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What Is A Marketing Tip?

Greenbacks-flowingHow Much Will It Cost Me Now? And Later?

Every business owner discovers first hand that marketing is more valuable when they see results. For example, a spring flood of greenbacks at your front door every day is a good start.

I do exercise caution when I come across the word “tip” and “marketing” in the same sentence.” Instead of a greenback flood, it may be a flood of mud. Don’t get me wrong, an occasional tip can enlighten many people, but not every small business that reads this post. Case in point:

* A tip after a great meal and service may only be worth 25% of what was paid for the meal.

* A tip is also the angle of a beverage glass until it reaches the point of not being upright.

* If the beverage in the glass above is one for adults, the owner of the beverage may tip over.

Yes, I digressed a bit, but there are many tips offered to any small business marketer on how to better market their product and services. Here’s another point. Google the phrase “small business marketing tips.” My search disclosed over 85 million and it only took .27 seconds to build their list.

Writing from personal experience, be careful with any answer you select in a search. Or a link on Twitter and maybe in a discussion group on LinkedIn. There is never a right answer that will work for everyone. And rest assured there is no easy answer. If so, then everyone would own a business. Right?

Because there are so many variables involved in marketing to your customers, one wrong “tip” used in your marketing can significantly ruin the response. Now add in the “human element.” Depending on the type of day this person is experiencing may make it difficult to achieve the result you are looking for.

The one right approach for small business marketing to make money and increase customers is to build a marketing strategy based on –

  1. Company products
  2. Services
  3. Segmented Customer Profiles.

The strategy will dictate what tactics and channels are best for the company to reach their marketing goals.

An added bonus of building a customer-centric marketing strategy is creativity. Not just in the marketing campaigns, but with everything that you do to grow your business. Your team will become more creative in customer service and take ownership in creating their own growth goals.

The next time you hear of or read a tip use an old stand by: If it sounds to good to be true, then it is not true or worth pursuing.

Comments are cheerfully welcomed and responded to!!!

Special bonus offer!DMS1993a

Since 1993, Direct Mail Success has provided readers the in’s and out’s of direct marketing mail to get a better response in their marketing campaigns. Download a recent issue and see for yourself.

Who reads Direct Mail Marketing success? Providers of direct mail marketing processing, companies looking for direct mail marketing content, and individuals looking to improve they direct and digital marketing techniques.

Visit DMCM.net for more information.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com. Marketingeval_logoV3MarketingDoc Copyright15



Complacent in your marketing? You may have lost your sense of urgency.

Here’s how to shape up before you get shipped-out.

A_SenseOfUrgency

People who operate in the direct marketing and mail business understand the importance of creating a sense of urgency in a marketing offer. For an example, read the next paragraph.

Arm your marketing message with a shout-out to buy today. “At this price. Free shipping. And, if you’re one of the first 200 people who purchases today, you will receive a free shipping voucher good for your next 3 purchases.”

Why? Everyone loves to get something extra. Free shipping. When you add value and offer a bonus, you will likely to convince your customers to respond more quickly. The first 200 people who purchase today.” Plus, at this great price.

The value of having the sale happen now is that if it does not, it may not happen at all.  Supplies are limited.” That’s a good start.

If the sale happens now, it increases the likelihood that another sale will happen later. Hence, the carrot hanging on the free shipping stick for being within the first 200 people as an additional stimulus.

Use words that are attractive and waiting to be activated“Hurry, call now. You have 10 days to make a decision. This offer will not be repeated.”

Always look for expressions that really do motivate. Buyers in today’s fast-paced market, bombarded by digital messaging coming at them from all directions, may not want to miss out on a deal.

Would you? Let me know how this worked for you.

Comments are cheerfully welcomed and responded to!!!

Special bonus offer!DMS1993a

Since 1993, Direct Mail Success has provided readers the in’s and out’s of direct marketing mail to get a better response in their marketing campaigns. Download a recent issue and see for yourself.

Who reads Direct Mail Marketing success? Providers of direct mail marketing processing, companies looking for direct mail marketing content, and individuals looking to improve they direct and digital marketing techniques.

