Archive for the 'Direct Mail' Category

Online and offline advertising: The Double Whammy

Does combining offline and online mean double the costs or double the profits?

That’s a perplexing question that baffles many small business owners and independent retailers.

What works for multinational corporations with deep pockets doesn’t work for small businesses with shoe-string budgets.

Even though today’s empowered consumers expect to interact with brands across a wide range of touch points, that means a strategy that integrates both an off- and online approach is becoming increasingly important. A recent Google/Ipsos study indicates shoppers are feeling increasingly comfortable hitting the “Buy Now” button using their mobile devices, but the wise retail marketer knows the best way to make a sale is by integrating their message across both the “old” and the new media channels. Print and digital campaigns are now tightly intertwined.

The Internet has undoubtedly changed the world of advertising forever and a successful advertising campaign must embrace this medium in order to be successful.  Yet one may think that a purely online approach is the answer, however it’s also important to remember that physical promotional items (and advertising) still reach people that online advertising can’t.

Plus, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of having information that prospective buyers can take with them to analyse and review at their convenience and discretion. That’s why niche magazines remain popular and why print is far from being “dead”.

Most businesses and brands realise that a balance of online content and physical information is necessary, but many are not sure how to achieve this balance.  More often than not, the answer comes down to budget and desired outcomes.

One thing is for sure: combining online and offline media is now a must.

Even though social media has played a large role in toppling foreign state political regimes, I am not a fan of social media marketing for small businesses who need to produce tangible sales results.

Instead of wasting time, money and effort on something that is marginal, why not direct it to something tried and tested?

Offline media like print advertising is PROVEN to work – especially in specialised, highly targeted niche markets.

But print won’t work on its own anymore. Print needs an online component to facilitate and enhance the conversation that needs to take place. Without the web, that conversation now falls on deaf ears. With a fully developed online presence, print advertisers can direct their offline leads into fully automated online systems that create a much more fluent, enjoyable and valuable customer experience.

Yet, without print or physical media, often, the catalyst doesn’t exist and “nothing happens”.

Therein lies the conundrum – in many instances, the fastest, easiest and most economical path to prospects is print. Physical (niche) publications have distribution networks that reach people in pockets of interest that are well established. These networks are entrenched geographically, culturally and economically. They have been around for years or even decades, reinforced across generations.

Therein lies the power of the PHYSICAL REAL WORLD network.

But that power remains impotent without the Internet as its new ‘enabler’.

Traditional media such as print, radio and television advertising often has better brand recall than digital media which suffers from source credibility syndrome.

The challenge for small business is focusing on what works to produce measurable outcomes versus and not be tricked by the smoke and mirrors evangelised by the providers of the new media services who keep referring to deep pocket campaigns that the lone Aussie Battler simply can’t afford.

We have solutions for all budgets – contact us and we’ll help you get results within the next week that you can measure. No smoke. No Mirrors.

Is Print Dead?

Is Print Dead, Print Media, Print AdvertisingI recently blogged that print media is alive and well, but there are still some skeptics out there who don’t fully understand why that’s the case.

First, let me deal with the obvious issue – print IS declining. There is no question that it has peaked and it’s decreasing quickly, but it’s far from dead as I explain below.

Second, death is over stating the demise of print and traditional media.

Print advertising makes a comeback in the digital age

I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but the latest research reveals that print (and direct mail) are far from dead! In fact, even though we live in a highly, and ever-increasingly digital world, we are still human and as such still rely on print to make purchasing decisions.

We can all acknowledge that we struggle to sift through all our emails, websites, blogs, social media and other online channels. The number of online messages and ads has increased explosively to record levels, overwhelming most consumers. That means advertisers have an increasingly smaller segment of a highly fragmented online presence that gets costlier by the day.

That’s why there has been a “return to print” as well as (physical) direct mail. Sure we all enjoy the practicality of online access, but we also still love the feel of a magazine between our fingers as we flip the pages revealing colourful images, interesting fonts and great content.

As consumers, we’ve come to appreciate the need for advertising – especially in niche market publications like this one. That’s why it still continues to perform exceptionally well for small businesses with tiny marketing budgets who need to reach their target audience economically, without the costly, scattergun approach associated with daily or community newspapers.

In this day and age, print media, especially NICHE and LOCAL PUBLICATIONS still reign supreme – especially when they’re integrated with an online presence, the topic of an future blog post.

Need more proof?

I thought so. Here it is.

STATISTICS ON TRADITIONAL PRINT ADVERTISING

Continue reading ‘Is Print Dead?’

