Profile in Success – Dick Benson

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By numerous accounts, Dick Benson was the most successful direct mail marketer of all time.

Put simply, Dick Benson’s view of direct mail marketing is quite simple: The promoter’s goal is to get prospects to raise their hands and say they’re interested in what you have to sell. Secrets of Successful Direct Mail emphasizes this lesson and everything Dick Benson learned in over 40 years in the business.

Benson never gave a seminar and never advertised for clients. Actually, he didn’t need to. Most of his clients put him on permanent retainer. Clients included Time Inc., Dow Jones, Hearst Magazines and World Book, to name a few.

Benson advised on effective testing, creative, timing, pricing and premiums. One of his main tenets was that direct marketers spend too much time on the appearance of packages and not nearly enough time on lists or testing. He also drove home the power of effective creative, noting that even minor changes in the offer, copy, envelope contents or appearance of the letter can make a big difference in response and must be tested more than once before each new roll out.

And while he focused on the ROI of direct marketing, it wasn’t his only focus. He emphasized that marketers test also to learn. The more learned, the better marketing can be done to segments that emerge as marketing programs evolve. To that end, he encouraged marketers to place a value on the information they learned through direct marketing tests and campaigns.

Benson’s 25 Principles

The following outlines Dick Benson’s 25 core principles of direct marketing, demonstrating the core ideas he proposed in his writings and consulting efforts with clients:

1. A two-time buyer is twice as likely to buy as a one-time buyer.

2. The same product sold at different prices will result in the same net income per thousand mailed.

3. Sweepstakes will improve results by 50 percent or more.

4. A credit or bill-me offer will improve results by 50 percent or more.

5. Tokens or stickers always improve results.

6. Memberships renew better than plain subscriptions by 10 percent or more.

7. “Department store” pricing always pays except for membership offers.

8. You never can sell two things at once.

9. Self mailers almost never work.

10. The more believable a special offer, the more likely its success.

11. The addition of installment payments for an item over $15.00 will increase results by 15 percent.

12. Dollar for dollar, premiums are better than cash discounts as incentives.

13. Adding elements to a mailing package is more likely to pay out than cheapening the package.

14. For magazines a “soft” offer (“Try it at our risk”) is better than a hard offer.

15. A Yes-No option will increase orders.

16. FREE is a magic word.

17. Two premiums are frequently better than one.

18. Long copy is better than short copy.

19. Personalized letters work better to house lists than to cold lists.

20. Brochures and letters should stand alone and each of them should contain all the information.

21. Direct mail should be scrupulously honest.

22. Subs sold at half price for at least eight months will convert at renewal time just as strongly as subs sold for a full year at full price.

23. Lists are the most important ingredient to success of a promotional mailing.

24. The offer is the second most important ingredient.

25. Letters should look and feel like letters.

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Source by Andrew Brown

Dentist Marketing Tip: Beware Of Poser Paul

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If you own and operate a dental practice, and would like a great piece of advice for steering clear of unqualified dentist marketing advice, then you may want to read this short article.

How come?

Because it tells a true story about so-called marketing experts.

Dentist Marketing Advice and Poser Paul:

Today, I’ve got a story about a guy named POSER Paul.

Who’s that?

Let me explain:

Recently, I went after a copywriting gig with a famous author and speaker whose books are plastered all over the business section of Amazon.com. And to make a long story short, this big shot said his current copywriter couldn’t cut the mustard because the results of his marketing piece were atrocious.

I listened.

And then, I lost all respect for him when something happened.

When I quoted my price on his copywriting job Poser Paul scoffed and told me, “it’d be a cold day in H*LL before I paid you that.”

So I said:

“But you told me you wanted results? Results come with a price. You of all people should know that because that’s what you teach. Right?”

Which fell on deaf ears.

Problem is Poser Paul does not practice what he preaches.

Imagine if your dentist told you to brush your teeth but he never did.

Or if a police officer told you to obey the law meanwhile he was out robbing houses.

Or if a school teacher told you not to do drugs meanwhile he was burning one up at home.