Visit DMCM.net for more information.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com. Marketingeval_logoV3MarketingDoc Copyright15



Three Great Ways…

WhiteBoard Using graphics and photos in all of your marketing channels helps your readers in the understanding of the written word. The photo you select must help to explain your story or a particular point in the copy.

So, when I begin planning an article or a blog post, I have a variety of ideas already in mind. I’ll do  research for my topic online and gather other ideas as I move along in my writing. After all, every picture helps to tell a story and to get my point across to the reader, sooner rather than later.

When I began writing there were a few reasonably price photos, images or illustrations available, but I found it difficult to get what I wanted at a reasonable price. We also used graphic artists and photographers to provide images which usually led to missed deadlines or we had to start over because the customer wants to see another idea.

Fast-forward to 2015.

The resources today are royalty-free images, vector art illustrations, stock photos, photo libraries, image banks, and the use of credits to buy a variety of different sizes, type of use for image, and even for a published editorial. It’s easier to find an image to pair up with your ideas.

Another cool source is using your digital camera and even a cell phone camera. Add a bit of magic from Photoshop and you can make an ordinary image stand out in a white paper or a web page.

Let’s look as an example of a picture posted last week.

TheBigPic “2 Degrees of Cold Calling, F or C… and where is the icebreaker?” Last week, I posted an article on B2B cold call techniques you can use to do a better job in your lead generation activities. Under the front page headline is a photo of an iceberg with the balance of the iceberg below the water. The letter C or F means the temperature is pretty damn cold in Fahrenheit or Centigrade. There is a lot of communications not just to reach a prospect but convince him to take a brief phone call. An icebreaker in this case could be a solution to a problem that the prospect is experiencing. EmailGreen Email is very fast, reasonably priced and best used with another channel.

The green illustration of envelopes in a funnel shows the speed of email to a prospect’s inbox. A clever subject line and a well stated message makes email a good tool for prospecting. However, a word of caution - if your email list is not up-to-date, these green envelopes will wash right down that sales funnel never to be seen again.

In the next photo, we introduce the use of direct mail. A well-used CRM, which is segmented and has client profiles is a great choice for cold calling. Either one may break through a closed door, but double your fun by using both communication channels, email and direct mail to see the difference.

Put email and direct mail together.

EmalVsDirectMail copy If the direct mail list is not up-to-date a lot of time and money are wasted!

Yes, the direct mail is significantly more expensive, but usually yields a better open rate, thus creating more initial awareness of your offer.

Add email as a follow-up, designed to complement the direct mail piece to maintain your brand awareness, to get better recognition.

The email also provides a quicker and easier method to measure response. For example, who opened the email and who did not.

As visual species, we tend to internalize information better when we see it presented in a graphical manner, such as Infographics.

Images provide an easy way to convey large amounts of information with a high degree of retention.

Is this the main reason we are seeing more websites with their fair share of images to push the reader along quickly to get the point? Yes.

Summary

Must have –

  • Email should carry over design or pictures from the direct mail.
  • Both lists of contacts are 95% correct.
  • If you have a strong brand, use it in every channel, inbound or outbound.
  • Remember, the phone is another channel of communications. In prospecting, the more channels the better.
  • Dropping a white paper on your problem solving capabilities, at the prospects office, unannounced, can get you past the gate keeper quicker.

Now that you have learned some ideas for using images in your communications, now scroll down to truly beef up your marketing lead generation program, and read the post that I used as an example of using images in your marketing communications.

NeedContent-copyFor additional direct marketing ideas in your email channel, download a copy of this special report, “Seven Smart Ways to Increase Your Email Marketing to Brilliant” right now!

 

Comments are cheerfully welcomed and responded!!!

Special bonus offer!DMS_1993

Download a copy of a recent edition of Direct Mail Success, by clicking on this link. There are a variety of uses, such as a marketing tool for people in the direct marketing mail industry or people who want to learn more about the techniques of direct marketing and response. Thanks for reading and please share. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com. MCG.LnkBannerWeb2 Marketingeval_logoV3MarketingDoc Copyright15



“2 Degrees of Cold Calling, F or C…

TheBigPicand where is the ice breaker?”

Every Marketing Communication Channel Used Today Has its Virtue.

