Category: Direct Mail Page 2 of 10

How to benefit by carrying out a responsible email marketing campaign

Spam seems to be … by the minute and this has become a major subject of concern for email … … email … is the only way by which … can make sure they are

Spam seems to be increasing by the minute and this has become a major subject of concern for email marketers. Responsible email marketing is the only way by which organizations can make sure they are safe. This is the reason why responsible email marketing is considered the future of email marketing. Discussed in this article are the different ways to carry out a responsible email campaign and how to benefit from it.

What is responsible email marketing?

A responsible email campaign involves carrying out email marketing by following certain guidelines, right from obtaining email lists to sending out mails. Permission based email marketing or opt-in email marketing can also be termed as responsible email marketing but not to that extent.

Permission based email marketing Vs Responsible email marketing

Permission based email marketing as the name suggests involves taking permission from the recipients of the e-mail before sending them any mails. But there are some basic points to be followed for a permission based email marketing campaign to be termed as responsible email marketing. The following points illustrate as to what permission based email marketing should involve to be considered as responsible email marketing.

Permission based email marketing should involve

1.) Obtaining email addresses by legitimate means like opt-ins
2.) Sending emails with a functional opt-out box
3.) Handing un-subscription requests at-least on a weekly basis
4.) Providing valid contact information and proper signatures with every mail
5.) Sending mails following a specific frequency at all times

Permission based email marketing should not involve

1.) Collecting email lists from email vendors or by using email software programs
2.) Sending mails with porn (without clearly stating so) or potentially damaging materials
3.) Sending emails with false headers that may create obstacles in tracking the mail
4.) Sending emails with false IP addresses
5.) Sending mails that do not have a reverse DNS lookup with the domain name
6.) Sending emails with misleading subject lines and mail content
7.) Sending mails from a computer that you do not have access to use

So only in-case the permission based or opt-in email marketing has these qualities can it be considered as responsible email marketing.

How to collect email lists to carry out responsible email marketing?

Getting email lists from email vendors is an easy thing to do, but is not recommended in the least. The best way to collect email addresses is by providing opt-in boxes on your websites, advertising in related ezines, websites, forums and blogs. Given below are nine points that you got to bear in mind while getting email lists using opt-in boxes.

Nine pointers to follow while getting email lists using opt-in method

1.) Never provide pre-checked opt-in boxes
2.) Never make your customers check the boxes by fake means
3.) Make the opt-in process as easy as possible
4.) Never ask for too many personal details
5.) Tell your customers what they will get in case they opt-in
6.) Provide incentives if required
7.) Provide a ‘mail to others’ or ‘tell your friends’ button
8.) Provide a privacy policy and stick to it
9.) Give information about un-subscription requests

What is single opt-in and double opt-in?

Single opt-in emails are those that do not require a re-confirmation. For instance, a customer clicks on a check box and he is automatically added to the subscription list. A double opt-in email on the other hand requires the recipient to reconfirm that he actually wants to receive the mails. Only after reconfirmation is the recipient added to the subscription lists. For instance, after the recipient clicks on a check box, he receives a reconfirmation mail. Only if he replies the mail or clicks a link in the mail will he be added to the subscription lists. The best way to carry out your responsible email campaign is to go for a double opt-in method.

Benefits of responsible email marketing

Responsible e-mail marketing has lots of benefits as compared to bulk email marketing. Few benefits are listed below

1.) As responsible email requires you to take prior permission before sending emailsFeature Articles, the chances of your mail getting termed as spam becomes negligible
2.) Responsible emails will help you create long term relationships with your clients
3.) Your can portray a professional and ethical corporate image
4.) As the email is personalized and highly targeted the probability of the recipient actually opening and reading the mail becomes very high
5.) Response rates will generally be higher
6.) You can generate customer trust that would help in building long term relationships

Although responsible email marketing may seem a difficult process it can benefit you in many more ways than as mentioned above. Carrying out email marketing in this manner will also make sure that you abide by the Can-Spam guidelines passed by the Federal government. There are many good sites that offer in-depth information on this subject. For instance http://www.bizbrim.com offers information on all aspects of responsible email marketing. To get information about the Can-Spam Act you can visit http://www.spamlaws.com/federal/108s877.html.

