Big Direct Mail Mistakes!

Next to cold calling, I’d have to say that direct mail is one of the most misrepresented marketing tools around. (When it comes to offline strategies anyhow.) Why do I say this? Just take a look at some of the mailers you get! Most direct mail advertisements are an exercise in “how to waste the most money possible in 3 back-breaking steps!” Ugh… I get worn out just thinking about it!

I cut my teeth on direct mail in the mortgage industry. When the industry average was 1/2 of 1% response to a mailer, my campaigns were consistently drawing 1.5 – 2% for large mailings, and 4 – 5% for smaller more targeted campaigns.

What made the difference? Here’s a few of my secrets:

1. The art of the hook

Most of my co-workers were using copycat marketing strategies. They’d take a look at what everyone else was doing, and just copy it. No real thought was put into the message. Instead of taking the time to craft a mailer that spoke to its audience, these people seemed to think it was all a numbers game, and if they just threw enough mail into the market, they’d get enough back to make it worth the time and expense…. WRONGO!

Step #1 for me was to look at what everyone else was doing, take notes, and then NOT DO IT! If 90% of my own office sent the same darn mailers and message, chances were good the same ratio existed in the market. This translates into a soggy, wet, played out mailer that will disappoint every time.

After I saw what I needed to avoid, I then played the role of the recipient. How can I get my mailer opened? Aha! A unique mailing vehicle: I sent my mailers in greeting card envelopes! Sounds expensive right? Actually, compared to a wasted mail drop it was downright thrifty! I shopped online and bought my greeting card mailers at a nice discount, and sent 100 cards per drop to a targeted list.

My “hook” was to speak to the fears and concerns of my market. Instead of the usual cliche’ opening statements “You can save 136.44 on your mortgage” I decided to put myself back into the shoes of my audience: “What do I fear? What motivates me? Why am I ignoring these mailers?”

Boom! I got it! They’re ignoring me because they don’t trust me anymore! They are suffering from information overload as they are assaulted with “refinance now” messages on the radio, on television, in their emails…. I need to stop the madness! RESET their mindset!

How did I do this?

I accomplished this task by changing my approach to one that was unexpected. Instead of starting off with a sales pitch, I first empathized with their annoyance at getting so much junk mail: “I bet you’re sick and tired of getting all these letters from mortgage companies aren’t you? Before you tear this into tiny pieces, can I get you to take a look at the box I prepared below?”

As the readers eyes are drawn to the content box just 2 spaces down, I had a great hook ready for them. I’ve already accomplished objective #1 at this point. I got their attention, and demonstrated that if nothing else, I at least understand them and their frustrations better than the average mortgage company.

Why not try shifting your approach as well? You might be surprised at how well this works!

Network Marketing is a Great Option If You Want to Work at Home

I have to say I hesitated on the title of this article since there are so many ads that promise riches with no effort and even overnight riches.

As I thought about all of the reasons network marketing is a great option, I just couldn’t come up with a better suited title.

So let me share five of the reasons I believe you should consider direct sales when making the decision to work at home:

1. Order forms and catalogs already exist. Unless you’ve joined a brand new company, there are already product catalogs and order forms available. You will not have to reinvent the wheel or deal with designing and printing catalogs. Most distributors I’ve spoken to have confirmed that the cost of the catalogs is very reasonable.

2. Direct sales has been around over 100 years. Each year I see more companies attempt to enter the network marketing/direct sales arena. It’s a proven business model that works.

3. Product manufacturing is all handled by the company. Though it does happen, it’s seldom that a network marketing company can not deliver on product orders. This is very different that making your own products and trying to meet customer demand. In addition, the company will take care of any quality control issues, this won’t fall on you to deal with.

4. Branding and marketing are done by the company. For the most part the company will not advertise for individual customers but they will write company press releases and they will work on branding the company name. Companies will also make monetary and product donations throughout the country further promoting the company name.

5. Online ordering is often handled by the company. It can get very costly and time consuming to purchase shopping carts on your own and update your website on a regular basis. When you join a direct sales company, product updates and shopping carts are already in place. In addition, customers can often find product information made available by the company right on the website.

The fee to start a network marketing business is usually under $100 depending on what products you’ll be receiving. That, combined with the five reasons above, make choosing network marketing a great choice.

Stay at Home Moms – Make Money With Postcard Marketing

With the surge of everyone wanting to start a home based business, stay at home moms now have the opportunity to make some serious money working form home. Being a stay at home mom I know that time can be a restraint, so you will need to start a simple, profitable business that doesn’t require a lot of your time. There is no easier way to make money from home than with postcard marketing.

The reason I recommend stay at home moms start a postcard marketing business from home is because it only requires an hour or two of work each day to be successful. This hour or two of work per day consists of placing address labels and stamps to the back of your postcards so that they can be mailed out to a list of targeted prospects.

The key for success with postcard marketing is to find a hot product with a large and hungry buying crowd. Once you have the product and buyers, you should focus on finding a reputable list broker. A list broker will assist you in finding the right mailing list of potential buyers for the product or service you are marketing and trying to sell. Your mailing list is vital to your success and if you screw this part of the plan up, your success will be limited.

Once you’ve chosen your product and found a good list broker, you now need to design a high converting postcard. Your postcards should be written in a way that gets people to take action. You can have people call a hotline phone number or you can have them go directly to your website where you’re selling your product. Either option will work, but your postcard must get them to take action.

As a stay at home mom if you can put all of the elements listed in this article together you can build yourself a very profitable home business utilizing direct mail techniques for postcard marketing.