My point is this:

I’ve come to realize that most marketing “gurus” tell you to do one thing, meanwhile they’re off doing something else. Poser Paul ain’t the only “guru” like this either. Matter of fact with the proliferation of the internet it seems every Adam on the block is claiming to be a sales and marketing expert.

So what can you do if you want proven marketing advice that actually works?

Seek those that do what they tell you to do.

If a copywriter does not spend his own money promoting his own business, then run from him.

If a sales trainer is not in the field using his sales strategies on real people, then run from him.

If a marketing expert doesn’t know principles of direct response, then run from him.

Otherwise you’ll get sucked into believing that Poser Paul is a guru when in reality he’s a phony.

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Source by Wesley Murph

Direct Mail Postcards – Hit Right on the Spot and on the Right Target

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Using direct mail postcards can bring lots of good fortune on the campaigns and promotions that you do on your business. But before you delve deep into the project, you must first check if you are on the precise path and if you are headed towards the right direction.

There are things that you must first look deep into before you even create the materials that you are going to use as direct mail postcards. Here are only some of the aspects of what should you be looking at.

1. What is your campaign all about? What do you want to highlight on your promotions this time? How did you arrive at such decision? There are many factors that may influence you with regards to the choices that you make.

o The current trend when it comes to business promotions.

o The season or the occasion that coincides on the date of your promotions.

o The way your competitors are handling their strategies when it comes to this aspect.

o The latest news, happenings and economic situation of the nation that can affect your business, your campaigns and how people are going to react to those.

2. Who is your target market? You must suit all your plans and campaign preferences based on what these people are going to like. They are your masters and you must serve them accordingly. Through time, you will be able to refine the list of your target market. But you must never assume that this is an overnight process. This takes hard work and perseverance just like the other considerations that you must prioritize on your business.

3. Do you have enough time to promote and strategize before the date of the event? In any plans that you wish to do with regards to your business, you need enough time to carry such through and through.

4. Do you have the budget to be able to execute the plans that you have in mind? Look deeply on this aspect. Commit only to the projects that your money can accommodate. You don’t want to be obliged to anything that you cannot pay up for in the end.

5. What are the goals of your promotions? What do you wish to achieve with the campaigns that you want to run for your products and services? Set some certain goals for your campaigns. This way, you will be able to measure if you are doing things right.

Do you want to achieve higher sales? Set up some expectations that you are aiming for. You will get a good feeling if you will be able to get or even surpass that. If not, then that must force you to do better the next time around.

You can try the abovementioned tactics the next time you avail direct mail postcards. This way, you will be able to hit not only when the iron is hot but more so, there are more chances that you will be able to beat your competitors from getting the attention of the market that you are both eyeing at.

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Source by Maureen Pelayo

MLM vs. Consumer Direct Marketing Business Opportunities

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We’ve all seen them before – businesses that promise great wealth and prosperity with a minimal amount of effort. Did you know that only 1 out of every 1,000 home-based businesses last longer than 5 years? So what REALLY sets all these companies apart, and which method has the least risk for everyone?

First, let’s take a look at a way of marketing that has gotten SO popular (and many times out-of-hand) – Multi-Level Marketing. When you think of multi-level marketing, you may think of overbearing sales people who begin by bothering their family and friends, and resort to manipulating others into buying lots of inventory. You might also imagine a get-rich-quick scheme with promises of great wealth through very little work. Finally, you may envision business schemes that lack a compelling product, but hype up the promise of big incomes.

Now, let’s take a look at what a few companies are turning to – Consumer Direct Marketing. What’s the big difference? Well, Consumer Direct Marketing typically redirects the funds that would typically be used for advertising, multiple shipping costs, various middlemen, and several distribution channels into spending for higher quality ingredients, product innovations, and profit sharing with customers. The result of this is a new and interesting method of delivering quality, low-cost products to families around the world – and then SHARING THE INCOME with those families.

The companies that are truly heads and tails above the rest are all turning their attentions to the important aspects of Consumer Direct Marketing. The true result is less risk for the business-builder as well as the consumer, because there are no inventories to buy, no financial risks, and no hype. EVERYONE, people referring the products, and customers alike, only buy what they need each month. And of course, anyone who refers someone else earns a commission from the purchases of the customers they refer.