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About the Author
http://www.buytemplates.net is a leading web templates provider and has hundreds html templates in various categories that come at surprisingly affordable prices. Apart from offering web templates, they also offer allied services like template customization, content insertion, SEO and web hosting service.










Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

About the Author
http://www.buytemplates.net is a leading web templates provider and has hundreds html templates in various categories that come at surprisingly affordable prices. Apart from offering web templates, they also offer allied services like template customization, content insertion, SEO and web hosting service.

How i increased my ezine readership overnight

How I … My Ezine … … Marc … You are welcome to … this article as longas the resource box is included at the end.We all know how … our opt-in list

How I Increased My Ezine Readership Overnight!
by Marc Howlett

Note: You are welcome to republish this article as long
as the resource box is included at the end.

We all know how important our opt-in list are but what we really need is members that read our emails. How do we get them to open our mail and actually look forward to receiving it.

Here are some of the tactic I used recently to increase my readerships and more importantly increase my sales!

You Have Won!

Hold an ongoing prize drawing in your e-zine. The prizes should
be something of interest or value to your subscribers. Most
people who enter will continually read each issue for the
results.

100% Original

Give your subscribers content they can’t read anywhere else.
I’m not saying all your content has to be 100% original, but a
portion of your e-zine should have original information. People
will usually read information they havent read before.

Was I Right?

Give your subscribers a quiz or a series of trivia questions.
Publish the correct answers in your following issue. The people
who participate will want to see if they were right.

Read All About It!

Supply news stories related to your e-zine’s topic. People want
current and up-to-date news. If you can be their first source,
they will become loyal readers.

The Polls Are In!

Hold an interactive poll in your e-zine. Ask subscribers a poll
question. Have them e-mail their vote or opinion. People love
to give their 2 cents worth. They would also like to read the
results in your next issue.

Become A Jester 🙂

Give your subscribers a little humor now and then. Don’t be so
serious, tell them a joke. If they associate your e-zine with
being happy they will want to read every issue.

The Information Free-way

People love to get free stuff. Tell readers were to get free
stuff online or offline. It could be software, services, sample
products, e-books etc. The freebies should be related to your
e-zine’s topic. Keep the freebies coming and your subscribers
will keep reading!

Mini-Yahoo

Tell your subscribers about Web sites related to your e-zine’s
topic. The web sites should be interesting and helpful. Become
your readers miniature “Yahoo”, you know how many readers
they get.

In Our Next Issue…

Get your subscribers excited about your next issue. Tell them
about upcoming articles, prize drawings, freebies etc. If they
know what’s in store for themArticle Submission, they won’t want to miss reading
your next issue.

=================================================================

Marc Howlett currently uses the Plug in Profit Site
to build a residual income.
Do you think you have what is takes?
http://www.cash-attack.com

=================================================================

Article Tags:
Ezine Readership

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aged 32 with 2 children, I have over 12 years of sales experience and have been focusing on an online income for 6 months with excellent results.










Article Tags:
Ezine Readership

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aged 32 with 2 children, I have over 12 years of sales experience and have been focusing on an online income for 6 months with excellent results.

Make your 2005 email marketing plan successful six useful tips

Make your 2005 Email … Plan … – Six useful tips. by Mike … … Email … is growing more and more every year. Many small … owners have already made mark

Make your 2005 Email Marketing Plan Successful – Six useful tips.
by Mike Savaliya, MailMailer

Email Marketing is growing more and more every year. Many small E-business owners have already made marketing plans for 2005. Email marketing is a very popular tool these days but often not utilized correctly to reach out to prospective customers. E-mail is very effective and inexpensive tool than regular mail to attract prospective customers, grow relationships with current customers, gain mindshare among affiliate partners and resellers and increase brand awareness. Below are six useful tips to make your 2005 email marketing successful:

Improve your Email Marketing tactics
When used correctly, and ethically, email marketing is one of the most effective forms of online advertising. But if misused, abused or underutilized, e-mail marketing may have an adverse effect on your business. Here are some keys to successful email marketing.

