Archive for: May, 2023

How to Make Money with Your Direct Response Mailers

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

If you are thinking that just because you have a completely Internet-based business that you have to do all of your marketing online, you’re dead wrong! You are missing a huge chunk of the market and boat loads of prospective buyers if you fail to go offline as well with your marketing. The strongest businesses employ a comprehensive blend of marketing techniques.

Besides, your entire marketing campaign should feature elements that all work together in unison, supporting each other and building off of each other for the greatest potency. In fact, all of your offline marketing and direct response marketing should not only be enticing people to directly respond to and interact with your business, but they should all make some degree of effort to encourage recipients to walk back in from their mailbox and hop online to view your website.

The first thing that you need to consider is the sheer volume of competition you are up against. While direct response mailers are definitely a highly effective means of reaching out to a larger target audience, they are indeed up against countless other flyers, mailers and junk mail. Therefore, you need to accomplish a completely unique look to your mailers. The visual aspect of your marketing messages is vital! You need to make sure that they are designed in a manner that makes them virtually impossible to ignore; a design that will instantly pop out from the other pieces in your prospect’s mailbox.

Part of making your pieces pop is paying careful attention to how your mailers actually feel. The texture of your pieces is very important. Because when you consider how many other pieces may be in the mailbox at the same time as yours you’ll recognize the need to make your pieces feel different than the others. For example, using a slightly coarser print material or even a raised font will help them actually feel the difference between your piece and the others, causing your piece to literally stick out and call attention to itself.

Another point where many businesses fail to fashion their direct response marketing correctly is with the overall tone of the piece. All too many businesses feel that they need to be strictly formal in order to get people’s serious consideration. Not true! For one thing, people deal with serious issues all day long, and they will welcome a message that features a personal, lighter touch! One of the best ways that will help you accomplish this is by using computer programs or professional services that print your message in a font that looks like it is hand written. This can also be featured on postcards and on the outside of envelopes, greatly increasing your chances of the recipient actually opening up your mailer!

Fortune Is in the Follow-up

It is also very important to note one of the points where many businesses fall of with their marketing, failing to convert as many prospects as they potentially could: follow-up. If you fail to follow up with your prospects then you will essentially have wasted your direct response mailer campaign. Unless you’re offering a free, no-strings-attached car, not everyone is going to be ready to buy from you right away. Or, perhaps they recently received a similar offer in the mail and are simply torn regarding choosing between your business and your competitor. But a simple follow-up marketing message will help bring your business to the front of their minds and remind them that you’re serious about getting their business.

Hopefully you will be able to take advantage of these business resources in an effort to drive your business forward and achieve an outrageously successful ROI.

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Should Webinars Be Part of Your Marketing Plan?

May 26 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Core Webinar Marketing Strategies

The selection of marketing lists from your customer database, rented lists from compiled sources or through joint venture options that will make your marketing plan a success. The Webinar marketing plan starts with a list selection that will effectively reach your target market. This may include a combination of in-house or direct mail lists or email lists.

The most important part of your Webinar marketing plan is to acquire a large percentage that has influencefor your products or services.

Webinar marketing plans should include these elements:

  • Your customer list
  • Opt-in email list, outside speaker
  • A third party rented list

What you need to ask when developing your list strategy: What internal email lists are available, what co-sponsor or outside speaker lists can be considered, and what media or email lists have been responsive to our company’s marketing efforts in the past?

After selection of the lists the next element of the marketing plan is the exciting communications plan.

Webinar Marketing Plan

The Webinar communications plan includes the plans you use to promote your Webinar and these may include a combination of e-mail, direct mail, or newspaper advertising.

Seek to get your Webinar invitation in front of as many people as possible of your target audience this may include telemarketing or direct communications by sales people, direct mail, or e-mail opt-in lists.

Consider multiple forms of direct marketing mailing lists contact lists outside of emails and online advertising with Google Pay-Per-Click or direct mail postcards. The combination of multiple channels can increase your response rate success and awareness of your event.

The general rule is that majority of registrants will respond within 10 days of your Webinar. The heart of a communications plan should include your in-house list 7 days before the Webinar and a 2nd reminder 2 days before.

One of the surest ways to recruit buyers to your Webinar is to recruit a partner with a mailing list broker that you could ad to your current prospect list. Finding a co-sponsor, or build an affiliate network to drive traffic to your Webinar.

You could coordinate resources from firms with an interest in seeing your company succeed.

Understand the strengths and weaknesses of contributing partners when planning your Webinar with outside sources.

Try to think of high perceived value, low cost bonuses, or premiums provided by third-parties that partner with you. Building a bonus with Webinar registration can offer a dramatic boost to your attendee numbers.

Examples of bonuses or premiums could include a free trial offer to software or free financial consultation for financial planners.

