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Don’t take your customers for granite!

Here’s how, in case you prefer to follow the advertising leaders.

No, that’s not a typo. What I mean is, don’t assume you have a customer for life – or even for the next purchase.

I’m willing to bet you know the unique definition of “assume”. There’s no way you want to join the donkey club in this “the age of instant communication.” Yes, somewhat like instant coffee, but there are no grounds to stand on.

The point is you need to start learning more about your customers. Don’t click away because you know all you need to know about your customers. That may have been true yesterday but is it still true today? Even more so.

For example, just this week, I ran across the following articles, which appeared in a blog from a direct marketing publication by Direct Marketing News, in one day, back in November 2010!

“Banks roll with new financial regulations to learn more about their customers.”

“Make accurate customer data the center of loyalty efforts.”

Today, I see similar statements. Why? Data-driven marketing needs better customer information for anyone to respond to a marketing message. Even technology, such as marketing automation, Sales Force and any of the databases created to help marketers reach more targeted segments and build better customer profiles.

Take a step back.

Since the term for direct marketing came about as a strategy, in the 1950’s, it coincided with companies using direct mail to reach customers at their homes “directly” to their mailbox.

As time kept rolling onward, many ideas and customer needs changed, eventually meeting head on with technology.

In Forrester’s, “Winning in the Age of the Customer,” the risks in today’s customer-led market have shifted from responding too early to responding too late. Forrester’s age of the customer research gives business and technology leaders common insights and integrated playbooks — the fuel for complex, high-stakes customer-obsessed strategies.

Back to the present.

The articles in the blockquote above was from one publication. These two headlines point to the fact that customers are always changing, and if they mean anything to you and your firm, you need to meet the change head on. The published date was seven years ago!

In the first headline, banks need to learn more.  Stop and think a minute. I would think a bank knows a bit more about their customers than, for example, a retail store? If that is a true statement, then even the banks don’t have enough information about their customers or, are not recording selected data. Or, they neglected to act on it because the money was flowing in like a raging river after the first spring thaw.

Even collecting a minimum of information and acting upon it, such as better relevancy in the message to the sender, causes an uptick in responses. For example, if an optometrist has a better lens for people who wear bifocals, why send this information to their whole list of patients?

The need for a bifocal usually occurs in the later years of life. Why not go into the patient list and just pick the patients currently wearing them. Then select patients over 40 who are not wearing them, but may likely  need them. The response rate can be two, three or four times better than just an ordinary message.

In Summary.

Data is a lot of work. Interpreting data is more than a lot of work. Technology changes too fast. And the list can go on forever. In real time companies wait for the next bout of technology to take effect. Or wait until the next new and better version. Or just wait.

Today, we’re experiencing another form of a disruptive tactic of advertising. Turn on your computer, a tablet or even a smart phone and what do you see? If you said an advertisement, you are a correct. The advertiser provides the data and the channel delivery.

If you collect data and do not react to it, you’re missing many opportunities and not realizing it. So, don’t just sit there and wonder “where have all my customers gone?” Start learning more about your customers and compare them to your prospects, to regain those rock-hardened relationships you once had.

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.

The BEST for your DIRECT MARKETING SUCCESS!!!

Mike Deuerling
aka: MarketingDoc

800.251.3608 / MD@DMCM.net

    

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

Deposit Photos: © #6856063

© 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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How an envelope creates a first impression for your promotion…

the same way clothes create a first impression for you.

Everyone likes a bit of respect now and then. If you are leaning toward your first direct mail program in quite some time or are a regular user of direct mail, envelopes are a great option. For some unknown, envelopes get no respect.

From a practical point of view, an envelope is simply a container. It holds your letter, invitation, and other printed matter so they can be delivered to the recipient. Upon arrival, it is torn open and discarded. So, what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that an envelope is far more than a container. It creates a first impression and carries the burden of making sure the contents are read. If the envelope fails to create the right impression, the envelope is not opened and with its contents, discarded. The entire direct mail package, including your carefully crafted sales literature, is thrown into the trash.

Give your envelopes the respect they deserve!

An envelope creates a first impression for your promotion the same way clothes create a first impression for you. It must conform to expectations, fit the occasion, and give people a reason to spend at least a few minutes with you so you can say what you should say. To conform to expectations, your direct mail piece should look like something your prospect would receive in the mail.

There are five basic types of mail:

advertising, publications, bills, personal or official communications and merchandise.