Select the right Audience

Selecting right audience is the first step to any marketing strategy. Make sure to buy the right targeted audience segmented in right demographic groups. If gathering audience list on your website, make sure you collect as much information as you can to segment your list in to interests. If you are using an audience list that you currently have, make sure to divide it in to groups to make your message more effective.

Personalize your message

Segment your audience in to groups depending on geographical areas or interests or age and personalize your message for each group of audience. Expert statistics and results show that the more you personalize your message or newsletter, the higher your open rates and clickthrough rate will be.

Send HTML and Text versions

Send both HTML and Text version of you message so that everyone of your audience receive either HTML or plain text message depending upon their server settings. HTML messages tend to get much more response in terms of open rate than regular plain text.

Proper use of From, To and Subject line fields

Proper use of these fields is one of the most important keys to a successful email marketing message. Effective subject line will make your prospective customers to read your message.

•Use your company name or an individual within the company.
•Personalize each message with the recipient’s first name or last name.
•Use an effective and message related non-deceptive subject line. Creative, interesting and to the point straight subject line tends to give good results.

Don’t use “newsletter” word in your subject line if possible. Don’t use the same subject line every time. Ad words like free, cheap, free money does not work.

Balanced use of Text and Graphics

balanced use of text and graphics are also important for getting your message read and responded to. Not everybody have fast internet connection to download your graphics loaded message.

•Keep your message as clean as possible. Use soft colors with appropriate use of white spaces.
•Write a brief and to the point message rather than making them read the whole story. Make them to visit your website to read the full story.
•Too much graphics results in low open rates as nobody wants to wait till they download it.
•Always write your physical address at the bottom of your message to be CAN-SPAM compliant. Read the CAN-SPAM act on our website www.mailmailer.com

In many cases, search engine optimization and link popularity can be more effective to drive more traffic to your website but with low “visitor to customer” conversion rate. Traffic from your email marketing efforts will have high “visitor to customer” conversion rate. But Again If used wisely. There are many more useful tactics and tips for successful email marketing, but I cannot write them all in one article. MailMailer will be back with some more ideas on Email marketing for you in 2005.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Article by, Mike Savaliya of MailMailer http://www.mailmailer.com
Permission-based Email Marketing – Create HTML newsletters, manage lists, send campaigns in seconds. Track opens, clicks, compare campaigns. Free to try!










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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Article by, Mike Savaliya of MailMailer http://www.mailmailer.com
Permission-based Email Marketing – Create HTML newsletters, manage lists, send campaigns in seconds. Track opens, clicks, compare campaigns. Free to try!

Why should you compare your email campaigns

Making sure that your email … … are … the best of your … is very … If you are using an optin list from a while then you should know: What grabs most of y

Making sure that your email newsletter subscribers are receiving the best of your information is very important. If you are using an optin list from a while then you should know:

What grabs most of your subscriber’s attention?

How frequently do they want to read your newsletter?
Are the really interested in the information you provide?
Do they forward your information to their friends?

You will get answers to these questions when you compare results of all email campaigns sent to this optin list in last one year.

Put all the email campaign statistics in a table and in a graph. Below are the most important statistics that you should look at:

Open
Unique Open
Clickthru
Unsubscribe
Forwarded

Put these statistics in to a graph and you will know which campaign was most effective. Clickthru rate is more important than opens and unique open rate. Clickthrus shows that your subscriber showed interest in the information you provided. Just an open without a clickthru shows that subscriber did read the informationScience Articles, but he or she is not interested in the information you provided so no click.

Follow the style and information or advertisement trend of the most effective campaign. This will help you get more and more clickthrus for your next campaigns.

It wouldn’t take any more than few hours to compare your campaigns. If your email marketing service or software provides this feature than use it and achieve even better results for your next campaign.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Article by, Mike Savaliya of www.MailMailer.com
Permission-based Email Marketing – Create HTML newsletters, manage lists, send campaigns in seconds. Track opens, clicks, compare campaigns. Free to try!










Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Article by, Mike Savaliya of www.MailMailer.com
Permission-based Email Marketing – Create HTML newsletters, manage lists, send campaigns in seconds. Track opens, clicks, compare campaigns. Free to try!

Increase your direct mail response rates with freebies

Although it may seem … giving … away at no charge can lower your cost per lead. That’s because offering a freebie usually … your response … an example of what

Although it may seem counterintuitive, giving something away at no charge can lower your cost per lead. That’s because offering a freebie usually increases your response rate.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

Your cost per lead is the money you must spend to acquire one lead. When you mail 10,000 strangers at a cost of $0.50 each ($5,000), and get a response rate of 1% (100 leads), then your cost per lead is $50 ($5,000 in cost divided by 100 leads).

Now let’s say you offer a free information booklet. The booklet costs $1 but offering it increases your response rate from 1% to 3%. Here is what happens:

Your cost of mailing remains constant: $5,000
Your response rate increases: 3%
So your number of leads increases: 300 leads
Your cost per lead drops: $16.66 ($5,000 divided by 300)
Add the cost of your freebie: $1 per lead
And your new cost per lead is: $17.66

So you see that, by offering a freebie that costs you $1 extra for each lead you generate, you almost cut your cost per lead in half, even though your total costs increase. That’s because your $1 freebie tripled your response rate, from 1% to 3% (entirely possible).

By the way, if you want to reduce the number of “freebie collectors” that you attract, link your freebie with what you are selling (a free lawn analysis, for example) rather than offering something that just about everyone would want for free (an AM/FM radioBusiness Management Articles, for example).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com










Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com

How to get prospects to open your direct mail envelopes

In direct mail, you have a … … … basket. Your … take one look at your mailing envelope and decide if they will open it or fling it into the trash can (or … bo

In direct mail, you have a formidable enemy—the wastepaper basket. Your prospects take one look at your mailing envelope and decide if they will open it or fling it into the trash can (or recycling box). One way to persuade them to open your envelope is to make your envelope irresistible. Here are a few ideas.

1. Unusual colours
Keep your mailing envelopes the same size and weight, just change the colour from white to something different or more daring.
2. Odd size or shape
Send your message in a jumbo-size envelope. Or in a square envelope. Or send your message in a tiny envelope. Just remember that your envelope has to conform to postal regulations for size and shape, and fit through a normal mailbox.
3. Personalization
Put your prospect’s name right on the front of the envelope, perhaps in the form of a question: “Hey, Alan, know who offers the lowest interest rates?”
4. Cartoon
Speaking of personalization, put a cartoon on the front of your envelope, and put your prospect’s name in the caption (so that one of the cartoon characters is using your prospect’s name in what they are saying).
5. Teaser
Ask a provocative question, give a compelling statistic, feature a gripping photo or use another device that intrigues your prospect and motivates them to open your envelope to satisfy their curiosity.
6. Go plain
Sometimes just a plain old #10 envelope works as well as anything else. IBM discovered in tests that they increased their response dramatically just by putting their logo in the top left hand corner of the envelope. You may increase the number of people who open your envelope by not using your logo, or not mentioning your company name, just your return address.
The secret to irresistible envelopes is creativity and testing. Be as imaginative as you canFind Article, and then test your hunches in the marketplace. May you discover many winners!

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com










Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com

Selling to hitech prospects with direct mail

High … … are … They don’t respond like … and they don’t respond like other … What works with them is often the opposite of what works with … Here’s

High technology prospects are different. They don’t respond like consumers and they don’t respond like other businesses. What works with them is often the opposite of what works with consumers. Here’s a primer on how to sell high-tech products to businesses using direct mail.

Mail to people who won’t buy
High-tech buying decisions are often made by a committee, not an individual. To win the sale, your direct-mail program must address the needs of everyone around the table, whether the president, purchasing agent, technical specialist or end user. So find out who wields the greatest influence in buying decisions (often it’s the end users), and target these influential prospects in your mailings, along with the people who sign the purchase orders.

