Marketing, Advertising and Promoting Through Direct Mail

Direct mail - postcards, ‘invitation-style’ mail, brochures, folders, flyers, etc. – is a very effective marketing, advertising and promotion tool which offers great flexibility and tremendous potential for creativity. It also provides the opportunity to talk right to your target audience, even if you’re targeting ‘consumers in general’ and you can deliver your message to people where they live or where they work. As we have already mentioned, direct mail is one of the most effective forms of advertising and promotion, if not the most effective! That effectiveness comes in part from the fact that it’s an ‘active’ marketing outreach, rather than a ‘passive’ outreach which must first wait for the audience to come to the promotion vehicle in general and your ad in particular, such as if you advertise on TV or radio, or in the local newspaper, etc.

Another reason direct mail is so effective is that, in theory at least, your mail will be delivered directly to your prospects – addressee by addressee – even when the promotional piece is sent to “current resident”. We said ‘in theory’ because the truth is, no one can ever really guarantee that your specific prospect will actually retrieve the mail the very day your piece is being delivered, unless the mail piece requires identification and a signature. The added costs for those postal services, on top of the cost of postage alone, would make the mail piece too expensive for most direct mail campaigns.

However, for some “high-ticket” items, such as real estate, car sales, luxury items, etc., the added cost might be justified, and warranted, in order to make a profound impression. That same logic may also be applied if you and your promotion partners decide to send something other than the usual, two-dimensional printed piece. For example, a box with a Halloween object inside, to accompany your Halloween promotion.

the downside for direct mail is, there is a tremendous amount of “junk mail” still cluttering mail boxes. In fact, most direct mail probably falls in the junk-mail category. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider direct mail, just that you should make sure your mail promotion will stand out from the clutter.

And, with that parameter clearly in mind, there’s one other thing to remember: direct mail will give you great freedom to be extremely creative, as long as your creativity is appropriate – for the audience targeted, for the theme or concept of the promotion and for each and every one of the partners participating with you. A promotional partner is a sponsor that is helping to pay for some or all of the advertising costs.

There are some mail ‘mechanics’ to keep in mind, such as, whatever the actual mail piece is, it should either provide advertising or promotion space for each participating partner or appropriate space to group all partners together, even showing the individual store names and logos, just the way a merchants’ association would for the participating merchants in a mall. Another direct mail ‘mechanic’ to remember involves the minimum number of pieces required to qualify for reduced bulk mail per-piece postage rates. And, unless your direct mail piece is going to be mailed for first class postage, you’ll need to acquire a bulk mail permit, for a fee, and the pieces in the mailing will need to be “bagged and tagged” according to the postal service’s requirements.

You may want to explore alternatives and your options with a commercial direct mail or bulk mail ‘vendor.’

Why Direct Response Advertising Is Less Effective In Your Home Business!

If you are still using direct response advertising in growing your home
business, you may not go far in terms of being successful because there are
more proven and powerful methods of building your home business.

Direct response advertising are the advertising that comes directly to the
consumers of a product with a hyped up sales pitch for the prospects to buy.

The medium that these methods of marketing is used can be seen in the TV
infomercials, Google AdWords, and Ezine advertising.

I want you to know that these methods are proven means to sell any products
of your choice. It worked at the inception of the internet. It is still
working in our day. However, presently the effectiveness of using this method has plummeted considerably.

For instance, if you try using Google AdWords to sell a product, you
will find out that most times you find it difficult to break even on your
campaign, besides dumping thousands of dollars in PPC fees each month.

This is because even though you use highly focused and targeted keywords to
drive the right prospects to your website, these prospects do not buy because they have an array of choices to make, and do not truly know a reliable and
genuine company that may have the quality of products that will actually
solve their problems.

So they simply take a look at your website, click on the back button and
proceed to the next similar product.

Granted, sometimes you have people buying your products, however statistics
have shown that it is becoming more difficult to get 1 out of every 100
targeted people to buy your products using PPC.

I’m honestly in no way condemning the use of PPC to advertise your home
products, what I’m only doing is trying to show you the true picture and also let you know that there is a way you can use PPC profitably instead of
using direct response advertising to get buyers for any products you may be
selling.

How to Keep Your Legitimate Direct Mail From Getting Snatched Up by Spam Filters

You spend hours working on a piece of direct e-mail, sweating over the tiniest details, making sure it tells your customer or prospect exactly what they need to know in exactly the right way. When you’re finished your tenth or eleventh draft, you click the send button, sit back, and wait for business to start rolling in.

But nothing happens.

Studies show that more than fifteen-percent of permission-based e-mails don’t make it through the spam filters of major e-mail account providers like Yahoo!, Google, and Hotmail. And for query e-mails (non-permission-based e-mails) the rate is much, much higher. People just aren’t receiving these messages!

Composing your e-mails doesn’t end when you’ve perfected the body copy for sales effectiveness. You also have to take into consideration how your copy will be “read” by spam filters. Many filters use a points-based system to determine whether a piece of email is legitimate, awarding points for certain words and phrases and domain names, and even the colors you use in your design. The higher you score, the less likely it is that your e-mail will be delivered.

To avoid having your hard work intercepted and “absorbed” by spam filters, consider these important rules when editing the text of your e-mail.

Rule #1: Be Careful With Your Vocabulary

Spam filtering programs use an entire dictionary of common words and phrases that pop-up consistently in spam e-mails. Avoid words like “free,” “prize,” “offer,” the names of major pharmaceuticals, the names of celebrities, etc.

Rule #2: Be Professional

Writing in all-caps, increasing font-size, using lots of punctuation (such as multiple exclamation points) and highlighting words in rainbow colors are all tell-tale sign for spam-filters that your e-mail is suspicious. Keep it simple and clean. Let your words do the talking.

Rule #3: Don’t Send Attachments

With the prevalence of viruses and other corrupting software, very few attachments make it through spam filters. Today, with the ability to safely embed both images and web links in your e-mail, sending attachments is becoming increasingly unnecessary.

Rule #4: Become a “Student of Spam”

Study the spam messages that make it into your inbox. How do you think they got through? What elements turn you away from reading it? Does the subject line make you want to open the message, or delete it? Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing the rules for success.

Rule #5: Use a Tool to Check Your E-Mail

There are countless e-mail analyzing services and software available on the web. Some of them are even free, like the cut and paste word-checker at SpamDance. By running your text through such a tool, it will help you optimize your language and ensure success of your direct e-mail campaign.

Marketing Breakthroughs is an Ottawa marketing, branding and advertising company specializing in helping businesses grow and succeed online. Contact our web marketing specialists [http://www.marketingbreakthroughs.com] today to learn more about how we can take your website to the next level.