In a recent article from our publication, Direct Mail Success, “Seven Smart Ways to Increase Your Email Marketing to Brilliant,” I discuss the merits of using email as a key marketing communication channel, and how to incorporate into digital marketing.

Before I explain how to get a free copy of the article, I recently wrote a report for a client in response of his question, “is there a better method to build a cold calling customer acquisition campaign?” The question got me thinking that more people may be in a similar situation of turning prospects into customers. Please follow along with the short version of DM vs. EM.

Is email up to the challenge?EmailGreen

The first question that I asked for the clients email program was the condition of the list. How old is your email list? Even when using a customer-contact management program or CRM with an email list, without a strong policy to verify that the email address is updated is iffy at best.

If you have an email list of prospects that receive a monthly newsletter, that’s the best place to start. However, that brings us to the second disconnect. The relevancy of a message.

I always recommend that any list used for marketing is segmented or profiled based on present customers are matched to the message. For example, you may find there are a couple of different messages you can add for relevancy. In a cold solicitation that is extremely helpful to get a better response. There is additional information on our webpage for your review and clicks taking you to additional relevant information on customer profiles.

A catchy relevant headline in the email subject is a good start. Let’s say, your monthly email open rate is 15%. The key point again is message relevancy. Today’s email templates are colorful, have catchy graphics and shorter introductory articles with a click to continue reading. Relevancy will kick up the click through rate.

At this point, doing your best on updating the list and adding a relevant message in your email, even with a 3% click through rate, your total response is probably dismal at best.

Direct Mail to the rescue?

EmalVsDirectMail copyDepending on your customers and prospective customers targeted, you’ll probably have a better direct mail list vs. the email list. Using an email list with a direct mail list will help add to your open rate.

Direct mail when used correctly (direct mail is a process of many) will yield a 2% open rate which I would bet is higher than the email open rate.

I know that multi-channel communications can bring a double-digit response, but with email and direct mail together, what should we expect for a response rate?

What happens when you put them together in one campaign?

Yes, the direct mail is significantly more expensive, but usually yields a better open rate, thus creating more initial awareness to your offer.

Then using an email as a follow-up, designed to complement the direct mail piece to maintain your brand awareness, will get stronger recognition.

FreeReportThe email also provides a quicker and easier method to measure response. Anyone who has read an article or two from me, know the value I place on analytics and measurement.

In a cold calling prospect acquisition, I recommend mailing first, and email second. Make sure they both call out the same message.

By the way, the next time I’ll write about an LP, but not the 33-1/3 kind that beats digital music. The one that gets you a double-digit response rate and better data for better marketing communications.

You can download a copy of this special report, “Seven Smart Ways to Increase Your Email Marketing to Brilliant” right now!

Please comment!!!

Special bonus offer for our many, loyal followers.

Download a copy of a recent edition of Direct Mail Success, by clicking on this link. There are a variety of uses, such as a marketing tool for people in the direct marketing mail industry or people who want to learn more about the techniques of direct marketing and response.

Thanks for reading and please share. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.

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3 Proven Ways to Raise the Bar on a Referral Program

Did one of your customers ever recommend your product to a friend?RaisetheBar

If so, there’s a good chance that this friend continues to make purchases.

If not, what was the problem or disconnect?

If the list is many but let us take a closer look.

Whenever a customer tells someone else your company has great products – do you communicate with that customer? Do you communicate with the potential customer?

If there is a pause in your thought process, then your company needs a Referral Cop.Referral-cop.jpg

One. A channel of choice

When you ask your customers for referrals in a nonchalant manner, you may uncover a few. You can significantly increase your referrals when you and your marketing team take obtaining them more seriously.

Some businesses start by using the postal mail. Businesses that deal with products and services where trust is a main issue, find that the mail is a good channel.

An email of thanks is another good channel. Reviewing your customers profile in your database may provide the right connecting channel.

Two. What about the reward

Whatever channels you select, there is no better way to speak to your customers. Then, reward your customers for sending you referrals. Hint: Reward their effort, not just the outcome.

OffTheChartIf the prospects do not buy, it is not necessarily your customer’s fault. Don’t proceed down this path because you will probably not receive many referrals.

