Make More Direct Mail Profit in Three Easy Steps

In this article, I’ll discuss a simple three-step direct mail marketing system that gets more people to give you more money, more often, for higher profits. Isn’t that what you really want? The main thing I want to emphasize here is that a good marketing system focuses on the prospect more than the product, in all ways. Think about what you sell, and think about the marketplace you sell to, and remember: when it comes to direct mail marketing, who you sell to is much more important than what you sell.

You see, no matter what you sell, the marketplace you serve will remain more or less constant through time. Your business might survive for decades, and the products and services you offer throughout that time will come and go; but the people you sell to will generally be the same (assuming you don’t change marketplaces altogether).

Now, some changes do occur. People will come in and out of the marketplace and some clients will stop being customers for one reason or another, but the marketplace as a whole will stay mostly the same. So you have to know that marketplace better than you know yourself in order to sell to it. If you start with the premise that you need to do a better job of understanding who your customers are and who the marketplace is, then from that position, you’ll be able to identify the kinds of things that marketplace wants.

Your first and most important task is identifying the benefits your prospects are looking for. Usually, they seek out offers that fill their wants or provide solutions to problems they’re experiencing. If you’re in the diet industry, people who are overweight will seek your solution to help them become fit and healthy. If you’re an electrician, you solve people’s electrical problems. If you’re a mechanic, you fix people’s cars.

People come to you because they’re in pain or have a problem they need solved.

If you always start with the marketplace, then the products or services you offer can adapt and adjust as you serve them; whereas if you start with your product or service and your marketplace shifts, you’re stuck with worrying about your product specifically. You may miss a market shift because you’re so focused on your product, and may be unable to keep up because of that focus.

Step One in a successful marketing campaign is attracting the right kind of people and repelling all the others. You do that by means of the offers you make, based on your extensive knowledge of your marketplace.

Step Two is building people’s trust. Today, it’s not easy to trust people, especially in business. Many businesses have let people down in all kinds of ways; and in fact some of those problems go far beyond individual businesses, straight to the industry at large. You have entire industries full of problems, and then governments get involved to try and fix the problems, sometimes creating a whole new set of problems.

As a small business owner, you have to break through that distrust by building relationships with people. What better way to do that than with direct mail, where you can communicate with them one-on-one? It’s as if you wrote a letter specifically to them; it can introduce you to them and establish a new relationship. As they continue to do business with you, the relationship can grow stronger. In the beginning, when you send your letter to a prospect who doesn’t know you from Adam, it’s the only thing that can build any kind of relationship or trust factor. You have to use words to paint a story that introduces them to you, your company, your business, and those benefits they can achieve when they decide to become your customer. Direct mail is perfect for that, because it’s a one-on-one communication. It’s not a billboard they see as they drive down the highway. It’s not an ad they see screaming at them from the TV.

No, it comes quietly in the mail and, when done right, delivers a hard-hitting benefit, promise, or guarantee that makes them sit up and take notice. You can then build from that point and ultimately gain their trust, which is how you survive in business. You don’t do business, especially repeat business, with people you don’t trust.

Step Three in this formula is proving to them that you alone can provide them with the things they want the most. Again, we’re talking about the marketplace here, not just the product or service you sell. You want to prove you can deliver the goods and make good on your promises. You have to convince them you have something they can’t get anywhere else. That’s where your unique selling position or USP comes in.

Give them a strong reason why they should trust and do business with you. If it’s too easy for them to get what you have from somebody else, they won’t have a good reason to decide to do business with you. The more you can deliver the idea that they can’t get what they want somewhere else, the more likely they’ll be to choose to do business with you.

If you’ll do these three things — attract the right people while repelling the others, build their trust through the offer, and then prove to them that they need to do business with you and you alone — you can get more people to give you more money, more often, and for more profits. You have to do these things right, or you’ll chip away at your profits. I’ve used this strategy effectively for years, and so have many of my colleagues. Remember: lifelong customers are always more important than a particular product or offer. If you make them happy, they’ll eagerly await what you have to offer next. That should be your goal: acquiring lifelong customers by attracting the right kind of people who come back again and again.

Now, this doesn’t work equally well for all businesses; a realtor won’t be selling houses to the same people every week or every month, but they can still build a relationship for sales years down the road. With smaller products and services replaced on a continual basis, of course we want our customers to do business with us as often as possible. This is true no matter what marketplace you’re in: real estate, moneymaking, health, investments, home products, home improvement, or professional practices. You want a continuous flow of customers, both new and repeat business. If you’re smart, you take care of your good customers and keep them coming back again and again.

Again, one way to build trust and get new business is to use two-step marketing. You offer a low- or no-cost product or service, not making a profit from this first step. The idea is to bring in a flood of new business, and then follow up with a great offer that makes you money later. Always keep in mind that your best customers deserve your best services and products.

