Direct Mail Statistics – How to Test Direct Mail Without Losing Your Shirt

At some point most small or new businesses decide to try a direct mail marketing program. Direct mail is one of many ways for a business to market their product or services. One of the first things you need to consider are the Direct Mail Statistics and before you embark on a direct mailing campaign you need to estimate what your typical response rate should be.

It can be very hard to estimate what the response rate might be on some campaigns, so it is helpful to keep in mind what the industry average is. The industry average response rate is around 2.6%. Keep in mind though that is just an average. If you count on getting a response rate of 2.6% you might be really disappointed when your response rate is possibly as low as.2%. Also take in to account your product or service. If you have a high-end product or service then a.2% response rate might be average for your industry and still a very good response rate. Keep in mind that these Direct Mail Statistics are the industry average.

A good way to figure out what kind of response rate your looking for is to figure out what your break even point is going to be. This is the percentage of sales achieved from the direct mail campaign that will be needed in order to cover the costs of the mail campaign. If your break even point is too high you might want to reconsider doing the campaign or maybe changing things to make it cheaper.  Direct Mail Statistics won’t help you figure out your own break even point, but they can help you decide if your campaign might be close to the goal of breaking even.

Direct Mail Statistics can help you to decide whether a campaign will possibly work, but sometimes it is best to just try out a small campaign to see If the smaller campaign works well then try increasing the size of it. If it doesn’t, then try making some changes before deciding it isn’t working. No matter what, always keep your expectations on the outcome at a reasonable level. It is better to underestimate and do better then you think you will, then to overestimate and do worse.

12 Grass Roots Marketing Ideas For Businesses

Guerilla marketing consists of marketing efforts that are defined as a localized strategy to promote a product or business. Guerilla marketing efforts require imagination, time, and effort instead of a huge marketing budget. Not all businesses can use all of these ideas due to local laws, but most can, and should use these low-cost and effective methods of advertising for their business.

Signage -The majority of your customers will visit your store because they are “drive-by” or “walk-by” customers. Put an “OPEN” neon sign in your window and have it lit when you are open for business so people know you are open. This is an important traffic driving tool in your arsenal.

Store Front -You should always keep your door open, weather permitting, to create a welcome feeling. More customers will come through your door if it is open. Another way to create a welcome or warm feeling for customers is to put balloons outside and inside, as well as streamers, music and other party items. Nothing draws attention like a party. Also put out sky dancers, big balloons on the roof, and other collateral items. Have gift certificates pre-printed in a convenient business card format, stand outside of the store and pass them out. Remember motion creates emotion!

Sign Walker -A sign walker is a person who stands on the sidewalk with an arrow or other sign that advertises your promotions as well as shows the way to your store. The sign must be clear in its message..and simple. The simpler the sign, the easier the customers can read it quickly. The sign should have your store name and a call to action. Research the times and days when traffic is heaviest in nearby intersections. You will also need to research where the best visibility will be for on-coming motorists.

It is a good idea to hire a sign walker through a temp agency so that you are not liable for the insurance requirements. The sign walker must be energetic and carefree and not embarrassed to sing, dance, jump around and talk to cars. Set these expectations with the temp agency to help them find a person who will be the “right fit” for your needs. Set specific parameters before you hire the sign walker. For example, where the person must stand; that they must stand the entire time; that they must point the arrow at your store; that they must turn around to be seen by on-coming traffic when the light changes; and that they cannot sit on the sidewalk and appear lifeless, etc. Make sure to give the person appropriate breaks and check on them about once an hour to make sure they don’t need water or to go to the restroom and that they are doing their job.

A-frame Sign - Put an A-frame sign, or sandwich board, on the sidewalk in front of your store and attach balloons, especially if you are on a busy street. This will grab foot traffic attention.

Special Events - Special events are also a must to draw in business. Purchase a large EZ Up tent to use at your convenience. Get everyone in your center involved. Have them hire or split the cost of radio stations, face painters for kids, etc. Get clubs and other free organizations to participate (i.e. Habitat for Humanity, the police station, etc.). Decorate your store and make it inviting. Have a different theme / activities each time you do these events, and have giveaways and prizes customers can enter to win. Contact your local chamber of commerce to hold events at your store as well. Speak with everyone who comes to your store.

Wrapped Vehicle/Banners – You can also put an upright arrow on top of your wrapped vehicle that points directly to your store. Other signs can also be put in the grass leading up to your store – there are many ways you can do this, but keep them simple. You can put one word per sign as attention getters. Banners out front are also a great way of letting your customers know what is sold in your business.

