Direct marketing

Category:
Business
Paper Title:
direct marketing
Text:
Mail Order has prospered for decades and it still continues to prosper even
during the Internet revolution. You still receive sales letters in the mail. You
still see ads through magazines you are reading. If you will open your eyes you
will see that the “Death” of mail order has been greatly exaggerated.

It is still alive and well on planet earth. Mail order has withstood the test of
time. Although, everything isn’t profitable to sell by mail. You will see many
people online who are trying to sell products that could have never made it
through a mail order approach. The sales letter is too poor and the concept
behind the product just won’t fly. Many of them are trying to sell products,
which can be picked up at any local store. These types of web sites would never
have stood a chance if they tried mail order. The expenses that went along with
it would absolutely destroy their business – the postage, the ad costs, the
fulfillment, the order lines, etc. The reason they have never realized that they
have picked such a hard product to sell is the fact that they have never
compared it to a mail order approach. Through the Internet and the free
advertising available online, they are able to make money from even the most
difficult products and the worst sales letters. Even though they are making some
sales through free advertising online, what they don’t realize is that their
time could be used much more productively by selling the “right”
product to the “right” market. Companies could be making 10 to100
times as much money by putting forth the exact same amount of effort if they had
applied a few mail order ideas to their Internet business. How does a mail order
business choose the right product? The first test they put it through is that it
must not be available reliably locally. It shouldn’t be something people can run
down to the store and pick up. It should be something unique or something that
can presented in a unique way (if it is available locally). The second test they
put it through is that it must be easy to target the best potential prospects
and buyers. People do not start mail order businesses and try to sell to
everyone. The product needs to be something that appeals to a specific niche
market.

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Successful mail order and direct mail businesses target their market like a
sharp shooter. Mail order initiativeswould not work if your going through the
phone book and trying to send a letter to everyone listed. You must seek mailing
list managers who can help them find specific lists of people who:
Have Money.


Bought a Similar Product by mail.


Spent The Same Amount or More.


Did all of the above recently.


Mail order goes after buyers of similar products. In other words, most
successful mail order companies or initiatives don’t create a product and try to
find people to buy it. They find people who want to buy something. Then, they
create something to sell them. Most Internet marketers have the process
backwards. Creating a product and then trying to find people to buy it is the
hard way.


Use a Proven Sales Process:
Too many people have jumped on the Internet bandwagon and have led us to
believe that anything goes online. People have been selling products and
services by mail for decades now, and every single one of them has something to
teach you about creating a successful sales process. Some will teach you what to
do. Some will teach you what not to do.


The same rules, which have applied to mail order advertising, apply to
Internet advertising.


For example:
1. Mail order advertisers have told us for years, “The more you tell,
the more you sell.” Yet, Internet advertisers have tried to tell us
differently. They have said people won’t read long copy online. They have said
people are too educated to be convinced by a sales letter. They have said that
you don’t even want to use a sales letter on your site. Guess what? THEY are
wrong. The mail order advertisers had it right…after decades of testing their
hypothesis again and again. People will read long copy. People just won’t read
boring copy. If your sales letter educates the customer and tells them more than
the competition, then you will make sales online. Good effective ad copy still
works today just as it always has.


2. Mail order advertisers have told us to use a headline on every sales
letter. Yet, Internet “experts” have forgotten to tell us to use
headlines on all of our web pages. No mail order marketer would even consider
sending out a letter without a headline. So, why would you even consider having
a single web page without a headline? Mail order advertisers have also taught us
an easy method of increasing our response rates by an immediate 27%. All you
have to do is put quotation marks around your headline and your response rate
will immediately go up, because people believe the quotation marks show that you
are saying something extremely important.


3. Mail order advertisers have told us to write our sales letters like we are
writing them to our best friends. Internet “experts” have told us to
present a more professional appearance. Sales letters, which have been proven to
work time and time again, are those, which are written, in a friendly tone. They
use underlining to emphasize key points, shorts words, short sentences, and a
personal signature in blue coloring at the bottom. This same process of writing
winning sales letters still works online. You don’t want your visitors to think
of you as a big corporation. You want them to get to know you personally and to
bond with you. Then, once they know you, they will buy from you.


Keep Detailed Records Of Everything.


A successful mail order business is always testing everything that they do.

Nothing is set in stone until it has been proven in the marketplace. They track
how much they spend for ads, how many people respond, and how many of the
responders actually purchase their products or services. Every new ad will be
tracked in the exact same way. If they don’t keep the records and haven’t done
their math, they won’t be in business for long. Just because much of Internet
advertising is currently free does not give you any excuse for not tracking even
more specifically.


Develop a Control and Keep Testing It.


When you hear mail order advertisers talk, they always speak of a control
piece. This is a scientific word, which refers to the sales piece, which has
already been proven to sell. The goal of every mail order business is to
continually test this control document and try to outsell it with another piece.

Then, once they find a piece, which has been proven to outsell the first one,
they will replace it as the new control. Then, the process of competition
between the pieces begins again. Do you have a control web site for your
product? Have you tested a web site again and again to prove whether it is
effective at selling your products or services? If not, then as soon as you are
finished reading this manual the first time, start testing your piece. Once you
have a site that is making sales, then it is time to create a mirror page where
you make some minor changes such as a new headline, a different picture, a
different price, etc.


Then, test that new page in the same type of medium as the first page.