Once you define your audience and objectives in your Webinar marketing, the next plan would be:

  • Narrow the objectives for a Webinar
  • Create a topic that will serve as a draw to your target market
  • Create a compelling Webinar invitation by split testing
  • Develop a marketing plan for your media channels
  • Enlarge your email list and marketing reach by inviting a larger population consider email lists customer, prospective and even partnership lists

With the high costs of travel, postage and prospect one-on-one selling more organizations are also increasing their online marketing technologies such as Webinar. Organizations are also increasing the quantity of Webinar they hold.

Webinars are allowing marketers to reach more prospects.

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How the Courage of One Man Sparked the Greatest Revolution in Direct Response Marketing History

May 25 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Dear Business Builder,

I just made a new friend; his name is Drayton Bird.

In case you just moved here from another universe and have no idea who I’m talking about, consider this quotation:

“Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world.”
- David Ogilvy

As Ogilvy Mather’s International Vice Chairman and Creative Director, Drayton and his team created brilliant direct response promotions for household-name companies like American Express, Bank of America, Ford, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Philips Electronics, Unilever and Visa credit cards.

He’s also the author of Commonsense Direct Marketing (5th edition available now), Salesletters That Sell, and Marketing Insights and Outrages – and has written more than 1,000 columns for international magazines.

If you don’t read Drayton’s stuff, you ain’t no kind of direct marketer. Besides being one of the two or three most delightful and engaging personalities I have met in my 55 years on this planet, Drayton has a wonderful clarity of vision when it comes to direct response copywriting and marketing.

When I talk to Drayton or read his pearls of wisdom, I feel like I’m communing with Hopkins, Caples, Schwab, Ogilvy and Schwartz all rolled into one. He is one of the seven or eight true giants in the history of this industry – a genuine living treasure.

His knack for expressing profound, response-rocketing truths in the simplest of terms will make you money.

Anyway, when I was talking to Drayton the other day (I love saying that!), he mentioned that he’s working with Virgin’s legendary Richard Branson on some stuff …

… And that got me to thinking about how far we’ve come and where we’re going as an industry – and where the greatest opportunities are most likely to be awaiting us up ahead.

SO WITH THAT, LET’S JUMP INTO OUR TRUSTY TIME MACHINES AND HEAD BACK IN TIME TO JUST AFTER THE U.S. CIVIL WAR …

The time was 1872. The place: The Breadbasket of America – the Midwest. And Aaron Ward’s blood was boiling …

The 28-year-old traveling dry goods salesman fumed over the obscene prices local shopkeepers charged for the clothing, tools, lanterns and other general merchandise on their shelves. And he was even more livid that they were actually getting away with it.
In those days, most small-town general stores enjoyed virtual monopolies. Few hamlets boasted more than one of these establishments and the next-closest shop could be a full day’s round trip away – often more.

That meant shopkeepers could demand any price they liked. And although consumers hated these greedy shopkeepers for fleecing them, they had little choice but to grumble and fork over their money.

That didn’t sit well with the idealistic Mr. Ward and, being a man of action, he decided to do something about it.

Investing $1,600 of his own money (about $26,000 in today’s dollars), he printed a simple flyer offering 163 items at bedrock prices, then mailed his one-sheet catalog to families throughout the Midwestern states.

For Mr. Ward, it was a daring deed, founded on moral principle and fueled by righteous indignation.

It also proved to be a red-letter day in American entrepreneurship.

Because with that one mailing, Aaron Montgomery Ward lit the fuse on a marketing revolution that continues even now …

MR. WARD DOES WELL BY DOING GOOD

And so on a brisk Midwestern morning more than 135 years ago, thousands of Americans opened their mailboxes to discover Mr. Ward’s one-page catalog – a solicitation sent to them precisely because they were believed to be excellent prospects for the products advertised.

It was, as far as we can tell, the first direct marketing promotion they’d ever seen.

And Mr. Ward’s innovation didn’t end there: He also invited customers to respond to his catalog by placing their orders through the mail and invented “Direct Response Marketing” in the process.

Consumers loved the idea of saving a bundle. They also relished the idea of doing their shopping without leaving home.

Most of all, they loved the fact that Mr. Ward had given them a way to hit greedy shopkeepers where it hurt them the most: Right smack-dab in their bulging wallets.

Mr. Ward had harnessed the awesome power of his prospects’ most dominant resident emotion – their hatred of the merchants who had been abusing them.

And they ordered in droves.

In fact, the response to Aaron Montgomery Ward’s little catalog was so explosive, his next few catalogs quickly ballooned from the one-sheeter weighing less than an ounce to a massive book weighing a hefty four pounds.

By 1904, with only 17 million households in the U.S., Mr. Ward could be found mailing a staggering three million of his catalogs to eager consumers every year.

THE TRIUMPH OF SCIENCE OVER HOPE

Mr. Ward loved his innovation even more than his customers did. Because now for the first time, he could know – to the penny – how much money his advertising produced.

He could count the number of orders, the sales revenues and the profit produced by each mailing of his catalog – and by each product in his catalog.

This meant that for the first time, business owners and marketing people using Mr. Ward’s direct response marketing model could view the money they spent to attract customers as an investment.

And they could calculate a return on investment for every product in their inventories and every dollar in their advertising budget.

