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How Much Follow-Up is Too Much Follow-Up?

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People ask me two questions quite often. How often should they mail to a list before calling it a day? And, what percentage return can they get from mailing a letter or postcard?

My answer is there is no such thing as too much follow-up. And, your return percentages will increase with repetitious mailing.

The following percentages hold for individual sales people making sales calls and to a business sending out a direct mail piece to a prospect list:

  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact.
  • 3% of sales are made on the second contact.
  • 5% of sales are made on the third contact.
  • 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.
  • 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.

The rule-of-thumb here is that business always goes where it is invited and the public generally have a very short memory so it is important to invite people to do business with you often and consistently. Most businesses and sales people give up on a prospect long before they are in the market to buy. Often they follow-up just enough to have the prospect to barely notice they exist.

  • 65% of businesses never mail a follow-up mailing to a mailing list.
  • 25% of businesses do a second mailing to a mailing list.
  • 12% of businesses mail a list three times.
  • Only 10% of businesses mail a list more than four times.

So if you are not mailing a list more than five times you are missing out on potentially 80% of the sales available to you.  Marketing is expensive. You increase the expense of it by failing to follow up often enough.

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You will never make as much money as you lose by not following up  one – more – time!

Regarding how to budget your marketing, the growth of your business lies in getting new customers. It stands to reason that the majority of your advertising should be spent toward getting new customers. The percentage runs about 75% of your total marketing budget should be spent on getting new business and 25% toward marketing to existing customers.

Wilson Printing USA marketing consultants can help you identify the best prospects for your list, create a cost effective marketing program, develop a targeted advertisement and save you money on printing and mailing.

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

Seven Tips for Improving Your Marketing

bigstock-Sales--Thermometer-Rising-Pas-123285651. Sell Things People Need and Want
The general rule of thumb is that direct mail marketing is not about creating markets but locating existing markets effectively. It’s a direct business-to-buyer means of selling that is streamlined, efficient and profitable—but only when the market wants and needs what you are offering.

Who needs and wants what you sell? The old copywriting adage that says you can’t sell refrigerators to eskimos.  Meaning, eskimos don’t need a way to keep things cold they need products that heat things up.

2. Sell Solutions to Problems, Not Products
No one cares about buying your widgets. What they care about is how your widgets will help them solve a problem

Example: Bob isn’t buying a ¼ inch drill bit. He is needs a ¼ hole and the ¼ drill bit solves the problem of how to get a ¼ hole.

3. Appeal to Emotion First, Reason Second
Most business owners and managers are number crunching, logical people who deal with “bottom lines” all day. It’s easy for them to fall into a cold, left-brain, bullet-pointed, 714-reasons-why type of sales pitch. However, people, primarily your customers are going to make their buying decisions in the right side of the brain based on emotion. Then they justify that decision with logic.

To sell more, appeal to emotion first. Then, to close validate and confirm the sale using logic.

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4. Use Proven Techniques
While there is no set of universal techniques for improving response in all circumstances, there are a few that are nearly universal. Here are a few things you can do to increase the effectiveness and response of your ads:

  • Always have an offer. A piece with a special offer always out pulls a piece with no offer.
  • An offer with a time limit usually out pulls an offer with no time limit.
  • A mailer with a special offer or gift for responding within the time limit usually out pulls simple discount offers only, especially when the gift closely matches what your prospects need and want.
  • An ad that combines a special discount and a gift or additional offer ALWAYS generates more response than a discount or additional gift by themselves.
  • Benefit driven ads will always out pull feature-based advertising.
  • You have at most 30 seconds to get the main benefit of your offer across. Make your offer clear. The offer should be the first thing you see.
  • Tell them how to respond and do so repetitively. The reader should not have to look for a phone or web address.
  • Envelope packages usually out pull self-mailers. This depends to a degree on who the end user is and what the product is that is being promoted.

5. Value Content Over Appearance

One of the primary reasons advertising fails is that ad creators often get caught up in a creative vision without having anything to say. An ugly ad containing the first four points above will always out perform a beautiful Madison Avenue ad that doesn’t sell anything.

6. Make Sure You’re Doing Direct Mail Marketing
Every direct mail marketing message should include three basic elements:

  1. An offer
  2. Enough information for immediate acceptance of the offer
  3. A mechanism for responding to the offer

Without each of these, you are not doing direct mail marketing but merely wasting your time and money.