Maybe the neatest thing about this almost “laid-back” method is that the majority of customers buy each month without any interest in receiving commissions, and when you have customers that really love the products and aren’t pressured from the vast majority of MLM companies out there, that means true residual income – income that you’ll receive the rest of your life – your retirement, or your children’s college education!

If you’re interested in a 20-year-old Consumer Direct Marketing company that might be a great opportunity for you and your family, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I’d be happy to share my experiences with you.

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Source by Hayley Keller

How Focusing Your Marketing Efforts Can Help

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So have we all returned to work after the festivities with new ideas and inspiration for attracting new business? In 2012, an Olympic year we need to be aiming high for achieving those ultimate goals. Increasing response rates and winning new customers may well be top of your agenda for 2012 so how do you go about it?

Think like an Olympic athlete and you can race past your competitors and collect gold every time. Athletes put so much training and effort in before the big race and this can be compared to direct mail campaigns because you will put a huge amount of foundation work into ensuring that you have an up to date database and as many quality contacts as possible. You follow this by choosing carefully exactly what you need to say – you may be promoting a brand new product or service so you will have all the meetings and discussions before a final draft is decided upon.

Then onto the final hurdle – you need to ensure that all your efforts are not going to be in vain and that your communication is read and not discarded before the starting pistol has fired. Some companies think that a letter or a flat pamphlet will suffice but I am of the opinion that this simply is not good enough anymore. You need to use attention-grabbing products that are not only entertaining but will definitely be opened, read and responded to.

Choose your product wisely – do you want to shock and surprise with a pop-up product or would you prefer to keep your customers entertained with fun folds? Either way you can award yourself a gold medal for keeping ahead of your competitors and ensuring that your professional and unusual approach to marketing is rewarded with higher response rates. You may be of the opinion that e-mail marketing is the way forward and whilst it does have its place I believe that it is still not as effective as direct mail that has attitude and creates an impact. How many times have you scrolled through your in-box hitting the delete button without a second thought? Your customers do exactly the same and whilst your e-shot may say something they would benefit from in a second it can be gone forever,

Direct mail items that have an element of surprise or are interactive are never ignored and are almost always shared with colleagues and co-workers too. It is easy to capture a greater audience with amusing and entertaining direct mail pieces; give them a try for your next marketing campaign and see the results for yourself. As I said earlier when compared to an Olympic athlete, it is not only about the training it is the performance on the day that counts.

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Source by Gill Pilling

What You Should Know About DRTV

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Every company would ideally like to generate more profit. One way of doing this is through a direct response marketing company, or DRTV. Direct response is any type of television advertising that asks for immediate response from a company. One well-known example is an infomercial, which asks a customer to call in, or visit the company’s website.

Why Use Television?

According to the direct response television website, it is a fact that TV has the capacity to reach mass audiences, as well as show visual demonstrations. It also has the power to create the “impulse to buy” and transform sales to retail. Television is the most powerful medium, which makes DRTV so effective.

What Does Direct Response Offer?

Most DRTV companies offer services such as media and international distribution. In addition, the company will work with you in order to produce optimal sales margins and advertising. It is the most efficient way to secure your company’s success, without having to invest in internal infrastructure. There are companies that will offer a no-risk solution to bringing your product to the global arena. They will handle all infomercial product translations and localization, as well as sales, media, fulfillment, call centers and logistics, which will cost you nothing.

When looking for a DRTV company, you should verify that they will help with marketing materials, and translate and air your infomercials. In addition, they can send samples to those interested, make phone calls, as well as attend international and domestic trade shows. It is important to get the help of a direct response company, because without their help it would be expensive and confusing.

In addition, the DRTV company should also make sure that your company’s product will get the most exposure. The company will also select and work with appropriate partners, in order to successfully launch in global markets. The company will also supply you with detailed monthly reports about how well your product is doing on the international market.

Is Your Product A Good Fit?

DRTV is the most effective type of advertising for a product that is fresh and new. If your product is related to health and wellness or lifestyle, your product is ready to be tested on the international arena. In addition, if your product is a cosmetic or related to personal care, it is also a good fit for DRTV. In addition, if your product is a housewares product or appliance, those have also been among the most successful products marketed through direct response. Furthermore, products with financial and business opportunities or related to personal improvement have also done well.