The default appearance is advertising, but the others can be useful. For example, if your company specializes in smart phones and you’ve just introduced an Internet service to avoid dropped calls, your prospects may assume any ad mailer from you is about phone services.

It may be better in this instance to make your mailer look like a publication or an official communication to allow your prospect to look at your mailer with an open mind.  Fitting the occasion is about making the envelope match the theme of your mailing. Is it an invitation, a notice, a personal letter, or something else?

If you’re selling smart phone accessories, you may frame your promotion around a dire warning about deleting the free introductory offer, so the envelope should look like an official notice. Your envelope should work with, not against, your theme.

To give people a reason to open the envelope and spend time with your envelope contents, you can use teaser copy or graphics to create curiosity. Copy as simple as “Look inside” or “Open immediately” may be all it takes.

We’ve seen a clear plastic envelope that allows people to see the contents. Enclosing a bulky item makes people wonder what’s inside. A valuable-looking certificate or gift card showing through a window makes the envelope impossible to ignore. The techniques are nearly endless.

The envelope is arguably the single most important part of your direct mail package. Give it the respect it deserves and spend plenty of time creating and designing the “package.” There are many new and different envelopes and designs made to entertain the reader. An entertained reader may very well be your next new customer.

The success of your mailing depends on it.

Let me know what you think.

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

    

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

Deposit Photos: ©

© 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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How to re-think your usage of segmentation and vertical marketing procedures…

and seriously, it’s not that difficult to start now.

I recently finished writing the latest edition of Direct Marketing Success. As I was completing research for this edition, I found marketers are still not embracing the data in vertical marketing and segmenting their contacts within their target markets.

“There are many market segments our company can serve, but frankly, I just need a list of companies who use direct mail, fulfillment or printing.”  Direct Marketing Mail Company President.

So evidently, the market is still wide enough so others can embrace a single digit response rate.

Start simple and have an open mind.

Here is a simple but important suggestion on grading and segmenting your business contacts to help you start building a successful marketing database. I have used these same definitions for years that have contributed immensely to our customers success.

Here are three different segment types you can use to test.

  1. A client provides your company a consistent revenue stream and reaches the 80 percentiles of customers purchasing your services and products revenue.
  2. A customer uses your services or products occasionally but you probably do not get the 80% of their business.
  3. A prospect has the potential to be a customer or a client.

Go ahead and try it now by grading a few of your present business contacts. It’s easier to judge your customers as you determine who is using what services or products with this simple grading analogy. You may even discover a surprise or two along the way about your customers and prospects that can earn you some new revenue.

Now here is where another time saving element comes into play.

How many times have you wanted to do a promotional message to your contacts, or present a special offer, but you want to be careful to whom it was sent to? You wind up agonizing about what to do and eventually, the idea is scraped. And then, all you have is wasted time and money. Knowing who is in your marketing database and what they use or need, greatly reduces the chance of this recurring.

Obviously, there is more to segmentation than the one system described above. But segmenting after you start collecting data and information is more worthwhile than doing it all at once during the initial phase of your marketing database.

You eliminate guesses and wind up building an incredible database that meet many user needs from your company marketing database. Now, the contacts you are communicating with, receive relevant messages and information.

Vertical Markets.

As you to collect contact data and information, take a moment and start thinking about vertical marketing based on your latest data analysis.

Build a vertical market segment in your marketing database. Add the top 20% of total revenue companies spent with your companies. Then determine what vertical market if any, each company represents in your top 20% list.

Now, visualize a few simple assumptions about each contact in your 20% revenue generators list.

Next, return to your marketing segments and see what you may have to add to your database.

  • It provides additional ideas within your segments to possibly add another grouping, making your choices a bit easier to see the bigger picture.
  • Provides simple tracking and placement of information.
  • Addresses scheduling and call backs.
  • You placed a value on your marketing database so it is not considered an expense.

Yes, it’s as valuable, if not more so, than any money-making piece machinery you use on a day-to-day basis. Plus, if something is valuable, people appreciate it and respect it. That’s why it is such an important asset for your organization.

Summary

The biggest downfall is the lack of information and data not entered or entered incorrectly into a contacts file. You need to put one person in charge of the marketing database. This person adds, data, analyzes data and provides information to others based on their need.

It is only when you put your message in front of a qualified prospect that you can go to bed at night and rest easy, knowing that your marketing database is doing exactly what it is supposed to do and is coordinated with your sales team’s best efforts.

