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How Sexy is Your Marketing?

What is “Sexy” Marketing?

The term sex appeal has been used in marketing since the mid 1960’s. Typically it means using a scantily dressed model to sell some product. Marketers found out that using these models attracted attention. Early on, it worked. Then over the years the art of using sex appeal has degraded to the point that most of the ads you see today are only selling sex and fall far short of getting a product sold.

The 3 things all advertising has to accomplish are: 1) attract attention, 2) impinge a message on the viewer and 3) get someone to buy something. (You can do that without using a half naked body.)

How can you use sex appeal to create more business? It is probably not how you think!

To understand exactly what your ad needs to do to have “sex appeal” and be effective, we need to start by defining some terms:

  • Attention – The concentration of the mental powers upon an object; a close or careful observing or listening. 2. Observant consideration; notice.
  • Impinge – to have an effect; make an impression.
  • Sex appeal – n. desirability, attractiveness, allure, glamour, sensuality, magnetism, sexiness, oomph.

How Sexy is Your MarketingYou will notice in the definition of “Sex Appeal” that only two of the descriptive definitions are about sex or bodies. Most of the descriptions have to do with appeal and creating an attraction to something. For marketing purposes any advertising that creates interest and desire for a product could be considered to have “Sex Appeal.”

How you use sex appeal depends on who the target audience is for the advertising. The target audience would also determine what type of medium you would use; postcard, direct mailer, full color self mailing brochure, billboard, TV or radio advertising. Even your business cards, stationery and pocket folders should be designed so they appeal and impinge on your target audience.

Look at your company’s marketing materials, do they attract and demand attention?

Lets talk about impingement. Have you ever seen a billboard with a compelling message that made you look twice? Or how about an intriguing direct mail piece that you just had to open? Do you remember what the ad said? If not, the ad did a good job of getting attention but fell short of impinging a message to you.

There are ways to build a message so that it attracts attention. The use of color, a bold headline and a photo are important elements. The use of eye trail is also very important. Eye trail is the design technique of catching the attention of the viewer with some element in the ad and then directing their eye (and attention) through the ad and ending up at the call-to-action section of ad. But impingement comes from how you put these things together.

Need Help Designing a Sexy Postcard? Click Here.

The overall ad has to communicate to your target audience. A large part of the reason a piece of advertising impinges is that it contains information on what your prospects and customers need and want. To get that information you need to survey your customers and prospects to find out what they need and what problem they are trying to solve by buying your product. With this information you have the basic building materials to create effective marketing and advertising.

After the advertising is created the next step is to do a flash test survey of the completed ad. Simply take the ad and show it to a customer for about 10 seconds and then ask them what they got from the ad. NOTE: It is best to show the ad to a customer not an employee. Showing your advertising to your employees or sales people is usually a bad idea because you will get invalid feedback on the ad. Your employees are definitely more educated about your product or service than your customers and they will have a different viewpoint about your product or service than your customers. Your customers and prospects, the people whom you are trying to influence and sell something to, are generally uneducated about your company and your products and services. Since you are trying to sell to the uneducated only their viewpoint matters. You want to find out if the ad gets the attention of your customers and if the message impinges on them.

You want to find out:

1. What did the ad communicate to them?

2. What did they remember from the ad?

We have put together a 10-point checklist to help you build an effective ad whether you decide to use our company or not. Our graphic artists can help you design effective postcards and direct mail pieces. We design and print other materials as well. At some point, if you don’t already have it, you need a total image package to tie together all of your marketing so that everything is going in one direction.

Do you want effective marketing that creates customers for you business? As you can see marketing your company is a full time job. Our company acts as a marketing arm for many of our clients saving them time and money.

I hope this information helped you. If we can do anything to help your company to be more successful please give us a call.

©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

How to Market When You Are Crazy Busy!

You are so busy that you don’t know whether you are coming or going! Your common sense tells you that you don’t need to market now because you are so busy, but your gut instinct tells you it could all crash tomorrow.

The fact is that when you are crazy busy that is the best time to advertise for three reasons. One, you will keep your sales going on an upward trajectory. Two, you have the money to promote. Three, when you are busy, you can afford to be pickier about the type of customer you chose to do business with. The luxury of being crazy busy is that you can afford to cherry pick customers.

  Need Help with a Target Direct Mail Campaign?

How to Market When You Are Crazy BusyWe have all experienced the roller coaster in the business cycle—up one day, flat the next and diving steeply the next, then only to soar the following week. To achieve sustainable growth and drive your business in an upward trajectory you have to first get off the roller coaster.

One way to do that is to promote smartly using direct mail. Direct mail offers a way for you to target your best prospects for your business. Direct mail allows you to dial-in your marketing and reach exactly who you need and want to do business with.