Online Sites – There are also other ways of marketing your store with online sites such as Yahoo, Google, and Facebook. Some store owners post on Craig’s List under the category “Items Wanted.” Ensure that your branding message is the same on all sites you advertise / sell on to get your branding message out to more people.

Local Publications -Design an ad for specific publications that focus on your neighborhood or town. Have this ad published in the month/week you are planning to open your store or have an event. Research what publications are popular or most often read. At the very least, cover ads (either front or back) will more likely be seen even if the publication is thrown away.

Direct Mail -You can try a direct mail campaign in your immediate area and then gauge the results after 2-3 consistent monthly attempts. This is effective in some areas but not in all. Postcards 6X12 are an excellent size to stand out amongst everything else.

Fliers – Fliers are also a great inexpensive way of getting the word out about your business and what you offer while avoiding expensive postage fees. Hand-deliver at least 1,000 fliers a minimum of two times a week before your business opens and once a week thereafter within a 3-5 mile radius. Check local laws on mailbox access and entering private property. After 2 – 3 months of consistent flier deliveries you can gauge the effectiveness of this program.

With ads for direct mailers or fliers, create a sense of urgency and set in print a timeline or cutoff date as to when the offer ends, such as one week after the piece hits homes. Provide contact information (i.e. store phone number, address, directions, intersection with small map, etc – but keep it clean). Pay attention to drop or publishing dates. Advertisements should hit homes when they have the potential to have the most impact such as a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and verify that they in fact went out. Finally, be sure your advertisement or call to action is easy to understand and the customer can “get it.”

Neighboring Businesses - Networking with neighboring businesses can be extremely effective to get customers into your store. For example, you could put fliers on pizza boxes, post coupons on the back of grocery receipts, offer free Starbucks coffee with a certain type of sale, etc. Be creative!

411 Directories -Registered your store with Yahoo and Google. Some online 411 directories are free and easy to set up.

What Do You Need To Be A Successful Affiliate Marketer?

Everyone has a differing opinion on what is needed to become a successful affiliate marketer and this includes opposing views on whether you should or should not have your own website. For my own part I believe that having some form of web site should be a mandatory aspect of you building your business. It is true that you can conduct affiliate marketing without a website, but when you consider that a number of the marketing methods available are used whether you have a site or not you might as well have sight together with a list building element for future growth and security. So what do you need?

1.You need to establish the niche you would like to promote- your starting point could be an interest, so that you are comfortable with the content of the subject. If you wish to promote digital products you can search Click bank to determine if there is a good match for your chosen area of interest.

2.Check demand, is your chosen area popular. Often opinion would suggest that an area full of competition should be avoided, but remember that this is also where the money is so is there something you could be doing better, your site, free offers etc.

3.Conduct keyword research for your chosen product, dig deep for popular search terms with limited competition so that you can build marketing campaigns. It is possible to find popular and competitive niches with long tail keywords that allow you to compete in even the most competitive of areas. To achieve this and save hours of detailed you would need to invest in some specialist keyword research tools.

4.Purchase a domain and arrange hosting. Your domain ideally needs to have your chosen main keyword in it, at the very least some link to the niche you are looking to market.

5.Your own website-although you could direct your marketing efforts directly to the merchants website, remember you are also working hard for this traffic, once its passed on its gone. If you build your own site you can implement list building techniques to secure this traffic and direct it to your merchants site.

6.Your site will require a opt-in form and be coded to accept a third party auto responder such as aweber.

7.In exchange for your visitors name and email address, you need to offer them a valuable free gift, this could be a free report, software, membership linked to the product your promoting.

8.A follow up series of email messages-it is a well known fact that if some one is going to buy it may take several looks at the offer before purchasing.

9.You then need to have an affiliate marketing strategy, including what methods of promoting you are going to use and over what period ot time you are going to measure these results and evaluate what to do next.

This is the key ingredients of one of the methods for promoting affiliate products, others would differ by operating a review page as opposed to a squeeze page web site, and other considerations need to surround whether to promote physical or digital products or both.

Other important factors are the quality of the product and the reliability of the affiliate scheme. Before promoting any product be sure of the products value, remember your reputation is on-line when promoting a product of your choice and it is you that are giving it your vote of confidence. If you choose a product of low quality this will effect you and your business.

Also be sure that you are confident in the affiliate scheme to pay you what you are owed and on time. Lastly any good affiliate scheme should provide you with as much support as is possible in the way of ads for your promotions. They have a vested interest in your success if there is no effort in this support I would recommend that you choose again.