Mr. Ward had, in short, transformed advertising from an expense that businesses could only hope would make money into an exact science that told them not only whether their advertising was working, but also how well it was working.

And that knowledge allowed marketers to cut losing promotions short while ramping up the size of their successful campaigns.

Mr. Ward’s innovation also meant that, by mailing more than one version of their solicitations at a time, they could learn which kinds of headlines garnered the greatest readership of their ad copy.

Another huge breakthrough: For the first time ever, businesses could discover which sales copy techniques and offers produced the greatest response, revenues and profits. And that meant they had a way to consistently boost response, average sale and return on investment with each mailing.

Unsurprisingly, others soon followed in Mr. Ward’s footsteps – most notably, Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck.

From its founding in 1895 until its first brick and mortar store opened in 1925, Sears, Roebuck and Co. – which now boasts more than 350,000 employees and annual revenues of more than $53 billion – offered its products exclusively in catalogs delivered through the mail and received its orders and payments exclusively through return mail.

Throughout the 20th Century, Mr. Ward’s direct response marketing revolution expanded far beyond catalogs and even the sale of products – to fundraising for countless charities, causes and political organizations, to producing leads for Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer salespeople and, as we direct response copywriters are fond of saying, much much more.

Nor has Mr. Ward’s direct response marketing revolution been confined to direct mail. Throughout the last century, enterprising marketers pioneered and perfected the use of magazine and newspaper ads, television and radio commercials and many other media to solicit a direct response -a request for more information or an immediate purchase – from prospects and customers.

THE INTERACTIVE MARKETING REVOLUTION

As recently as the 1990s, the world’s companies could pretty much be divided into two groups: Those who primarily relied upon Interactive Marketing to attract new customers and to sell products to established customers – and those who did not.

Banks and credit card companies, insurance companies, publishers, fundraisers and, of course, catalogue companies spent billions on promotions that targeted their best prospects and solicited a direct response from them.

But for the most part, manufacturers, retail chains and others focused on non-interactive advertising they hoped would emblazon their brands on consumers’ minds.

All that changed radically with the explosive growth of the Internet in the 1990s.

Today, with more than 1.1 billion people using this miracle of modern technology worldwide – and with the cost of interacting with prospects and customers via the ‘net infinitesimally small compared to other media – Aaron Ward’s direct response marketing revolution is being adopted by every conceivable kind of company to attract customers and multiply sales:

>>Direct marketing companies were among the first to see the potential of the Internet. Montgomery Ward, Sears, Nordstrom’s, Victoria’s Secret, Lillian Vernon – pretty much every catalog retailer you can name – now has a prominent storefront online. Amazon.com – the online book, music, video and electronics “catalog” – will earn net revenues of more than $12 billion in 2007, making it the largest online retailer on the planet.

>>Many businesses that were once confined to storefronts and left trusting their fortunes to the vagaries of image advertising now use the Internet to produce measurable sales results for every advertising dollar they spend.

Travel agencies like Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com and Hotels.com drive business travelers and vacationers to their sites and earn a king’s ransom booking flights, hotels and auto rentals online. Office Depot and Staples each sells billions of dollars-worth of products online each year.

Grocery giants Winn-Dixie, Safeway and other chains invite you to download coupons and even order groceries online. Real estate giants like Century 21.com, Remax.com, Realtor.com and others drive prospects to their sites to browse properties for sale, to find a realtor near them and even book appointments.

>>Even manufacturers, wholesalers and other non-retail companies have gotten into the Interactive Marketing act. Auto manufacturers invite you to build your car online, then arrange to have a local salesperson contact you to close the deal.

Sites maintained by Harley-Davidson, Nike and countless others invite you to learn about their products, to find virtual or brick and mortar establishments where their products may be purchased and even to schedule appointments with salespeople.

Of course, these massive companies are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg: Millions of mid-sized companies and even local mom and pop stores are now using the Internet to attract new customers and make sales 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

In fact, one of the most fascinating of these smaller entrepreneurial animals to emerge on the ‘net is the “Solopreneur:” Men and women who, simply by establishing a store on eBay or setting up a one-page website attached to a shopping cart, now have the power to bank thousands of dollars from online sales – and to grab his or her share of the estimated half-trillion dollars that online retailers will earn on the web this year.

DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING COMES FULL CIRCLE

Thanks to the Internet, millions of companies and entrepreneurs around the world have discovered the tremendous advantages direct response marketing – or in today’s parlance, “Interactive Marketing” – offers them; of being able to precisely measure the sales and profits produced by every advertising dollar they spend.

It was only a matter of time before smart marketers at these Internet companies began looking beyond the virtual world; to begin wondering what would happen if they converted their online sales copy into full-page ads and plastered them across newspaper and magazine pages from coast to coast.

… Or, mailed their online catalogs to qualified prospects just like Aaron Ward did more than a century ago.

And so, armies of companies that would never have considered mounting direct response campaigns a couple of decades ago are now taking their successful online businesses into the offline world.