I know promoting when you are crazy busy goes against what your common sense is telling you. I mean you can’t even handle the business you have now – why, for the love of god, would you want to promote for more business?

You can and should promote more when you are busy, but you have to do so smartly.

By defining your target and narrowing your focus you can target the most profitable customers for your business. Bust defining and targeting your advertising is only part of the solution. You should do this also with your operation. Please note that “narrow your focus” does not mean cut back. If you cut back now you will cause an eventual crash. “Narrowing your focus ” means to get smarter in how you do things. Getting smarter in who you promote to but also in how you produce and deliver your product.

direct mail factsheet

FREE DIRECT MAIL FACT SHEET

The Effectiveness of Direct Mail vs Other Forms of Marketing!




    1. Qualify Your Targets

    When you are crazy busy, time and effort become more vital. You do not want to waste time chasing shadows, lost causes and prospects who really are not qualified for what you sell. The best way to achieve this is by qualifying prospects properly. To do this you need to take a look at who are the best prospects for what you sell more closely. Then you can get a direct mail list for your business that will reach your best prospects.

    2. Streamline What You Do

    Hone in on the most profitable products and services and promote these to the people who will buy them. Also look at how work flows through your business. Invest in your infrastructure so that you can deliver more products and services, but do so without taking on more debt. As we have all found in recent years debt is the anchor that will pull you and your business to the bottom of the bay. Plan smartly, save money and then invest. There are often things you can do to streamline your production that does not require spending a lot of money.

    3. Eliminate the Bad Apples

    When you get busy it is easy to overlook and make excuses for employees with bad attitudes. These people are the ones who always make excuses for not doing their job. They are the ones telling you why something cannot be done. These people find problems like there is a reward for them. They are not willing take ownership of their position and often are the cause of extra work for others. They may be the gossip hounds that cause upset. These are the people who are working to make things more difficult for you and are actually working against you and your goals for the company. They may have been with you for years. Unless you like working 70- and 80-hour weeks you need to get rid of them, now.

    Eliminating the bad apples also goes for customers. True enough that when times are bad and business is slower you need all the business you can get from wherever you can find it! But when business is good bad apple customers can make life complicated and a general hell for you and your employees. The bad apple customers are the ones who are the hardest to please and are never happy. They want the cheapest price, the best quality and want it delivered yesterday. The bad apple customers waste time and cause backlogs in delivery because they are so hard to please. Time to fire them as customers! The headache and upset are usually not worth it. By firing them you will unbog production and free up time to work with better customers.

    Bad apple employees and customers cause 80% of your stress and overwork. Your business is booming, now it’s time to promote, streamline and produce.

    4. Make Your Plan and Work Your Plan

    You are busy and business is brisk—it is more important that you set time aside each week to come up with a battle plan. Setting targets and working towards them makes it a lot easier to focus on what is vital to be done, what is necessary and what is not important. Doing so avoids wasting time on the wrong activities.

    Too often, small businesses either do not have targets or do not work towards them effectively and this can result in a lot of wasted time. If you know you are close to achieving a target or you are miles away helps you make the right decisions on which meetings to take and what other activity you need to make time for.

    5. Always Maintain Momentum

    No matter how busy you get, we cannot afford to let activity levels drop to zero! That is why it is vital that you keep promoting. It is a lot easier to keep activity going than it is to restart it.

    Too many businesses owners and managers only promote when they have very little or no business at all and then they find it difficult. No matter how busy you get, your marketing and promotion must keep chugging along.

    Wilson Printing USA can help you keep the momentum going with a target direct mail program.

     

    Need Help With a Direct Mail Campaign To Maintain Momentum?

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    Bulk Mail Tips – How to Save on Direct Mail Marketing

    Saving Money on Direct Mail Marketing

    You want to get the word out about your business. What is the best way to promote a small business? Or, for that matter to promote a large business?

    Direct mail, isn’t that old fashion? Besides, postage costs seems high, is there a way to save money on direct mail postage?

    Combine Google & Social Media With Your Postcard Mailer, Learn More!

    In today’s fast paced electronic age, direct mail is still one of the most effective ways for you to acquire new customers for your small business. Your message goes directly to your target market, and they will see it. There are still no spam filters or remote controls on your mailbox and the United States Post Office delivers regularly and reliably. This makes direct mail one of the most effective ways a small business can promote. There are only three things that can affect the response of a direct mail campaign. Other forms of advertising have many different factors that can affect response. Direct mail is by far the easiest form of advertising for success and results.

    Postage cost is easily your biggest cost of direct mail marketing. Having a understanding of how the post office sets postal rates will help you to get the lowest postal rates.

