn more about direct and customer-centric marketing strategies and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

I call this learning experience, “All Marketing is Direct to your Consumers.” I present my marketing methodology that I have used over my career. On the landing page, there is a (1)short, (2)medium and (3)large journey to take. There are many examples, ideas and techniques of the direct marketing to aide in your learning. To feel the full impact of this cta-learn-moremarketing methodology, take each journey in order. Start now by clicking on the Admit, Journey One. Then send me an email or call (800-251-3608) with your questions. Be sure to ask how to get your present marketing evaluated for free!

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

Reach out now. New lower priced offers!

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a detailed report for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you on a journey.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

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Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.  New year, new lower mcg-eVal rates.

Need more information on direct and customer-centric marketing? Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct.

click-free-zoneOur data policy: Short meaning. Any data shared with us, stays with us. Complete Privacy Statement

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© 2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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Plug into the Direct Marketing Machine…

and watch your response rate hit double digits.

In fall of 2001, Direct Mail Success, lead article was simply, “Plug into the direct marketing mail machine.” Here is a version of this article. As you read there are certain elements that have or will occur in 2017.

Think of direct marketing and mail as a machine.

The machine manufactures sales, inquires, responses, orders, inbound contacts, qualified prospects, customers and so on.

It’s not a complicated machine. As a matter of fact, it’s quite simple and efficient. At one end, you load in your sales goals, marketing knowledge, competitive data and experience.  Then, at various points along the way, you add an appropriate mixture of design, copywriting, headlines and various hardware technologies ranging from folding, inserting, inkjet addressing and carrier route sorting to personalized addressing and data processing.

Turn it on!

When you flip the switch to on, the machine churns a bit and begins to manufacture things called “responses.

Like any other machine, it’s not perfect, but it will be in the future. Sometimes, it seems a little hard to start. At other times, it seems to run a bit bumpy – to need some fine tuning. However, once it is up and running, it will work reliably for a long time – manufacturing responses until, for whatever reason, you press the stop button.

When well maintained…

The direct marketing and mail machine did a consistently predictable job. In fact, the more use of the machine, the more it remained in tune, humming along, manufacturing one response after the next.

And talk about reliability. It’s downright amazing. When you use the machine for direct marketing and mail, every week, it produced a predictable number of responses every week.

When you use the machine for direct marketing and mail every month, it produced a predictable response every month.

When the article was written, direct marketing and direct mail was used as an advertising system by literally every small and large company. In fact, it produced the largest volume of mail ever sent. Now direct mail is a channel of communication used in conjunction with other advertising channels, better known as multi-channel communication.

A great name for the direct marketing mail machine of today would be a combination of the strategies of direct and customer-centric marketing. Best known by our group as “Direct-to-Customer Marketing.”

Back to 2016.

What we have now. Machine wise, there is presently a variety of machines in automation and processing used by direct mail processors. When the mail is turned over to the United States Postal Service, there is a variety of mechanization, such as parcel sorting, optical character reader (OCR), and someone named MERLIN to get the mail delivered to the right address and the right person.

What we presently have for better response.

Let’s look at the following graphic. Surrounded by a multitude of people are two strategies highly touted by many marketing experts. Direct marketing and customer centric-marketing. The strategies guide us to learn as much as possible about customers and what information you can get from prospects.

A word of caution. When there is a break in the machine, such as when the collected data is not correctly processed and/or not added into a CRM or marketing automation, expect a poor response. For example, if there were originally 500 customers in this picture, you may have 500 people each preferring something different. Tedious maybe. However, good data brings good results.

Moving to the next illustration.

The next Infographic, what we call 4by4 Communicate, is a good example of today’s direct marketing platform.

Please note that the re-appearance of direct marketing and customer-centric marketing strategies. They are noted for the relentless pursuit of prospect and customer data. What do we see in the middle circle? The oil keeping both strategies running at full speed – Data Management. Simply, this is comprised of analytics for learning a customer journey and using what you learn from the data for better personalization directly back to the customer.

In addition, there are the communication channels of direct mail, email, landing pages to capture more information and social media. Use the channels of communication preferred by the customer.