The moral of the story …

Today, the Internet has made direct marketing indispensable to every kind of business.

To compete effectively, every business on Earth must now be a direct response business.

And that means every business on the planet needs YOU.

Remember how I said Drayton Bird is working with Richard Branson at Virgin?

Now, I didn’t ask – but I’m betting that The Great Mr. Bird isn’t writing sales copy for Virgin Airlines or Virgin Records or Virgin Vacations or Virgin Games or Virgin Comics or Virgin Books or Virgin Wines or Virgin Media or Virgin Mobile – or any of the other Virgins with whom the spectacularly prolific Mr. Branson has surrounded himself.

I’m betting he’s working on something entirely different; most likely something that requires more than a copywriter – something that requires an expert with a world-class working knowledge of the nuts and bolts of direct response marketing.

Yeah – I’m talking about the monotonous, humdrum, tedious stuff like database structure and management. Retrogression analysis. Psychographic and demographic number crunching. Customer acquisition strategy. Customer lifetime value optimization.

That’s right: The dull, boring stuff that makes companies billions – the stuff that requires expertise that companies are eager to pay through the nose for.

So here’s your assignment for this week:

Head on over to Amazon.com … search for books on direct marketing … buy some … and then actually read them.

I love Bob Stone’s Successful Direct Marketing Methods. It formed my foundational understanding of this business and gave me the basics I needed to become more than “just a copywriter.”

I also just ordered Chet Meisner’s The Complete Guide to Direct MarketingDirect Marketing: Strategy, Planning, Execution by Edward L. Nash … and The New Direct Marketing: How to Implement a Profit-Driven Database Marketing Strategy by David Shepard Associates.

And then, in what I’m certain will prove a failed attempt to become at least half as adept as Drayton is – or at least be able to hold up my end of a conversation with him – I also ordered Mr. Bird’s Commonsense Direct & Digital Marketing … How to Write Sales Letters That Sell … Marketing Insights and Outrages … The Master Marketer … and Open for Business!

Hope this helps …..

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How to Do Great Marketing and Lose Clients

May 24 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

You could have a great location for your business. You could have a wide selection of quality products at reasonable prices. You could use effective direct response marketing tactics in your advertising campaigns. You could drive loads of prospective clients to your business as a result of your advertising. And you can ensure that they don’t return. You could be a liquor store in my town of Boulder, Colorado. On a recent weekend I was hosting a dinner party for my family. I went to a grocery store in Boulder, and decided to purchase wine at a liquor store next door. I have my other favorite liquor stores in Boulder, but this one recently relocated to a nice 8,800 square feet space right next to one of the busiest grocery stores in Boulder. So, the new location is great for their business.

The roomier space allowed the store to triple its wine selection, add larger coolers for beer, and create a bar for wine tastings. They even dropped “discount” from their former name after deciding to carry higher-end and organic wines, but still kept their prices competitive. So, they’ve got a large selection of great products at reasonable prices. And they’ve been doing a good job of advertising their new location, their tasting hours, their expanding selection of wine and spirits, and their coupons. So, lured by their advertising and the convenience of their location, I went to buy a couple of bottles of wine.

I went to a clerk who was reading a magazine to ask what kind of wine he would recommend for my dish. He looked up with utter boredom on his face and said, “I have NO clue”! Shocked, I tried to make a joke, and then he said, “I don’t drink.” To which I replied sarcastically, “You work at a liquor store and you don’t drink?!” To which he replied, “It’s just a job.” The second clerk overheard our conversation and was barely more helpful. He said sheepishly, “I think a lighter wine, like Pinot Noir.” But he didn’t point me to the Pinot Noir section nor showed me any specific bottles. Unbelievable! I suppose I expect clerks not to be reading magazines when customers are in the store. I expect them to be eager to help and to impress me with their knowledge of wines generally, and food and wine pairings specifically. I expect outstanding customer service.

But more importantly, I expect them to try to upsell something; oh, I don’t know, ask me about the occasion for the dinner and perhaps recommend a dessert wine or an aperitif. Needless to say, no one was interested in having me walk away satisfied and come back for more. And this is at a time when retail stores are complaining about dwindling profits, or worse, closing! Which brings us to the point that you can generate quality leads only to lose them due to inadequate business processes and wrong people within the company. Like having employees who don’t care. Or sales people that can’t sell. Or owners who hesitate to spend money on employee training. In the end, the advertising campaign that lured me into the store was a waste of marketing dollars, as far as I’m concerned, because I’ll be shopping somewhere else. The good news is, there are boundless opportunities during these tough economic times for “on-the-ball” companies who provide exceptional service to gain market share. There will be fewer competitors. And more potential quality employees to choose from. The cream will rise to the top.

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Marketing Resources To Promote Your Business

May 23 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are a lot of ways to market your business. It’s just up to you to figure out what these techniques are, so that you can have the most success as possible to your business. None of the strategies that I will be able to share with you are out dated. They all work in today’s world, and will continue to indefinitely run far into the future.