I’d also like to re-emphasize the third step I mentioned, giving people what they want — not what you think they want or need. This is key to all business success. When you’re looked upon as the primary source for a specific kind of product or services that people want in your area, you’re going to make money hand over fist. When people trust you and know you have what they want, whenever it comes to mind they think, “Oh, I’ve got to go see Bob.” You’re the source. When you’re the #1 source in your community, that’s the ultimate power to make money. If you want a realtor, you have to see Jack. If you’re getting a massage, you have to see Betty. If you want a plumber, you have to see Hal. Whatever your business is, you want to be the top source. Again, it’s all a matter of building trust with your market.

Don’t be afraid to tell your story. In fact, you must tell your story. Now, you might ask, “What is my story?” It can be lots of things, but ultimately it’s how you connect with your prospects and customers. What can you dramatize that will connect you to them in an emotional way? Only you can decide what that is. Your story can be of how your company came to be, the story of how you came to discover and develop the products and services you sell, or the things you have in common with the people you’re trying to do business with.

Find the most compelling way to tell your story, and tell it often. You’ll get sick of telling it, I promise you, but they won’t get tired of listening. People want to do business with other people just like them. People love emotional stories, and direct mail is the perfect way to do that, because you have room. You can write quite a bit about your story and include pictures that do a full job of illustrating and describing the kinds of things I’m talking about here.

Remember, this is all about salesmanship. The best salespeople build a rapport with the prospective buyer before they go in for the close. You have to do that with your direct mail, too.

Build Your Home Business for Success

Building an online home business is a very important and consuming task so you will need to spend considerable time planning and organizing details. Remember that an online business is constantly open and in front of searching customers ready to buy what you have to sell. That fact implies you have ready to serve them 24 hours a day.

You should always keep in mind that traffic to your website is one of the most import keys for home business success. A good equation to remember is that: Traffic = Customers & Customers= Sales which = Cash for your business profit statement.

Below are some great ways to use network advertising and marketing to bring visitors to your site.

Building a great track record with consumers is essential in online home business marketing. The Internet is above all else a tool for people to communicate with each one another. Clients pleased with a certain internet site will discuss it favorably all over the Internet. Conversely, disappointed consumers will register their displeasure far and wide. An excellent web marketing strategy is to make the most of the former and minimize the latter.

You can make your home business presence known by finding other authority sites to link to. There are many places where you can study linkbuilding and when you become proficient at the strategies involved you will find it is one of the most valuable skills you will learn about marketing your online business.

Keep your website clear of distraction so that you can encourage your customer to focus only on the item you are marketing. Post new content on the home business website as regularly and as often as you can to keep people coming back to see what you are up to. Consumers should be able to scan your posts and sales pages and immediately determine what you are selling and why they’d be interested

A cluttered and uninteresting page will cause prospective buyers to lose interest very early and without any possibility of making your offer to them.

It’s important that your website is either very plain or simple or very well designed. You could hire someone at to do this for you fairly cheaply. Depending on your budget you might hire a website developer to build your home business website.

Flash is among the most advanced and expert website production tools that you can make the most of if you choose to try your hand at developing your own business website. You may find opportunity to use this tool to develop websites for others as well.

This can become part of your home business service for your clients and at the same time adding a second income funnel to your primary home business. Using a tool like Flash will ensure a streamlined internet site and enhance the total viewing experience of your consumers.

When you are writing a post you should be don’t hesitate to express your opinions due to the fact that it will help you get in touch with readers. You should avoid acting like yours is the only opinion that matters. You can make it clear to your customers that it is just your viewpoint and not necessarily the way others will see it.

At the bottom of every page on your site, do not forget to include a back to top button. This is just one of those little things that make it convenient for visitors to explore your page at their leisure.

Online marketing is the finest method to obtain attention on the internet. By making using of these suggestions, you are making your best effort to ensure your business is going to pull in new prospective customers or clients and that you can sustain your home business and build a future for yourself.

Owning a successful home business, marketing products you believe in on the internet is often the very best of two worlds between work and home.

The Essence of Direct Mail

Your mailing list is more important than anything else in direct marketing. You can write the best direct mail letter in the world, but if it doesn’t go to the right people, you’re going to lose money. The list is absolutely crucial to your success. So in this article, let’s take a look at the best mailing lists you can use, starting with the very best: your existing best customers.

These are the people you can mail to and count on getting a response. Now, if you mail a new offer to your best customers and get a poor response, you definitely don’t want to mail that offer to anybody else without making some significant changes — because it won’t work. The people who have done business with you for the longest period of time and have spent the most money with you will tell you quickly whether a new service or product is what they want. These things determine how seriously people consider what you’re selling.

Your best customers always want new and interesting things from you. They trust you and feel strongly about your company — but if something doesn’t work with them, then it’s not going to work with anybody else. Even if it does work with them, you have to note the degree to which it worked, because there’s going to be a decline in response as you move to on to other lists. The response must be strong enough to bother continuing.

