We would like to
thank the local libraries, schools, and universities for recommending students
to visit us when doing research on any of our information topics.
One of the most powerful tools available to small businesses is direct mail. By this I don't mean electronic, Internet-based mail, but the old-fashioned kind that requires a stamp and a trip to the post office.
Why is direct mail such a powerful tool?
It's a way for small businesses, especially retailers, to separate themselves from the big box stores such as Best Buy and Wal-mart, and to compete successfully with the Amazon.coms and Ovestock.coms of this world.
The power of direct mail, if done right, is that it's like getting a letter from your sister, mother or aunt. The postman brings it to your home. It's addressed to you personally. And when was the last time you received a letter from Best Buy, Wal-mart, Amazon.com or any Internet retailer? If so, it was undoubtedly via email and designed to be read by hundreds of thousands of customers - not much personalization there.
The first thing you need to do to start an effective direct mail campaign is capture the names and addresses of your customers. This is easy for service organizations like carpet cleaners, auto repair firms, instant printers, and the like. They already have their customers' names and addresses. All they have to do is put them together as a mailing list. Retailers such as jewelry stores, antique dealers, liquor stores, restaurants, etc. have a tougher time because they don't have an easy way to capture their customer's names and addresses.
There are a couple of answers to this. One is the old fishbowl gimmick, where you ask customers to deposit their business cards in a fishbowl with a prize to be given away in a drawing at some later date. I personally think this has been overdone. Plus, I have heard stories of unscrupulous sales people cleaning out the fishbowls themselves and using the business cards as sales leads.
A second alternative is to post a "guestbook" somewhere near your cash register with a sign offering a free newsletter to all those who register. To make this work, you and your employees have to be kind of aggressive in urging all your customers to sign up, and you can expect that many will not. However, persistence is a virtue and if you keep this up long enough, you will capture enough names and addresses to make the effort worthwhile.
I also like the idea of offering customers some small reward for providing their names and addresses. One version of this that seems to work well is a "frequent diner," "frequent buyer," or "frequent customer" card. Give your customers small, inexpensive cards that you can punch whenever they buy from you (or just visit your store) with the promise of a free something after 10 or 12 punches. Naturally, they have to register for the card and viola! You have their names and addresses.
Last, and most expensive, you can buy a direct mail list targeted toward your best prospects. Chances are, there is at least one company in your area selling lists of prospects by criteria such as recent home buyers, camera buyers, child care customers, etc.
Once you have captured enough names and addresses (maybe 100 or more) to begin a direct mail campaign, you have a couple of alternatives. One, you can input the information yourself. Or, two, if you're strapped for time, you should be able to find a local high school or college student to input the information for you. He or she can use either a word processing program or a database program to build the list. It's just simple data entry and you might offer $0.5 or $0.10 for each name/address input. I like to use a word processing program because once the list has been built; it's fairly easy to create personalized letters, etc. using the program's mail merge features.
What do you then mail customers? I like newsletters a lot. They can be as simple as a single page printed on both sides or as complex as four to eight pages. Another good alternative is personalized letters. Just make sure that whatever you choose to send your customers is important and meaningful and always include an offer designed to bring them into your store or to call you for more information or to make an appointment.
It takes time, money and dedication to develop and implement a direct mail campaign. But it's a powerful tool that can pay for itself in just a few months and then keep paying off for years to come.
For more information on creating an effective newsletter, be sure to look for my article, "Small Business Power Tool: Customer Newsletters."
Article by Douglas Hanna. Douglas is a retired advertising and marketing executive and long-time Denver resident. He is the webmaster of http://www.all-in-one-info.com, a free resource for information on a variety of subjects. Please visit his site to subscribe to his free newsletter, "Tips & Tricks to Save Money & Live Better."
Why Blockchain Could Be The Downfall Of YouTube Advertising
With recent announcements showing that teenagers are now watching an hour a day of YouTube, you might think that this is huge news for the advertising industry. A captive audience stuck between ad breaks should be every advertiser's dream yet instead, ...
Amazon to give Facebook, Google run for their money in advertising ...