The evolution of advertising

Today’s blog post is a colourful overview of the history of advertising that captures the evolution of sales and marketing over the past decades. It’s always worthwhile to see where we’ve come from to determine where we’re going. Even though it has an American slant to it, it’s still interesting to review the milestones retrospectively.

Enjoy!

Advertising, Media, Ads

Print media is alive and well – as it should be

I was just talking with a print publisher explaining to her that I am a firm believer in the immense value of print media – EVEN if we are in a digital age, we are still not about to forego print anytime soon. Print just has to COMPLEMENT digital capabilities. Both print and digital can and SHOULD co-exist at least for another 5 years (if not a lot longer).

If we look at email versus direct mail, you’d think the physical mailing would be on its way out, but there has been a resurgence of direct mail BECAUSE of the overload of electronic media. Most people sign up for every email subscription and don’t manage their inbox very well.

Recent research estimates the number of emails sent per day to be around 294 billion which means more than 2.8 million emails are sent every second and some 90 trillion emails are sent per year. Even though most are spam and viruses, emails are sent by around 2.5 billion genuine email users.

Regardless of the Internet Statistics, they all point to electronic information overload with the average professional receiving more than 100 e-mails every day. That’s enough to load up your inbox quicker than you can clean it out.

That’s why the physical mailing has not only become an attractive alternative to email and online marketing, but a source of pre-screened and highly qualified visitors.

The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA, USA) report that consumers are most motivated to begin an online search after viewing advertisements in magazines followed by ads on television and then newspapers.

RAMA, Offline Consumers Research Online

Offline Consumers Come Online Via Magazines

What print media publishers need to recognise and appreciate
is the tactile aspect of their product

Reading a Newspaper, Newspaper AdvertisingNothing beats having a newspaper, magazine or book in hand. I totally understand the sexiness of an iPad, but it’s NOT the same experience. It’s a DIFFERENT ONE.

That’s the point I’m trying to make.

Print is print is print.

When publishers forget that, the game is over.

So what is a print publisher to do?

  1. Embrace digital technology to complement, supplement and enhance the print medium with additional features and benefits.
  2. Link the print medium to online alternatives with polls, surveys, feedback, audio and video components. A print article can easily be an introduction to a full in-depth interview or book chapter available online as an opt-in download.
  3. Print-exclusive promotions such as tear-out coupons (identified as such) can bolster subscriptions and/or increase distribution.
  4. Physical distribution costs can be shared with partners who have a vested interest in the publication’s increased reach.
  5. Want to know more ideas and suggestions, contact us – it’s what we do for our clients!

A recent study showed that about 8 in 10 Canadians read a newspaper each week with American weekly and British daily readership at 64 and 49% respectively.

Magazines Canada reports that magazines are read by all age groups, and an average of 78 % read a magazine within the last 30 days.

An analysis by the Magazine Media Fact Book reveals American magazine reading habits include 93% of adults reading magazines for an average of 42 minutes per issue.

Print media statistics, Magazine StatisticsIf you think it’s only the senior demographic that is holding on to physical print media, you’re dead wrong!

A recent study discovered that North American consumers, aged 18-34, prefer direct mail over online media for many types of marketing communications.

Examples of consumer preferences for offline versus online are:

Product Offline Online
Personal Care 62% 22%
Food Products 66% 23%
Cleaning Products 66% 20%
Over The Counter Medecine 53% 21%
Sensitive Health Products 46% 21%
Prescription Medecine 45% 21%

Young generation reading magazinesBut there’s a condition for the young generation to hold on to traditional print media.it’s vital that there be a cross-channel synergy between digital and direct mail for it to be effective.

So there you have it, if you want to get more sales in 2012, you need to go back to traditional offline marketing and leverage it with online ‘web enabled’ benefits.

How To Add Value To Your Clients

Exponential Marketing has a cornerstone concept: Add value to your clients and they will come back and refer more clients to you. Easier said than done.

That’s why I’ve included a simple example: An Australia Post Postcard Fact Sheet that helps clients prepare their documents for direct mail.

The question for YOU is “What basic information, like this can you make available to your clients?”

The more information you make available, the easier it will be for them to do business with you = you’ll sell more.

When you’re exponential, you create Pathways To Profits™ that guide people through the path of least resistance preemptively, smoothly, creating a memorable and hopefully unique experience they will want to repeat themselves and advocate to others.

This is what we help our clients do – create a Business Building Blueprint™ that summarises these processes so everyone in the business knows what to do and ideally, automate them leveraging the Internet so the business transforms from an effort-based model to a value-based model.

Belief Builders and Credibility Creators

There is a four step process everyone goes through as they make a purchase.