Reward your customers who send you names and numbers of the referral. This is called the direct referral. So, what is the reward? You know what your closing ratio is, which tells you how many referrals will turn into sales. In a direct referral, the closing ratio actually goes up.

Imagine being able to send a message, “Your friend, Alex Brown, gave us your name. Alex likes our product and thought you would as well.” You can also use more personalization if you like, but the result is catching the prospect’s attention.

Three. Summary

Your outcome allows you to determine the best reward. You may even determine a few levels of appreciation or depending on your product, an award program.

Referrals are definitely worth the effort. Depending on your business model, you may be able to automate the process. However, if you’re like me, teach your staff to make sure the follow-through is complete. Whenever communication takes place between your staff and a customer, it never hurts to ask for a referral.

Want to learn more? Please visit DMCM products and while there, download a free copy of Direct Mail Success. Please look over the variety of content programs that are available. Yes, there’s more than enough to enrich your lead generating referral program.

Please comment!!!

DownloadItNowSpecial bonus offer for our many, loyal followers.

Download a copy of a recent edition of Direct Mail Success, by clicking on this link. There are a variety of uses, such as a marketing tool for people in the direct marketing mail industry or people who want to learn more about the techniques of direct marketing and response.

Thanks for reading and please share. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.

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There Must Be a Better Path to Take to Reach Successful Marketing?

There are many paths to choose, but you must be ready to cause a change.

TheRightPathV2

The best starting point is through your customers and their buying decisions.

I’ve worked with thousands of companies in my career and maybe 20% understand the value of marketing. Fortunately, these are good companies to work for. Unfortunately, they are far and few in between.

The other 80% do not have a clue how valuable marketing is for a business to succeed. If you have heard something similar to these comments you have been warned.

“We need better sales people” –

“Lower the price of product A, hopefully we’ll sell more” –

“Run that ad again and wait for someone to call” –

“Email the newsletter to the company list; it has worked in the past.”

If you think, some of these discussions occurred at a small business, think again.

“Kraft Foods needs to develop better consumer insights to support the marketing it puts behind its brands,” according to the chairman and CEO of the packaged food’s business. Seriously?

Another zinger from a LinkedIn discussion group I read this morning.

“It wasn’t too long ago that I was introduced to the new Head of Marketing in a regional office of one of the world’s biggest organizations, who the previous week had been a middle manager in their HR department.” Yes. this happens quite frequently.

And here’s another comment I captured.

“Big organizations have deep pockets and loads of resources to analyze the results from their marketing efforts, and they are starting to put them to use. Many smaller businesses struggling to keep up could play it smart by watching and learning.”

The final word –

People who succeed in marketing have an innovation and motivational gene to make the next marketing tactic work better than the previous by analyzing, watching others, learning and doing. You may not know it now, but learning and doing is the catalyst for change.

Marketing-Tip_CrpdIf you like what you read here, Please Read the Last Six Posts On This Blog Beginning On January 6th of This Year. Each one will enable you to see a bigger picture to determine your path.

However, hurry, some of the data may be decaying at this very moment. Then email your comments or questions to marketingdoc@live.com.

What do you think? Has social media opened the door on better data? Better Marketing? Digital Marketing?

Please comment!!!

DownloadItNowSpecial bonus offer for our many, loyal followers.

Download a copy of a recent edition of Direct Mail Success, by clicking on this link. There are a variety of uses, such as a marketing tool for people in the direct marketing mail industry or people who want to learn more about the techniques of direct marketing and response.

Thanks for reading and please share. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.

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5 Marketing Tactics to Super Charge Your Customer-Centric Strategy

redsportcarMarketing is one of those business activities that you are damned if you do or damned if you don’t.

There is no such thing in marketing that one size fits all. Every business has a unique personality because their customers are unique.

Through the years, I’ve met thousands of businesses. So when I’m asked about marketing for success, I’m reminded about the great companies I worked with that planned for success.

These companies built a marketing strategy with the understanding it is centered on  what a customer needs and wants. The strategy is referred to as a Customer-Centric marketing strategy.

One of the many advantages to this strategy, especially for a small business, is to have their customers tell you what they want next. I recommend the management review this strategy three or four times per year.