Go cheap on design and printing
Consumer direct-mail gimmicks sell sweepstakes, but not servers. Don’t ask a senior verification engineer to “AFFIX FREE BUYING GUIDE SEAL HERE.” Don’t expect a network operations analyst to “PLACE TAB A INTO TAB B.” The same goes for fake handwriting and fake underlining. They’re genuine mistakes.

High-tech business readers are sophisticated. They want a letter, a brochure and a business reply card. That’s it. The more inserts, lift letters, coupons, free-gift slips and other stuff you put in the envelope, the more likely the busy executive is to fling your package in the circular file.

Here’s one caveat. Fancy folds, die cuts and 3D objects work well when you tie them into your offer. This is especially true of trade-show mailers, where a unique and relevant gimmick often draws more prospects to your booth than a traditional mailer does.

Assume your reader has a split personality
Your reader is a business person, in that order. As a business buyer, your prospect wants to save money, raise productivity, increase efficiency. So your mailer must address those issues. But your business buyer is also a person. A person who is unlikely to buy your product–however good it may be for the company–if buying your product means more work, more stress or more grief for them personally. Your prospect may even buy your competitor’s inferior product instead of yours for selfish reasons alone.

Today’s rule of thumb in high-tech purchase decisions is this: “Sure, no one ever got fired for buying IBM. But did they get promoted?” Look after both the business interests and the personal interests of your prospect and the sale will look after itself.

Keep it technical
Telecom professionals know what SS7, ITU-T C7 and ISUP are. You don’t. So you’re inclined to explain these concepts in your copy, showing prospects that you don’t understand their business.

But engineers don’t read at the Grade-9 level. They name their dog Archimedes. They want substance, not oversimplification. Your letter must speak their language, their jargon, their lexicon. Learn the lingo by reading the industry journals and technical literature that your prospects read. Watch for acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms and jargon that are commonplace but never defined. Write accordingly.

Lots of copy, thank you
Your high-tech prospects are information-seekers who will read a lot of copy. They hunt for information that helps them do a better job, and knowledge that makes them more marketable. They want facts. The more the better.

That’s why, with this audience, self-mailers don’t pull as well as packages with a letter, brochure and business reply device. One exception is seminars, where innovative self-mailers still grab attention and fill seats. Engineers welcome long copy when your message is interesting, important and relevant.

Stress features, not benefits
In consumer direct response, features are subordinate to benefits. What a product does is never as important as what it does for the consumer. In high-tech direct response, the opposite is true. Semiconductor design engineers, for example, want specs. Saving money is beneficial to them, of course. So is saving time. But what they want more than benefits is hard data. They want I/O word widths, data transfer rates, frame buffer bandwidths–every relevant fact that helps them make an informed buying decision.

Don’t ask for the order
A senior vice-president of manufacturing doesn’t order a $1.5-million network upgrade by dropping a business reply card in the mail. Instead, the first step in the process is usually a request for more information. Followed by a sales meeting. Then a demonstration. Then a trial. Then a contract.

That’s why direct-mail pieces to high-tech prospects must contain multiple calls to action. Your response device, for example, might look like this: “(Choose one) 1. Send me your brochure by mail. 2. Have a salesperson phone me. 3. Not interestedPsychology Articles, but add me to your mailing list.”

Writing persuasive direct-mail copy for high-tech products is different from pitching credit cards or magazine subscriptions. It takes a unique set of skills to translate technospeak into hard-hitting sales copy. Enjoy the challenge.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com










Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com

Which of the four b2b offers is right for you

In … direct mail, you are unlikely to reach … at the very moment they are ready to buy. And even if you do, you are not likely to close the sale with just a sales letter. Th

In business-to-business direct mail, you are unlikely to reach prospects at the very moment they are ready to buy. And even if you do, you are not likely to close the sale with just a sales letter. That’s because business buying decisions rarely involve just one step (such as dropping a cheque in the mail or placing an order by phone).

Instead, the buying cycle typically involves a request for more information, either by way of literature or a visit from a sales rep, followed by a sales meeting, a product demonstration, maybe a trial, then a contract.

