Archive for August, 2016

5 Ways to Boost Sales with Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is an advertising strategy which aims at increasing sales. No matter the kind of business you are involved in, one of your greatest priorities, if not the greatest, is to achieve skyrocketing sales. Direct marketing has to be done strategically otherwise; you will end up throwing a lot of resources down the drain. In direct marketing, you communicate with your clients in a more personalized way for example through emails, text messages, promotional letters, and flyers among many other ways.
Monitoring and evaluation
Without carrying out a post-mortem on your previous direct marketing strategy, you will not be able to launch a better one. You must monitor your marketing activities at regular intervals once you roll out implementation. Mid and final evaluations also have to be carried out to ensure that every objective is achieved at each stage. According to this site http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/10-retail-marketing-ideas-to-boost-sales/ marketing blog on vertical response emphasizes the importance of keeping track on all your marketing activities.
Clear objectives
A successful direct marketing plan must have well laid out objectives and a goal. To boost your sales, every objective you develop should employ a marketing strategy that focuses on improving sales. You must spend enough time carrying out analysis and ensuring that your activities match your objectives.
Listen
This article here http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article/?a=10089/10-tips-to-improve-your-sales-performance on the Selling Power Newsletter demonstrates very well the importance of listening in direct marketing. Since you are addressing clients on a more personal level, you must show by your answers or feedback that you are listening. Listening shows the customers that you are interested in their needs and not just on making some quick money from them. Never take too long to respond to questions or any concerns from your customers. You must be consistent in your communication. Try as much as possible, to be honest, and prompt the client to take action.

Be consistent
You must be consistent in your communication. Come up with an itinerary for your marketing activities. You must also be consistent in follow-up activities. It portrays professionalism.
Develop high-quality marketing tools
From the letter heads you use for your emails to the graphics used on your flyers and the language of the text messages, you must ensure that all your strategies are of high quality. Poorly developed marketing tools can make the message to be simply ignored. Emails written in inappropriate language may directly be sent to spam.

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Inbound Marketing Techniques for 2016

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a new and improved way to grow your brand’s audience. You start the process with strangers who you attract to your website through keywords and social media. Once they’ve come to your site, you convert them into leads through the use of forms, landing pages, and calls-to-action. After you have generated the leads, you close new customers through CRM, email, and workflows. You then delight your new customers, transforming them into promoters for your brand. This is accomplished through surveys, social monitoring, and smart content.

Inbound Marketing Techniques for 2016

  • Keyword Optimization- Content is king when it comes to inbound marketing, so optimizing your content around a few well selected keywords is crucial to the success of your inbound marketing campaign. By selecting a handful of keywords that target your ideal audience, you can improve your search engine ranking and increase the odds of not only bringing traffic to your website, but bringing in the RIGHT traffic.
  • Content Offers- A content offer is something you offer your audience in exchange for valuable information. Examples of content offers include eBooks, webinars, product demos and free trials. You provide a prospective customer with something, and in return you obtain information you can use to convert that lead into a customer.
  • Guest Blogging- Blogging is becoming more and more essential to the success of an inbound marketing campaign. When you feature guest blogs, you widen your audience and increase your brand’s visibility.
  • Marketing Automation- Marketing automation services can absolutely help your business. These services allow you to customize your marketing strategies to fit the needs of your target consumer. By tailoring your marketing campaign to the needs of a particular niche market, you can engage more users, convert more leads, and generate more revenue.

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Why You Need a Reliable Printing Company

For any company that strives to gain new customers or meet the needs of its clients, a reliable printing company is an essential asset. Some printing companies may promote their rock-bottom prices, but when it comes to professional printing needs, cutting corners to save in the short term can bring disastrous results in quality and on time delivery. Other companies promise a long list of esoteric printing features that few clients will ever use, but execute few of them perfectly, or on schedule. Whether printing promotional material, mass mailings, signs, posters, calendars or brochures, the two factors that set a reliable printing company apart are consistency and on time delivery.

Consistency

Color is a key part of brand image and can have a subtle yet significant impact in advertising campaigns. Imagine a company – let’s call them the Red Rockets Space Travel –  whose logo on their first order is a vibrant fire-engine red, but in the next batch of posters and fliers it comes out more of a flamingo pink. Now inconsistent printing has introduced a layer of distrust with the brand and though it may be subconscious, a belief that the client’s brand is cheap, or possibility not even legitimate. When you pay for printing, you pay for consistent image precision. The first image should be identical to the millionth for any company that matters.

On Time Delivery

In the business world, the great majority of printing is time sensitive. An advertising campaign is slated to run in a specific time frame, a portfolio or brochure needs to be in the hands of clients before a certain date and a poster is needed two weeks before the big event. An important print job delivered a week late can be worse than one that isn’t delivered at all and no company should have to doubt the on time delivery of their orders. Excuses such as machine failures or material shortages won’t matter to the end client and any reputable print company that wants to stay in business will take steps to guarantee on time orders, no matter what, because they know that timing is everything in the print world.