  1. Consider – Before anyone makes a decision, they must consider this opportunity. Most salespeople skip this step to their detriment.
  2. Decision – This is when the ‘sale’ takes place. However, most ineffective salespeople skip the consideration stage and try to force the decision that was never even considered.
  3. Commit – Without a commitment, a sale is not a sale. As many as 20 to 40% of sales are lost due to a lack of commitment requested of the purchaser.
  4. Resolve – Making sure the commitment is followed up and followed through to its conclusion to ensure the sales is completed. Up to 10% of sales are left unattended and therefore lost.

Consider – or lack thereof is the number one source of lost sales, by a long shot. Anecdotally, as many as 4 out 5 sales are lost because the prospects never considered the offer being presented in the first place. Without it, there is no decision to be made.

So how does one go about having people consider their offer or proposal? Continue reading ‘Belief Builders and Credibility Creators’

Facts Whisper Fear Screams: Lessons From The Japan Earthquake

If you’ve been transfixed by the catastrophic events in Japan, you’ve seen and heard the media’s insatiable appetite for fear mongering.

I heard a quote ” Facts Whisper, Fear Screams” that I thought was appropriate and timely.

I am staging my Killer Kopywriting Workshop this weekend in Sydney – if you want to attend, give us a call on 0421 516 689.

Anyway, as I prepare my content for the workshop, I am going to include examples from the Japanese tragedy because so many lessons can be learned.

First, the misinformation and need for NEGATIVE propaganda prevails all media – we know that “STORM WARNING” gets more attention than “ANOTHER NICE DAY”…

But the fear mongering has reached a climax in recent times. Whenever there is doubt, a extreme, provocative word will be used rather than its more realistic, subdued alternative.

Why this is important is because with your business marketing , you need to do the same – using your own ethical and moral compass to guide you.

Example #1: Japanese Radiation Fears

We’ve recently heard or read the headlines that are a variation of this: “Radioactive traces have been found in Japanese milk“.

What about this headline…? ”

Radioactive Milk Only A Danger After 58,000 Glasses

I prefer the second one – don’t you?

Have a read of the article for an outstanding example of Killer Kopywriting.

Example #2: Nuclear Reactor Explosion and Vaseline

William Tucker published a book called Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America’s Long Energy Odyssey.

In it, he adroitly explains nuclear power with a brilliant analogy to Vaseline?

“Nuclear Power is it prohibitively dangerous? Is a nuclear reactor an atomic bomb waiting to explode? And the perennial question — what are we going to do with all that horrible nuclear waste?


Let’s start with the idea that a reactor can explode. The next time someone asks you this, answer them, “Do you have a jar of Vaseline athome in your medicine cabinet? And if so, do you lie awake at night worrying that it’s going to explode like a jar of napalm and set your house on fire?”

Look on the side of the Vaseline jar. It says “petroleum jelly.” It’s made out from oil. What is napalm? It is jellied gasoline. Can’t Vaseline blow up like napalm? Obviously not. But why? Because they contain different fractions of petroleum with different volatilities.

It’s the same with uranium. There are two types of uranium — “isotopes,” as we say. (They have different numbers of neutrons.) U-238 (238 neutrons) makes up 99.3 percent of the natural ore. It sheds a couple of protons occasionally but its half-life is 5 billion years and it’s relatively harmless. (The longer the half-life, the less “radioactive” an element is.) Uranium-235 is the powerhouse. It can split in half — “fission” — releasing huge amounts of energy. But U-235 constitutes only 0.7 percent of the natural ore. It’s so sparse it can’t undergo the “chain reaction” that leads one breakdown of an atom to produce others.

As a result, in order to set of a chain reaction you have to “enrich” the U-235 to a higher percentage than the natural ore. This is extremely difficult because it can’t be done chemically — they both have the same chemical properties. Instead, you have to build a factory the size of a Ford plant and separate them by various techniques such as running them through magnetic fields or whipping them around in centrifuges. That’s what we did in the Manhattan Project.

But there are different degrees of enrichment. In order to produce the nice calm chain reaction you get in a nuclear reactor — enough heat to boil water — you enrich the U-235 from 0.7 to 3 percent. That’s reasonably doable. In order to enrich up to bomb-grade material, however, you have to enrich to — can you guess? — 90 percent. That takes a long, long time and a lot of work. The Iranians have been trying to do it for years and haven’t gotten very far.

But that’s the reason a nuclear power plant can’t blow up like a bomb. It’s like the jar of Vaseline in your medicine cabinet — there’s not nearly enough of the key ingredient in there to explode.

It’s also the reason why it’s much more difficult to build a nuclear weapon than most people imagine.”

