Direct Mail Self-Education

Direct mail is one of the most expensive ways to market a product or service-but it’s also by far one of the most productive. You can experiment with new ideas with minor risk, as long as you test your ideas on small groups. If you lose money during a test, you’re only losing that little bit of cash, so it’s really not that risky. Ultimately, even though you’ll spend more on each customer than with other means of advertising, you have the potential to convert more people, so you’ll profit more in the long run.

It’s best if you keep up a continuous trickle of direct mail, so you can make continuous profits. Some of our competitors wait until the quarterly counts come up for the mailing lists that they use, then try to get their mail into their listees’ mailboxes before everybody else and thereby profit by snapping up new customers. There are many, many people in our market who are playing that game. But that’s not a good idea when you’re in it for the long haul. Our profits all come from the back end — and so rather than mailing out 750,000 pieces in one shot every quarter, we instead chose to send a consistent amount of direct mail on a weekly basis as part of our new customer acquisition program. We’re not always getting in the mailbox before our competitors, but I’m not sure that that’s really an important thing, especially since our strategy is based on what our customers do after their first purchases.

Sending out customer acquisition mail every single week brings new customers into the fold a few at a time in a steady stream. You need to try things like this, to see what comes of them. Just let the numbers tell you what to do. Test everything you can think of, and follow the numbers. Once you’ve got a nice customer base in place, segment it out so that you can communicate to different groups of customers in different ways. Determine who your very best customers are, so you can take better care of them and create specific offers for them that nobody else is getting. And then, through a series of back-end promotions, continually try to re-sell to your established customers as many times as you can.

When people look at my business, they don’t always understand why we’ve succeeded. But it’s simple. A small part of it is persistence and, yes, maybe talent — but 90% is just an intimate knowledge of the marketplace, based on realizing that opportunity marketing is the world’s largest niche market. If you can’t think of anything else to sell, try moneymaking information. Even though there are millions of people out there who habitually buy moneymaking plans and books, they’re basically like the people a specialized niche market — meaning that they all exhibit the same behavior. They have the same psychographics; they think alike. Once you get a feel for that, you develop a lot of confidence. Once you can break through their skepticism, you can build long-term relationships with them — and that’s where you make money.

Most of the people who fail in this and other marketplaces are those who don’t realize the value of re-selling to the same customers over and over again, because they will keep buying — as long as you consistently develop good, solid programs and remain focused on customer service. By that, I mean that you’re dedicated to delivering the best programs you can, products and services that stand the greatest chance of making your customers the most money in the smallest amount of time. As long as people feel your heart’s in the right place, that you’ve got good, strong money-bank guarantees, and you’re making them good offers that they can’t say no to, they’ll buy and re-buy from you indefinitely. You’re there to produce a product that’s going to allow somebody else to learn more and to get themselves up higher on the learning curve so they can go out and create more money. That’s the essence of a moneymaking opportunity; it’s so simple.

It starts with a product or service that’s for sale; that’s Number One. Number Two is a marketing plan to sell it with. Number Three, you need to provide all the turnkey materials-combine it all into a package that people can buy easily. That gives them the products and services to sell, things that they really feel good about. There has to be a continual commitment, too, just like with a good network marketing program. Join one, and you’ll see a great business opportunity in action. They have great products; they give you the marketing plans; they provide the motivation to go out there and make money with it; and then they package it all, so that it’s as effortless and confusion-free as it can possibly be. You can do the same. With this kind of program, you show people what they have to do to go out there and sell the product or service.

Of course, the business opportunities that sell the best are the ones that promise the most money on every transaction, or that offer residual income on the back end. There’s nothing too complicated about it. People are looking for something that sounds new or different or exciting, so you’ve got to find some hook or angle to wrap your business opportunity around. The better you can combine those elements, the easier it becomes.

This is a function of experience, but that’s easy to acquire. Just get on as many mailing lists as you possibly can. Send away for opportunity after opportunity, and pretty soon your name will be traded back and forth between the different opportunity sellers, and you’re going to end up on everybody’s lists. Every day, your mailbox will be stuffed full.

You’re going to learn through osmosis to a degree, just by being a good customer and deciding you’re going to study the best direct mail packages you can find-and by learning to look at it from a business person’s standpoint rather than from a consumer’s. We call that getting on the other side of the cash register, and it’s crucial to your success.

What Brands Should Know About Social Media Marketing

Social media websites are an emerging tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal. They can be utilized to build brand loyalty on networking sites which already command a large following of highly-engaged, digitally active consumers. One of the top social networking sites, Facebook, actually receives more traffic on some days than even Google does. However, it is important for a brand’s image in the digital space to create and maintain a reciprocal social media experience if they want to see results from this technique.

Your socially-based marketing strategy needs to provide a benefit to users to keep them engaged. This does not necessarily mean you need to offer tangible items, such as coupons or other complimentary items; instead, the perceived ‘benefit’ for your followers and fans can simply be the chance to “interact” with your brand. Enabling two-way communication between a brand and its supporters can often be the most successful form of marketing within social media.

Engaged social media followers can be difficult for a brand to attract and maintain. Advertisers need to be aware that they cannot simply update their status messages with marketing materials in order to successfully capture their audience; instead, they need to provide an experience outside of the traditional direct response formula.

Offering the target audience an experience unique to your social media strategy is key to overall success. For example, your Twitter account should reply to users’ comments and questions, post links to stories, videos, or websites outside of what would be considered direct response marketing, and re-tweet (or, forward along) posts that you think would be interesting to other followers of yours.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace offer unique opportunities for advertisers as well. Both sites provide for a brand to create or sponsor applications, games, and other forms of interaction. These engagement techniques are great examples of social network-based tools that a brand can utilize to market themselves in a less direct, yet highly visible manner.

Ideas For Marketing Your Service

Marketing a service is different from marketing a product. The decision to use a service tends to be more emotional. The customer needs to feel (FEEL) comfortable with the person providing the service. This is not the case when the customer is buying a product. Most of the time the customer doesn’t even know the person who created the product. The main concern when buying a product is, will it give me the benefits I want.

Most services are marketed more effectively with a main personality behind them. Even if that personality isn’t the person actually performing the service. The customer wants to see and feel comfortable with the “person” behind the service. Personality marketing is very effective when used to sell a service.

Face it
When promoting your service make sure you use a professional photograph. Craigslist has thousands of professional photographers on the cheap. Check references and check out their samples. Your face is your ticket to making the customer feel like they know you. If you are selling a professional service wear a business suit or dress (look professional). If you are selling a landscaping business look like a landscaper (jeans etc.).

Tag line
Make sure you have a good tag line to go with your logo. It should state the main benefit to using your service. The simpler the better, don’t try to be too creative with the tag line. No one will sit down for 5 minutes, to try to understand what you are trying to say in your tag line.

Business cards
Have your business cards printed on both sides. Put the main benefit of using you on the front and lots of testimonials on the back. And pass them out by the thousands. Gotprint.com is the best and cheapest place I found for business cards.

Power of the word
I believe direct response marketing is the most consistently effective way to market services. But nothing beats word of mouth advertising, when one person takes the time to tell a friend about your service its very powerful. It just not predictable, so you have to ask for referrals and reward your current customers for recommending you. I love promotional items for this reason, it helps create and reward word of mouth advertising.

Think about what you could give your current customers for recommending your services. Make sure the gift has your name and number on it.

The product
With services you are the product, market your personality. Let the market know your background and philosophy of doing business.