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Tips for Your Call to Action on Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail campaigns can be terrific marketing tools. While e-mail marketing can be mistaken for spam or deleted without opening by busy recipients, direct mail offers an opportunity to stand out.

One of the best ways to get a response is to craft a strong Call to Action (CTA) with every message. Here are three tips on the best ways to maximize the impact of your CTA.

  1. Offer an incentive. You want people to respond to your CTA. In e-mail marketing, responders often get something (a newsletter, a free e-book) to incentivize the all-important clicks. You need to incentivize your customers as well. Offer them a discount or a two-for-one sale with specific ending date. Tell them the first consultation is free. Make sure you offer these incentives only in connection with the direct mail campaign, or they’ll lose the incentive value.
  2. Know your audience. What does your audience want? What drives them? There’s no substitute for knowing them. Do you sell pizza, and Big Game Night is on television? Make sure they get a discount direct mail from you! Do you sell or rent formal wear? Start your direct mail campaign several months before prom and weddings roll around in May and June. Offer free viewings and consultations. Do you sell tax services? Contact your audience before tax time rolls around, when they get their W-2s.
  3. Make it easy to respond. Their response should be simplicity itself. If it takes too much time or effort, they are unlikely to do it. Make sure they can phone, e-mail, text, or drop a response postcard in the mail. If by phone, have an 800 number and make sure it’s clearly visible.

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A Great Marketing Campaign Needs A Solid Tactical Plan

Behind every good marketing campaign, there is a seamless tactical plan, which is the definite outline of your marketing campaign’s strategy, organized by its components and phases. Through our tactical plan, you will fulfill your brand’s marketing goal that you set during the strategic planning phase. While strategic planning involves the overarching ideas of your campaign like selecting a customer persona or target audience, tactical planning involves actual advertisements and promotional activities that will make your brand more competitive and appealing to your target audience.

Take action.

Now that you know who you want to reach and what you want to promote, you need to decide “how” and “when” you are going to do it. Tactical planning answers these fundamental questions. What media will you use? Will use the radio, a TV commercial, social media, or will you use traditional print marketing? The methods you choose will ultimately best reflect the ideas and spirit of your strategic marketing plan in order to fulfill its purpose. For example, a product aimed at teenagers would not likely be successful in the local newspaper but rather have much greater exposure through social media.

Be specific.

If your team decides to use social media to promote a new product, like an app, for teens, then your tactical plan will contain all of the specific components of your status updates, images, and videos. You will need witty slogans, attention-grabbing tweets, attractive memes, and investment in boosting your campaign on Facebook to reach more users.

Stay on track.

Tactical marketing requires an organized schedule with clearly defined tasks for everyone on your team. It is also important to still give your campaign’s timeline some flexibility in case of unexpected events. However, it is ideal to keep the momentum of your campaign strong with a concrete vision of what to do and when.

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Personalizing Your Marketing Campaigns-Why Should You Bother?

Personalized marketing is a type of targeted marketing that creates messages that are designed for individual consumers. This type of marketing is typically an automated process that utilizes computer software to create the individual messages. Personalized marketing can also be used specifically for the products themselves by configuring the system to allow customers to choose the specific products that they are interested in. when customers are offered products they already know they want, your business is more like to get sales from online visits.

What Type of Business Benefits From Personalized Marketing?

Personalized marketing is beneficial for both online and offline businesses. For example, online businesses are able to identify the location from which their customer are signing in, keep track of interactions with your customers, maintains customer records, their shopping interests and you can use tracking cookies to learn about and target their shopping interests. Offline examples of targeted marketing include grocery stores that use loyalty cards, which allow them to personalize the shopping experience of their customers by sending coupons and discounts that are based on their customers shopping history.

Why Bother With Personalized Marketing?

One of the most beneficial reasons to use personalized marketing is because when your business uses a customer’s name, it will have a direct impact on the amount of attention they give your mailings. For example, when an email that is addressed directly to you, there is a greater chance of you reading the email. Whereas, an email that is addressed as “Dear Customer”, will most likely be deleted. Using a customer’s name and focusing the email to their specific needs means they are more apt to think your business sent the email specifically to and for them. Another reason to use personalized marketing is when your customers are identified by name as well as the specific items they purchased in the past, will increase the possibility of them purchasing the same or similar items from you again.

Personalized marketing also allows you to respond to your customers by name through social media marketing. You can answer their questions and engage in conversations with them. For example, they may receive a personalized invitation to a specific sale. This may seem like a great deal of effort for one customer, but if they are active in social media, they are more likely to share a personalized invitation with friends, which will give your business even more contacts, more traffic and more sales.