Now if you can communicate with the same level of clarity as Mr Tucker has demonstrated you’re set!

If not, you should seriously consider attending our Killer Kopywriting Workshop – your business’ future depends on it whether you want to admit it to yourself or not.


How to increase direct mail response rates

Everyone involved in direct mail wants to increase response rates. I came across a blog post that explains how you can significantly increase direct mail response rates. I’ve used this strategy countless times. Of course you don’t want to overdo using post it notes as the video below confirms.

Transactional Relationship Marketing

Google “transactional marketing” or “relationship marketing” and you’ll get thousands of hits with titles like “relationship marketing vs transaction marketing”. Basically, transactional marketing is thought of as a thing of the past, while relationship marketing is the bright future that businesses should be striving towards.

Transactional Relationship Marketing: The Cost Effective and Environmentally Friendly Strategy

Transactional Marketing

Transactional marketing is an approach that focuses upon one-off exchanges with consumers.”

“Transactional marketing: Orientation towards single purchase. Limited direct customer / supplier contact. Focus on product benefits. Emphasis on near-term performance. Limited level of customer service. Goal of customer satisfaction. Quality a manufacturing responsibility.”[ii]

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing is a business philosophy which aims to develop strong relationships with a range of stakeholders, such as suppliers, media, intermediaries and public organisations, as well as with customers.”

Relationship marketing is a form of marketing that emerged in the 1980s, in which emphasis is placed on building longer term relationships with customers rather than on individual transactions. It involves understanding the customers’ needs as they go through their life cycles. It emphasizes providing a range of products or services to existing customers as they need them.”

The new kid on the block is a strategy called Transactional Relationship Marketing, or TRM. This is a process trademarked by direct mail company, Hermes Precisa (HPA).

Transactional Relationship Marketing Continue reading ‘Transactional Relationship Marketing’

20 Tips To Boost Your Direct Mail Response Part 2 Of 2

Today’s post is the second of a two-part list of 20 Tips to Boost Your Direct Mail Response. Direct Mail is still a very effective way to market your products and services. To learn the art and science of Direct Marketing, you should consider our Killer Kopywriting System.

10 More Tips To Boost Your Direct Mail Response Part 2 Of 2

Continue reading ’20 Tips To Boost Your Direct Mail Response Part 2 Of 2′

20 Tips To Boost Direct Mail Response Part 1 of 2

Today’s post is the first of a two-part list of 20 Tips to Boost Your Direct Mail Response. Direct Mail is still a very effective way to market your products and services. To learn the art and science of Direct Marketing, you should consider our Killer Kopywriting System.

20 Tips To Boost Your Direct Mail Response Part 1 Of 2

Continue reading ’20 Tips To Boost Direct Mail Response Part 1 of 2′

Profit Cancers May be Killing Your Sales

What would happen if your marketing worked? Answer the questions in the Business Marketing Autopsy and you’ll discover the profit cancers that may be killing your sales… Click on the banner below to access it for FREE.

Usually $297, it’s yours for FREE, until I change my mind… Which could happen at any time. Don’t wait, it’s not worth the risk to your business’ health.

Save 10 to 20% on your next direct mail marketing campaign

If you are doing a direct mail campaign any time soon, you’ll want to use these two strategies to REDUCE your costs by 10 to 20%.

First, when you LABEL the direct mail piece, add a line BELOW the person’s name that says OR: Deliver to the _________ Manager so that if the person no longer works there, the __________ Manager will get the direct mail piece and if he/she is interested, you’ve just found yourself a new prospect or client.

Second, when you do a mailing to say 2,000 people, you KNOW you will get Returns TO Sender (RTS). Count on them coming back and DON’T PRINT that quantity for your first run. For example, if you assume there will be a 10% RTS rate, only print 1,800 pieces. When the 200 come back, take them out of the original envelopes and re-send them in NEW envelopes to the BALANCE of your list!

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a BIG difference!

The more antimimeticisomorphic you are about what you do, the better your results will be.

Onward and upward!
Marc

P.S.
Yeah I know… You want an additional tip. I know you by now – always looking for that extra profit making edge to grow your business exponentially. I like that about you!

So here it is.

BEFORE you send your 20+ page direct mail piece (you know by now LONG COPY sells), send a postcard. The cost is a LOT less and you’ll be able to remove MOST of the RTS names from your list.

Voila! You’ve just saved another 10% OR MORE!

I don’t have to tell you that just because the person’s address is no longer ‘valid’, you don’t erase that person’s name from your database… Great! I didn’t think so!

Have an outstanding day and oh yeah, if you submit a really cool comment on this or my Internet Mastery Blog, I might just have a gift or bonus for you.