How do I know this? Because these strategies have been around for a long time now. You see when I first got started in my offline business, I had no idea of where to start. And because of it, wound up losing thousands of dollars in the process. If you don’t want to end up like me losing money in the beginning, then it’s best to heed the advice that I am going to share with you.

Making money in your own business can be fun and miserable all at the same time. I say that it can be fun because of all the sales that can be coming in, and I say that it’s miserable because of the lack of sales that could be coming in. No matter how my business is doing however, I make sure that I continue to market to these people over and over, and over again.

Now even with that said, you should still persist to do marketing so that your sales and profits can increase. Some days are good and some days are not so good, but continuing to believe in the system is something that you will need to do if you want to make your business a success.

You see when I first got started, I didn’t have much money, and I was selling to chiropractors at the time. I gathered a list out of my state and other states to mail to – with no prior experience whatsoever. Well needless to say, I lost a lot of money this way. If I had to choose between working and running my own business, I would pick running my own business at the end of the day. I hate working, and would rather work for myself, as opposed to working for someone else (which is probably how you feel also).

If you find yourself struggling to make money in your business, then I suggest that you tweak things a bit and go through trial and error regarding the best way to market your business. Heck, you could start off offering something for free, and then follow up on them with them with more information.

This is basic direct response marketing 101, and I think that you should use these techniques for making more money today in your business. The best way to have success in your business is by using direct response, and if you’re not using it, then you’re missing out on a huge potential marketplace that you could be focusing on.

Hopefully you will use these tips to have the kind of success that your business thrives for.

Good luck with using these techniques to have the most success as possible in your business.

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Use Illustrations During Financial Presentations of Direct Marketing Math

May 22 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Direct marketing is measurable and accountable. What that means is that for every dollar you spend on marketing, you can figure out if you made money. In today’s tough economic climate, direct marketing should be the last thing you cut. It’s the only part of your entire marketing budget that you can show that for every action, there is a reaction – and that reaction boosts profits or losses. It’s that simple.

I once managed a catalog for a large non profit corporation. When I took over the catalog, it was in a sorry state of affairs. Two consultants familiar with the industry had been hired to fix it but with each mailing, the response great grew worse and worse. As a last ditch effort, my boss tossed the catalog and a great mound of files on my desk. “Here,” he said. “See what you can do with this.”

It was the end of the fiscal year, and like many people working in non profits, my budget would mysteriously and suddenly go POOF and disappear at the stroke of midnight on the last day of the fiscal year. Just like Cinderella’s pumpkin coach. Back to a gourd and horses back to mice.

The first thing I did with that catalog was make ugly into pretty. Ugly rarely sells (unless it’s Ugg boots or Crocs, both of which I will never wear upon my feet – ever). The original book catalog was a black and white affair with long, dull lists of words and no pictures.

Using the internal group of graphic designers at the company, we transformed it from a portrait orientation to landscape, added a colorful cover and lots of product shots inside, and updated the copy. We re-categorized the books, added an index so that customers could find topics of interest, and coded the ordering and response mechanisms so I could track which customer segment responded most favorably. The little bit of money I could squeeze out of the marketing budget I put towards increasing the print run, gambling that our new catalog would do better than the old one.

The results were staggering. We shot past the financial target until we garnered five times the original response rate!

When I went to present these findings to the CEO and the Senior Vice Presidents, I had all my spreadsheets with every little financial detail I could muster up. I had samples of the catalog. I started going over the numbers. I was astonished when the CEO said, “I think we should cancel the catalog. It costs us $100,000 to print it!”

“But we made $500,000 in profits!”

“We should put it on the internet.”

“It is on the internet… but [customers in this industry] have told us they prefer print catalogs.”

He stubbornly persisted that we should discontinue the catalog, while vice presidents all nodded.

Except my boss, the VP of Sales.

Slowly, my boss took out his wallet. He thumbed through it. The CEO glared at him. My boss smiled across the table. “Do you have a dollar?” Clearly annoyed now, the CEO opened his wallet and pushed a dollar bill across the table at my boss. Now I was annoyed. What was this, a diet cola break? Was my boss running to the candy machine now that the meeting had stalled? Was he leaving me high and dry to defend a catalog that was profitable?

My boss took the dollar. With a smile, he extracted a five dollar bill from his wallet and pushed it across the table at the CEO.

“That,” my boss said to the astonished CEO, “is what Jeanne’s catalog does for this company. For ever dollar we spend, we make five back. Do you still want to discontinue it?”

I’ve heard the catalog lasted ten years after that day, but I’m not sure. What I do know is this; direct marketing is the language of numbers. But sometimes numbers alone aren’t enough. The numbers tell a story, but sometimes you have to illustrate the story quickly and clearly.

Mathematics may be the instrument of reality, but storytelling is as old as the hills. And everyone loves a good story.

The next time you are presenting numbers, I challenge you to get creative – not with the numbers, but how you illustrate them!

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How To Profit From Yappy-Headed Political Marketing

May 21 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The political system is in full swing since we’re months away from electing a new President. Will it be Obama? Will it be Mitt? Who knows? And I could give a flying hooten-nanny.

