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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.

Please share with others, except of course, your competition.
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Can data help build a stronger relationship between the CEO and CMO?

CMOvsCEOI agree it can, such as, I have personally witnessed marketing teamwork in a variety of small businesses.

There are so many variables in marketing, from data management down to the final say from the customer, that impact marketing and the corner office. Take a cue from a small business – it’s all about teamwork.

Working with small businesses today, I believe using a customer-centric marketing (CCM) strategy can guide any business throughout all interactions that take place between the company and customers. And, that includes customer data.

For example, a small business has less data but what they do have, is a workable data set. Today’s ability to analyze many of the customers buying points increases a company’s customer knowledge. With this knowledge in hand, a company becomes more efficient using their company’s marketing tactics.

Knowing what a customer wants and likes increases the odds for marketing to sell more products. Even when customers send mixed signals in the analysis of their data, you need to take into account that customer whims can change daily. The analytical situation is not perfect but is heading in the right direction.

There are many different reasons why a customer buys a product. They also have many similarities that can be documented and grouped into segments. Good marketing starts by building customer segments, analyzing them, and updating frequently.

Customers are willing to tell you what they want… but the data you collect can reveal even more.

What is the real culprit of the friction between a small business owner and his marketing team? The answer is centered in the efforts of collecting customer data, analysis, testing, and better data management.

I’d be willing to bet there are many similarities between the CEO and CMO.

It’s a never-ending process that can strain any relationship. The owner and the CEO expect more, and the team believes they are giving more attention to the data.

The truth is you can never have enough good data.

And what say you?

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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The biggest Marketing problem most companies have…

is easy in theory, difficult in practice to correct.

CustomerListThe most frequent question I get is, “What is the most important element of a business marketing program?”

As one can imagine in a direct marketing campaign, (today all marketing is direct) there are so many factors that will affect the response and it’s difficult to pinpoint any one portion.

The problem…

Unfortunately, there is one problem I’ve seen over and over since I became a small business owner in 1984. In fact, this problem is so logical, companies still make this mistake on a daily basis.

People spend an inordinate amount of time on the preparation of a direct marketing campaign, and when it appears finally ready, a voice in the back of the room usually says, “What list are we using?”

Yes, the problem is your list of contacts, customers and prospects you hope to do business with. Let me share a story with you from another consultant friend of mine that we recently discussed.

“Having lunch with a potential business client, she told me their website finally exceeded 500 visits from their Google Analytics account. Then rather quickly in the next sentence she said her “email list” has doubled in the past six months.

Before she could get the next sentence out, I asked her what the analytics were on the email programs. She reported less than 7% of the emails were opened, and not a single “click” was directed to their company Website. Their email list was close to 1600 contacts.

Around 93% of the email contacts bounced, remained unopened or were unsubscribed. Even before I could get my hands around the problem, she told me they are now preparing another campaign using the same list of contacts.”

The problem is huge…

First, this is not unusual. I’ve seen it myself so many times I have lost count. When a company spends the time to update their marketing contacts, customer communications suddenly become more effective.

Second, anyone can have a list of names. There’s no marketing value in the word list. A typical “customer and prospect list” may have a turnover rate of 25 to 30% per year!

Something to think about…

If no one reads or does not receive your marketing communication, then you are wasting a lot of time and money.

The best solution is to use a Database in place of having just a list. A Database of customer information which is periodically updated, has a lot of value. Another benefit of updated data means it’s easier to segment your clients and create niche segments.

A Database allows a company to send a relevant message, pertinent to the customer’s needs, personalized and comes with a great offer to buy and can be unique to a particular customer profile.

I refer to our Database of customer information as a Customer-Contact Management System (C-CMS). Even the name sounds important. When a process becomes known as important it will finally get the attention so greatly needed.

If you agree that customer data is important forget about calling it a list. When you add customer data to a list, the list is becoming a database. Here is a definition of a database to help you see this is a valuable tool in marketing today.

What is a database?

A database is a collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed, managed, and updated by a particular market niche or a target BigDatamarket based on simple segments, such as demographics.

Think about this; not every customer is the same. Stop thinking customers are all alike.

Is a database the solution?

This database definition is the solution to the problem. Nobody likes to do or has the time to manage and update their data. If you care about your marketing results, you’d better change your mind.

