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Snail Mail Is Popular Again?

With Mailing Volume Down Substantially, Snail Mail Is Actually Effective Again

The other day, I received a letter in my home mailbox promoting a heating and air conditioner package. It’s the same letter I’ve received several times a year for the past 5-6 years, but what was different about it this time was how well it stood out amongst the lack of other pieces in my mailbox.

With the drop in the economy, a corresponding drop in companies spending money on postage, and the rise of email marketing and Internet advertising, good old fashioned mailing pieces are becoming more noticed today — and thus, more effective.

Of course, snail mail has always been an ideal format for selling expensive products and services to targeted customers in upscale neighborhoods. But it’s also ideal for converting prospects on your list into buyers.

But here’s the key: Plain and simple wins the day.

It needn’t be any more elaborate than a typed letter of 2-4 pages in a simple white envelope — with your return address in the corner and the prospect’s name and address typed as if you’d sat down and written them a personal letter.

Remember the hallmark of any good marketing campaign: Be of service to the prospective customer. Address their needs. Tell them how they can improve their lives. Give them information they need to know that they might not have already. Don’t just talk about yourself, your product and your company. Ultimately, you want to approach your direct-mail campaign with the mindset, “I’m selling the solution to a problem the prospect has or I’m selling the means to achieving something the prospect wants to accomplish.”

Determining what your idea prospect wants will help you formulate the actual sales letter, announcement or other printed elements of the direct-mail package.

How can you solve the problems above or improve their lives or deliver the accomplishment they desire? Researching first what the market wants—their “hot buttons,” pain, ambitions and needs—is the key to a successful direct-mail campaign. Keeping these details in mind will help you craft the message of your direct-mail package or sales letter.

When you do eventually produce your direct-mail piece, always write your main sales letter using direct-response copy. Direct-response copy compels recipients to respond immediately to your offer. It gets them excited about the possibilities in their lives from the product or service you are offering. It tells them specifically what to do to make a purchase or to take the next step.

(For a complete tutorial on writing your sales letter or direct-mail package, see the Advertising and Copywriting Course included in the Business Enhancement System here. You’ll discover detailed information on the 16 components of a direct response-style sales letter.)

Have you seen my latest report? Click here to get “How to Create Immediate Cash-Flow From 10 Easy New-Business Development Strategies.”

Creative Commons License photo credit: markdvk

What to Do If You’re Hesitant to Pick Up the Phone and Make Deals


Let’s face it. There are some people who just love to talk on the phone. They love to get into new relationships with other businesses who can help send customers and revenues your way. It’s almost like a game to them — with their commission keeping score.

If you’ve been hesitant to pick up the phone and make joint-venture deals, start new endorsement relationships or ask people to sell your products and services for you, you need a Joint-Venture and Affiliate Manager.

We call joint-venture partners on the Internet “affiliates.” And since so much marketing is done on the Internet today, the job of recruiting affiliates, managing those relationships and supplying affiliates with tools they can use to promote your products and services at their website falls to an Affiliate Manager.

The top Affiliate Managers on the Internet today are women. I don’t know if that holds true for every company, but I can tell you that women are typically superb at relationship-building, follow-up and just plain calling to check in. These are the hallmarks of a good Affiliate Manager. In fact, ultimately, you’ll want them to be on a first-name basis with the top 5% to 20% of your affiliates—since those are the ones who will likely produce 95% of your affiliate-generated business.

Joint-venture relationships for conducting offline promotions are no different.

Other attributes of a good Joint-Venture and Affiliate Manager include constantly following up with email list owners — including those who say No, Not now, Maybe in six months, Not the appropriate offer, Price point too high for my list, Need a different product — or worse — no response at all. Good managers are not daunted by rejection, nor do they take anything personally. They understand that building a successful joint-venture and affiliate program is really just a numbers game. The more potential affiliates and endorsers they contact and the more professional-looking, top-notch marketing campaigns your company runs online — the more quality partners you’ll recruit.

Of course, recruiting them is only half of the formula. Your manager also has to continually encourage affiliates to run your promotions to their list — and your company needs to constantly produce fresh new emails, banner ads, text links, free reports, direct-mail pieces, teleseminars and other tools they need in order to do so. Affiliates will rarely write their own copy to promote your product — or even think through how your promotion will appeal to their list. They rarely advise on bonuses-with-purchase, price points, discounts and other details. All those details are your manager’s job. More »

Getting Someone Else to Take Over the Marketing of Your Products and Services

If you spend all day just running your business, manufacturing your product or delivering a service to your customers, you may not have a lot of extra time leftover for conducting marketing. That’s when it makes sense to hire someone who can do the marketing and bring in the cash. (In fact, today, you can often hire these people on a part-time, percentage-of-revenue or project-by-project basis.)