Why?

Because I can’t think of a single President who’s ever made a significant impact in my life.

(Key word here is significant.)

You could argue this.

But I’d respond, “How in god’s name can you expect the President to get anything done when he’s got to get 400+ yappy knuckleheads in congress to approve something?”

Have you ever tried getting 400+ people to agree on anything?

(Good luck with that…)

But let me not digress because…

We’re here to talk about marketing.

And no doubt about it, the best marketing is political marketing.

Why?

Because it’s crisp. It plays-up benefits. It includes a commanding call-to-action. And because it comes at you again and again and again like an assault rifle spraying bullets at your torso.

Yep…

Political marketing is the best you’ll find.

So no matter what side of the fence you’re on, I suggest you contribute a few dollars to the political yappy-heads you believe-in, which will get you seeded with this sensational marketing.

Mark my words:

Once those yappy-heads get your contact information, your mailbox will bust at the seams with direct mail you can use to promote yourself.

How?

Because you model your marketing after political marketing.

And no doubt now is “THE” time to sharpen your marketing saw by studying yappy-headed politicians.

But wait a minute. What exactly does that mean? It’s simple. When you start to get more political direct mail than a bee hive has honey, you dissect each piece.

And while your beady little eyes are scanning that marketing piece for dear life, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the headline?
  2. What is the lead?
  3. What is the main argument in the direct mail piece?
  4. What is the call to action?
  5. What is the guarantee (if there is one)?
  6. What is the tone of the piece?
  7. What is the post script asking you to do?

On and on this goes. Keep asking yourself questions. Keep reading, and re-reading the mail piece until you feel like you “own it”.

Once you’re in this state, you then add the pieces you like best (from the political marketing campaign) to your own marketing campaign.

If you like the guarantee… then use that baby.

If you like the lead… then use the lead.

If there’s something about the headline that tickles your fancy… then make use of that.

There’s a gazillion ways to learn from political marketing. But the main thing is to hop on this bandwagon now. Because you won’t be able to beat an election year when it comes to sharpening your direct marketing chops from political direct mail.

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Can Microsoft Bridge Australia’s Two-Tier Business Smart Phone Market?

May 19 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

With mobile penetration exceeding 100% of the population, wireless and mobility has truly become part and parcel of Australian business. Developments in mobile technology, from the launches of broadband 3.5G networks to the proliferation of smart mobile devices, have taken Australian enterprise mobility movements to new heights in the past 18 months.

Australian-based telecom market researcher Telsyte has recently released a report titled “Australian Business Smart Phone Vendors, 2007 Competitive Analysis” based on interviews with executives Australia’s six leading smart phone suppliers: Nokia, RIM, Palm, Motorola, i-Mate and Sony Ericsson.

Telsyte research finds that the Australian business smart phone market is two-tier, with the first tier dominated by proprietary operating system device vendors Nokia and RIM. However strong preference for Microsoft Windows is providing second-tier suppliers such as Palm, Motorola, i-Mate, O2 and Samsung – an opportunity to catch up as smart phones become more mainstream. Other key findings from that study include:

· Mobile email continues to reign supreme as the number-one mobile business application among corporate Australia. However, future growth will be driven by the “second wave” of mobile applications – the mobilisation of business process-centric applications led by such applications as customer relationship management, sales force and field force automation.

· The “hottest” mobile technologies are 3G and smart phones, with usage of these two technologies expect to reach 60% of Australian firms in the next 12 months.

· Three-quarters of one million smart phones will be shipped in Australia in 2007, constituting 8% of all mobile phone shipments. The share of smart phones shipped will double by 2010, with shipments as a proportion of all mobile devices growing from 1 in 12 currently to nearly 1 in 6 in three years’ time.

· Based on six critical competitive parameters, including a device vendor’s control over device design and manufacturing, availability of form factors and customisability of applications, control over operating system, and public brand awareness, Nokia emerges as the best-positioned vendor in the Australian business smart phone marketplace, followed closely by RIM, manufacturer of the BlackBerry solution and the only major vendor currently without 3G devices.

· Nokia scores high in fixed-mobile functionality, offers the most comprehensive features incorporating consumer and enterprise functionality, and performs extremely well on brand awareness.

· RIM’s strengths lie in the full control of its own operating system, which delivers the unique secure push email experience. RIM also scores well in device manufacturing and application customisation.

· Both Sony Ericsson and Motorola have a weak line-up of business smart phones. (This is surprising given they both are or associated with telecom network equipment vendors). However, they have more than compensated with rich consumer features.

· Palm has rejuvenated its standing by launching the latest smart phones, which are 3G-enabled and run the Microsoft Windows operating system, while i-Mate continues to focus on high-end devices and takes advantage of the Microsoft momentum.

· All smart phone vendors are adopting a wait-and-see approach with respect to WiMAX support in devices. Meanwhile, the promotion of WiFi functionality in smart phones – and vendors’ launch of WiFi-enabled device – appears to be rather significantly influenced by mobile operators, cautious of the potential cannibalisation effect of WiFi on their business.