7. Consider Two-Step Sales
There are two basic ways to make a sale in direct mail marketing:

  1. The single shot, where you get an immediate order, or
  2. The two-step, where you generate inquiries and attempt to convert those inquiries into sales.

If your product is expensive, complex, new, hard-to-understand, or requires a major commitment of some kind, two-step sales may net you more profit in the long run than single shots.

Direct mail marketing can be very effective if used properly. Even with postage increases direct mail is still cost effective. Knowing what a customer is worth to your business can help illustrate what your return on investment needs to be.

Wilson Printing USA can help you craft an effective message, decide on the most effective way to send it, help you find a targeted mailing list and finally print and mail your piece, saving you time and money.

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

Stretch Your Budget with Self Mailing Brochures

bigstock-Stretched-Us-Dollar-Note-2465739Have you thought that you would like to use direct mail but that a postcard seemed too limited for what you wanted to say? A very good alternative to postcard marketing is a self-mailing brochure.

What is a self-mailing brochure and how can you use them to increase your sales? Usually it is a tri-folded or bi-folded piece that is designed so that it can be mailed without the use of an envelope. You can save a substantial amount of money by eliminating the need for envelopes. You also save on addressing and stuffing costs.

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Self mailing brochures are effective because:

1. Recipients don’t need to open anything to see your main message.

2. They are larger and you have more space to sell the benefits of your product or service.

3. Self-mailing brochures can also double as a handout.

4. A professionally designed self-mailing brochure guides the reader easily through it, building interest.

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When considering what to put inside a self-mailer you should keep in mind the basic laws of advertising:

  • The purpose of the piece is to generate interest and a phone call, not to completely sell your service. Selling is a job best done by a human being. Tell the reader enough to build interest and create more questions. The idea is to get them to call you so you can work with them one-on-one.
  • Just like with postcards the headline should contain something that will get the attention of the prospect and pull them in.
  • Photos used should support the message and make sense.
  • Tell people what you want them to do. Always include a call to action. The rule of thumb is to ask them to buy early, often and regularly.

5. Use a “buy it now” offer. Always include why it is in the prospect’s best interest to call you now. Usually a pricing offer, but it can be anything as long as it is of a perceived value to the prospect.

6. Make the call to action easy to find. A person should not have to look very hard to see how they can get in touch with you. Your phone number, email and website should be in several places.

7. Include testimonials and success stories. These allow you to drive home your points. People always want to know what experience others have had with a product or service.

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A professional graphic designer can accomplish this without making the piece look gaudy.

If you think a self-mailing brochure would be right for your business call us at (727) 536-4173 and talk to one of our marketing consultants.

A professionally designed self-mailing brochure can be an effective tool in your marketing arsenal. If you need help please call us, we are here to help make marketing your business easier and more successful for you. If you would like someone to call you with more information on self-mailing brochures click here.

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

 

Saving Money on Color Printing

bigstock-Color-Management-Set-4881241 Color Questions? We’ve Got Answers. Have you wondered-maybe without even knowing it-what are the fundamentals of color printing? Or, how do I determine what type of color printing should be used for my order? Knowing the answer can save you hundreds of dollars.

Color printing is available in many forms. Two-color (spot color) printing and four-color process printing are the most common ways to create color printing. Knowing a little bit about each type of printing can save you time and money on your next printing project.

Two-color printing, as the name suggests, uses only two colors. The colors are printed on the paper without mixing or combining them. The result is a bold, sharp application of color. The advantages are two-fold: one, the color from piece to piece is consistent and invariable. The color quality stays intact even from run to run, years apart. Two, it is usually less expensive because only two colors are used. Additionally, even with two colors, the design potential is considerable. Using shades and half tones, you can make the design come to life with one or two-color spot printing.

In this day of full-color printing, a two-color design can really stand out and set you apart. Often two-color printing is used on NCR forms, pocket folders or flyers with limited graphics. Two-color printing is mainly for offset printing. Because digital printing uses a mix of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMKY) to come up with a wide variety of colors, it is not considered spot-color printing but is called full-color print process printing.