BI PRIME: Amazon may be one of the quietest companies in the world, but marketers can't stop talking about the company's advertising business that's full of ...
Northcraft, Miller take on new advertising roles
Northcraft started in advertising with the newspapers' parent company in 1997 as an ad representative with the Tyler Star News before becoming the advertising manager of the Star News and the Wetzel Chronicle. In 2006, The Green Tab was added under ...
Staff made the right call in advertising imbroglio
Chilkat Valley News
Standing on the back deck of the F/V Wildfish in Bristol Bay last week, CVN advertising director Jasmine Taylor told me she was cutting out marijuana advertisements out of 300 odd editions of last week's CVN after staff from the post office warn... For ...
Amazon advertising is working directly with brands now, cutting out ad agencies
Amazon is increasingly working directly with brands on advertising deals. Amazon has always had a robust direct line to brands via an application programming interface for Amazon Marketing Services, the part of its ad business that includes self-serve ...
New advertising leader onboard
Earlier this decade, Honeycutt was advertising director and eventually publisher for newspapers in the Tulsa area that were under common ownership with the five papers he now joins. He and the advertising executives for the Missouri papers already know ...
Advertising Groups Face a Costly Fight To Regain Trust
Wall Street Journal
In response to advertisers' complaints, Twitter last week purged millions of fake followers. Unilever , the world's second-largest marketer after Procter & Gamble , said alongside results Thursday that it stepped up spending on ads in the half-year ...
Advertising group Publicis sees shares fall 9% on sales drop
Democrats place false advertising | Letters to the Editor ...
The Senate Majority PAC recently released a TV advertisement against Kevin Cramer. Within the ad, Cramer allegedly supported cutting Social Security and ...
How AI Is Making Advertising More Efficient and Consumer-Focused
In this war, they are little more than innocent bystanders forced to wade through disingenuous attempts at engagement and bombarded with disruptive advertising that serve little purpose other than getting in the way of the content they actually want to ...
Snapchat Study Shows Advertisers How Much Potential the App Still Has for the Upcoming Holidays
The whole point of pulling out details like these of course is to show brands, retailers and marketers the power of using Snapchat for advertising, such as radius targeting, which only serves ads in a geofenced area. “Really, a goal of this is to be ...
ADVERTISING RELATED ARTICLES:
Too Much Build-Up: Over-Zealous Ad Copy Can Break The Sale
How many times has this happened to you? A friend recommends a film that just came out: "You've GOT to see this movie! It's SO (funny, scary, suspenseful, etc.).
Brochures - The Ultimate Sales Tool
"How brochures can help you stand out from the competition, close the deal, and even build repeat business." Most brochures are nothing more than a collection of a few pictures and a few details about a business.
100 Excellent Words and 70 Action Getting Phrases for Ad Writing
100 Excellent Words Absolutely. Amazing.
The Not-So-Hidden Persuaders: The Power of The Media Upon Us All
In 1957, a perspicacious young journalist from Pennsylvania named Vance Packard wrote a book called The Hidden Persuaders. It was meant to explain to the public at large why they buy the products they do and to warn them about the psychological aspects of consumer appeal that lie beneath the levels of consciousness.
Humor in Advertising
Many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to be funny. Advertisers use this strategy to attract customers to their product.
How To Write Eye-Grabbing Headlines That Catapult Your Prospects Into Your Ads
If you're interested in improving the selling results of your ads, tweaking your headlines is a great place to start. Because your headlines influence the sales results of your ad more than any other element.
Moving Message Display
Moving message display are designed to be installed into environments where vast amounts of information need to be conveyed to large audiences both quickly and efficiently, also in the world of indoor and outdoor displays. This gives you enormous flexibility for creating interesting text message on Moving message display.
Advertising Copy: What's Really Important?
You labor long and hard trying to create the perfect advertising piece but only about 20% of your copy is going to get read. The rest will simply be scanned.
3 Simple Steps to Getting Thousands in Free Advertising
Many entrepreneurs believe that they understand what public relations is, but very few do. Publicity and public relations can be used to boost your business by thousands of dollars a week or kill it; the trouble is using it to your advantage.
How To Make Your Advertising Work!