· The battle of mobile operating systems is still on, with half of business users undecided. With Apple iPhone jumping into the fray with its own operating system, this battle will further intensify.

· While Nokia and RIM dominate the business smart phone market currently, very strong interest in Microsoft Windows as the mobile operating system of choice is providing tier-two device vendors an opportunity to emerge in this fast-growing market.

· Nokia also leads in terms of user perceptions on competitive pricing, ease of use, technology innovation, PC compatibility, business offerings and design. Not surprisingly, RIM fares well in technology innovation, business offerings and PC compatibility while Motorola and Sony Ericsson, more popular among smaller-size companies, perform relatively well in ease of use and design.

· Convergence of functionality is underway as enterprise-focused devices like BlackBerry and i-Mate are increasingly incorporating consumer-focused features with the addition of rich media, while consumer-focused device vendors like Sony Ericsson are incorporating the best-of-breed solutions including QWERTY keys, push email to appeal to the enterprise user.

Telsyte recommends that smart phone vendors differentiate by offering choice of form factors, lead with the latest features, market directly to uses to gain mindshare, and reach out to the IT managers with specific solutions. For business users, Telsyte recommends standardising operating systems to create synergies and optimise costs across platforms, and planning for fixed-mobile convergence.

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5 Low-Cost Internet Marketing Techniques

May 17 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are so many ways to market your products or business these days. With the definition of marketing becoming increasingly vague, each day, people are being very open-minded about new marketing practices. Take Google AdWords, for example. It wasn’t likely for businesses to spend billions of dollars each year on things like pay-per-click search engine advertising, ten years ago. Now, it’s the fastest and most cost-effective marketing technique available.

It may cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 to run an ad in a small print magazine. But how would you know if people are reading your ads or even seeing them? How many people read your ad? What are the demographics? How effective was the ad? How many people buy your advertised product in comparison to the number that read your ad? These things cannot be measured through conventional advertising as easily or as quickly as they can with today’s technology-driven advertising methods.

Unless you can afford to hire four-figure marketing analysts, advertising specialists, and spend millions on marketing research, to firms like Neilson, then you need to start using low-cost marketing techniques. These techniques can be just as affective for your small business, are far more rewarding, and involve less risk.

Here are the five low-cost marketing techniques I’ve found to be most effective in Internet Marketing.

As far as Internet Marketing goes, word-of-mouth advertising seems to be the most promising technique of all. Affiliate marketing, email marketing, direct marketing, JV marketing, and network marketing all use the “word of mouth” technique. Any commercial or ad can tell you that this product is great and that you really need to buy it, but there’s nothing more convincing than a friend telling you that. How many times do you remember hearing that infamous catch-phrase, kids always get, “if all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you do it too”? The reality is that kids actually do jump off of a bridge just because their friends are doing it. Teenagers don’t all go out to buy the same brand jeans or the latest videogame console because they really need it. They just follow the crowd, because they want to be a part of the crowd. This is what managers call bounded rationality. A consumer’s decision to buy a product may not always seem rational, but it is rational within their frame of mind.

The second low-cost marketing technique I find to be extremely useful in a highly competitive market is what I like to call the get personal technique. This is yet another growing trend in Internet Marketing. It helps create a slow and steady rapport with individual potential customers. If you sound like a friend, act like a friend, and look like a friend – then you must be a friend! It seems silly, I know, but it actually works. Establishing a friendly and informal relationship with your customers is a good way to keep customers coming back and buying more from you. You’d be surprised at how an informal e-mail from you, using the customer’s first name, and talking to them about your life on a personal note will work wonderings in creating life-long customer relationships that pay-off.

I know many of you probably have gotten sick of hearing about AdWords, but there seems to be one marketing technique in particular that delivers the most success with this program. I’ve heard some call this the never stop selling technique. The beauty of AdWords is that you are free to use it how you want. Some people believe they have no control over the way their ads are displayed, and use AdWords with a point, click, and try your luck approach. That couldn’t be further from the truth! The biggest difference between an ad campaign that has a 15 or 20% conversion ratio and one that only gets 0.1 – 5% conversion is the constant trial and error process used by the expert marketers. The key is to never stop testing (i.e. never stop selling).

Here are some quick tips for you to improve your AdWords campaigns with the “never stop selling” technique:

Check your add analytics and stats every 3 hours.

Change ads every 24 hours.

Avoid using the same titles in the same ad campaign.

Compare between site-targeted and keyword-targeted ad results.

Capitalize the first letter of each word in your ads (especially the title).

Remember you have very little space to write your ads in, use it wisely, and keep in mind that it’s the tiniest changes that make the biggest difference. If you find you have a higher CT conversion with site-targeted ads, but a lower sales conversion then go back and negate the differences. Recalculate your cost-benefit and change your bids to reach the optimal sales conversions with lowest cost in advertising expenditures. Just because the customer walked out of the store doesn’t mean the sale can’t be made. Keep customers coming back with new ads, different targeting strategies, and constant testing.

