Direct Mail Marketing Strategy That Works Now

Direct mail marketing seems so obvious and straight forward a choice, a perfect solution for the small business owner who can’t spend a substantial amount of money on advertising. Yet a lot of those direct mail marketing campaigns fail miserably. Here is the reason why: direct mail marketing is all about strategy.

Although an e mail or internet marketing campaigns may seem the obvious solution for the future, there is today a saturation of spam mail. That is the reason why a direct mail marketing strategy is something worth looking into.

A correct direct mail marketing strategy gives you complete control over who is going to see your ad, and in what form will it be (a letter, flayer, postcard). A small business owner should start to apply his strategy when he makes his first sale, by collecting addresses from the buyers. Many small businesses rely on repeat customers and a good word of mouth. A reminder to a satisfied customer that a sale is in progress can reel in some of his close friends.

The campaign should not end there. Having a new, customized mailing list is important as well. Knowing who the target clients are, and where to find those clients is an important part of the whole strategy.

The message that will be sent is important to a no lesser degree. A call to action from the part of the recipient should be included. The objective of the direct mail marketing strategy is to put the right message in front of the target client at the right moment.

Define your objectives. Of course you want to generate sales, but which way; By bringing in foot traffic? By bringing in referrals? By giving incentives to repeat customers? Or by creating brand recognition?

The strategy should be put to the test on a small scale and refined after results are in. That can be simply done by creating a code that will tell you what area of town it is coming from and who is more responsive to your product.

There are some websites that explain in detail how to prepare a marketing strategy. Small Business Center from Microsoft, Postcardsmart or a company called Market Wise Solutions have a well of information.

Many experts believe this strategy is the most cost effective way for a small business to go. Mail campaigns can cost as much as $1000 to reach 1000 people. Having a laid-out plan, down to the details, is essential when planning a direct mail marketing strategy. Not getting discouraged, being flexible and adjusting the plan according to the actual test results are the well traveled roads in the way to success.

Busted Myth: Direct Mail Never Works

If you ask Zach Graves of Carino’s Italian Restaurant in Meridian, Idaho about direct mail, he’ll tell you that this marketing strategy CAN indeed work. Over the last few months he has used two different direct mail strategies with mixed results. What the losing mailer lacked, the profitable one had.

In fact, it wasn’t even close! The end results showed a 32% overall response rate for the winning campaign! (32% is not a typo). Keep in mind that a 1-2% response rate for a direct mail piece is often considered successful and profitable… let alone 32%!

Some may argue, that more often than not, restaurants will see better response rates than just about any other industry. I consent, this may be true. But whether you are a restaurant or not, getting nearly 1/3 of recipients to respond to a mailer is awesome by any standards.

And no, this mailer was not sent to an internal or warm list. It was mailed to an average sized COLD list, which makes it an even more remarkable success. The recipients were not expecting anything from Carino’s nor did they opt-in to receive anything from the restaurant.

Here’s why the direct mail campaign worked so well:

  1. We made sure their mailing list was extremely targeted. I’m talking about a specific radius around their restaurant and a well-defined income and age range. We even planned the mailer to hit the mailboxes at precisely the right time, based around an event that was about to happen in the recipient’s life.
  2. A personalized letter was sent out and included a real, hand-placed stamp. Just a note… the losing mailer was one of those direct mail coupon books full of competing offers and ads.
  3. The offer was personalized and very generous, but not so much that it “ate up” the profits. In the end, the mailer still has to be profitable, right?

Think about it. Would you rather get a generic postcard addressed to you or the “CURRENT RESIDENT”, or a personalized letter and envelope in the mail arriving at just the right time? Of course, the letter, which in turn makes you more likely to respond to the offer inside.

Maybe you’ve tried direct mail a time or two and found that it just wasn’t profitable. That’s okay. But don’t make up your mind quite yet. Instead, maybe follow the lead of Carino’s and make your next direct mail campaign worth doing.