The next best list consists of occasional customers and past customers who haven’t done much business with you recently. At the very least, they’ve bought from you once. These occasional people are still a prime list to mail to, though nowhere near as good as your best customers.

The next best list would be referrals from happy customers. These people will probably pay attention to your direct mail when they receive it. They’ve shown some interest in the past, but have never become customers. They may have contacted you and asked for information about your services or your products, even if they never bought anything. While nowhere near as good as the previous lists, these are often people you can make a nice profit with.

Beyond that, the next best list to use would be a response list — people who have bought a product or service similar to yours, though not from you. A good response list from a reputable mailing house can make you a lot of money. In some ways, that response list could be as good as or better than the occasional or past customer, or the people who just inquired with you — although, for the most part, anyone who has contacted you will usually give you a better response.

At the very bottom would be a compiled list — a list of people who not only haven’t spent money with you, but for whom you have no information concerning how much they’ve spent with others. They’ve obviously done some business with other companies, but otherwise there’s little information on them. Realtors, insurance salesman, senior citizens in a given area, homeowners — these are all compiled lists. There are thousands of them. Now, don’t misunderstand me here, because a good compiled list can work very well for some things.

For example, the owner of a shop that sold surfboards in Pacific Beach, whom a colleague of mine got to know many years ago, simply mailed to people who lived on or near the ocean in San Diego. He got all kinds of business from mailing to Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla. He didn’t design surfboards, but had a friend who did, so he sold both commercial boards and these very special boards from a real artist. He made a ton of money just by mailing to that compiled list.

Recently, my colleague also spoke with a gentleman who was selling a newsletter on making money with blue-chip stocks. He tried the same approach as the surfboard dealer, but began with a list of people who lived in rich areas like Palm Beach, Beverly Hills, Rancho Santa Fe in La Jolla, and some very exclusive areas in Boston and New York City. He broke even with this approach. Now, if you break even with a newsletter, you’ve done pretty well — because when it’s time for them to re-subscribe, that’s when you start making money. So he was willing to lose money on the front end in an attempt to acquire customers, since he makes all his money on renewals. That’s a hard thing to do, but it works with wealthy customers.

Here’s another example where this approach worked: my colleague worked with a man who wrote a book and later turned it into a cassette tape program up in Seattle, Washington, based on how to make money by becoming a real estate agent. His topics included how agents can make the most money, and things you’re not told in school. He was able to get the names of new real estate agents who had passed their tests in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California. Every month there were tens of thousands of names coming in from those three states, with California leading the way.

He originally sold the program for $99.95, before raising the price a little later on. This gentleman became a multi-millionaire — just by selling information to new real estate agents, showing them a few selling tips and then helping them invest their income in real estate for themselves. That worked very well.

The bottom line is that compiled lists are the bottom of the barrel for most of us in direct response marketing. While they usually don’t work well, for certain types of services and products, they can work very well indeed.

What I’ve discussed here is the blueprint for how to run an entire business model with direct mail. It all starts with your preferred list of best customers. Whenever you create a new promotion, the first thing to do is let all your very best customers know about it. These are people who have done business with you recently and have spent a certain threshold amount with you; say, at least $100.

If they get excited about it and you get a good response, make that offer available to your next best list: people who have spent less with you, or who might have not bought anything within the last year. You have a relationship with them, but don’t consider them preferred customers. If those people respond well, you can move on to your next best list and make an offer available to the marketplace in general, people you have no relationships with. If it works there, you can use it for new customer acquisition.

The key is to always test this way. It would be a mistake to take a brand new offer straight to people you have no relationship with, though you may have to try that if you don’t already have a customer list. You have to start somewhere. You may want to start by joint venturing with someone. Find someone who has a list and can endorse your offer for a split of the proceeds. You can also do this if you’re already established and want to tap a list you have no relationship with. It’s much better than just renting a list in your marketplace with which you have no connection to at all. A third-party endorsement can sometimes make all the difference in the world.

Before I wrap this up, let me re-emphasize that most small business people are NOT doing enough to resell to their current customers. Start doing so now, and you can easily double your profits very quickly. It’s a simple, reasonable step. That’s what my mentor taught me when I started working with him to add direct mail to my business in 1988, and the $2,500 a weekend I paid him — which would be worth about $10,000 dollars now — was worth every penny. Following his advice, my company generated millions of dollars in five years, just from offering new products and services to existing customers, items that were related to what they’d bought before. It was so simple! He wrote the sales copy, we had it typed and sent out, and we raked in the money.

Spend more time with your existing customers. That is the most powerful thing you can do with direct mail. Your house mailing list is everything. You’ve got to keep testing and trying different things with them, and direct mail is the ultimate way to do that. None of your direct mail strategies are worth anything if you’re mailing your offers to the wrong lists — no matter how perfect everything may be.