Finally, the schematic, of the present machine.

As you build your machine, customer data is always changing, because customers change their preferences more frequently. Direct marketing alerts us. Customer-centric marketing will tell us if the customers communication channel change, the customer has altered the product needs or even uses the product in a rather unique way.

As you travel down a better marketing path, you will learn what works well for your company. You live it and learn. Change is always in the air. When you and your company use change to your advantage, marketing is fun again.

That, more than anything else, will always keep us marketers on our toes and ready to react, to help, whatever the customer needs from us.

Learning and Coaching – It’s what I do.

DocTake4WebWant to learn more about direct and customer-centric marketing strategies and how it can add customers to your QuickBooks?

I call this learning experience, “All Marketing is Direct to your Consumers.” I present my marketing methodology that I admit_onewebhave used over my career. On the landing page, there is a (1)short, (2)medium and (3)large journey to take. There are many examples, ideas and techniques of the direct marketing to aide in your learning. To feel the full impact of this cta-learn-moremarketing methodology, take each journey in order. Start now by clicking on the Admit, Journey One. Then send me an email or call (800-251-3608) with your questions. Be sure to ask how to get your present marketing evaluated for free!

Check out are marketing evaluation program specifically designed for a small business.

We’ll examine your present marketing, learn your goals and aspirations, and prepare a marketing plan for your company based on your information.  Check it out today!

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you on a journey.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc

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Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.

Need more information on direct and customer-centric marketing? Sign up today for our monthly email, All Marketing Is Direct.

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© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

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How to Make a Good B2B Email Campaign Even Better

Email_DM_ImpactYour customers and prospects can be influenced to purchase your goods through a variety of marketing channels. There’s email, Facebook, Twitter, a call-to-action on a website, text messaging, LinkedIn, and even direct mail. It’s always recommended to use the channel of choice favored by the people you want to read your message.

Email marketing, as a communication channel in use today, comes highly recommended for B2B marketing and sales organizations. Most if not all businesses today have a website. Along with the website, corporate email is a given. So, where does email come into play?

There is a lot of abuse regarding email addresses. Besides spam, many people who promise they won’t share an email address, do.

If there is a lot of lead time required to get a new customer, an un-welcome email is usually not a smart move. Aggravate the wrong person with an unwanted email, such as the same one he received 3 months prior, you’ll likely lose your place in line.

When starting a quest looking for new customers, play by the rules. Having prospects opt-in to your email database is a good rule to abide by. Adding another communication channel into the mix is a great idea.

For example, direct mail is one of the safest communication channels to get the information needed for an introduction of your company’s products and services. Aligned with email, you’ll find another communication channel, if there is one.

One last note, be patient. Your time is well spent on learning more about the company, your contact, and his or hers need.

Reading our website article, “B2B and Direct Mail Work Well Together” will surely give you an idea or two.

Still looking for more? Try “Email Marketing with Direct Mail is A Lead Magnet!”

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

Marketingeval_logo4WebYes, I do love marketing. I love to share my marketing expertise as this blog will attest. The next time you get the so-so marketing results, THINK evaluate. Specifically, using our mcgMarketing-eVal. Don’t just investigate, eValuate!

Our marketing expertise will help to take the guesswork out of your marketing decisions. We have helped thousands of people to get better marketing results. Visit our website and follow my typical customer’s journey to learn more today!

Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

Sign up today for our monthly email, Our Point Of View.

Coming to you in 2016, our new publication…

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.
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Five Secrets to Test Your Direct Marketing Communications…

 TestingPatternD

Before Deploying

You’ve heard the direct-marketing mail mantra a thousand times: test, test, test. But are you doing it?

I’d be willing to bet is you’re afraid to test. You’re afraid of finding a mistake. A mistake that will put you behind the eight ball. Yes, I know launch time is a killer, but are you afraid to test because of time or maybe you don’t understand testing? Here are my five secrets leading to better testing and better results.

1. If this is you…

Testing is like a hearing aid for listening to your customers. Turn it down, and all you hear is noise. Turn it up and their collective voices become crystal clear.

