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Personalization is key in any direct mailing. Just be sure to review your database and ask the mailing house to send you a proof before mailing. The time you spent in personalization will be wasted if the incorrect title, mismatched names, or a generic addressee like “resident” appear. Just as bad is using “Resident” in lieu of a name.
Keep it simple
Put a note on your desk, where you'll see it everyday, which asks: Would our customers say we care? It will inspire new ideas and simplify decisions.
Engage e-news readers
Recipients of your e-newsletter campaign may quickly breeze through the content; your objective should be to keep them occupied and drive them to learning more on your Web site. Adding relevant polls, contests and links to e-news are great ways to make your recipients more engaged.
Make that a combo
If you’re wondering how to combine email, direct mail and phone sales, take a lesson from a California-based online sales company who did the research. Conversion rates nearly when they sent an email first, followed by a direct mail piece with giveaway, then a phone call. The result was a 10% conversion rate versus only 0.5% for an email alone; 2% for direct mail only; and 6% for direct mail, followed by an email and then a phone call.
A picture speaks 1,000 words
Send a picture or other visuals with your press release. In their 16th annual media survey, Bennet & Company heard from hundreds of journalists who noted the importance of visuals as they help mold content. The journalists said they are more likely to cover a story accompanied by photos or graphics.
What is your “est” factor?
When positioning your company, always consider your “est” factor, says Village Communities Marketing Director Lisa Maggard. In the pizza delivery industry, Pizza Hut is the hottest, Domino’s is the fastest and Little Caesars is the cheapest. What makes your company stand out from the pack? What is your “est”?
Check your baggage
Including attachments with your marketing emails vastly increases the likelihood that the message will route to the spam folder. If you have files you’d like a customer to view, load them on your Web site as whitepapers or downloadable PDFs and include links in the email message.
More than a name
Demographic information from your data base can be used to make direct mail more relevant. Reference landmarks near their home or office, periodicals they read or shows they watch, or touch on nostalgia from their generation to let the recipient know they’re more than a name. An insurer created a direct mail campaign featuring the recipient’s exact make, model, year and even the color of their car. Response rates soared.
Finalizing a list of effective keywords for your audience to find you on the Web can sometimes be challenging. Microsoft has launched a new Keyword Generation Tool called adCenter that will help you optimize your keyword list and increase your Web traffic. Log on to www.startadcenter.com to learn more.
Break through inbox clutter
E-newsletters are a great way to connect with your customers but how do you get them to be read? Since most companies send theirs the first or last week of the month, schedule your e-newsletter towards the middle of the month to avoid getting lost in the clutter of your audience’s inbox.
Another plus for PR
Great PR does more than get your name in the news, it will also increase the hits you get through search engines. Search results that yield news articles are often placed above paid listings. So post your press releases and published articles to move your name up the search results list.
Trying to hit your target market where they live? The National Guard placed an ad on the back of Greyhound ticket jackets, knowing potential recruits frequently travel by bus. Check out www.advertickets.com.
Diversify your ad budget
Advertisers are struggling to break through the noise with the onslaught of alternatives to traditional communication mediums such as satellite radio, TiVo and iPods. Studies show that one of every five DVR consumers skips 100 percent of commercials, and more than half skip at least 80 percent. This is not to say everyone should slash their television and radio budgets, but make sure your overall marketing strategy does not depend upon advertising. Apply the stock brokers’ mantra and diversify your media portfolio.
Recycle your ads
Your print ads become more effective – and more cost-effective – when you reuse them. Use your ads on postcards for a direct mail campaign or promotional items such as notepads and calendars. Reprint a full page ad, with additional information on the back, for use in presentation packages, in public relations efforts or as trade show handouts.
Opinions matter. . . even silent ones
Call at least some of the individuals who don’t respond to a survey. The person who doesn’t respond has something to say that you need to hear. Finding it out can improve your business.