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3 Essential Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

Direct Mail can be a powerful marketing tool that generates more and more attention from prospect customers as the internet continually overloads them. Think about how much spam finds its way into your email inbox and how annoying that can be? How many times have you just completely deleted spam without looking at the offers? Also, think about what a put-off it is to have to unsubscribe to email blasts you don’t recall signing up for in the first place. Yes, while the internet may seem like a streamlined and efficient way to connect with people, many find online marketing annoying and untrustworthy. There are far too many hackers and credit card schemes roving the world wide web. Turning to hard copy mail gives you an opportunity to be in the prospective customer’s hand and it’s up to you to make the best of that moment. Here are three tips for connecting via direct mail.

 

Provide A Useful Touch

People use direct mailers for everything from note paper to bird cage liner and everything in between. Give them something they can tack on the refrigerator with your business and contact information that they’ll see on a daily basis. Turn your marketing piece into a bucket list or New Year’s resolution list, something innovative that makes it a keepsake. If you’re a local company, put together a placard with family-friendly events, government meetings, or whatever your community most enjoys. Give your piece lasting value.

 

Provide Superior Value

A good deal of direct marketing pieces have been labeled “junk mail” because they lack value to residents. Include something that sets your product apart such as a pack of coupons, free samples, or even a pen with your businesses contact information. Give the prospective customer a reason to open your correspondence and make it memorable. Turn your “junk mail” into value mail!

 

The Great Collaborator

Find other businesses to join you and up-sell your direct marketing piece. If you’ve ever eaten in a breakfast joint that has paper menus with local business ads printed on them, you probably recall that you spent time looking at the artwork and discounts. People tend to have more interest when you present multiple choices. Join forces with other, non-competing businesses and create a mailing that has discounts from local and possibly national advertisers. You’ll also be splitting the cost of the mailer, and that savings can allow you to do direct mail marketing on a regular basis inexpensively. If you have a good group that provides strong customer values, people may start to look forward to your mailer.

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5 Key Variables You Should Track in Your Marketing Campaigns

Whether your marketing is print, mail or digital the ultimate objective is usually the same, to increase the exposure of your business to your target audience with the aim of getting more customers. You would think that would mean it would be easy to tell how well your marketing campaign is working but things are not always so simple. Taking a closer look at your marketing data may help you to find problems you were not aware of and come up with a marketing win.

Here are a few variables you may want to take a second look at:

Audience – Your audience are the key to marketing success. The first thing you should check is are you actually reaching them? Make sure that you regularly scrub your contact database for out-of-date information to ensure you are using your communication efficiently.

Open Rate – If you are using any form of digital marketing make sure you have an eye on how many people are actually opening your communications. A low rate may point to a problem in how you are presenting yourself to your audience.

Conversion Rate – Always make sure you have some way of attributing revenue to a marketing campaign. This can be through having a call tracking number, a unique web address or some other identifier included in your marketing message.

Repeat Customers – Special offers might be a great way of bringing in new business but always make sure your marketing focuses on services that promote a long term relationship with your customers.

Return on Investment – Don’t just look at the revenue your marketing brings in. Look at the actual profit. Make sure you are focusing your marketing on products and services that will provide you with a high profit, not just revenue.

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Avoid these 5 Email Marketing Mistakes

Email marketing is one method for small businesses to reach a global audience. It is cost-effective and timely. If you’re beginning your email list or even if you’re a seasoned pro, you should avoid these 5 email marketing mistakes.

One: Ask Permission

Adding people to your list without asking first can cause trouble such as being blacklisted for spamming. Do not add email addresses from business cards, contacts from a former business or customers not asking to be emailed. Email is a privilege you don’t want to abuse.

Two: Give Them a Choice

People are on the go nowadays. They locate the content they need, make a decision and then they’re gone. Capture their attention by establishing multiple places to opt-in for email such as a sidebar, beneath your blog, on your checkout page as well as in pop-ups or slide bars.

Three: Lack of Engagement

Engagement is the backbone of marketing. Take time every day or two to send inspiring, informative or special offer emails. Giving your customers value ensures loyalty and referrals. Find time to reply to customers’ emails; they need to know they’re important to you.

Four: Do Not Buy Email Lists

Many email providers forbid buying lists. It’s uncertain where the email addresses originated, or if their owners’ have been spammed with other business opportunities. Additionally, if the list is legitimate, the recipients won’t know who you are and might consider your email spam.

Five: Don’t Be Shy

Beginning marketers often don’t want to bother people. They don’t message their customers or prospects frequently.  Devise valuable content with no hard sell, and customers will not be annoyed by your emails.

Email is a creative way to effectively get your message across. Avoiding these 5 mistakes will keep your business growing.

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