That’s the main reason the data portion of your direct marketing mail campaign is so critical. The best offer printed in full color, along with the best headline touting the greatest benefits, is a waste of money when in the wrong hands.

So, now with these vertical markets and segments you have built, consider purchase a CRM or marketing automation tool. You’ll be amazed what other tools you’ll have to go further into building better data.

Let me know what you think.

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!

Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.

 

 The BEST for your DIRECT MARKETING SUCCESS!!!

Mike Deuerling
aka: MarketingDoc

800.251.3608 / MD@DMCM.net

    

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

Deposit Photos: © Capture More customers, background and A glimmer of hope. Stencil. Deposit photos. sticky note, 2012.

© 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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The Road Less Traveled Is A Bonanza For Your Small Biz…

With fewer turns and the result in sight.

Too many decisions. More people in digital marketing realize if a response to a recent advertisement does not meet expectations, cut it, and move on to the next one.

In my world, digital and direct marketing is driven by data. If the data is not analyzed and tested, is the advertiser going to make the same mistake over and over, but hoping for different results? How long will it take before reality sets in, and changes must be made to advertising and marketing?

How did we get here?

Big business, including retail, have enough marketing problems of their own. For example, a day doesn’t go by without us receiving a catalog and other advertisement delivered to our office. I only remember the advertisements that closely meet my needs. Seriously?

When I have the time to check my email, I might see a few products or services I use, but most of the emails go into the trash. Watching network television shows or listening to a radio station? One-third of the time for a one-hour TV show, primetime, are for commercials. A similar advertising schedule is found on your radio dial.

You can’t escape. They know enough about you to make them dangerous.

What about a Small Biz?

A SmallBiz has a variety of direct marketing strategies at their disposal to keep customers buying and away from your competition. For example, the latest in marketing automation, opens the door for a SmallBiz to connect with prospects and use customer data for better marketing advertisements. Look at the Direct2Customer project of ours and you’ll get my drift.

The customers and prospects of a small biz expect better marketing and advertising. So, if your SmallBiz marketing and advertising is acting like BIG business, it can be costly and eventually lead to failure.

Revitalize your Small Biz marketing and advertising.

I assume people in business know a thing or two about Henry Ford. He built cars one way- all black. By comparison, it seems like our world today, revolves around one choice after the next after the next. Often, it contains too many choices.

When it comes to direct or digital marketing solicitations, too many choices will sometime work against them.

For example, many direct and digital marketers will include any number of order options. While every response door seems to be important, too many choices may thrust prospects and customers into pondering over and procrastinating about how they want to order, instead of just acting now.

So, it would be nice if all our sales transactions as simple and straightforward as Mr. Ford’s. No colors, sizes or alternate methods of payment to choose, just black.

Unfortunately, life today is not that simple. Consumers demand options and alternatives in today’s marketplace. A simple question of choice can move the prospect away from a “yes” or “no” response to a “this” or “that.” This is not a new strategy, but it works.

Summary.

Sure, prospects and customers like options, and you want to give them enough to choose from. Give it to them in a way that is easy to follow and makes it easy for them to respond without bogging them down.

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.

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

Still not sure?

###

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.

 

 

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

Deposit Photos:

Henry Ford Working together–© yurizap and Out of the box thinking, being different, risk taker- vector grap–© smarnad

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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The number one constant in marketing your #SmallBiZ products and/or services today is…

your marketing results change daily and eventually, revenue.

Many people, on any given day, may or may not purchase your product or service. I’m not trying to be the bearer of bad news, just stating the facts. Yes, it’s going to get worse before it can get better. I’ll share my prescribed treatment shortly.

No matter what your product or service offers, change is the one constant that comes to the fore front of anything you plan to promote. Your buyers are human, so a change of mind can occur in seconds. So, in turn, your messages need to change like the many faces of Eve. How many contacts are in your database?

 How do you combat change?

Someone once said, “You cannot be everything to everybody, but you can be on special occasions.” I could not contribute that quote to any one person, so it must be me. Moving forward, you need to create this special occasion.

So, what is that special occasion? Is it good, bad or indifferent?

There are a variety of nuances waiting to make your day. Technology? Disruption or hacking? Getting slammed by the competition? The best phrase for that occasion –  “you’ve been warned.”

What action should you take?

Don’t be that person who looks away from the problem. Nothing gets solved having that attitude. Start looking at the pros, smart marketers, and the cons, there is more than enough to go around, in two separate columns that you project will have a lasting impression. Write them down and try to give each one on a scale from none (one) to big time (ten). Make it a weekly tactic to make sure you do not miss a beat.