2. Your customers aren’t a mystery

They’re quite vocal about their likes and dislikes. In fact, every time you reach out to them, they will tell you what products they like, which offers they prefer, and which formats catch their attention. You simply have to know how to listen to them through your testing.

Those who don’t test regularly usually say they don’t have the time, the money, or a contact list that’s big enough.

But testing doesn’t have to be time-consuming or costly. It will save you both time and money in the long-run. After all, what could be more efficient than high-performing direct marketing communications?

The cost of ignorance is always greater than the cost of knowledge.  

3. What to test if you have less than 50,000 contacts

As for a small list universe, that’s a valid point. It’s one thing if you’re direct mailing a million pieces at a time and can allocate 5,000 names to 50 test cells. But what if your entire universe is 50,000 contacts or less? This is common for some business-to-business companies or those marketing to a small geographic area.

However, even a small list offers testing opportunities. For example, with 50,000 contacts, you could test two cells of 5,000 each and market your control to the remaining 40,000 contacts. This should give you valid tests and protect the performance of your program by sending your control to 80 percent of your list.

4. What to test in large vs. small number of contacts

Large-volume direct marketers can test a broad spectrum of tactics, from major changes in the offer to small tweaks in the copy.

Smaller volume marketers, or those who communicate less frequently, should focus on testing the core elements, such as the offer, lists of contacts, price point, format, or creative concept.

5. Look at testing strategically

You should also consider strategic testing, including a test to see if a direct marketing package works best for you using another channel or whether it’s better to offer free content and then follow up with more details on your product or service. This could require some rethinking of your marketing process, but two or more channel communications have proven quite successful for many businesses.

In my experience, people feel it takes too much time to test. Design a testing program that works for you. For example view your past marketing communications using analytics. Share the data with your team. You may find that another channel or two, such as mail, may create many more opens and response.

Let me know if you have a testing program in place at your company and what result surprised you the most.

SearchingW_binosSign up today for our monthly email newsletter.

Looking for more information on using direct marketing solution for today’s digital and online marketers? Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter in the box found in the right margin, top or bottom.

There is still time to grab a FREE edition of Direct Mail Success.DMS1993a

Since 1993, Direct Mail Success has provided readers the ins and outs of direct marketing mail to get a better response in their marketing campaigns. Download a recent issue and see for yourself. The issue is free and any ideas are yours to keep.

In this issue you’ll find, “7 awesome methods of direct marketing mail, Big Data, Small Data and a CRM, Frequently Answered Questions and more!”

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.
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Marketing Is a Progression of Many…

A_ProgressionOfManyLikened to a Summer Road Construction Project You Just Ran Into.

In Chicago. In August. It’s 94 degrees and the only thing higher is the humidity. You’re late for a must attend meeting just a few miles away, but traffic is just crawling. There is a sign, in the distance, as you head into a curve. Finally, you can read it: All 4 lanes must merge into one, two miles ahead.

Anybody who has stayed with my little journey, understands there are no easy answers.

  • Maybe your copywriting is not as tantalizing as your customers expect.
  • The design of your website is not just the right influencer as you expected.
  • The brand image of your company you paid dearly for is more like a mirage.

Never make a strategic move until you fully understand were your marketing must be tweaked or buried for good.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

My point is this: any of the above is a miniature sample on what can occur in small businesses in a typical business day. The difference is that a successful business person recognizes that challenges are opportunities for change. Three of the most-used opportunities I’ve seen that are catalysts for change in the last few years are found in the following articles:

  1. Channel selection
  2. Understanding your customers and their buying decisions.
  3. How Home Depot is a good example that your customers are always changing.

Each article appears in the LinkedIn Pulse, which is attached to my LinkedIn profile.

If you are still doing business the same way you did in 2010, you are leaving a lot of money behind for others to enjoy.

An offer just for you.