How to Use YouTube to Market on a Budget – Online Video Marketing For Your Business

In order to build business awareness and ultimate success, every company must have an online marketing campaign with individual goals for promoting their product or service. Some companies may be trying to promote brand awareness. Others may try to promote a particular product or drive sales to their retail store or website.

YouTube can also be used for other purposes than just sales. You can incorporate YouTube as part of your product or customer support mix, use videos for product training, and even for recruiting and employee communications.

Anything you can say in person or to a group of people, you can say in a video and distribute it via YouTube. Here are a few ways in which YouTube video marketing is most beneficial to add to your business marketing mix:

YouTube For Brand Awareness

Online videos are better at promoting brand awareness than traditional TV ads. A Millward Brown study found that online viewing led to 82% brand awareness and 77% product recall, compared to just 54% brand awareness and 77% product recall, and 18% product recall for similar television ads.

Experts believe this is because online viewers are more engaged and interactive watching videos than passive television viewers are with TV ads.

YouTube For Product Advertising

To promote a product, you want to show the product in your advertising, as Nike did with its clips for Tiempo Ronaldinho shoes. You can show the product in action or used as part of a demonstration or tutorial. Make sure you include plenty of close-up product shots and links back to your own website-where more product information is available.

YouTube For Retail Promotion

Promote your companys’ retail store. These videos can be general in nature ( which gives the videos a long shelf life), or more specifically targeted to short-term promotions i.e. “check out this weekend’s specials!”
Make the video informative, and you stand a better chance of grabbing eyeballs.

YouTube For Direct Sales

Show the product in action or provide a clip of the service in question, and then ask for the sale by directing the viewer to your website. One of the best ways is to showcase the product in an instructional video – the online equivalent of an “old-school” informercial.

The key to converting eyeballs to dollars is to generously highlight your company’s website address or 1-800 number within the body of the video. Put the contact information at the front of the video, at the end of the video, and overlaid at the bottom of the screen during the body of the clip. Make sure it’s easy for interested viewers to find out more information about your product or place an order.

YouTube For Product Support

YouTube is not only for generating new business, it can also be used to support your existing customer base. Consider some of the most common customer problems and questions, and produce one or more videos addressing those issues. If you can help you customers help themselves, you provide them with a useful service and reduce your company’s support costs – all with a free video.

For example: if you record a short video demonstrating how to put one of your racks together and post that video to YouTube, you can direct your customers to that video if they have problems. For that matter, you can embed the YouTube video into your website, using YouTube to host the video.

YouTube for Product Training

You have a new product and your company sales force to train. How best to reach them? Consider using YouTube. Create a series of short video training series, upload them to YouTube (make it a private video so that it won’t be viewable by the public) and provide access to all of your company personnel. Sales force personnel can watch the videos at their leisure, without losing valuable sales time trekking back to the office for training. You save money, your salespeople save time, and you create an archive of product information that anyone can access at any time.

YouTube For Employee Communications

Use YouTube for your company communications. Instead of holding a big company meeting for the CEO to give his annual state of the company address, record the speech and post it on a private channel on YouTube. Employees can watch the CEO give his address from the comfort of their own desks, while they’re on the road, or even at home.

Instead of sending impersonal memos via email, use YouTube to get information out there in near-real time, with all the benefits of a face-to-face communication.

YouTube For Recruiting

Finally, don’t underestimate YouTube as a recruitment tool for new employees. Post a company welcome video on YouTube and make it public. You can link to the video from all your recruiting materials, even from any traditional ads you place. Don’t limit yourself to a single long puff video: produce separate videos for individual departments, as well as to illustrate company values, employee benefits, and company facilities.

There are a lot of ways your company can make use of YouTube videos – from traditional brand and product marketing to customer support and employee communications. Everything you post on YouTube is completely free of charge. Don’t be afraid to get started, even if your first videos are modest with little budget behind them. YouTube makes it easy to dip your toes in the water; you can’t reap the benefit until you get online.