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Process or full-color printing can be done digitally for short runs or offset for large runs. The advantage here is the unlimited design potential available to you. If you are using photos as some part of the material, four-color process printing will bring the piece alive. While it can be more expensive, the output of four-color process printing is rich and vivid because many more colors are attainable.

Today, with digital printing, full-color materials like brochures, full-color flyers and business cards are very inexpensive to print. With the options available to you, it really comes down to what will make the specific item you need printed look the best. Our printing experts can help you determine which would be right for you. Please don’t hesitate to ask!

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

Going Paperless, Is It Effective or Worthless?

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There is no doubt that the Internet has changed the way most businesses do business. It has never been easier to send customers and prospect information and to receive information. One look in your email inbox will tell you this is true.

What has not changed is the need to stand out, get noticed and make an impression. The more electronic focused we get the more effective hard printed materials are. The reason is people still like to hold on to and feel things; tactile is very important in the sales cycle.

There are effective printed materials and ineffective printed materials just like anything else. Do your materials portray a professional image? How does your materials look compared to your competition? There is no need for your materials not to look like a million dollars.

Here are five products to help you portray a professional image:

1. Custom pocket presentation folders with customized insert sales literature will help to build awareness and increase sales based on the customer’s interests and needs. Pocket folders serve a purpose to keep your materials together. Please note that this does not mean going to Office Depot and buying colored folders then printing a label off on your office printer and sticking it on the folder you bought at Office Depot. That generally looks cheap. The prices on custom printed pocket folders have come way down and there is no reason not to have them. Especially if one or two new customers sold, that would pay the cost of the folders.

2. Tabbed presentation file folders are a cousin to the pocket folder, but instead they don’t have pockets. They keep all your materials together and fit easily into a file drawer.

3. Business cards are a standard in the business world. Increase memorability by including your professional photo, offering a folded or tear-away card, or even using a die-cut shape.

4. Envelopes are a popular way to reinforce your logo and marketing message.

5. Newsletters used to be very popular, but today many people have moved to sending email newsletters. This is OK but still not as effective as sending your newsletter printed on paper.

6. Statement stuffers are printed promotions that can be easily slipped into monthly statements without adding additional postage fees or the hassle of a separate mailing.

7. Thank-you cards are a classy touch for any industry and are one of the easiest yet most overlooked ways to show sincerity and appreciation.

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Our team can help you by designing an image package that is effective and ties everything together.

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

The Secret of Good Carbonless NCR Forms

There are those who are bored to tears by the thought of designing a form and those who love the fussy challenge of creating a good, clear, usable document.Bob Lee Auto Inspection Form

Forms are seriously underrated in the world of graphic design. The purpose of the form is to gather data in an organized fashion. There is more to designing a form than breaking out your excel spread sheet. A poorly designed form causes confusion and over work, therefore the form will not be used.

If you are looking for a NCR form that is functional and looks great, there are only four areas you need to address.

Of the four basic design principles (contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity), the secret to a good-looking form is alignment. Lack of alignment is the single biggest failure that makes a form appear unclear to the user.

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1. Contrast. The other principles are also very important, as in any design, particularly contrast, to help direct the user through the form. The use of shading and half tone can help guide the eye to key points.

2. Proximity. Proximity is used to keep groups of related pieces of information together. It is also used to keep unrelated elements further apart. The form should flow from one step to the next logical step.

3. Alignment. Alignment is also key. The top example uses interesting typefaces and calls out the major features in bold for clarity in communication and visual contrast but it doesn’t look as clean and clear as it could. In the lower example, elements are aligned, which naturally presents a cleaner look.

Cleaner communicates better. Also, the spacing should be adjusted so that the elements that belong together are closer together, and the separate elements have a wee bit of extra space between them (following the principle of proximity).

4. Repetition. The fourth thing for a good looking and useable NCR form is the type style you select. Some fonts are easier to read than others. Especially if there is a lot of writing on the form, the wrong font can make your form look like too much reading. You want the font to make the form appear easy to read and use.

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Oddly enough, you will find the better your forms look, the more they will be used. Once you have your form designed, you have to decide how many copies you need. The most common forms are two or three part NCR or carbonless with white, yellow and pink copies. These color codes make for ease of routing your data.

Our graphic artists can design a form that is functional and also helps build your brand. Call us or click here to get the process moving.

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

 

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