Tracking your CTs is vital in making this technique work more affectively. One of my favorite AdWords experts has taught me that everything on the Internet can be measured. So we should take advantage of that and really measure our results.

Now here’s another one that still works fairly well to this day. The article marketing technique is one of the cheapest forms of Internet marketing around. Websites like articlemarketer are making this process easier and more dynamic. This program offers a lifetime subscription for around $200 and allows you to submit your articles to thousands of e-zines and article databases for a very cheap price. Usually this technique proves more effective with those of you selling informational products or services. However, it can still work for other products when applied properly.

Giving people free information to sell them on your products or services is a form of promotional advertising. You offer them a free sample and if they like what they see they can buy with confidence. Typically your customers will think “if I can get this much information for free – just think how much information I’ll get when I pay for the product or service”. Throw in a free report with your newsletter. Post links to your website on your blogs. All this information will be your free sample to attract more customers.

Finally, we come to the free advertising technique. This is probably the least effective of Internet Marketing techniques, but I felt it was still worth mentioning since some have reported good results with this technique in the past. The trick to free advertising is that it isn’t really advertising to anyone except the advertisers themselves. It’s more like a glass of water that’s stirred constantly to give the illusion of expansion in a very finite environment. People that join safe lists, banner exchange programs, or any of those types of free advertising gimmicks, aren’t joining to read or see YOUR advertising. They’re joining to advertise their own products. That’s why the water always stays inside the glass. It never goes anywhere. However, there is one way around this. Because it’s free you’re not really losing anything, but the time spent on setting up these programs. So instead of trying to advertise in the middle of all the noise and end up frustrating yourself in the process, try to build relationships with other advertisers. This can actually be a flip-side to free advertising and I’ve seen it work before.

Upon testing the effectiveness of a large safe list program offering a double opt in list of more than 50,000 members, I found that only 1 out of every 1,000 emails were even remotely interesting. That means that the chances of me buying into any of the products or services offered in the tens of thousands of emails, I received every week, were probably 1 to every 1 million emails. If that’s not a long shot I don’t know what is. But the reason anyone even bothers with these programs is because they hope that they would get that lucky one-in-a-million chance and land a sale. My advice to you is don’t waste your time. Unless you can think of a creative way to implement the previous four techniques into these free advertising programs, you really don’t stand a chance of making any real sales. For example, don’t try to sell products. Offer free samples and bring the leads to your website. Then get them to join your mailing list. That way you can drive them away from all the noise and have a nice serene conversation about your products. They’re much more likely to buy from you when they get a chance to clearly hear you out.

So let’s wrap up. To review we’ll go over all the techniques very briefly. You might want to write these down on flashcards and keep them on your desk while brainstorming. They will remind you of how you don’t always need a huge budget to market your products. Here are our five low-cost marketing techniques:

Word of Mouth (get people selling for you)

Get Personal (be a friend and they will trust you)

Never Stop Selling (don’t let failure stop you from trying harder)

Article Marketing (free samples build consumer confidence)

Free Advertising (opportunity can be where you least expect it)

Not all of these techniques may work for you, but with a little creativity and some determination you can market your products to great success on a shoestring budget. The important thing is that you put in the effort. You can throw all the money in the world at marketing techniques and strategies, but without the strenuous efforts of squeezing every last drop of benefit from your marketing campaign, you are still leaving money on the table.

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Direct Sales – Start a Home Business That Really Pays

May 16 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When wanting to start a home business, consider direct sales. Although there are plenty of ways to make money from home, this is one of the most effective means of doing so. Instead of needing to rely so heavily on others, through traditional MLM or network marketing, you can take your online sales into your own hands. However, do not think this means that you will be required to do more work. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. Direct selling allows you to make a more highly guaranteed income, while putting in less time and energy. Of course, you will still need to take part in some sales and marketing, but these efforts will be well rewarded.

In a nutshell, direct sales is a form of online sales that gives people a great deal of control over their home based businesses. You are able to choose a product or service that you feel passionate about and that you believe will be able to turn a good profit. Having this choice allows you to stay motivated throughout the entire process of direct selling. After all, when anyone chooses to start a home business, motivation is most likely the determining factor of success versus failure. Home businesses may take a little while to get off the ground. Therefore, keeping your head in the game will go a long way in enabling you to make money from home.

When choosing to start a home business that involves direct sales, you will want to research the company you will be representing. Not all online sales opportunities are created equal. Some pay a larger compensation than others and some have a more dependable reputation. You will want to find a company that not only pays you a large enough residual but, also, will provide the tools and resources needed to make your home business work.

A good company for which to do direct selling will be sure to teach you effective techniques for sales and marketing. One does not need to be a professional marketer in order to start a home business in online sales. There is plenty of information available as to how to successfully market your internet home business. This knowledge, coupled with the experience of a reputable company, will help you figure out what you need to do in order to turn a good profit. More than any other opportunity, including network marketing, direct sales has the power to earn you a substantial income without an excessive amount of work.

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