Marketingeval_logo4WebOne more thing. Before any marketing consultant can make any recommendations, he must understand your business. For this, I have my own proprietary product called a mcg-Marketing eVal. I’ve used this eVal and consistently added more substance to it over the past twenty-five years as changes occurred, while serving many hundreds of small businesses, nationwide. Pricing is based on company size and if I have experience in your industry.

There is a presence on the Marketing Communications Group page on LinkedIn as well. There are many how-to-articles posted there for you to peruse.

Thanks for reading and please share with others, except your competition.

Grab a FREE edition of Direct Mail Success.DMS1993a

Since 1993, Direct Mail Success has provided readers the in’s and out’s of direct marketing mail to get a better response in their marketing campaigns. Download a recent issue and see for yourself.

Who reads Direct Mail Marketing success? Providers of direct mail marketing processing, companies looking for direct mail marketing content, and individuals looking to improve they direct and digital marketing techniques. Visit DMCM.net for more information.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com. Marketingeval_logoV3MarketingDoc Copyright15nbsp;



“2 Degrees of Cold Calling, F or C…

TheBigPicand where is the ice breaker?”

Every Marketing Communication Channel Used Today Has its Virtue.

In a recent article from our publication, Direct Mail Success, “Seven Smart Ways to Increase Your Email Marketing to Brilliant,” I discuss the merits of using email as a key marketing communication channel, and how to incorporate into digital marketing.

Before I explain how to get a free copy of the article, I recently wrote a report for a client in response of his question, “is there a better method to build a cold calling customer acquisition campaign?” The question got me thinking that more people may be in a similar situation of turning prospects into customers. Please follow along with the short version of DM vs. EM.

Is email up to the challenge?EmailGreen

The first question that I asked for the clients email program was the condition of the list. How old is your email list? Even when using a customer-contact management program or CRM with an email list, without a strong policy to verify that the email address is updated is iffy at best.

If you have an email list of prospects that receive a monthly newsletter, that’s the best place to start. However, that brings us to the second disconnect. The relevancy of a message.

I always recommend that any list used for marketing is segmented or profiled based on present customers are matched to the message. For example, you may find there are a couple of different messages you can add for relevancy. In a cold solicitation that is extremely helpful to get a better response. There is additional information on our webpage for your review and clicks taking you to additional relevant information on customer profiles.

A catchy relevant headline in the email subject is a good start. Let’s say, your monthly email open rate is 15%. The key point again is message relevancy. Today’s email templates are colorful, have catchy graphics and shorter introductory articles with a click to continue reading. Relevancy will kick up the click through rate.

At this point, doing your best on updating the list and adding a relevant message in your email, even with a 3% click through rate, your total response is probably dismal at best.

Direct Mail to the rescue?

EmalVsDirectMail copyDepending on your customers and prospective customers targeted, you’ll probably have a better direct mail list vs. the email list. Using an email list with a direct mail list will help add to your open rate.

Direct mail when used correctly (direct mail is a process of many) will yield a 2% open rate which I would bet is higher than the email open rate.

I know that multi-channel communications can bring a double-digit response, but with email and direct mail together, what should we expect for a response rate?

What happens when you put them together in one campaign?

Yes, the direct mail is significantly more expensive, but usually yields a better open rate, thus creating more initial awareness to your offer.

Then using an email as a follow-up, designed to complement the direct mail piece to maintain your brand awareness, will get stronger recognition.

FreeReportThe email also provides a quicker and easier method to measure response. Anyone who has read an article or two from me, know the value I place on analytics and measurement.

In a cold calling prospect acquisition, I recommend mailing first, and email second. Make sure they both call out the same message.

By the way, the next time I’ll write about an LP, but not the 33-1/3 kind that beats digital music. The one that gets you a double-digit response rate and better data for better marketing communications.

You can download a copy of this special report, “Seven Smart Ways to Increase Your Email Marketing to Brilliant” right now!

Please comment!!!

Special bonus offer for our many, loyal followers.

Download a copy of a recent edition of Direct Mail Success, by clicking on this link. There are a variety of uses, such as a marketing tool for people in the direct marketing mail industry or people who want to learn more about the techniques of direct marketing and response.

Thanks for reading and please share. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.

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