Making someone on your marketing team the person who has the final say on data is important. Without this person, your data can return to just a list.

What to do…

DataManagementIf you fall into the list category, change your thinking in 2015. Think all the data you collect goes into a company asset. Every contact within the database is unique. Having an asset on the books that continually makes your company money is a good thing.

Build your new asset, a Customer-Contact Management System, into a powerful database. You’ll see better response rates, happier customers, better referrals and be a full step ahead of the competition.

Visit our company page on customer profiles and at the end of the page, order our FREE paper brought to you by Romeo and Juliet. A love story about data and the relationships it kindles for a company with their customers today!

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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The TWELFTH of Twelve Re’Market’Able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’Ket’Ing Response Now…

- How to React and Make the Most Out of Change.

sale

Number 12

Any small business can beat a larger company with the right marketing…

A small business cannot match the advertising budgets of the larger companies. But a small business can beat any competitor, large or small, by providing the best product and service and to continually take that customer service to a higher level.

A small business with this strategy can hit their marketing targets at the right time with a relevant message. And that gives a small business a lot of great responses. Did you think sales? If so, you’re definitely seeing the vales of Direct Marketing in the Digital World.

The next time the weather doesn’t shine on your parade because marketing and sales are falling like rain drops; stop the drizzle and return to Go (Post #1). Someone may have missed a step. There are many ideas and content to read here that can help a small business get better results from marketing, so your answer is easily accessible.

I hope you enjoyed our list of 12 Re’Market’able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’ket’ing Response Now..

Here’s the place to rejuvenate your marketing.

Never bite off more than you can chew. Marketing is a process that takes time. In any of these past 12 posts, no matter which one you think is a good starting point, any result you get is a starting point to build on.

No matter where you start, a good sound decision is to learn more about your customers. If you don’t know where to start, then look at your contacts. Do you have a list or do you have a database? Is your data up-to-date?

If you cannot answer these two questions, then you need to work on your data.

Next Tuesday, January 6, I’ll publish my latest post, “The biggest problem marketers make… And how-to solve it!”

At present, this article can be accessed at the Constant Contact Community Blog, Member Blog – Marketing. I write a blog for them that appears every other week. Or simply visit this blog on January 6th.

If you have any questions about your marketing, try our MCG Marketing eVal. The results deliver the correct steps you need to take for better marketing response. Read more about this fantastic program and sign up today for an initial consultation. And get a FREE copy of our most popular requested report, “The Top Ten Lists of Marketing Essentials Required for Small Business Success” sent directly to your email inbox.

Sometimes a tune-up is all a company needs to get better results.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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ELEVEN of Twelve Re’Market’Able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’Ket’Ing Response Now…

 - How to React and Make the Most Out of Change.

DontTryPerfect

Number 11

Don’t try to be perfect.

What would it be like if you could have perfect insight into your customer’s motivations, their influential relationships, and all the other little nuances that make a purchasing decision?

Without a shadow of a doubt, exceptional customer insight is the path of sales and marketing success started many decades ago. Many miss-steps along the way pointed to more failure than success, and most people thought this was completely unattainable.

Keep in mind that data quality is as much a total business problem and not just an IT problem. Read more from my first of four must-do’s when using direct marketing.

In other words, any organization needs to take it’s time to find a data champion within the organization and make sure the whole company is on the same page when it comes to data management.

Direct marketing in the traditional and the digital world provides you with the information to make sound marketing decisions. If you don’t believe me, look up Garbage-In, Garbage Out in any search engine for best results. Then go back and read the first post in this series of Twelve, “Stop Wasting Your Marketing and Advertising Time and Money!”

Friday, the final post of 12:

Any small business can beat a larger company with the right marketing!

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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TEN of Twelve Re’Market’Able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’Ket’Ing Response Now…

How to React and Make the Most Out of Change.

ChannelChanging

Number 10

Channel changing in a good way.

Just as people click from one channel to the next, it pays to send your message using more than one channel. We all know the frequency of your marketing message is critical to increase response. Unfortunately, some people use it too much, but most not enough and for others, incorrectly.

But by equipping your contact management system with customer channel preferences, you can easily develop the correct frequency of messaging for prospects and customers using the channels they do.

