"I" of the Consumer Week in Review

Marketing can be broken down into many different specific areas, and one such area that I’ve stumbled into more lately is direct mail. For those of you involved in direct mail, or those that think direct mail might be something worth adding to their existing plans or skill set, I recommend checking out Alan Rosenspan & Associates. Alan is a direct marketing guru and his free newsletter is a terrific resource for marketers. Learn more and signup here.

If you are coming off of a busy week, you may have missed the following posts:

  1. 5 Reasons Your Email Isn’t Getting Opened
  2. How to Start an Email Marketing Program Today
  3. 3 Ways to Improve Your Buttons
  4. The New 80/20 Rule of Advertising

Happy Sunday!

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The 7 T's of Follow Up

Sometimes in our marketing, it’s all about how we follow up with leads. We get people to the website through tv, radio, search or social media. We get them interested enough to give us some information, sign up for a mailing list, download a whitepaper, etc. But what comes next?

How you follow up with them will determine whether or not you eventually get a sale.

Here are the Seven Ts of Follow Up you must remember in order to improve the likelihood that you convert more interested prospects into sales.

  1. Timing. The speed at which you follow up has a lot to do with whether or not you hold someone’s interest or turn them off. Get back to them quickly, while they’re still interested, and continue to reach out on a regular basis until you get the sale.

  2. Theme. Your follow up should stick to one general theme. You should express how your offering will solve a need. Instead of bouncing around from one idea to another, seeing which one sticks, try to keep one consistent message throughout.

  3. Tempt. Whether you’re following up by phone, mail, or email, you want to make an offer. This might be your standard offer, or something that they can’t find on your website or anywhere else. Make it easy for someone to get started with a low rate, or discount the price from what they originally saw. This will get more people to bite.

  4. Tease. Give them something for free. Let them try out your product or service, or some facet of it, before they make the commitment.

  5. Trespass. Get in front of them in as many ways as possible. Trespass might sound like a bad thing, and we definitely don’t want to be so pushy that everyone gets turned off. But don’t be so passive that you don’t get noticed. You can follow up with texts, calls, web ads, emails, postal mail, etc. Usually a combination works better than just one method or the other.

  6. Telesales. The old 1800 or 0800 numbers might sound like a surefire way to piss off your prospective customers, but it all depends on the strategy you employ and the industry you’re in. For many industries, it takes a phone call (or multiple calls) to get to the sale. Train your salespeople to be helpful rather than pushy and you should see results.

  7. Test. If you read this blog often you knew I was going to end with this. Your job as a marketer is never done. Performance can always be better. Test and track new methods of follow up to see how they convert. If it’s better, work them into your regular follow up methods. If not, scrap them and test something new.

How to Save Money on Direct Mail

Does your company still use direct mail as part of your marketing plan?

Don’t be afraid to admit it. Direct mail still works. I use it myself. And if it didn’t work, I’d know it, and I’d stop.

But we can all agree that the cost of physical mailings is going up, and with the dismal financial situation at the postal service, it may go up even faster in the near future.

So what can we do to combat this?

  1. Grow your lists. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you mail, the better price you’ll get. You will save on production costs. But not everyone can just grow their lists like that. So,
  2. Stop sending first class. Send your mailings bulk, and save on postage. But maybe you’re already doing that, or sending bulk is not an option for you. So,

Put your stuff online!

The real way that many companies can save money on their direct mail is by combining a physical mailing with an online offer. Instead of sending a stuffed envelope with a letter, a form to mail back, and a return envelope, print a simple postcard that directs people to the web.

And not just any website, a specific page outlining this particular offer. It’s not hard, time-consuming, or expensive to create a simple web page outlining all the details of the offer. And on the web, there is no need to save space. You can add as much as you want to spice up the deal and really sell it.

Plus, when you are sending a postcard, you don’t have to sell the offer. You just have to sell the trip to the website. It’s a lot easier and you are getting someone to commit to your offering in smaller increments. It’s an all-around win!

For more marketing tips and direct mail ideas, check out our friends over at Dirty Marketing Secrets.

Direct Marketing Video Series

Direct marketing can mean a lot of different things these days. In the classical sense, it’s promotion mailings. It’s physical, you can hold this in your hand, marketing that you send out to people in order to boost sales, awareness, and loyalty.

This field of marketing has its successes and failures, like everything else. And in a world where the Postal Service is going under, and consumers are more aware than ever before when they are being marketed to, you would think that the direct mail business was dying. But the truth is, this form of marketing still works for many companies. And you can rest assured that those companies will continue to fight to get in your mailbox until it’s no longer physically possible.

For those of you, like me, who do some form of direct marketing, here is something you may find interesting. Our friends over at Dirty Marketing Secrets have an ongoing video series wherein they dissect direct mail pieces and show the pros and cons of each piece.

Enjoy their latest video here: