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The Basics of Selecting Good Mailing Lists For Business

Direct mailing lists for businesses are all across the board as far as quality goes. You can find cheap direct mailing lists for business marketing and waste your time handling unqualified prospects and money on wasted postage. The price of a direct mailing list can also have little to do with quality. Getting a good quality direct mail list for your business has more to do with the company you are buying the list from and how well you can identify who you want to reach.

Profiling has gotten a bad name in the media, but when creating a direct mail list, profiling is exacting what you have to do as the first step. Simply, profiling is identifying your best prospects by looking at and building a profile of your current best prospects.

Your overall intention for profiling your best customers is:

  • To identify traits and characteristics of your best customers in order to buy a mailing list of similar prospects.
  • To help match products and services to the identified traits and characteristics.
  • To help you target mailings and product offerings more closely based on known behavior patterns you identify.

Once you know whom you are trying to reach, how do you select a good company to buy a mailing list from? The first thing you have to know about companies that sell direct mail lists is that basically everyone gets their raw list from the same sources. The three major credit bureaus provide all of the raw mailing list data. After the basic data is complied from the credit bureaus it can be crosschecked with phone books and various public records such as tax assessors files to get a more defined and accurate list.

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Depending on your prospect’s profile, you can also get what is called a response of managed file list. A response list is a list of people who have purchased or inquired about a product or service. Magazine subscriptions, club memberships and warranty cards are just a few of the ways response lists are put together.

As you can probably imagine from the above descriptions of direct mailing lists, the quality of the mailing list you buy in a large part has to do with the company you buy the list from. Companies selling cheap direct mail lists for business are probably not going to be your best bet. Mailing lists are not generally expensive, but as much as 50% of your direct mail success depends on the quality of your direct mail list.

It is almost impossible to buy a good mailing list if you first do not profile whom you want to reach in the first place. Direct mail for most businesses can be a very effective means of getting new customers. Direct mail goes directly to a person. If the person you are mailing to does not have a need or interest in what you are selling you can see how important the quality of your mailing list will be.

©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

Old School Business Tool Builds Faster & Better Customer Relationships

Have you noticed that everyone is in a hurry these days? People are always looking for shortcuts and an instant means to gratification. The other day, I sat through a webinar about how to email market. The entire focus of the webinar was how to get through to people and get them to respond to email marketing. Email marketing seems to be easy, and is definitely an inexpensive way to market a small business. The question is, does it work for you? Do your emails get read, blocked or deleted?

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Your customers and prospects are inundated with electronic and digital marketing. The truth is, if your email gets through the spam filters most of the time they are skimmed, if read at all. The more personal your email, the better the chance the person will read it and respond. The key to effective marketing today is personalization. The more personal your message is and the more personal the way your communication is delivered, the more response you will get.

Build Relationship with Customers Faster

If you want to get through the clutter and directly to your prospects and customers in a more personal way you should consider adding an old school technology to your marketing arsenal. Few things are more personal, simpler and more effective than a printed note card with a personal message from you mailed with your business card to a prospect. I know you are busy and high-tech digital marketing may seem faster and easier, but is not always a more effective means of marketing for business. The goal is to be fast, but you also need your marketing to be effective.

Here are a few creative ideas to help you build relationships with your customers and prospects using custom printed personal note cards for business:

  • Thank you cards are the most basic form of note cards. Designing the cards with your picture on the inside helps your customers put a face with the name and increases the personalization of the thank you.
  • Use themed note cards to remind prospects and customers of an upcoming sale. Also, sending holiday themed cards for Christmas, News Years, Valentine’s Days, Mothers/Fathers Day can be very effective.
  • Include a small promotional insert card inside the note card. A customized offer for their next purchase can help in getting repeat business.
  • Send a note as a friendly reorder reminder, prompt to order additional supplies before items run out.
  • Great tool for your sales people to get around the gatekeeper and get to the decision maker. Today, most calls are heavily screened; even email is screened and filtered. It can be difficult to get to the decision maker. A note card often gets by screeners because it looks personal.
  • Sales people can reach more prospects by making a phone call, sending an email and then sending a personal note card than anything else they do. It is this one-two-three punch that will get you noticed over all your competition.

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  • Build relationships by reaching out to customers on anniversaries, birthdays or holidays with a printed note card. Almost no one does this anymore.
  • Insert into your note card a small tech sheet that provide knowledgeable tips, tricks, and other relevant industry information that will create a want for your products or services.
  • Realtors can get new listings by mailing custom thank you notes to prospect that came to the open houses.
  • Send a personalized note card to introduce yourself and your business. Sending a note card of this type is a great way to get around the blocks and screens in a business and get through to a decision maker.
  • For executives, nothing boost moral like a personal note from the boss. Every chief executive of a business should make it a practice to notice things going right and the people responsible for making it go right by sending a personal note card.
  • For dentist, chiropractors and other medical professionals create a “we’ve missed you” personalized note card campaign to help reactivate old customers and boost sales.
  • Create a custom full color envelope for your note cards. Full color envelopes add an element of fun to your piece. The price for full color envelops for business application have come way down in the last few years.

It was once said by the well know sales trainer Zig Ziglar that, “there are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” By doing the things your competition is too busy or too lazy to do, you can position your business in the winning position. Best of all, having a custom note card and matching envelope printed for your business is inexpensive. If we can help you, please let us know.

©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

How to Boost Your Sales From Referrals

How to Boost Sales with ReferralsReferrals should be a major source of new prospects for your business. Referrals are the basic form of word of mouth advertising.

Do you have a referral program for your business? Boosting the amount of referrals you get is simple because it involves one thing: asking for the referrals. Yet, most sales people and businesses do not ask. Basically, everyone in your business who has contact with the customer should be trained and incentivized to ask for referrals.

That last part was important—incentivized. Develop a way to reward your personnel for getting referrals. Make a game out of asking for and getting referrals. For example, rewarding the employee who gets the most referrals to a dinner at a nice restaurant.

When developing incentives, do not forget to reward your customers for referring people to your business. It can be as simple as a Starbucks gift card, cash credit on their account or a discount on future service. Your incentive for referrals will strengthen your business relationship with your customers.

Printed statement stuffers or Care Enough to Share referral cards can generate a lot of referrals for a business. Service-based businesses like dentists, chiropractors, cleaning services and home health services are a few business models where Care to Share cards are very effective.

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Including a printed referral card in invoices and statements will increase the amount of referrals you are getting from your clients. Referral or Care to Share cards are inexpensive and we have several examples we can send you if you like.

Your business can also use social media to get recommendations and referrals. Many business owners over the age of 40 still have not fully wrapped their wits around how to use social media. In the most basic sense social media is a wonderful tool for getting referrals. It is a platform that revolves around “likes” and getting people to follow your business.

Public relations is basically the science of making good works well known. Social media for business is a vital tool you can use to make your good works well known and with that, generate more referrals.

A good referral program for small business involves four things:

  1. Constant intention on the program and constant implementation of the program.
  2. An incentive and reward program for customers and employees
  3. A printed element.
  4. A social media component.

Getting referrals is an easy way for you to grow your business. The investment is usually small and the returns can be great. We can send you examples of printed pieces we created for other business to give you some ideas.

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©2005-2015 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved.

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