    Bulk mail, as defined by the United States Postal Service, is “quantities of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage rates.” The key word here is “prepared” because essentially we do the work for the USPS, and in return they give you a break on postage. Bulk mail provides the lowest postal rates for you, but still the mail has to be prepared to get these rates. There are two ways you can prepare direct mail:

    1.      Use a Direct Mail House

    A direct mail house is a business that has the equipment and expertise to sort and process your mailing list and mail piece to get the lowest possible postage. There are many guidelines to follow and requirements to meet before your mailing qualifies for discounts. A direct mail house knows the guidelines and how to get you the best deals on postage. Wilson Printing USA has a division or our company that is a direct mail house.

    1.      Go Your Own Way

    This means you are going to do the sorting, labeling and paper work the post office needs. Going your own way will save you the money the direct mail house will charge for this service.

    If you are really going to do this, understand it will take several hours to get the work done depending on how many pieces you intend to mail. You may need an employee specifically to handle the direct mail for your company. Or you can get your whole crew to stay late and have a bulk mail preparation party! You will also need a mailing permit from the post office.

    Usually if you are going to mail 1,000 or more pieces it is worth the investment to hire a direct mail house like Wilson Printing USA to sort and process your direct mail for you. If you go it on your own you will need to get a mailing permit, buy mailing labels and stick the labels on your piece.

    Need Help with a Direct Mail Program? Click Here.

    Understanding the basic types of bulk mail postal discounts:

    Standard Presort

    Standard presort letter rate will average between .26 – .30 cents per letter or postcard. Your postal rate mostly depends on the number of zip codes you are mailing and the number of zip codes you mail to. The piece will need to have a standard mailing indicia and be bar coded. The standard delivery time is 7 to 12 business days. You will also get no returns of undeliverable postcards. The minimum number of pieces the post office requires is 200.

    First Class Presort

    First Class Presort postage will average between 33 to 40 cents per piece. The delivery time is 5 to 7 business days. Once again the amount of postage depends on the number of zip codes mailed to and the number of pieces mailed to each zip code. With first class presort you will get returns of the undeliverables.

    Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

    EDDM, as it is called, will give you the cheapest postage rates. Postage will run 17 to 20 cents per card. You also do not need a mailing list with EDDM. Read the related article on EDDM for the pros and cons of this type of mailing

    There are other types of discounts, but the above three are the most common for most small business marketing. The types of direct mail pieces you can use to promote your business are very large and will be the subject of a future article.

    I hope this article helped you to promote your business.

    Mark Hale

    CEO

    Direct Mail With a Very High Open Rate

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    What type of direct mail gets a 99.9% open rate? Christmas and holiday cards do.  The fact is that 99.9% of Holiday cards get opened and looked at. These cards present a tremendous opportunity for you to influence your business’s sales, especially with the twist to it that I am proposing to you.

    How? What I am proposing that you look at is this.  Including a 3 x 5 promotional insert card with a special offer that is inserted inside of the Holiday Card. I can hear some of you. You are saying to yourself, ” Mark, that is a totally tacky idea. You are just trying to hock direct mail to me again.” Well you might be right! One thing is for sure, the idea is out-of-the-box of traditional thinking. (And direct mail still offers the best bang for your advertising buck.) Besides it fits, can you think of a more tacky time of the year than right after Thanksgiving to December 31st ? Besides, if the insert card is designed properly with taste, it won’t be tacky and it will drive sales to your business. This idea puts an incentive in your client or prospects hands that gives them a reason to do business with you. It is kind of like killing two birds with one stone. You get the public relations benefit of sending out a holiday card and a sales bump by including a promotional offer.

    Click Here To See Holiday Card Samples

    Christmas and holiday cards are the perfect form of marketing because they get noticed, they do get opened and they hang  around for several weeks (usually stuck to a door frame). Most companies do not take full advantage of the marketing opportunity that sending Christmas and holiday cards presents. They only send cards to existing customers but forget that sending out the cards does present an opportunity to create new customers too. This promotion is inexpensive to do and now is the time to do it. You should plan on mailing your card around the 2nd week of November so that it gets there right after Thanksgiving, just in time to affect your December (and January) sales. The fact is for most businesses, the holiday season brings the biggest sales opportunity of the year to increase sales and the biggest opportunity as a catapult for kicking off January’s sales.

    If you are thinking things have been too slow to send out Christmas and holiday cards and you are going to cut back to save money, I urge you to re-look at that consideration because it will put you in a box that is very hard to get out of. The box is called “the waiting to see what happens” box. This attitude of “waiting to see” will kill any chance your business has to grow and will eventually kill your business. Why, because when you wait you are not doing anything that will help handle your situation. You make your own destiny and can create your own success. In this economy you cannot afford to take a wait and see attitude about your sales.

    We have several stock designs you can use or we can design something totally custom and personalized for you. I would be happy to brain storm some ideas for statement stuffers you can use with your Christmas and holiday card.

    If we can help you, please give me a call.

    Mark Hale

    CEO