How can you evaluate the chances of your product’s success?

The direct response information website alludes to some things you should consider before testing your product. Can your product be effectively demonstrated on television, and have proven retail and direct sales? Moreover, does your product solve a real problem and make life easier and better for people? There are competent DRTV marketing and sales teams that will ensure your product gets the best coverage, media services, and guidance. Their expertise in all facets of media and marketing, product analysis, consultations, consultations and sales solutions will help get your product and company reach its optimal success.

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Source by Alain Bransford

Direct Mail Makes A Comeback

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Companies and organizations have spent many billions on e-mail and other Internet message delivery mechanisms over the past decade, often at the expense of more traditional marketing methods, like direct mail. But in some respects e-mail has failed to live up to its initial promise. And marketers who are turning back to tried-and-true methods like “snail mail” report excellent results, often better than e-mail.

According to a 2005 Direct Marketing Association (DMA) comprehensive study of marketing tools, e-mail produces the best return on investment and is the cheapest and fastest direct marketing tool. But only a fraction of the average company’s prospective customers opt in to most rentable lists. And it can be against federal law to send commercial e-mails to people who have asked not to receive them. It’s spam. If companies play by the new rules, they cannot get their marketing messages to the vast majority of their prospective customers using e-mail.

So marketers are going “back to the future” by reinvigorating their marketing campaigns with renewed investments in printed and mailed materials to complement or substitute for e-marketing methods.

Why Direct Mail Works

In a recent article in B2B Marketing Newsletter, a publication of the Business Marketing Association, consultant Eric Gagnon described direct mail as the “workhorse” of every business-to-business marketing program. “While the buzz these days is all about Internet-based marketing–Google AdWords and e-mail marketing programs–direct mail is still the mainstay of most business-to-business marketing and lead-generation programs: where there’s a readily-identifiable mailing list of plausible prospects, and a mailing piece to send to them, there’s a profitable marketing project waiting to happen.”

Direct mail is effective at focusing marketing strategies on vertical markets that can be reached by renting targeted mailing lists. Says Gagnon, “The most important element of any direct mail project is the mailing list.”

Increasingly, marketers are finding that postal-mailed printed materials are better for prospecting new business because marketers can have access to entire lists, such as subscribers to a trade magazine or members of an association. Rarely more than a fraction of publication subscribers or association members opt in to a permission-based e-mail list. And the more “selects” required, such as job function, industry or number of employees, to carve out the best segment of the list to reach a particular target, the fewer names remain. Marketers who want to reach almost everyone who can be a customer must use direct mail in their multimedia mix.

For instance, only 31% of the subscribers to InformationWeek magazine agreed to receive e-mail, only 55% of Chain Store Age, and 65% of Sales & Marketing Management Magazine. To reach all of the subscribers of these influential industry publications, you must rent these lists and send them a direct-mail piece.

E-mail’s second major limitation as a cold-call leads-generator is deliverability. Spam filters, frequently changed e-mail addresses, multiple e-mail addresses for the same person, list churning and unreliability in e-mail dissemination mean that a substantial minority of e-mails that are sent don’t get delivered.

In an environment where success or failure is measured in tenths of a percentage point, every e-mail message that fails to get through to its intended recipient is a lost opportunity. Industry estimates indicate that the proliferation of spam filters has created a virtual spam filter minefield, which traps as much as 14-25% of e-mail messages broadcast for legitimate marketing purposes. And marketers rarely know who didn’t get their message.

Messages trapped by spam filters are shown as delivered on e-mail transmission reports. That is, recipient e-mail servers do not reply back to the senders to notify them that the message was trapped by the spam filter. There are tactics that can be used to substantially increase the likelihood that the e-mail will avoid spam filters, but there is no guarantee.

Not every printed piece gets to a prospective customer either. Many direct marketing professionals acknowledge that direct mail can’t reach everyone on a list. But there is no such thing as a spam filter in the direct-mail universe and at least there are postal mechanisms for reporting which pieces cannot be delivered.