Compare the results. Then, test some other sites. You should never be completely
finished in testing your selling process. There is almost always a way to make
it sell a little bit better. Think about the difference in profits if you find
out that a certain product sells better with a $10 higher price. What if you
sell twice as many by dropping the price 10%? The marketers who are usually
talked about as “Genius” are not any such thing. They are just people
who have tested every possible method until they eliminated everything that
didn’t work. All they are left with is the BEST way to sell their products or
services.


Business

Direct Marketing

“Anything that’s got my name on it, I open, because you never know
what it will be,” comments one focus group participant in a recent study of
direct mail trends commissioned by the Graphic Arts Marketing Information
Service (GAMIS) of PIA.


In the late 1800s, Richard W. Sears, a railroad clerk in North Redmond, Minnesota, acquired an abandoned case of pocket watches. Using his list of other railroad clerks throughout the Midwest, he marketed his watches with great success. Sears recognized immediately that an entrepreneur with a list of accurate names and addresses, and a stock of quality merchandise, no longer needed a store. He only needed a good message delivery vehicle and first-rate customer service. And so was born an American institution, one of the first and most successful direct marketing stories of all time: Sears Roebuck. The business grew to be the largest direct mail order company in the world. It wasn’t until 1931 that its retail store sales surpassed mail order sales. And many, many more mail order business success stories followed. In fact, because distances between suppliers and consumers throughout the newly forming territories were so vast, and the increasing variety of merchandise being produced was in such demand, mail order opportunities seemed endless. A robust network of railroads connected countless small towns and cities, many without stores. And each community, no matter how small, was served by the U.S. Postal Service, a system established by the farsighted authors of the Constitution of the United States in 1787 to help knit the young nation together.

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“Today, the U.S. boasts a $1.5 trillion market for direct marketers. This is without a doubt the largest and richest single market in the world and growing at an unprecedented 8.6% per year. With over 10,000 different catalogs alone being mailed in the U.S., there is a niche for every player and every project and service.” Technology and innovation have improved, but the principles fostered by Sears have remained intact.


Direct-mail Marketing
Though the tried and true principles have remained the same, direct mail has improved exponentially in appearance and the way in which data is collected over these past years through vast technological advances. Direct mail is very appealing because unlike any other form of marketing, it offers measurability. Direct mail is an expensive marketing tool because it is incredibly targeted and therefore has a higher success rate. The basis for winning direct marketing is targeting the right people with the right offer in a compelling way that generates response. The goal of direct mail is to generate an immediate measurable response. That’s why even though direct response costs, more, done effectively it’s a good investment. Direct response advertising results show you what does and doesn’t work. General and image advertising can’t attribute specific sales to specific advertising efforts while direct response does.


Direct Marketing – Door-to-Door
This form of retailing originated several centuries ago and has mushroomed into a $9 billion industry consisting of about 600 companies selling door-to-door, office-to-office, or at private-home sales meetings. The forerunners in the direct-selling industry include The Fuller Brush Company (brushes, brooms, etc.), Electrolux (vacuum cleaners), and Avon (cosmetics). In addition, Tupperware pioneered the home-sales approach, in which friends and neighbors gather in a home where Tupperware products are demonstrated and sold. Studies show that 51 percent of Americans have purchased goods or services through direct sales. That’s more than the number who have purchased through television shopping and on-line computer services combined. People value the products available through direct selling and 45 percent of Americans want to buy from direct sellers. Although, direct selling sometimes has a negative stigma attached to it, there are many advantages to buying from direct salespeople. Usually a lot of research has gone into finding out whether or not a consumer would be interested in a product and when the list is finally created, it is a very narrow and targeted list. “Direct sellers can arrange their calls to fit consumers schedules and can deliver purchases directly to the them. Direct salespeople are knowledgeable about their products and take the time to personally demonstrate and explain their products.”
Direct Marketing -Internet
While prospecting via the Internet may be a tough nut to crack, it’s clear that e-mail is well suited for keeping customers active. “On the retention side,” says Brady, “marketers now have a powerful new vehicle. Unless you were a cataloger or a club, you didn’t always invest in
regular customer communication. A lot of companies are seeing the power of e-mail in particular to drive revenues and customer loyalty and retention. As e-commerce has found its place on the Internet, the impact on direct mail remains uncertain. In many ways, the Internet complements direct mail, providing a unique way to generate leads and enhance prospecting efforts. Even today the Internet is an attractive option for new direct marketing advertisers. There is no doubt that the Internet will reduce the need for conventional direct mail, but e-commerce businesses are potential new direct mail advertisers. “Email is cheap, sending out a catalog can cost $1 or more, according to a report issued last year by Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research. Companies can send an e-mail for a cost of less than 1 cent to 25 cents, depending on volume and on the content, which can include video and audio, as well as personalization.”While conventional broadcast advertising and internet banner ads often reach people who have no interest in a particular product, e-mail marketing, if carefully targeted, reaches only people who have already expressed an interest in the advertised product or related products. Internet and E-commerce companies are now turning to the well-seasoned and measurable way to drive consumers to their site. By sending a direct mail piece, the site becomes more real and credible to them. Catalogs and other direct marketing pieces also help reinforce the brand, “direct mail promises to be an excellent way of reaching prospects and persuading them to visit a web site. “We know that we can make two to three times more people visit sites via direct mail than through advertising,” says Millner.” If a dotcom business sends a piece of direct mail, it adds an extra dimension to the business. People like to hold things in their hands and this offers tangibility and the human touch.”

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