 What about Moore’s Law?

If you have not heard about Moore’s Law, here’s a simple definition.

“Moore’s Law – computer processors double in complexity every two years especially relative to cost or size.”

I bring this up because Intel, the manufacturer who coined the phrase, recently stated that in five years Moore’s Law will become extinct. Something else will need to take its place. They didn’t say, but place your bet on speed.

 Will you be ready?

If you decide to learn and train, you are on the right track. If the right track selection is to learn more about customer and prospect data, that is an awesome decision. Building customer profiles, segments and testing key decisions you make and adding results into a CRM, is a very wise choice.

Here’s the treatment I recommend.

You can never have enough customer information. Collect the information and take time to analyze it. After all, your customers can change daily and understanding some of these changes, will keep the revenue in the black.

If you missed the post from last week, check it out, “How to motivate your customers into action.” Also, look at the Direct2Customer infographic, for additional business and marketing ideas.

Summary  

Better relevant and timely communication messages may be the vehicle to keep your small business on a good growth curve. With added revenue, you may find that new four-wheel vehicle, more affordable.

Moore’s Law definition from <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Moore’s%20law>

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

###

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.

 

 

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

Deposit Photos, Resisting Change Leads to Obsolescence or Death© iqoncept

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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How to motivate your customers into action…

i.e., spend money and even learn more about them!

The purpose of direct marketing copywriting is to move people toward an action. The more you address the specific human elements that motivate your audience, the greater your chances to move them to action – to make a call, send an email or buy.

So, what moves people? People cannot resist a bargain. People seek pleasure and satisfaction. People like exclusivity. People are looking for proven results. And some are even moved by greed.

People seek to improve themselves.

They want to save time. People seek security and safety. People seek power, stature, and fame, flattery from others and inside information. They are often envious, revengeful and proud.

People want to make money, save money, save time, stay healthy, become more knowledgeable, increase their status, and boost their prestige.

What motivates your customers on a regular basis?

Even if you don’t categorize or profile your customers, I’m sure you know how some customers will respond, and what is their trigger. This is a never-ending list as we all try to understand the human mind and how it relates to purchasing our products and services. Once you start categorizing, you’ll begin to see a broader array of ideas on why your customers buy.

You need not attempt to solve the human condition in every direct marketing piece you write. What you need to do is:

  1. to think carefully about what you are selling,

  2. to whom, and

  3. how best to make them want to act?

Learn the rule of three’s.

These are the three most important questions you should ask your customers. The first question can provide a lot of answers, but limit the answers to three. You’ll also find answers in your accounting materials, shipping receipts and social media. Let’s call this the rule of three’s.

Secondly, build customer profiles in a simple male or female, geography, and age. Ask everybody in your company who deals with customers to check social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Additionally, you may find a thing or two studying shipping receipts.

Finally, start examining your direct marketing copy. What type of attraction did you use in the design of your message and make the reader pause? Did everyone get the same offer? Check the analytics to see if there is a measurement.

If you have data results from previous programs or campaigns, compare results. In fact, don’t go beyond the rule of three’s until you feel enough data was collected and analyzed.

It’s a complicated activity and, at the same time, it is easy. Your direct marketing must lead people to consider worthy opportunities to improve their personal situations.

It becomes much easier when you take the time to keep learning more about your customers and provide products and services that exceed their expectations.

Some of those expectations may even be in the preceding paragraphs.

Summary

Another good idea is to send a very short questionnaire to your customers monthly. If there are too many customers start looking at creating a group of customers and divide your customers in groups you can handle. Keep in mind you need customer information.

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

###

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!

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.

 

 

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

Deposit Photos, Visual attraction, by Stone tablets web banners @ nucleartrash

© 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.

 

 

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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 Reach A Qualified Target Audience…

and motivate them to seek you out!

The first rule of Direct2Customer direct marketing is to get more… leads… prospects… relationships… engagement and customers.

To attract more of the right kind of business, you want to put the right bait in front of the right people at the right time.

Frequency-based marketing is the right tool for the money loving person who wants more $$$. And you?

For example, there are three principles of direct marketing that work hard for you and your company objectives for growth. They are perfect for you to use to grow and maintain your small business.