You do not usually know where cold prospects are in their buying cycle. So your direct mail should try to hook them wherever they are. The best way to generate a response is to present more than one offer.

Hard Offer
The hard offer asks for the order. “Call before June 18th to save 40% off your network installation.” “Book your commercial property tax audit now.” Use a hard offer when you want your mailing to generate immediate action–usually in the form of a sale. Prospects who respond to hard offers are usually able and willing to buy right now.

Soft Offer
The soft offer asks your prospects to raise their hands in a show of interest, but does not ask for an order or a commitment. An example of a soft offer: “Return the enclosed business reply card for your free copy of our special industry report.” Use a soft offer when you want to generate a sales lead rather than an immediate sale or sales appointment. Soft offers identify prospects who are able to buy, just not willing to buy right now. You follow up with them and close the sale later on.

Deferred Offer
The deferred offer asks prospects to let you know when you should contact them again. The wording of such an offer on a reply card might sound like this: “Not interested right now, but get back to me on [date]: ___________________.” The prospect fills in the date. The deferred offer isn’t really an offer, of course, since you are not offering anything. It’s more of a call to action. Use a deferred offer when you want to identify prospects who are neither able nor willing to buy right now, but might be in the future.

Negative Offer
The negative offer asks your readers to tell you that they are not interested in what you are selling. The wording of such an offer on a reply card might sound like this: “Not interested [please give reason]: ________________.” The reader gives the reason. The negative offer is like the deferred offer in that it’s not an offer as much as a call to action (you are not offering anything).
Use a deferred offer when you want to clean your mailing listFree Articles, removing business names who are not prospects and never will be. Also use a negative offer to learn why people won’t buy from you. Their answers are informative (even surprising!).

I recommend that your direct mail piece include either a hard offer or a soft offer. You want to generate either a sale (hard offer) or a sales lead (soft offer). Put the other offers on the reply device only. You don’t want multiple offers in your letter.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com










Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com

Eight common direct mail mistakes

Some … that use direct mail to sell their products and services are like the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there. They repeat the same … and enjoy the

Some companies that use direct mail to sell their products and services are like the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there. They repeat the same mistakes, and enjoy the same poor results. Here are their eight most common misdemeanors, and a cure for each.

Wrong list
The most important part of any direct mail campaign is not the copy. It’s not the art direction. And it’s not the offer. It’s the mailing list.

That’s why you can mail identical packages to two lists, one good and one poor, and find that the good list pulls 10 times more responses than the poor list does. Your mailing list, after all, is not just a way to reach your market. It is your market.

No testing
There are no answers in direct mail except test answers. I didn’t write that. Eugene Schwartz, the author of Breakthrough Advertising, did.

If you don’t test one package against another, one list against another, you won’t know what works and what fails. So test lists. Test offers. Test formats. Test envelope teaser copy. Don’t assume you know what works. Test and be sure.

No offer
The second most important part of a direct mail package is the offer. The offer aims to persuade readers to choose your product or service over what your competitors are selling. Your offer must differentiate you from the competition by way of price, terms, guarantees or extras.

To generate leads, offer free technical information, a free analysis, free consultation, free demonstration, free trial use or free product sample. To build retail traffic, offer premiums, special discounts or exclusives. To sell a product directly through the mail, offer a free trial, sample, premium or discount.

Starting with you, not me
You’re at a party. You meet two people. One greets you this way: “Hi, I’m a swell person and I make lots of money. But enough about me, what do you think about me?” The other greets you this way, “Hi, I’m Tony. You look like an interesting person. Tell me about yourself.”

Now, then, which of these two people would you rather talk to? Your readers prefer to hear you talk about them, not about yourself or your product. Yet many businesses mail sales letters that begin: “ABC Incorporated was founded in 1982 and is in the business of delivering quality, service and value into the new millennium.” Big yawn. Big mistake. Aim your messages at the prospect and say everything from the prospect’s point of view. Don’t begin your copy with “we” when you can begin with “you.”

Slow in getting to the point
You have five seconds. After that, your reader is either still reading or is preparing your mailing for a flight test into the wastepaper basket.

