Keep your list fresh and up-to-date – It’s an unfortunate fact of life that occasionally email addresses become invalid. People’s work email addresses change as they move between companies and others abandon old AOL and Compuserve email addresses in favor of modern platforms like Gmail. However, by focusing some of your time and energy on building your email list, you can fight list decay and ensure you have a growing list of people to receive and click-through on your email campaigns.
To do an email blast, start by finding an email blasting software or website you can use, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Vertical Response. Then, upload your email blast and all of the contacts you want to send the email to. When you're writing your email blast, include a compelling subject line, like "Act Today, 25 percent off all shirts," so people are more likely to open it. Also, try to use actionable language throughout your email, like "Buy now" or "Call today," to encourage people to act when they read your email blast.
This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
Like any marketing strategy, building an email strategy relies on knowing your audience. That means checking out analytics and social analytics for demographic information. Once you know who your subscribers are, it’s easy to come up with a lead magnet such as an ebook that will encourage them to subscribe. That also makes it easier to decide on the right content for your email. If you can, give subscribers options about how often they hear from you.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
Postcards can still be an effective medium if you use one of the oversized formats. One of our clients mails more than 2 million prospecting postcards a year and has had great success with an 11″ x 6″ size. This is just large enough to stand out from the rest of the mail and yet not so large that it incurrs additional postage. Obviously, good creative and a relevent message help tremendously, but from a pure format standpoint, this size has worked best for our clients.
But affiliates can be very guarded when it comes to their mailing list, we can’t blame them because we jealously protect our own email list too. When it comes to asking someone to promote you over their highly valuable email list you have to make sure that you’re offering them and their audience something that’s worth their time. Which is why we we strove to make sure our lead magnets were as valuable as possible so that their audience wouldn’t see this cross-promotion as spam, but something that’s worth their time.
But before any of you young guns scoff and discount the idea of a mail marketing campaign, you might want to read through this blog entry. Direct mail, while certainly a dinosaur in the world of marketing, can still be a powerful weapon in your arsenal – if it’s done correctly and intelligently, of course. We’ll lay out a few broad tips for you to consider if carrying out a direct mail campaign. While we would still urge the majority of business owners toward a more electronic/Internet based marketing strategy, you can still get solid results from direct mail.
Influencer marketing: Important nodes are identified within related communities, known as influencers. This is becoming an important concept in digital targeting. It is possible to reach influencers via paid advertising, such as Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords campaigns, or through sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) software, such as SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage CRM and Salesforce CRM. Many universities now focus, at Masters level, on engagement strategies for influencers.
You have probably heard before that “print is dead”. However, the data proves otherwise. Not only are people almost 4x more likely to open direct mail versus email (Epsilon), the direct mail response rate has actually increased since 2010 (DMA). This means that when done strategically, direct mail is a great way to increase revenue for your small business.
Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.
The concept is simple. If someone is reading an in-depth blog post of yours, chances are they’re very interested in what you have to say on the topic. The key is to then offer them something that is directly related to the topic they’re reading about. You know they’re already interested, so by offering instantaneous extra value it’s not difficult to see why people would gladly sign up.
Useful items or tips: Realtors often send their clients and customers calendars and recipes. People who receive these items will keep them because they offer something helpful or useful, and it keeps the Realtor's name in their mind because they're reminded of it each time the prospect refers to the calendar or recipe. You can do the same. Just make sure that what you send is something people would want to keep and fits with your business.
Most graphic designers managers have at least a bachelor’s degree—usually in art, computer science, or marketing. Classes in all of these areas will help a graphic artist gain a better perspective of what consumers (and employers) are looking for. In addition, internships and volunteering of design services for non-profit organizations are fantastic ways for artists to build a portfolio prior to entering the field.
Once your list is targeted, you need to spend an equally large portion of time coming up with a great deal – even if it means you might lose a bit of money on it. The underlying goal of any marketing campaign is to gain new customers, and it’s worth it to significantly reduce your profit margins to gain said customers. Once you have a surgically-honed list and an amazing offer, then you can spend some time on the design, copy, delivery methods, postage rates, date of delivery, size of the mailer…there are a lot of other options to consider, but following the 40/40/20 rule you can see how important audience and offer truly are.