Direct Mail Marketing VS Big Banner Advertising

For a small-business owner they know that a big banner in front of their store with advertising will help them sell more products or sign up more people for service. Some cities and towns have ordinances that do not allow small-business owners to put up the banner ads all year round. Instead they are only allowed to do it so many times per month.

This is why sometimes it pays to look at multiple ways to advertise to promote one’s small-business. Which works better; Direct-mail marketing in those little coupon advertising books or a gigantic big banner in front of the store?

They both work very well is specially if the store is on a Main Street and well known in the community. If the direct-mail marketing piece is sent out to all the customers within a 10 mile radius of the store then those customers are more apt to come in shop if there is a discount worthy of mention.

Okay then, how often should direct-mail marketing pieces be sent out in the coupon booklets? Well, perhaps once per month if each month the small-business owner picks a different type of discount.

This will generate new traffic and new customers and perhaps those customers will become regular customers. That should be the goal of direct-mail marketing advertising. I hope you will please consider this in 2006.

5 Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along the way. Marketing is no exception. Time and time again, businesses of all sizes make the same costly mistakes. But knowing how to avoid these mistakes can save you energy, disappointment – and money.

Mistake #1: Eliminating marketing efforts when times get tight.

When cash flow slows, advertising, direct mail and other forms of marketing are the easiest expenses to reduce, right? But cut these, and you eliminate the very activities that will bring in new customers to turn your business around.

This is the time when you may be spending more time analyzing the results of your marketing efforts. But by stopping marketing efforts, you will be setting yourself up for additional loss of business.

Mistake #2: Not measuring results.

Don’t wait until times get tight to start measuring the results of your marketing efforts. By analyzing regularly, you will be able to reinvest in what is working, and drop what is not working. Ask customers how they found your business, and then track the results.

Use coupons or advertising codes to track your customers. Or host a focus group of a variety of customers to discover what attracts them to your business.

Mistake #3: Putting all your marketing dollars in one area.

If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method of promoting your business, you won’t realize the highest return on your investment. Diversifying your efforts will increase the frequency and reach of your messages and stretch your marketing dollars.

Businesses can get hooked into one large advertising program with a local newspaper, magazine or radio station, and put the majority of their marketing dollars there. They feel as if they have to advertise with the same media source, just because they always have or because fear they will lose ground since their competitors are advertising there as well.

Some actually stay with a company for fear of upsetting their sales associate or because they simply don’t want to say no to them.

Remember, it’s your money and your investment. Don’t ever let anyone talk you into an advertising program that is not producing the best results for your business. And measure the results of your advertising dollars spent vs. the income received from your advertising on a consist basis.

When you diversify, don’t forget about direct marketing. Many business owners only do a few direct-mail programs a year, targeted to their existing customer base. They need to do more.

Your customer base and mailing list is gold, make sure you have budgeted a large part of your marketing dollars to advertise to your existing customers. They already love you, so keep them coming in by sending a direct mail piece to them at least six times a year.

Mistake #4: Allowing your ego to get in the way of common sense.

Ego can tempt a very bright person to do dumb things. Your marketing decisions should be based on factors that will positively impact some area of your business – usually the bottom line.

For example: Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and not focusing on your business’ unique offerings may result in money going out the window.

Mistake #5: Not getting help when you need it.

If you find you’re too busy to handle your marketing efforts or that your materials aren’t looking as professional as they should, it is time to call in the reinforcements.

Hire a full-or part-time employee to allow you more free time to work on the “business end” or hire an independent business consultant to bring in new concepts and fresh ideas.

Top 3 Strategies for B2B Email Marketing

Business-to-Business (B2B) is arguably the most effective email marketing strategy to date. However, just as it is important to understand every other marketing campaign, it’s crucial for a business owner to learn the intricate facets of B2B email marketing before employing it.

Getting started, you will have to research the right company or person to contact. Don’t work your way to the top, asking a lesser staff about the higher-ups. Simply find the person who makes the call and decides for the company. If anything goes, contact the CEO directly. When dealing with larger companies, you will have to be more persistent so that your business concerns don’t end up in general email accounts.

Change your sender

B2B email marketing is effective, but only works when done properly. In essence, it’s a direct collaboration between two decision-makers. To make it work, your company’s business owner has to be the one to talk directly to the other business owner. If you belong with the marketing staff, or have lesser position, be sure to change your sender to make it look as if the message comes directly from the president or founder of the company.

Compared to sending an anonymous general account, this increases the urgency of your email. This makes your business concerns more pressing, and gives you more chance of having your proposals reviewed.

Compelling subject line

It doesn’t work if the subject line says a simple “Hi!” or reflects a timid greeting. It doesn’t work to exaggerate for attention and demand with “Urgent!” either. What works is creating a compelling, if not completely tactful subject line. It’s obvious you will have to keep it short, so you might feel a little limited. In any case, you will just have to make do with half a sentence to get your message across. The subject line, to be compelling, has to be a summary of your entire email.

One tactic to make an effective subject line is exactly that: write a summary of your email. Make the summary a short paragraph. Make it sell. Then edit it to skip fluff, until it’s only one sentence long. Edit it over until you have it half-sentence long.

B2B email marketing studies suggest that nearly a third of all emails opened are opened with sheer curiosity. The reader, at first, isn’t interested in the email itself, but the subject line is so compelling he can’t resist opening it.

Keep content short and sweet

It’s equally important to write your email concisely. Typically, readers would click an email because of the subject line and skim the body. The readers subsequently reason with themselves why they should spend the next five minutes reading a positively spam email. Keeping your content concise and direct to the point relieves the reader of this decision. That makes it easier to decide for a reader to spare a few minutes reading your email. As a general rule, give the reader only a glimpse of the content body, but nothing longer than a few lines.