Adding this new found knowledge of your data, you can add a pinch of compelling copy and a touch of eye catching design to increase response from those you selected to receive the message in a different channel. Visit “Never neglect a good grabber, a call-to-action, which always gets the job done.”

Or for the most adventurous marketers, “You can legally taunt, tempt and tease in direct marketing, so why not in digital marketing?”

Another way is to think of your Contact Management System (CMS), especially in B2B Marketing, as your busy book. The CMS can remind all the users to make a call, send another information pack or to schedule a visit at a specific date and time. That is surely better than no response! Visit “When moving to integrate direct marketing into digital, plan to use more and better data management.”

Wednesday:

Don’t try to be perfect.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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NINE of Twelve Re’Market’Able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’Ket’Ing Response Now

 Your Reaction and How To Make the Most Out of Change.

PeopleRpeople

Number Nine.

Your Customer Profiles and Segments are Consistently Changing.

On a beginner’s level, learn to speak to and understand prospects and customers profiles by using the simplest method of demographically. Further, as you build customer profiles, make a few assumptions about your customers. Assumptions are never set in stone.

In today’s digital world use a few select social media communication channels and test a few assumptions using a very small sample size. Always try follow-up using other communication channels to determine if the assumptions make sense.

As you test further and confirm an assumption, consider building a special data segment. The information you collect may even enhance the response rate.

Be aware of the ever changing fickle customer.

You’ll also learn how fickle customers can be. If you want to sell a product or service, you might as well know what customer’s need, and sometimes, having enough good data, may even let you know what they need before they do.

Keep collecting customer and prospect data, keep making assumptions and testing those assumptions because the only constant is change. You may learn early on in your research how to anticipate change and since it happens more frequently, make good use of the situation and update frequently.

Become a student of the ever changing customer.

As you start studying your collected data, you’ll see first-hand it’s important for a business to maintain a strong customer focus. When you spend time to learn more about them and what different needs they have now, allows you to make better assumptions of their future needs.

It is important to keep pace with change and react to it with an appropriate response. Today small businesses can get customer information quickly by using marketing testing and an analytics program, such as Google Analytics.

Tuesday: Number 10.

Channel changing in a good way.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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EIGHT of Twelve Re’Market’Able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’Ket’Ing Response Now…

 

the Last Post of The FOUR “Must To-Do’s” (Numbers 5 – 8) of Direct Marketing!

ChannelBallonv5

Number 8

Why getting back to data is so important.

Understanding your data analytics and stats even at the lowest level will help you to add better data when you start gaining a better understanding of your customers.

Statistical analysis that was only seen in the world of insurance and finance are now being leveraged by marketing departments to better understand their data. Analytics is becoming more common, affordable and coupled with testing of a direct marketing and mail campaign, leading to better responses.

A marketer can learn enough to understand what the customers or donors are responding to and learning about these results through analytics, meaning the next campaign can realize a better response rate.

The Final Week Starting Monday, December 29th –

Monday: Your Customer Profiles and Segments are Consistently Changing.

Tuesday: Channel changing in a good way.

Wednesday: Don’t try to be perfect.

Friday: Any small business can beat a larger company with the right marketing…

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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SEVEN of Twelve Re’Market’Able Ideas to Increase YOUR Mar’Ket’Ing Response Now…

these Next Two Posts are The “Must To-Do’s” of Direct Marketing!

DirectlyAhead

Number 7

You can legally taunt, tempt and tease in direct marketing, so why not in digital marketing? Here a few ideas which lead your readers right to your call-to-action!

A teaser that offers a free sample, free issue, prize, complimentary trial, discount, or gift, can be extremely effective. The teaser coaxes, “Order now and get the second one free!”  “Free certificate enclosed.” “You may be the grand prize winner!”

Direct marketers know there is a place for features, but what initiates excitement are the benefits! A benefit teaser promises a specific benefit. It does not talk about features, attributes, or characteristics of your product or service. It only talks about a specific benefit or promise. Such as, “Grow a beautiful head of hair.” “Read more books by increasing your reading speed.” “Build more muscle mass and even lose weight.”

The benefit teaser is more narrowly focused than a simple teaser offer. If you have all the hair you need, the benefit to grow more is not for you. However, if you continue to build better customer profiles and target better, teaser responses increase copy effectiveness, along with the response to your offer.

Friday: Number 8.

Why getting back to BETTER data is so important.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.

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