Three Steps to Direct Mail Success

Direct mail is still the number one marketing strategy used by many successful sales companies. With direct mail, you have total control over the presentation of your message. Direct mail is a unique blend of advertising and sales. While good advertising should certainly lead to sales, direct mail allows you to present the product or service, make an offer and try to close the sale-all at once!

Here are just a few of the advantages of direct mail as a marketing strategy:

* Allows you to target your message to a very specific audience.
* Direct mail is a relatively inexpensive medium.
* Direct mail messages can be personalized to add reader appeal.
* You can evaluate its effectiveness. You can keep track of exactly who responded and from where.
* Mail readers are actively involved. People read their mail when they choose. So, for at least a second or two, your message will have their undivided attention while they open and scan it.

There are three elements to an effective direct marketing strategy:

1. The List
2. The Offer
3. The Mailing Piece

The first of these three steps to a successful direct mail campaign is obtaining the right list. Targeting the right market is the key to this marketing strategy. When selecting your list make sure you target people most likely to have an interest in what you have to offer as well as some things in common with your present clients.

This common ground might be age, sex, occupation, income, geographic area, family size, magazines they subscribe to or any number of other demographics. You can obtain lists that are specific to the demographics of your particular target market.

You should also maintain an up-to-date list of all your customers and clients. Direct mail to this list can create additional business, introduce new products and services or promote sales or special offers.

The second step of this marketing strategy is the development of a “matching offer”.

The offer you make in your direct mail needs to be carefully thought out and matched as closely as possible to the interests, needs and motivation of the people on the list. The more specifically you match the offer and the list the higher the response rate.

Let me use an example to demonstrate. When I was a mortgage consultant many of the sales people in the office sent direct mail. The list that was mailed to was targeted to homeowners who had taken out mortgages with specific lenders in a specific time period. The lenders that were targeted were known to be lenders with typically high interest rates.

The response and closing rate of those mailings were higher than a mailing that was sent to all homeowners in the same area because it was targeted to a group of people that would be more likely to want to refinance.

The third element of this marketing strategy is the mailing piece or the presentation of the offer to the list.

The most common and least expensive mailing piece format used by small businesses is the solo format. It’s a single sheet, printed on both sides and folded in half or thirds and mailed without an envelope.

Another solo format that’s even simpler and less expensive is a postcard or oversized postcard. This can be a very cost effective way of communicating with your list of customers and clients.

The next step in the development of your mailing piece is to write the copy or present your offer. Copywriting is a valuable skill. I urge you to develop the ability to write good advertising copy. Here are some tips to get you started.

* Take proven sales letters and ads and rewrite them to fit you and your offer.
* Create a swipe file of successful ads and letters. When you see an ad that catches your eye, save it.
* Save your “junk mail”. A lot of it’s written by the best copywriters in the world.
* Subscribe to the National Inquirer, The Star, The Globe, etc. The ads in these publications pull in millions of dollars worth of orders.
* Make sure your message matches your market. This means your offer has to have perceived value to your prospect.
* Use lots of testimonials in your ad copy.
* The headline is the most important part of any ad or letter.
* Use multiple PS’s in your letter. Restate the offer, deadline, free gift, etc.
* Offer multiple options for your services. Label them ex. Gold, Silver, Bronze.
* Before you write, make a list of all the objections a prospect could have for not buying your product or service and then answer them in your letter.

Direct mail is a profitable marketing strategy if it’s used properly and all three components are well thought out. It can provide you with an endless source of targeted leads for your product or service.

Marketing With A Cause

In order to grow a large successful enterprise, there are many areas that your company must address which combine together to form the elements necessary for success. First, the foundation for success must be based on the company’s commitment to a unique, “service to mankind” orientated product line that is highly consumable. Of nearly equal importance, however, is the Mission Statement which forms the “Soul” of the company. It is that philanthropic commitment and intangible belief system that makes Multi-Level Marketing companies different from most traditional companies. In order to still act as a bonding agent between distributor and company, rarely can the mission statement of a company be based on financial rewards alone. Because, as soon as the next “new money deal” comes along, distributors are lured toward the promise of increased profits or easy money.

People Love a Worthy Cause. One of the things that separate humankind from the animal kingdom is that we all want to make a difference and a contribution that will make this world a better place for our families, our friends and all people. Part of our human character wants to do something meaningful with our lives. Most of us feel that we are to some extent “our brothers keeper” whether we acknowledge it our not. We know that there are those that need our help but may feel helpless to do anything about it.

It was three decades ago when Bob Dylan first sang the words “The times, they are a changin’.” Well, the times are still a changin’ — even faster and more furious than ever. And it appears that the change is for the better.

Of all places, this latest revolution is coming from, Corporate America. Big business is rising to the challenge of social relevance, in the most amazing conversion since Ebeneezer Scrooge.

This move toward global responsibility, for example, was made magnificently manifest by Ted Turner’s “no-strings-attached” gift of one billion dollars to the United Nations. And it wasn’t only altruism — the media mogul’s gift was an exercise in what marketing analysts are calling, “philanthropic Economics.”

Simply put, informed investors and marketers are finding that kindness and goodness sell. Advertising agencies and public relations firms are impressing on their clients, more and more, that consumers just feel better about buying from a company with a heart.

Savvy marketers now realize that sponsoring some deserving cause, while at the same time selling their product or service, is endearing them to their customers. Global awareness is the order of the day — greed is out.

