Optimizing Your Direct Mail Campaigns

If you were forced to choose only one sure marketing strategy for getting advertising or promotional materials to your new and future customers, that method should be direct mail.

A direct mailing campaign offers many attractive features. It is an effective and convenient way to get information about your business and products to your customer base right in their own homes or businesses. It is easy to catch your customers eyes with attractive brochures, and you can hold their attention as they peruse your ads at their own leisure. It is also a good way to get your information to a large group of people and is extremely economical! In addition, your potential customers will find this marketing technique less annoying than intrusive methods like telemarketing.

There are some downsides to direct mail, however. For one, if not formatted correctly, your customers may perceive your mailings as junk mail and not give them the attention you hoped for. As a result, the recipients might not bother opening your mailings and actually look at your offer.

This risk is more than offset by the huge payoff that can result from direct mailing campaigns. Even if only a few percent of your mailings result in successful sales, the slight cost of direct mailing will be well worth your time and money.

Here is an example of how direct mailing can pay off. Suppose you have an item you would like to market that costs you $50 to make or buy, and that you sell for $200. To inform customers of your product you send out 1000 mailings to past customers and people in your local community. Lets say you can do these for about 50 cents per item (the cost of producing the advertisement and postage). That means your 1000 mailings will cost you $500 total.

Next, lets make a very pessimistic estimate of your return rate. Suppose that only 1.5% of the people who receive your mailing actually end up purchasing your product. This means that you will make 15 sales of $200 each. This might not seem like very much until you analyze the costs and profits. You invested $500 in producing the mailings and $500 to obtain the product. You had a gross income of $3000, and, after costs, a net income of $2000. This is a huge return for what was essentially a very small investment!

The best part of the deal is that this example used a very small rate of successful sales conversion (1.5%). With quality mailings that are adequately focused on your customers needs, you should be able to increase that number up to 20% or more!

As another example, consider a recent popular self-help book. The publishers of this book chose as one of their first marketing campaigns a series of mass direct mailings. After their first mailing, they estimated their success rate in converting mailings to sales at 20%. They then followed this up with a second wave of mailings in which they greatly increased the mail volume. Their success rate shot up to 24%! In a third wave of mailings, their success rate stayed steady at 22%!

This is a good example of a well-timed direct mail strategy. The publisher used the first mailing to get the word out about the book and kick off sales. The second and third mailings were timed to capitalize on the success and recognition that the book had already obtained. Once people had heard good things about the piece of literature, they just needed the extra incentive of the mail advertisement to motivate them to go to the store and make the purchase.

To create your own success story like this, make sure to take care when you create your mailings. A poorly written ad will not increase your sales no matter how many people you send it to. In fact, writing a good ad is difficult to accomplish and requires a good deal of creativity and professional quality writing. You can find books on the subject if you are unsure about your writing and graphical design skills.

The other tricky part of a direct mail technique is to decide who to send the materials to. If you send your mailings to the wrong people, you are wasting your time and money. Do a thorough analysis of your customer base and their purchase records in order to determine who are the best targets for your direct mail campaign.

Direct mail is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient marketing devices you can use. A little thought and care into the creation of your direct mail advertisements will reap you huge rewards in sales and is well worth your time.

How to Become a Direct Marketing Copywriter

There are no shortcuts to become an expert direct marketing copywriter. The expertise which many copywriters want to possess comes with a lot of practice, a lot of cross- referencing, and a lot of exposure to new and different methods and styles of writing direct mail marketing copies. However, one point worth remembering is: the ultimate aim of your copy is to sell the product and nothing else. Therefore there are no set ways or methods of writing the ‘perfect’ direct marketing copy. Whatever style is makes a successful sale is the best!

However, a few pointers would see you through if you are attempting to write a direct marketing copy yourself. Firstly, be friendly. You are attempting to ‘connect’ with a vast pool of faceless and nameless people who you call your audience. The only welcome approach would be the friendly one. Speak to your audience as you would speak to them over a cup of coffee. Keep your tone warm and engaging. Make your audience feel that they are the single most important species on the planet. There is nothing like a little ego massage to get you going. Secondly, never bore your audience with long sentences, jargons, technical terms, and a story about yourself! Most copywriters tend to focus so much on themselves- why they are what they are and so on, that they forget about their objective of writing the copy. Your audience doesn’t care a zilch about who YOU are and why you are selling whatever it is that you are selling. And you know what, they don’t even care two hoots about the product! Seriously! All they want to know is why they should buy your product and what use would it be to them. So before writing about all those ‘salient features’ of your product in bullet points, get your act together and write, instead, what the benefits of your product are.

Your copy is directly responsible for the image of your company. If you write negative things about some other companies or products, it would reflect on the reputation of your company. The best way to keep a squeaky clean reputation would be to avoid indulging in verbal battles. Many companies indulge in rabble rousing copies about how ineffective their competitors’ products are compared to their own. Keep away from any such intentions even if you are tempted to. Always let your customers be the final judge.

The last advice would be to make sure that your product lives up to its reputation. Your copy would have created an image in the minds of your audience about your product. If, by any chance, it fails to deliver in one or more parameters, your customers would write it off immediately. And a negative remark takes negligible time to spread and can seriously damage your reputation in the market.

Article Marketing – 7 Methods to Earn Profits With Article Marketing

Article Marketing is a quick and simple, yet powerful and effective means to start earning money with one’s own writing skills. This opportunity has come up as a result of the growth of internet as the world’s biggest knowledge bank. For any kind of information requirement or problem, the internet offers a link with a solution. At the end of the link is usually an article written by some expert with his explanation of the solution.

As there are many experts in the world, there are many solutions, many articles and many web pages and web sites, running into millions. If you have even a little skill in writing, you can make money by writing articles.

There are two primary ways in which you can achieve this – the direct way and the indirect way. You must clearly understand both these methods to be successful.

1. The first method is to write articles directly for your own website or post them to various article directories. Using this method you can create a reputation of being a good writer. However, this approach takes a relatively longer time to bear fruit.

2. Ghost-writing is another direct method. It involves writing articles for another person, who is already running an article marketing campaign. Since he wants a large number of articles to be written, he will find other people to write and pay for those articles. The copyrights of the articles remain with the buyer, not with the writer. Thus, you can start earning with minimum investment.

3. An indirect way is to use programs like Google’s AdSense, which displays sponsored advertisements on relevant pages. If someone browsing your article page clicks on such a link, you are paid for that. This improves your standing in the eyes of the Search Engine.

4. Articles act as influencers for choice of products and services on the internet. When a user compares products before buying, he read through various articles about that product and then makes up his mind. Hence, article marketing serves to build the brand.

5. Community forums want more traffic on their websites and the only way to do that is to offer good content. Hence, they are willing to pay you for writing on their discussion forums. This is another direct way of earning your bucks.

6. Article Marketing is the quickest means of achieving results in the online world. It works in subtle ways and is more effective than traditional banner advertisements.

7. Article writing pays you more, the more you write, the more content you produce. This is a volume game!

Do you want to learn more about how I do it? I have just completed my brand new guide to article writing to build your list:

Download it free here: Secrets of Article Writing [http://www.online-success-shortcuts.com/secondindex.html]