Ninety percent is the standard guaranteed delivery rate of a direct-mail list, but e-mail delivery rates are usually high, too, and you only pay for the quantity delivered. The problem is that you don’t know how many are trapped by spam filters.

Rich Carango, vice president of marketing agency Schubert Communications in Downington, PA, was quoted recently by DM News as saying flatly, “There is a souring about the feeling of how well e-mailing is working, mostly because of spam filters.” His agency also guides their clients more toward direct-mail tools like newsletters and postcards.

Direct mail “is kicking butt,” Laurie Beasley, president of Beasley Direct, recently told a Silicon Valley audience of mostly technology marketers. She strongly recommended its use along with effective e-marketing methods, which she says can be made more deliverable employing certain techniques her company uses.

Reports B-to-B magazine in its July 10 issue, “In a bright spot for traditional media, (forecaster Robert) Coen said, despite the postal rate increase in January, direct-mail advertising in the first quarter grew 3.5% over the year-earlier period to 20.6 billion pieces.” He said marketers’ renewed interest in gaining better ROI is driving them to use direct-response marketing methods.

Many young people who grew up on the Internet enjoy communicating by e-mail or instant messaging and have never learned the mechanics–and benefits–of direct mail. They have little experience with the complexities of list acquisition, distribution, printing and the strategies and tactics of direct-mail creative. This generational predisposition toward e-marketing tools often means that companies are not taking advantage of all the direct-marketing methods that are available to them. But the trend is changing.

The DMA, representing mail, phone and online direct marketers, in its 2005 response rate study demonstrated a noticeable growth in corporate use of direct mail, after some years of decline. In its review of 21 industries, from computers to agriculture, the DMA documented direct mail edging out e-mail response rates by 2.77% to 2.48%.

E-mail outperformed direct mail in the study as a lead generator 3.15% to 2.15%, but, again, the results are considerably diluted by the fact that only a comparatively small proportion of potential customers on lists agree to receive e-mail. A fairly higher percentage of those became leads, but the statistical majority of prospective customers have chosen not to get unsolicited e-mails.

In some important respects, direct mail bested e-mail in the DMA test. Direct- mail response rates were even higher than e-mail in the online-oriented computer and electronic products industries (3.14% over 3.02%). Direct mail out-performed e-mail in other areas, such as revenue per contact ($0.85 over $0.18), traffic generated (5.84% over 1.54%), fundraising (5.08% over 0.66%) and direct order (2.20% over 2.07%).

A June 2006 article in DM News entitled, “Mail Withstands BTB’s Online Shift” quotes mega-direct marketer Harte-Hanks SVP Matthew Rosenblatt as saying that in spite of the money gushing into Internet promotional vehicles, “mail remains very powerful, particularly when used in conjunction with online strategies.”

DM News notes, “Mail also is a better driver than e-mail when C-level executives are the target audience. At this level the best types of communication are either dimensional pieces or very simple personal letters.” Some direct marketers have observed that younger workers have a greater tendency than senior executives to opt in to e-mail lists.

Steve Middleton, EVP of Strategic Planning for international marketing services agency Publicis Dialog says “E-mail is still an extremely effective mechanism for campaigns sent to our customers’ internal databases. When it comes to using external lists, however, the response rates have dropped precipitously over the last five years and yet the price for the lists has remained constant. The result is that the cost per lead for e-mail has been driven up significantly. With many of our large, blue chip accounts who used to use e-mail as their primary lead generation vehicle, we are now seeing response rates and cost-per-lead ratios from direct mail that far surpass the results from e-mail.”

Marketers can draw from a wide variety of direct-mail vehicles to suit specific campaign objectives: letters, packages, promotional items, postcards, brochures and publications like newsletters.

Some companies have used newsletters as very effective lead-generation, cross-selling and relationship-growing tools, empowered by comprehensive databases compiled by list brokers. Newsletters are often the most effective type of direct mail because they are less likely to be discarded in corporate mailrooms than brochures. They reach targets’ desks–the first threshold a direct-marketing campaign.

Secondly, newsletters are often better read than brochures because they are perceived as more informational and less promotional, contain success stories of customers who use a company’s services and products, use compelling artwork and graphics, feature product information and useful industry news, drive prospects to web sites and can help gather marketing research. They can even have persuasive PR value when you send them to reporters, editors and producers who use them for article ideas.