Here are the fundamental principles of direct marketing that work so well: 

Principle #1 –– Frequency

Principle #2 –– Reaching a qualified target audience

Principle #3 –– Offers that motivate and inspire action

The world of direct marketing has changed dramatically within the last ten years. The companies that depend on direct marketing face monumental challenges.

Business is tougher than ever.

Competition is stiffer.

Loyal clients are harder to find.

In fact, while you’re busy dealing with day-to-day business activities and (to use a fishing analogy) not watching the bobber, some competitor could be looking aggressively at your pond… and marketing vigorously to your clients… to lure them away from you!

The obvious solution is to do a lot of fishing… fishing for new business… to take an active, aggressive marketing and prospecting posture today and every day… and to utilize and deploy a proven combination of prospecting, marketing, and selling tools… each designed to deliver a significant return on your prospecting investment!

To accomplish this, you need to apply the three principles of direct marketing:

Put the right bait (the right offers) in the right place (in front of your best-qualified prospects) at the right time (frequently, so that buyers think about you when it suddenly becomes their agenda to act or make a change).

That’s what a frequency-based prospecting program is all about… reaching a qualified target audience… and putting messages and offers in their hands that are relevant to them… and that motivates them to seek you out!

Next Week: The Four Powerful Channels

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 growing? 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, © KJNNT

© 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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Direct2Customer Marketing is Not for Any Small Business…

so, if you prefer flounder over flourish, your quest to succeed, may go overboard.

Many of the small businesses formed ten or twenty years ago, are not as profitable today as they were in the early stage of their business. Unfortunately, many small businesses did not survive.

I always update our marketing planning. I analyze our marketing data from a variety of providers and stay in touch reading blogs, webinars, LinkedIn and a variety of associations. Please share my ideas with your associates or anyone else who’s looking for new marketing ideas.

Today, small business owners and their management team, should review their marketing plan yearly or whatever schedules works for the company to reach their objectives and goals. Since many companies experience a business slow down at certain times of the year, that is a good time for a review and then renewal.

Here are some examples from our history that worked well and helped us flourish.

Look at corporate strength to get you thinking.  

  • Do you maintain a good personal relationship with your clients?
  • Is the overall service high quality and a low incident of errors set your company ahead of its competition?
  • If an error does occur, do you bring it to the client’s attention and assume responsibility?
  • Thus, has it garnered considerable new business from satisfied clients who leave one employer for another, and take your firm with them?
  • How high on the list of corporate strengths is integrity, service, and an eye on your clients’ success?

What are the strengths in your company? Which one(s) need attention.

Corporate Instances of Weaknesses.

  • Sales is usually the highest on the list of corporate weaknesses, and one of the most critical issues facing many small businesses every day.
  • Although your sales were covered extremely well in previous years, there were a few blips in the past year. A few good people or the top sales person may have left for greener pastures. There’s really no employee on board that can fill their shoes. Some have tried to make a go without replacing them, but that is rarely successful. Best bet: save every resume you get.
  • The challenge of locating and hiring a suitable replacement is a conundrum for a lot of firms.
  • How likely is it to face another year or two of disappointment with a sales person that “just didn’t perform?”
  • One approach would be to locate another similar company –– but probably smaller –– that could be purchased for its equipment and personnel. If you’re lucky, an experienced salesperson comes with the deal, which would be an ideal bonus. Sales in most smaller companies is always a challenge, and acquiring a sales person in this fashion would be a stroke of luck rather than something that could be planned.
  • Another corporate weakness is the lack of follow up with clients and prospects. Although your clients get the information they need quickly and professionally, there are no dedicated Customer Service Representatives (CSRs). Staff people can answer questions but CSRs –– good CSRs –– can listen — report, and satisfy. CSR’s can keep a pulse on their clients – when they feel good, and when they are not up to snuff.
  • Most small businesses don’t have a well-defined unique selling proposition for how their firm is different from, or better than, its competitors. This is something that can be accomplished easily and in the short term.
  • Similarly, the small firm has not created a “brand” for itself.
  • Finally, the small business does not have a firm grasp on the local competition in terms of pricing, market share, competitive strategies, and so on. This can be accomplished with a little prying from sales people, CSR’s, and Google.

Competition

  • Direct competition includes products or services similar in use provided by another company. Many direct competitors have market niches –– either in size of production runs or technology –– that another competitor is simply not able to handle or offer.
  • There are some projects that small businesses do not bid or seek actively because of their large size and scope. If this is your company, it is good that you understand your limitations as well as your strengths.
  • Small companies wisely hold to what they can do best and, as noted earlier, waits patiently and often secures new clients when competitors miss deadlines and disappoint clients.

