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Direct Response Marketing
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It's Probably Time for Your Marketing to Go OFFLINE!

How to Get Started With Direct Mail


I admit that for some time I was resistant to doing any marketing via old fashioned snail mail.
After all, email is FREE (at least for the time being). Why pay to print and mail anything at all? I mean, I got my start as the Ezine Queen - not the direct mail queen! And I was already making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year using the Internet.

Well, I can tell you I've changed my tune based on several mailings I've done over the past couple of years. A test of sending out few simple postcards and one sales letter mailing helped me exponentially increase my response to two of my programs. I was SOLD!

If you aren't collecting any physical addresses right now from your clients, customers, and ezine subscribers, please get started now. Because not only will offline marketing supplement your online efforts immensely, but email deliverability gets trickier and trickier to maintain.

Email can (and will) change in the future. How, I can't tell you. But the good old U.S. Postal Service will be around for a long, long time just the way it is. (And if YOU want your business to be around a long, long time, you'd better start getting those addresses now!)

Best of all, direct mail marketing will supplement your online efforts for even better results. It's a no-brainer, folks. Time to get with it.

So, if you're ready to venture into direct mail, here are a few dos and don'ts I'd like to share with you before you get started...

1.)  DON'T blow your whole budget on one mailing!

Imagine Nissan coming out with a new car and running ONE single television ad spot, never to be repeated. Ludicrous, yes? But many small business owners somehow think one mailing will do the trick. The biggest mistake most new marketers make when venturing into direct mail is doing ONE mailing, and judging the response solely from that. You should plan a campaign that involves at least three steps, and five to seven for best results. (If you want to keep it super simple, you can just mail the same darn thing repeatedly!)

2.)  DON'T do an expensive mailing your first-time out, even if you can afford it.

Why? I learned this the hard way when I did an exciting, pricey mailing without first realizing how many undeliverable addresses there were on my list. Remember that some people mistakenly mistype their addresses into your system, and people often move, sometimes with no forwarding address. I recommend doing an inexpensive mailing such as a postcard first time around in order to help weed out the undeliverables on your list! (Remember to include your return address so you'll get these back.)

3.)  DON'T overlook how important your copy is in order to get attention and get response.

The great thing about mailing a postcard is the recipient reads what you have to say right then and there. If you send something in an envelope, it has to get opened first. That's why master marketers recommend printing a headline or teaser on the outside of any mailing that's done in an envelope. Example: "Look inside to learn 5 ways you can increase your sales by next week!" I say just do a postcard to keep it simple (and less expensive than doing an envelope mailing).

4.)  DO keep your graphics simple and attention-getting.

Don't go crazy paying some designer thousands of dollars to create a mailing for you, when you can keep things simple and get just as good - if not better - results. I used to pay an artist beaucoup bucks on a regular basis to make everything I sent out looked picture perfect. Once I stopped that and started focusing more on the message, I started making (and keeping) a LOT more money. Remember it's WORDS that sell, and the job of graphics is to get attention and support your message.

5.)  DO give them a reason to take action NOW (and not wait until later).

Include a deadline or expiration date on your offer, even if it's for something free, or emphasize there are a limited amount of spots/products left. Of course this will all depend on what you're offering, but you get the idea! You don't want to risk the recipient putting your postcard or letter in the "get to later" pile (which never gets touched).

6.)  DO track your mailings carefully so you can judge your return-on-investment.

If you are driving people to a website to opt-in or buy something, make sure you give them a separate and simple URL (web address) that is ONLY for the purpose of this mailing. You don't have to create a new website or anything, just make sure you can track it. For example, I bought BlueprintWorkshopPostcard.com and then had that redirect to a tracking link I set up using the
easy ad tracker program in my shopping cart system. This way I could tell exactly how many people typed in that URL, AND also how many people also actually registered for the workshop from the postcard! (VERY valuable information.)

7.)  DO work with a vendor who can make this all EASY for you.

I tried several different companies this past year, and now I only work with and recommend TWO. For full-color postcard design, printing, and mailing, I use
Modern Postcard. (They did all my postcards for the Online Success Blueprint Workshop, including design, printing, and mailing, with quick turnaround too!)

For mailings with goodies (called "premiums") inside them and more creative stuff, I use my friend Mitch Carson at
Impact Products. He's the consultant I pull in when I truly want to make a BIG impact in the mail....

2003-2008 Alexandria Brown International Inc.
About the Author:  Alexandria K. Brown, “The E-zine Queen,” is author of the award-winning manual, “Boost Business With Your Own E-zine.” To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://www.ezinequeen.com. She also publishes the award-winning 'Highlights on Marketing & Success' weekly ezine with 28,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at www.AlexandriaBrown.com

Direct Response  Marketing Humor....
 
Q: What starts with a P, ends with an E and has thousands of letters in it?  

A: Post Office.

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Copyright All Rights Reserved, Laurie Kristensen