Direct mail: Using graphics to market

A picture is not only worth a thousand words in marketing. It’s also worth a heck of a lot of money in increased response rates, say graphics communicators.

One frustrating thing about e-mail communications is a marketer’s inability to use many images to present information, particularly complicated information. E-mail limits the use of complex graphics, since long download times can be annoying to prospects and some graphics never reach targets at all.

Furthermore, it is difficult to get the kind of reaction from an e-mail subject line that you can get from an emotionally evocative image on a brochure or publication cover that works with compelling copy. With direct-mail pieces, you can get more of your message into the hands of your target audience. The challenge with an e-mail subject line is that you’ve only got a few short words, coupled with the “from” line, in order to influence the maximum two-second read or delete decision. At least with a hardcopy mailing piece, your piece gets into the recipients hands and has more “real estate” to persuade them to open it rather than throw it away.

Limitations on the use graphics in marketing deprive a communicator from using essential aspects of the marketing spectrum. In addition, it is challenging for marketers to completely control the final look of e-mail communications. Unless they are very carefully coded to ensure the proper use of HTML escape sequences, the actual image may vary when viewed from different browsers. For example, a question mark may appear instead of an apostrophe and graphic images will vary when viewed on different monitors or output on inexpensive desktop printers.

In contrast, printed direct-mail communications give marketers total control over the look and feel of the final piece–from the photo quality to the paper stock. The power of visuals is strong in our fast-paced society. Generations raised on television are influenced by visuals and are less inclined to read text-heavy communications. Striking visuals entice prospects to read and respond to printed direct-mail pieces. They also better explain complex subjects.

The DMA study also revealed very high performance rates from “dimensional” direct mail, defined as mailings shaped other than the standard envelop stuffed with letters and materials. In fact, dimensional direct mail pulled dramatically better than standard commercial marketing mail.

Dimensional mail can take the form of imaginative objects sent to creatively illustrate a marketing campaign, like a football or an orchestral conductor’s baton sent to an executive with a message tie-in. Average response rates on dimensional mail over letter mail was 3.67% compared to 2.77%. Dimensional direct mail produced lead generation results of 5.4% compared to 2.15% for traditional direct mail.

Conclusion: Direct mail enhances other marketing methods

Direct mail is a key instrument in your direct marketing symphony, perhaps the most important. Most marketers support research findings that every form of marketing enhances the effectiveness of every other form. All instruments playing together make great music, if skillfully executed and driven by well-researched and talented creative. There is as much art as science in selecting the right media mix.

Each marketing challenge will necessarily produce a unique campaign. And yet, research and the case-history experience of many marketers support the contention that mailing, calling, e-mailing when possible, and mailing and calling again is a winning combination in generating leads in a business-to-business and many business-to-consumer environments. Naturally, the bigger the price tag on a company’s services or products, the more contacts will be needed to support a sale. Hence, the need for multimedia orchestration.

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Source by Henry Eason

Snap Pack Printing: Advantages and Specifications

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Newsletters, postcards, brochures, flyers, business cards; there are many types of effective direct mail. In this article we are going to discuss snap pack mailers, one of the cheapest but most effective mailers used in direct mail marketing. These are the simple mail without envelopes that must be torn along the perforated edges on both sides to be read. They are not as colorful or grand as postcards, nor include plenty of information and attachments like a newsletter. Yet they are popular and are extensively used for a wide array of applications.

Advantages of Snap Pack Mailers

Before we know more about the processes and materials employed in snap pack printing, let’s briefly understand why this simple piece of mail is preferred so extensively by all businesses.

• Cheap – The first and foremost reason to use these mailers is that they are very cheap to print and send out to customers. It is just a sheet of paper glued on both ends, doesn’t require color printing and doesn’t require an envelope either.

• High Open Rate – Though simple in its design and form, this form of mail instantly generates a sense of curiosity among the potential customers. It prompts them to tear open the ends and see what is written inside. Thus, they have the highest open rates and naturally high conversion rates too.

• Send Bulk Mail – Since they are cheap and have a high open rate, they can be used to send bulk mails like pay stubs, account statements, credit offers and billings.