Goals

  • Growth is high on the list of goals. If this is the wish of management what tools have they provided?
  • Naturally, one growth strategy would be to acquire one or more other smaller companies. Given the nature of most smaller companies, this could be as much of a blessing to the organization you acquire as it could be to you.
  • Finally, there’s nothing like all-out massive action on all fronts to accomplish a bold goal. If that is the goal of the management team from your company, everyone in the company must be extremely competent, energetic, and enthusiastic. The positives surely outweigh the negatives.

Summary.

I learned early on in my work experience that goals were made to be broken. But without goals, you’ll never know what you miss. Goals are made to drive a person to reach their dreams.

If you not sure of which way to go for the goals, look for a mentor or an association from your industry or the industry you want to be part of. You have nothing to lose but gain a whole lot of good things, such as, a raise or a new job description!

Want to learn more about about the USP?

Here’s another view on branding.

NEXT WEEK: How To Reach A Qualified Target Audience… and motivate them to seek you out!

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 growing? 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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Four Simple Steps to Sharpen Your Proofing Skills…

and keep your good reputation intact.

Your attention is to produce, print on paper and in digital, and publish absolute perfection. You’ve assembled a thought-provoking newsletter, maybe a sales letter, a clever infographic, or a great-looking white paper for content marketing at a trade show within the next month.

You’ve personally read it through a dozen times – just to be sure of your accuracy. And everyone in the office has read it at least once. So, you know it must be right.

But when your 5,000 copies come back from the printer, and you pull out your first piece from the carton, there it is. The headline at the top – the one you were so proud of: “HERE’S YOU FINAL CHANCE TO GET OUR NEW PRODUCT WITH FREE INSTALLATION!”

How could you have missed it? Just one letter, “R.” But it makes all the difference between ridicule and respect.

Mistakes, no matter how small, can soil your reputation.

The truth is, whenever you put anything in print or digital, your reputation is on the line. Not just errors involving pricing and numbers, but mistakes anywhere in your document or website, can have a negative effect on your bottom line – and your success.

“I used a spellchecker,” you say. So, I know it’s got to be perfect!” But, oh how wrong you are.

Sure, a spellchecker catches blatant spelling errors. But what about the time you typed form when you meant from? Or (as noted in our headline example) when you typed you when you meant your? The instead of theyOf instead of off?

So, start sharpening your proofreading skillset. Your computer just doesn’t know what your fingers forgot. It doesn’t know that you’ve typed the date of your next fundraising banquet as happening in Mar when you meant to type May.

And if you forgot to include the actual date or time of the event, or that all important phone number, your computer isn’t going to remind you (Yet)! Phone numbers, dates, times – no matter how much memory your computer has, it just can’t comprehend these kinds of misprints.

When you keep these four simple proofreading guidelines in mind, you’re on your way to producing perfect documents – every time.

Here are four simple steps to refine your proofreading.

  1. Give up your ego. NEVER assume you’ve caught everything. You haven’t. You’re too close to it. And everyone makes mistakes. Be willing to admit there may be some blunders in your final draft, or printer’s proof. Take criticism with grace. Realize that others comments, even if you disagree, will contribute valuable feedback that will eventually improve the overall quality of your work and save you embarrassment as well as the possible cost of re-printing.
  2. Image is everything. In the end when you put forth your best possible professional image, you will instill greater confidence in anyone who reads what you’ve written. The better the impression you make, the more you’ll appear to your audience, and the more success you’ll garner from your endeavor.
  3. Do it just one more time! In other words, double proof, triple proof, proof again… and proof one last time. In addition to someone who works with you, always try to have someone else proofread for you – someone has never read your document before and preferably someone who knows nothing about it. The idea is to get someone who can look at what you’ve written with a fresh, objective eye.
  4. Finally, neatness counts! As you proofread, you need to communicate the errors, omissions, and problems you discover. Use a good, thin, red pen or a sharp red pencil. Do not use a regular pencil, or a blue or black pen. They’re extremely difficult to see and read.

Be as utterly neat as you possibly can. Use sticky notes if they make things easier to follow. Be thoroughly clear and concise with any comments or queries.

Summary

Learn the standard Proofreaders’ Marks at Grammarly or do your own search. Mark changes in the margins as well as the text, so that the typist’s eyes are easily alerted.

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

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 marketing 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.

 

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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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