There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon, but the most basic is a matter of human survival. Our earth is endangered with problems we simply can’t ignore, no matter what our socio-political persuasions may be. We’re realizing that as a race we are renters, and Mother Nature is sending the people of this planet a notice: “Quit trashing the property, or get evicted.”

Consider these following global and social challenges:

* Illiteracy

* Poverty stricken minority communities

* Environmental abuse

* AIDS Homelessness

* Wildlife and habitat destruction

* Low quality education systems

* Elderly neglect Child abuse

Lest the planet parish, these dilemmas must be fixed. But who’s in charge of the repairs? Over the years, society has pretty well left these challenges to government agencies, non-profit organizations and churches. That is to say, the bucks to battle the badness plaguing this planet came from car washes and bake sales. Well, that’s changing. Now, business is stepping in to help shoulder the load. To be sure, their motivation isn’t always purely altruistic — the consumer demands it.

Today’s consumer is more inclined to seek solutions, and they are wide awake to what’s wrong in the world. Because they are more socially and global conscious, they tend to avoid companies whom they see as willing to sacrifice the future of humanity on the altar of greed. The new reality is: Corporations must either align with the expectations of socially sensitive consumers or be left in the dust of their more enlightened competitors. Companies that do align themselves with worthy causes and respond to issues affecting their customers, on the other hand, are being rewarded at the cash register.

Here are a couple more examples of companies that have turned their cause into cash:

The Body Shop — An $800-million cosmetics company founded by Anita Roddick, The Body Shop has earned a loyal clientele using recyclable packages, refusing to sell products tested on animals and buying materials from underdeveloped areas to improve their standard of living.

Ben and Jerry’s Homemade ANC — Founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield and located in Waterbury Vermont, this company built an $80-million business helping local dairymen by buying milk and cream locally. To meet their sense of social responsibility, they set up the Ben and Jerry Foundation which gives 7.5 percent of pretax profits to nonprofit organizations.

So Who’s Leading the Way? It is entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of this economic revolution — and it shouldn’t surprise you. After all, entrepreneurs are, defined as “enlightened capitalists”. The entrepreneurial mind is resourceful and creative. They must, of necessity, look for ways continually to improve their products, packaging and presentations. It is only natural that an entrepreneurial organization, cause driven to begin with, would incorporate the concept of philanthropic economics into the mission of their business.

The most prominent of all cause driven entrepreneurial entities would have to be Multi-Level Marketing. MLM is capturing the hearts and minds of enlightened capitalists around the world; in the same way that franchising has moved from the fringes of free enterprise into the mainstream of commerce.

It may be, in fact, that the reason for the rapid rise in Multi-Level is that the very soul of MLM is tied to a cause. It is a belief system that makes Multi-Level Marketing companies different from the traditional direct selling organization. The foundation for success in Multi-Level Marketing is typically based on the MLM company’s commitment to a unique, highly consumable “help-to-humanity” service or product.

Multi-Level leaders have found that material gain and money are simply not enough to bond company and distributor. They could be easily enticed by every new money deal that comes along, if money were all that mattered to the distributor. However, their own lives are impacted by that company’s health product, so they want to share the good news with the world.

It’s a mission that goes beyond money. MLM distributors are galvanized by a sense of destiny. There are three things, it’s been said, that you should never argue about with someone: 1) their politics, 2) their religion and 3) their vitamin supplements. Why is this? Because these are loyalties that are not financially based. Attach a “cause” in which they can get behind and the synergy you can create is amazing. Talk about dynamic! The air is charged with a contagious, almost missionary zeal for one’s company, service or product.

This might be an important “moral” from all this: Your company should consider associating with a cause and social conscience. These kinds of companies are proven to have more staying power in the marketplace. The bottom line is, people like to do business with companies that do well by doing good.

Making Money With Article Marketing – Internet Secrets For Success

Making Money with Article Marketing – Internet Secrets For Success

Creating an article and trying to make money from it doesn’t require you to be a graduate of any prestigious school or to finish any specific course. There is also no requirement for you to acquire any kind of certification to get started with article marketing. Internet success can easily be found by learning as you go along. The only real requirement is that you have to be a pretty fast learner and very eager to learn using a modicum of common sense. Don’t expect to gain income when you haven’t learned anything.

Here are my top 5 secrets you need to know for success;

  1. The most important secret is that there really are no secrets in article marketing. Internet media has long passed conventional media and if there were a secret it would be that common sense will always prevail… no matter what you hear. As long as you choose a good article marketing network (like EzineArticles.com) you are good to go.
  2. It is also no secret that picking the right articles can make your article marketing online more successful. There is a wide variety of content on the Internet for you to choose from. You can buy some and there are also some available for free.
  3. Keywords play an important role in your success in article marketing. Internet courses are available to teach you how to pick the best keywords with the least competition which will bring your article marketing submissions to the top ranks of the search engines.
  4. You must also learn the best current SEO techniques. Look for a good article marketing video which usually covers the basics of this, which is quite easy once you learn how. Learning how to optimize your website will allow it to shine above the rest.
  5. You must learn the different ways of marketing your website using, of course, the Internet, especially if you have chosen to focus your attention in a large market. The best way I have found is with article marketing. Internet sites and search engines love it but you must know how, when, where and to whom to market your website. You must determine who your target audience is and how to market directly to them.

First thing first is that you must have enough of a budget to support and start your article marketing campaign; you must also have a little knowledge on how and when to start. Buying a general book about internet marketing will be helpful for you to get started. When you learn some of the above mentioned skills, in just a short time on your own, you will be on your way to becoming a successful Internet marketer. You have to be aggressive and determined and success is in your hand.