Don’t make the mistake of a slow build-up. Avoid the roundabout approach. Start your letter with your most compelling sales point. Fire your biggest cannon in the first line of copy. Promise your reader a benefit. Give them a reason to continue reading.

Poor follow-up
Don’t spend all your time and effort in generating a response and none in following up inquiries. Slow fulfillment is ly.

So are inadequate marketing literature and unprofessional telemarketing. They can destroy the interest that you work so hard to build. Fill requests for information within 48 hours. Send follow-up mailings to those who do not respond first time. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.

No time limit
Time may heal all wounds, but it kills response. Your enemy is procrastination. Your enemy is tomorrow.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your readers put you off until they forget your mailing altogether. Put a time limit on your offer: “Call now. This offer expires June 1, 1999.” Time-limited offers almost always outpull offers with no time limit.

No call for action
Ask for the order. BUY NOW! PHONE TODAY! ORDER YOUR FREE SAMPLE! If you don’t ask for a response, you won’t get one. Tell readers what to do. Show them the next step. Make your order form easy to read and easy to follow.

Fortunately, others have gone before us. My favourite sources for testedScience Articles, practical wisdom on direct mail techniques are Successful Direct Marketing Methods by Bob Stone and anything by Herschell Gordon Lewis.

Article Tags:
Direct Mail

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com










Article Tags:
Direct Mail

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter
and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms
attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail.
Subscribe to “Sharpe & Direct,” his weekly newsletter, at
www.sharpecopy.com

Seven reasons to use direct mail for sales lead generation

1. … an … in a trade … which can be read by anyone, your sales letter arrives at your … place of business as a piece of personal … from your mi

1. Personal
Unlike an advertisement in a trade publication, which can be read by anyone, your sales letter arrives at your prospect’s place of business as a piece of personal communication from your mind to his. Also, unlike any other medium, direct mail can be personalized (Dear Mr. Smith) and customized to each reader (“As an IT manager, you know that . . .”), showing your prospect that you know about him by name and understand his business in particular.

2. Cost effective
Advertising by its very nature is expensive. To reach a lot of people, you need to spend a lot of money. Direct mail, on the other hand, only targets the prospects you want to reach. Instead of pitching your product to a huge audience of potential buyers, you aim your sales message only at prospects most likely to buy.

3. Breaks through the clutter
Your ad can easily get lost among dozens of competing ads in a trade newspaper. Your sales message is also easily forgotten on radio or television unless you repeat it many times, which is expensive. But a simple letter, addressed to your prospect by name and arriving on her desk in the morning mail (which she must open), cuts through the media clutter and gets her attention.

4. Measurable ROI
Direct mail is one of the best mediums for measuring the return on your marketing dollar (or pound or yen). Simply code your business reply cards, and count how many return to you in the mail. Then calculate how many of those replies generate a sales meeting or a sale. Now you know immediately–and exactly–how effective your mailing has been. Direct mail numbers never lie.

5. Predictable
One advantage of knowing the success rates of your past mailings is that you can predict the success of future mailing. If you mail the same package with the same offer to a similar group of prospects at the same time of year, you can predict how many responses you will receive, and how many of those will translate into sales.

6. Can be improved through testing
Because you can measure your direct mail results, you can also test your mailings. Test one package against another, one list against another, one offer against another, and you’ll discover what works and what fails. That way you’ll spend your marketing dollars where they are most effective (without relying on guess work or hunches).

7. Immediate
General advertising builds brand awareness. Sales brochures inform. But a direct mail letter asks for action now. So if you need to generate sales leads, and don’t have time to wait for your ad to appear in “IT Buyers QuarterlyArticle Submission,” send a direct mail letter and wait a week or so for a response.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter, sales lead consultant and owner of www.sharpecopy.com. Alan helps businesses attract qualified prospects using creative, compelling, cost-effective direct mail marketing.










Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter, sales lead consultant and owner of www.sharpecopy.com. Alan helps businesses attract qualified prospects using creative, compelling, cost-effective direct mail marketing.

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