What do you need to know before bringing on a smart marketer?

For one thing, all marketing promotions are implemented either online or offline.

What are offline promotions? Anything that takes place outside the Internet. For instance:

• Trade shows
• Radio and TV commercials
• Direct mail / card decks / Val-Pak mailers
• Catalog placement
• Preview workshops
• Statement stuffers
• Press releases
• In-store and lobby promotions
• Display advertising
• Billboards, literature racks, charity programs
• Teleseminars and webinars and other non-traditional marketing outlets

When building your optimum cash-generation team, it’s best to think ahead toward splitting your marketing management between online promotions (Internet marketing) and offline promotions. The main reason for this is that online marketing is getting more and more specialized by the day. With new kinds of technologies and opportunities being developed all the time, it’s difficult for one manager to maintain up-to-the-minute knowledge about the Internet — particularly if you have lots of marketing programming to manage which doesn’t leave extra time for training.

For most small businesses, you’ll want someone who is comfortable developing a promotional plan, then initiating all promotions — without you telling them what to do every step of the way. In fact, you’ll ideally want someone who knows more about marketing than you do.

Why?

Because the truth is most small business owners go into business to pursue something they love to do. But while they may be superb at doing what they love to do, too often they just are not great marketers. If this describes you, then you need an initiator who will take charge of your marketing promotions and execute them with assurance.

(If your marketing manager could use the Instant Income 101 Ways to Create Income,  filled with tools that are focused solely on boosting cash-flow in your business, click here. )

Creative Commons License photo credit: bjmccray

Five Ways to Bring In Leads that Convert Into Customers

A few days ago, I talked about finding and hiring sales superstars — who are more available than ever in this downsized job market. What’s the best way to convince a top closer to work for you on straight commission? Create a steady stream of prospective new customers (or “leads”) that can be easily converted into sales.

But how can you get more people to look at your business in this economy — and be eager to talk with your salespeople?

Use direct-response advertising techniques to draw pre-sold leads who respond in greater numbers — and who respond more quickly after reading your advertising.

“Editorial-style” direct-response advertisements have been proven again and again to produce the best response—particularly in generating leads from prospecting campaigns. Using a specific writing formula and 16 specific components such as headlines, bullets, the offer, the signature block, the postscript and more, these ads tell the story, provide compelling information, and end with a “call to action” (or CTA) for the reader to identify themselves to you in some way—either by telephoning you, visiting your store, opting-in at your website or via some other response method. (You can hear a complete tutorial on crafting these direct-response style advertisements in the Advertising & Copywriting Course included with the Instant Income Business Enhancement System found here.)

Perhaps the most unique feature of these direct-response style advertisements is their focus on the reader—rather than on a list of reasons why your business is so wonderful. What will your product do for the reader? How will it help them? How will their lifestyle, relationships, business, personal finances, career, free time, health, abilities, skills or other personal attributes improve once they are using your product or service? What has it done for other people? What is the superior customer benefit of doing business with you versus the competition—once the prospect has decided to buy this particular product or service? What are the further benefits of doing business with you? These are all benefits that you should be writing about in your advertising copy.

Message + Offer + Call-to-Action = The Perfect Prospecting Ad

Think of your advertisement as a sales pitch in print—a way for readers to learn about your product or service, discover how they can personally benefit from doing business with you, and respond with their interest (either by purchasing or by asking for more information). In fact, the most important component of a direct-response ad is the Call-to-Action or CTA—that part of the ad copy that asks readers to respond in a specific way.

What kind of “ads” and other prospecting activity can you use direct-response techniques with?

Display advertising — another term for the full-page, half-page and fractional page ads you see in newspapers, magazines and directories.

Preview workshops — where you can pitch local consumers or prospective clients on a product or service package, once your direct-response style ad or email campaign has convinced them to eagerly and listen to what you have to say.

Direct mail — those letters, packages, postcards and other devices sent through the postal system. One of the most effective marketing strategies for generating both leads and buyers when a direct-response style offer is included. For more details on direct-response offers, advertising, direct mail and more, see my latest report “How to Create Immediate Cash-Flow From 10 Easy New-Business Development Strategies” here.

Marketing-oriented teleseminars — an ideal method for explaining complicated or expensive services. Use proven strategies to invite hundreds of potential customers on the telephone conference call, then have them call in to your salespeople standing by to close post-call sales.

Referrals — Customers, prospects, vendors and others — if properly asked — could refer their friends, family, and business associates as ideal prospects to buy your products and services. You can make this appeal in emails, via direct-mail, on the phone, as a small article in your newsletter, via postcard, in person — in fact, using virtually any delivery method you now use for your other marketing messages.

I’ll be back in the next blog post, with my continuing series on the staff who are directly responsible for bringing cash into your business.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: ralphpaglia