Many believe that when it comes to advertising, it's a necessary evil.At least that's how some businesses approach it.
Magnetic Signs: Where Do They Work Best?
Recently, a woman called to ask about replacing a magnetic sign she had purchased from another company. Her original sign had actually blown off the side of her car.
Choosing a Classified Website and creating your advertisements.The internet has opened a vast number of doors for people to market their products and services.
Is Your Yellow Pages Ad Putting Cash in Your Pocket... or Sucking Cash Out?
Any idea? It's a question that more than a few Yellow Page advertisers ponder. If you are currently spending money every month to run an ad in your local directory, you don't want to wrestle with that question.
Business Plan Appeal - Five Rules For Writing Attention Grabbing Headlines
The success of a business plan stands or falls on its ability to get potential investors to take a moment to read it. Nothing works better for doing this than well-written headlines designed to interrupt and engage investors.
11 Ways To Make Your Business Cards Work For You
1. Spend money on decent quality business cards.
The Principle Of Advertising Online
Advertising online is very similar to advertising in any environment. You really are trying to get your message or your product out there by the most cost effective means possible.
How to Advertise with Flyers
When you first start out on your business venture, money is usually tight but you still need to advertise. One of the most affordable, yet very effective, ways to begin your advertising campaign is with flyers.
What are Text Adverts?
Not everyone is aware of what are text adverts? Text Adverts are a form of low cost advertising used by website owners to promote their website and services to a quality targeted audience. Online advertising offers an outstanding opportunity to efficiently and effectively target your desired audience.
Seven Ways to Kick Up the Power of Your Print Advertising - More Small Business Power Tools
If you're a retailer and the only kind of advertising you do is built around sales events, you don't need much in the way of advice. All your advertising needs to do is spell out as clearly as possible what's on sale, the amount to be saved and your store's name, address and phone number.
Advertainment is Sneaking Into Music, Movies, TV and More
The very name "advertainment" sends thrilling vibrations up the spine of anyone with marketing in their blood or communication in their genes. And it produces a strong shiver of disgust from many of my colleagues in the music industry.
Find used office equipment in Ohio at www.OfficeJax.Has.It
Find the best fleamarkets at www.FleaMarketWorld.Has.It
Find electric powered vehicles at www.NoGas.Drives.It
Find homes for rent
Jim (James) Baughman Hosting Company of Akron, Ohio offers the finest in the CLOUD internet hosting service and solutions at affordable prices. The Hepsia control panel is a superior control panel unlike the old school cpanel you may be familiar with as well as downloadable daily backups, 24 hour tech support response time is less than 30 minutes, php version selection, unlimited bandwidth, are all included at no additional cost.
advertising agency advertising supply and services marketing and advertising internet advertising pay per click advertising newspaper advertising promotion online advertising free advertising business marketing and advertising promotional advertising specialty print advertising banner advertising agency promotional product advertising radio advertising company classified advertising web advertising outdoor advertising ppc advertising advertising agency and services local advertising art layout production service advertising direct internet marketing advertising web site advertising business advertising television advertising jobs advertising services restaurant advertising yellow page advertising agency tv advertising web banner advertising directory advertising services advertising slogan advertising photographer adsense advertising adwords apis cashing billboard advertising advertising balloon pay per click banner advertising gambling online magazine advertising yahoo advertising email advertising free internet advertising internet online marketing advertising business search engine advertising direct mail advertising services advertising design advertising age creative advertising targeted advertising advertising campaign media advertising career free online advertising mobile advertising ogilvy vintage advertising pen internet advertising agency car advertising subliminal advertising idea advertising and marketing employment cheap advertising pen advertising space online advertising company advertising sign career in advertising direct mail advertising small business advertising history of advertising internet marketing online advertising advertising card communication content integrated marketing perspective premium promotion internet banner advertising advertising outdoor billboard affiliate advertising advertising art advertising display advertising product advertising copy advertising affiliate program free web site advertising real estate advertising brand advertising advertising brand communication guerrilla unconventional advertising business internet online internet marketing promotion advertising advertising firm contemporary advertising coroplast akron ohio custom signs and advertising solutions at OfficeJax online flea market