Designing And Writing Direct Mail Packages – It’s Absolutely Not Something Just Anyone Can Do

The very first thing you need to know about writing and designing effective direct mail packages is that “you” probably should not. Effective copy writing and design is very difficult for the average person, and those that are good at it have done a lot of studying and have tested a multitude of approaches and styles depending on their understanding of the nature of their audiences. Don’t expect a copywriter that is successful with “non-profit” solicitations to be equally as adept at writing copy for “for-profit” offerings. Both Picasso and DaVinci were masterful artists, “in their own right,” with distinct styles, preferences, abilities and “audiences.” Copywriters are like artists. People who are successful at creative are, in fact, practicing an art form.

The best way to find good, professional copy writers and graphic designers that can relate to your specific set of needs is to contact a direct marketing association office (i.e., DWAW is the Direct Marketing Association of Washington). There is one in every major city across the country. The people who work there are very familiar with the range of resources available to you. They can save you a lot of time in your quest to identify people who have a background of success in your interest area. This is not something that demands close physical proximity and you have a vast array of alternatives available to you. Finally, you definitely want to make “a previous record of success in your arena” a prime consideration in the process of identifying your “creative partner.”

On the other hand, maybe you are a small business with limited funding and you want to give it a shot on your own without risking a lot of money. The best way to begin on your own is to look at the creative used by other entities like yours and essentially copy those things that (1) appeal to you and (2) you see on a repetitive basis. It is being repeated because it works! I don’t mean you should copy other material word for word, but by format and general content. You can also find lots of copy writing resources on the Internet (type the words “copy writing” into your browser and you’ll be amazed at how many resources you’ll find).

What you will quickly come to learn about creative is that testing is the name of the game when it comes to direct mail, and I would strongly suggest (in fact, insist!) it be done constantly to determine what creative will work best for a given offer or solicitation. If you are not testing alternative copy (among other things) in every one of your mailings, you are not taking advantage of the single biggest advantage that direct mail offers over other kinds of less targeted marketing types — “measurability!” All of your mailings should be predicated on past results.

Finally, those creative people that work closely with their production manager or printer in the early stages of creating a package are more likely to be able to accomplish their objectives most cost effectively and in the time frames they require by avoiding package designs that result in production hurdles and challenges (wasted money).

Whether you use a professional resource (highly recommended!) or give it your own best shot, I wish you many profitable mailings.

The Future of Advertising: Mobile Media Marketing

The Internet is transforming today’s advertising culture by leaps and bounds. In an economic climate where businesses can no longer afford to waste money on general advertisements, mobile media marketing is the answer to reaching the most relevant demographics without an extensive advertising budget.

Never before has the marketing world seen a mode of advertisement with the ability to target, push, and measure campaigns the way mobile advertising does. As of this year, more than 85% of new phones are capable of accessing the Internet, with future projections vastly increasing. This makes mobile marketing the most direct line of entry into an audience pool that is involved, participatory, and easy to target.

For the most part, mobile searches comprise a completely different aspect of the web than home-based searches. On the move, users tend to make more local searches for dining, entertainment, retail, directions, and service centres than they would at home. Businesses in competitive markets which cater to a local population can benefit from making themselves visible to mobile web traffic. Before a local business would need to be located by a customer on foot, smaller corporations can now draw in their customers with eye-catching offers, and adverts. Businesses also have the opportunity to involve their customers with reviews and contests.

Mobile media marketing is the most flexible and affordable mode of advertisement yet. Businesses can create and personalise their ads for little or no money and then launch them to a fully targeted audience of their choosing. Mobile browsers hold extreme amounts of data, some of which includes user demographics that are used by businesses when targeting their ads. There are two main areas for a business’s ad to be featured: with apps or in web browsing. Both ways offer the business pay-per-click (PPC) advertising where a business is only charged by the advertiser when a user clicks on the ad. This is an incredible benefit for businesses as they are only charged when a customer is successfully directed to their site.

The return on investment potential with mobile advertising is extraordinary. Because ads are launched and monitored in real time, businesses can also receive instant feedback on their campaigns. This allows a company to experiment with their ads to find the most effective calls to action without the risk of crippling the advertising budget. The future of mobile media marketing is endless: already the integration of social media has bridged the gap between businesses to consumer. By carrying the Internet with them, consumers are involving themselves with the web like never before. The businesses that take advantage of this relationship and use it to better address their consumers’ needs will surely reap the benefits.

Engagement Marketing: Changing the Relationship Between Businesses and Consumers

A hot new spinoff of social media marketing has altered the way companies are engaging their customer base. It’s called Engagement Marketing, also known as “participation marketing,” and is a strategy that is specifically designed to engage consumers and allow them to have an influence on the brand. It is no longer about companies relying on passive marketing and persuasion to gain new clients; it has become an interactive two-way street.

Branding has also become easier and allows for businesses to cultivate more personal relationships. As we move more towards a “relationship age,” and away from an “information age,” interactions between consumers and companies are becoming more closely connected, and the value of these relationships is now more important than ever.

1. Branding: Give Your Company Exposure and Build an Online Presence

Branding is an important aspect of every successful business. Recent studies show that building a social media presence can boost your company’s search engine rankings. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is only one part of the overall ranking, and other factors such as the popularity of your website are included. Social media links and blogs can help give your company exposure, as well as build an online presence by engaging consumers and giving them an opportunity to have a voice. The easier it is to find your company and see that other people are involved online, the more business you will get.

2. Lead Generation and Networking: Getting New and Potential Clients

Engaging customers and building your brand online is becoming an important facet of everyday business. By using online networking tools such as live chats, blogs, and webinars, companies are able to become more transparent and trustworthy. By offering ways for people to interact on a personal level, consumers will begin to trust your products and services.

Also, the more attention your website receives, the more potential your company has to gain new clients. People tend to trust companies that have a strong online presence over companies that don’t have active websites or social media profiles. If your company Facebook profile has a lot of “fans,” or supporters, it will bode well for cultivating new clients.

3. Product Research: Test Your Products and Services via Social Media

Creating a direct and open dialogue with customers allows you to ask them how they feel about your products and services. By including comment fields on your blog and sending out surveys or emails, you can get a good idea as to how your company is doing and how satisfied your customers are. If you were planning on coming out with a new product, but weren’t sure how your loyal customers would receive it, you can ask them online. Perhaps you can offer your fans on Facebook a trial period for your new product and see how customers react. It will save you time and money in the long run, and you can get your product on the market faster.

4. Improving Customer Relations

By improving the way you interact with your customers, you can improve how your business operates. As you find out new ways to incorporate your customer’s opinions and feedback, you can change your business model to adapt to market trends.

There are many ways to gather this information such as including a field on your website that allows for customers to send you an email and tell you about how you’re doing. If you have a blog, leave room for readers to comment on your articles to get them thinking about the services your company offers. The more opportunities you provide your customers with to give you feedback, the easier it will be to meet client needs and expand your business.