Strategy Vs. Tactical

It’s easier to change tactics in any given calendar year using a customer-centric strategy. I gave you a clue in the previous paragraph.

Maintaining a focus on customer needs alerts the marketing and management teams that customer changes are occurring and must be addressed.

Ask any small business marketing employee on how to tackle change and the usual response is “today’s customers are never stationary.” Your key employees must brace themselves for change, because it always happens. This is when the marketing tactics can take center stage.

Here are five tactics, which help define what is a successful small business, and a few ideas on how to put tactics to work for you.

  1. Smart businesses that market and promote on a consistent schedule,
  2. The smart business follows a set tactical plan during good times and bad,
  3. Do the best job of maintaining business when business is slow,
  4. Attracting new business when others are not,
  5. And navigating the peaks and valleys so often associated with a small business.

In the first tactic, what is meant by a consistent basis? There’s no excuse not to market and promote daily. There are many social media tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or shoot out an email to prospect.

15CalendarMake a phone call or two. There are many other traditional marketing tactics as well. Call a customer to make sure the product arrived on the stated date. Make every day a customer action day. Challenge a fellow employee on who will reach more customers and maybe, the most sales.

Set a calendar on a quarterly basis keeps one focused on the tactics. It’s nice to have a big picture in mind, but prepare for change as well. In the good times take more chances with your marketing. In the bad times, rely on analytics to let you know what is working and what must be improved.

Do the best job of maintaining business. Just like healthy eating is good for you, it’s sometimes hard to stick to the marketing calendar when business is slow. This is a great time for motivating the marketing team members to think innovation. Why are some customers still buying? Why are some not? You’ll be pleasantly surprised on what you learn from their communication with customers.

Attracting new business when your competitors are not is a sure signal the time is now to win over their customers. Asking your marketing and selling team to learn why the competitor is not pursuing new customers?

What can you add to your product that increases value and not adds a cost to make your product more attractive? One client I knew used a tactic that “prices are going up soon, so buy now and save.” It turned out that tactic made the competitionto increase costs first, while my client stole quite a few customers by forcing the competitor’s hand before my client even considered a price hike.

The peaks and valleys of any business, other than a monopoly, will always exist. Frequent communication with customers (see customer-centric marketing strategy) can keep your business on the leading edge. Being recognized as an innovator is very beneficial to a company’s brand. This is another good reason why a small business can have a brand and use the image effectively against the competition.

One final thought…

If you maintain your calendar on a quarterly basis, it becomes easier to recognize that a change in the tactical approach is warranted. Remember the start of the recession of 2008 was a major factor of many business failures on not knowing how or when to react to change.

Now it’s your turn. What does your company do to maintain your business growth?

DownloadItNowSpecial bonus offer for our many, loyal followers.

Download a copy of a recent edition of Direct Mail Success, by clicking on this link. There are a variety of uses, such as a marketing tool for people in the direct marketing mail industry or people who want to learn more about the techniques of direct marketing and response.

Thanks for reading and please share. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.

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Eight signs you are failing digital marketing 101…

And what to do about it today!Failing101

If you realize any sign needs more attention by your company, it’s time to eValuate.

  1. Do you find you’re still searching for a better way to reach your target market? Do you know what your target consists of?
  2. You are using direct mail without a co-channel to determine interest and by whom?
  3. When is the last time you updated your customer profiles? Do you know customer profiles are a good starting point for segmentation?
  4. One of the basic attributes in direct mail marketing is to test your materials before a campaign is launched. Everyone knows that. Right?
  5. The last time I looked at Google Analytics it was reasonably priced. By reasonably, I mean it’s still free, or are you waiting for the next upgrade?
  6. The one statement I hear from many small businesses is they cannot afford a marketing automation platform. Must I remind everyone once more that purchasing a customer-contact management software program will work extremely well if it’s used daily and should be considered an investment? See below.
  7. If your customer-contact management system was last updated in the fall of 2014, you are not using it as an investment. A customer-contact management system is like a blue-chip stock that pays higher dividends. Even when it is returning the response in double digits? Of course, it does.
  8. If landing pages, call-to-action and unique offers are missing-in-action on your company website, you are seriously behind the times. It’s no longer a fad, so what are you waiting for?