Snap Pack Printing: Specifications

Below mentioned rules must be followed during snap pack printing to create effective mail pieces at cheaper prices.

• Paper – 28 LB white paper of standard letter size (8.5×11) is used to print these mailers. It is up to the client to decide if both sides must be left printable or one side of the sheet must have a blockout.

• Space – If a standard letter size (8.5×11) paper is used in snap pack printing, it must be understood that the printing space available is 7.5×10.5 inch. This is because, a certain amount of space on the paper must be reserved so that every mail piece is torn off the edges when it is to be read by the customer.

• Template – The content template must be designed so that it fits in within the available printing space and the content doesn’t get torn off along the edges. During snap pack printing, one must realize that it is possible to have information printed on both sides of the paper and if any graphics must be printed, it must be at least 300 dpi.

• Fold Options: The last stage of the snap pack printing is the way the printed paper is folded, perforated and glued along the edges. There are three folding options namely C fold, Z fold and half fold.

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Source by Alain Bransford

Writing a Marketing Letter

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Let’s start with what makes up a marketing letter, before discussing how to write one. It consists of a headline, a promise of a benefit, a call to action, and a postscript. Headlines should grab your reader’s attention and include a benefit. Following the headline’s promise of a benefit is an elaboration of how the prospect can benefit from your offer/solution. Next, comes a call to action that gently directs him or her to take the desired action. Last but not least, a good sales letter includes a postscript. Research reveals that this improves response rates.

That’s it in a nutshell. Now, let’s look at how to write a marketing letter that includes these elements.

Marketing Letters that Get Read Have Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Letters typically don’t have headlines, but many do have subject lines. Treat this as your headline. Your letter must have a headline that stands out. You’re competing with hundreds of direct mail letters flooding everyone’s inbox. So your sales letter has to arrest your reader’s attention. Otherwise, it’ll get lost in the sea of direct mail letters.

So how do you do that? I follow a simple formula that works time and time again, the 4 U’s.

· Useful: Your headline must be useful, otherwise why would your prospect read your letter.

· Urgent: Show the importance of acting now – not later – to improve response rates.

· Ultra-specific: You letter must be relevant. The more specificity, the better.

· Unique: Differentiate your offer from the competition, starting with the headline.

A solid headline includes at least three out of these four elements. You’ll find this may take some effort. But top copywriters spend more time crafting their headline that they do on the rest of the letter. After all, if your sales letter isn’t sorted and picked-up from the bulk mail, it won’t be read. That’s why you need to start with an “attention-grabber”.

Oh, if your letter has sub-heads, apply the 4U’s to them as well. They help keep your reader engaged.

Winning Marketing Letters Hold Your Reader’s Attention

Once you have your reader’s attention, you have to keep it. You have to keep her engaged. To do that your lead must tie your offer directly to your headline. It’s a logical link that runs from the headline to the offer.

What will hold your reader’s interest? You must address “What’s in it for me” or “WIIFM”. This ensures usefulness and specificity. That’s two of the 4 U’s.

Show your prospect (don’t tell him) how your offer benefits him. Show your reader using your solution to his benefit. Set a scene in which the prospect sees himself using your solution to make his job faster, easier, better. Doing that ensures you address urgency and uniqueness – the remaining 4 U’s.

With a solid lead, you can now write the rest of your letter as you would any other letter. One caveat: don’t forget to cover the emotional aspects of your offer. Besides writing to the rational brain, you also have to write to the “lizard” brain – the one that reacts and makes decisions based on instinct. It’s a fact that we make decisions emotionally and only then justify them rationally.

Effective Marketing Letters Have a Call to Action

You’d be surprised how many direct mail letters drop the ball here. They fail to have a clear, concise and relevant call to action. One way to avoid this is to start your letter with the call to action in mind. What do you want your prospect to do after reading your letter? Call you? Email you? Return a postcard requesting a white paper?

Focus only on the desired action you want your prospect to take. Keep the offer simple and focus on the essentials. Don’t clutter it with anything else. When you write a call to action, ensure it is clear, concise and engaging.