Very few people can say their marketing is running on all eight cylinders. This is especially true when change occurs at record speed and customers moving on to another form of competition.

Rethink how you spend your marketing dollars. Would you like to increase your marketing revenue? If you want to move marketing from an expense to an investment, it’s time for you to take a good hard, wide look at your company’s marketing. Learn more about our mcg Marketing-eVal.

What’s a mcg Marketing-eVal?Marketingeval_logo4Web

  • Prior to finalizing the purchase of a new home, you get a home inspection.
  • Your high school child begins a search for a college to attend. You help her study, prepare and plan school visits.
  • Need a new set of wheels? Before plunking down mega-bucks, you take a test drive.

As you guessed by now there are more than eight signs of questionable marketing results. These eight are the most common and there are many other answers than just the few above. Here’s a link to our website for more information on our eVal.

DownloadItNowSpecial bonus offer for our many, loyal followers.

Download a copy of a recent edition of Direct Mail Success, by clicking on this link. There are a variety of uses, such as a marketing tool for people in the direct marketing mail industry or people who want to learn more about the techniques of direct marketing and response.

Thanks for reading and please share. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment section or send an email to marketingdoc@live.com.

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Offer something of value free is a difference maker in lead generation.

pointersB

A free offer is the heart of any lead generation program.

The offer can be a free brochure, white paper, product sample, information kit, special report, catalog, etc. It can be an item you already have. Or you can print an item, especially for your direct mail offer.

This might just be all you need.

Multi-channel marketing is used a lot with direct mail. It’s easy to get a name and address so use direct mail to get something else. Maybe email addresses? Why not, that’s the second best channel to use in direct mail.

Why should you give away anything? Because the point of this lead generating tactic is to identify prospects, so you need to push them to give up something, such as an email address. Or as a wise old owl commented, “you got to give to get something in return.”

This is FREE today.

By offering something free, you make it easy for people to say, “Yes” and identify themselves to you.

Why not simply mail the free items directly to your list? That prevents you from finding out who is interested and pinpointing those who are most worthy of getting a sales call.

Does the free item need to have a value? That depends on what you are going to offer. If it’s a Rolex Watch, you better have a big budget and a very expensive product to sell.

Try my idea. It has worked extremely well.

I have always believed that any client should get more than what they expect. This is another form of FREE which has worked quite well for me.

I’ve always had good luck with my problem solving method of selling. Customers may or may not know if there is a specific problem holding the company back. When you use a problem solving method, and show the value in an offered solution you present, that is many times greater than handing out promotional items. You gain more than just a handshake.

You gain a better “door opener” than a pen or Frisbee. You start to gain trust. If you are into building a better relationship, that is a factor lasting longer than a pen or Frisbee. Try it.

Let me know what you think. Today is best.

Please share with others, except of course, your competition.
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When you start writing marketing copy, do you get tense?

GettingTenseHere’s how to un-jitter your message.

If you write the marketing copy in the present tense, then you are likely to get a better response. By that I mean, your direct-marketing copy will fall short of the mark when you make far off, distant promises.

For example –

Our product will make your cookies sweeter.

Our concept will make you sell more.

Our program will make you move up the corporate ladder.

The “Right” way

When you use the present tense, you keep the promise and the payoff close to the reader – right here, right now and get it today!

My colleagues in direct marketing always look for words that work for more dollars. The present tense offers the reader immediate satisfaction, now, and not in the future.

Now, look at the simple corrections made to each of the three previous sentences creating immediate action.

Our product makes your cookies sweeter.

Our concept makes you richer.

Our program makes you reach that promotion.

Do it now is better than tomorrow.

Tomorrow it always seems to be here before you know it. The present tense has the most direct-marketing mail potential for record breaking sales because it is here today, ready to sell and to deliver on every promise.

I hope you made sense out of my little play upon the word tense. Remember, direct-marketing copy pulls the reader in and makes an offer to get the sale now.

I know some marketers say, “having a lot of people on the fence waiting to buy would call that a success.” Why have a bunch of waiters when you can have the present tense working for you every day?”

Let me know what you think. Today is best.

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