You also need to make it easy for your prospect to take action. First, keep it short. Aim for brevity to keep your prospect engaged without distraction. Additionally, give her a variety of ways to respond: mail, email, fax, telephone, website landing page. You get the picture.

Marketing Letters with a Postscript (P.S.) Generate Higher Responses

This one’s not tough to do. You should include a P.S. or even a P.S. and a P.P.S. Readers tend to want to get to the bottom line. Consequently, they’ll find themselves reading the P.S. because they expect a nutshell of valuable information here. So give it to them.

Your P.S. can do several things.

· Entice a response – Offer a free giveaway to entice a response.

· Reinforce urgency – Emphasize urgency with a limited time offer.

· Remove or reduce risk – Highlight a rock-solid guarantee associated with your product/service.

· Underscore uniqueness – Explain your key point of differentiation that separates you from the competition.

Successful Marketing Letters Focus on Your Prospect

You can write each one of these elements separately, at different times, but your letter must follow this sequence. It’s a logical flow, but it also emphasizes the potential customer rather than your company.

It begins with your headline, and the 4 U’s help keep you on track with that. Notice how the lead focuses on the prospect. You write about WIIFM. And the call to action is customer-focused as well, as you gently direct him to take a desired action. Then it wraps up with a P.S. that makes it easy for your prospect to take the desired action.

These techniques have developed and perfected over many years. You’ll see improved response rates when you follow these steps.

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Source by Alex M Milo

Is Direct Marketing Right For You?

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Last Tuesday I received a message from my sons school. It caught me by surprised because the school had closed for the vacations.

‘What could they possibly want, now?’ I thought.

The school was calling for a special meeting with parents to decide on the new school-bus service. The meeting was on Sunday so I went.

When I reached the school, a few hundred people were already there. I learned that all of them had received a similar message. The principal started the meeting with a formal address indicating the purpose of the meeting and then asking us to proceed to our childrens’ classrooms and meet the respective class teachers for further discussions.

When I met my sons class teacher, she was ready with a file which had records of my sons performance for the last two years. She started by complimenting my son for his excellent performance and pointing out the areas in which he was exceptionally good or had an interest. Then, she went on to mention the extra-curricular activities started by the school to further help students who had shown interest. Most of these activities were either on a Sunday, or, after school-hours.

She, then, went on to point out that since my son travels to school in our own vehicle, we might be wasting a lot of time and effort just dropping him to school and picking him up after these special sessions, time and again. And how we could minimize the hassle by opting for the school bus service.

This was brilliant!

Let’s see how the school went about selling the idea of using the school-bus service.

The school had meticulously kept all the details ready before the meeting.

The school had the contact details of all the parents, the performance records of all the students and they used it to prepare a customized pitch for each individual case to sell their new school bus service.

This is an example of database marketing at its best. If a school can use principles of direct marketing to sell its service, why not you?

Let us consider what the main objective behind direct marketing is. The main objective of direct marketing is to find and keep profitable customers. If your business thrives on repeat orders from existing customers (and which business doesn’t?) and value of business associated with a customer during his/her association with you is substantial then those customers is going to prove highly profitable.

You already know that the unique feature about direct marketing is the ability to measure and compare results- every direct marketing message can be tracked for results.

But what’s more is having a database allows you to identify and communicate with each and every customer as an individual who has unique needs that sets them apart from the masses. It allows you to craft customized messages, make personalized offers which are relevant, therefore, highly accepted, and measure each individual campaign. What’s more?

The right database will allow you to identify the right customer, approach him with the right offer and also help you choose the right medium and design the right message. For e.g. in the real life example below, an importer of beer had a perception of their target audience while after profiling the database a completely different profile emerged.

Client’s perception:

  • Affluent, upscale clientele
  • Who could afford to pay a premium for imported beer
  • Who perceived imported beer to be superior

But when they accessed their database to profile their regular buyers a totally different scenario emerged.

Actual findings:

  • Middle class
  • Males
  • Who believed imported beer was superior
  • Who did not mind paying a premium for imported beer

These findings re-invented the client’s direct marketing strategy. But then, every business is different, and direct marketing might not be right for you, after all. If you want a second opinion we would be more than happy to give it.

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Source by Prashant Shanbhag