Dental Marketing – Discover the Ultimate Strategy

What would you say is the best restaurant in the world? Spagos? Capische? Andre’s? Well, I guess it all depends on your definition of the word best. So, let’s redefine the question: What would you say is the most financially successful restaurant in the world? With the question rephrased, you should have answered “McDonald’s.” Of course, few people (over age twelve) would say that McDonald’s is the “best” restaurant in the world, so why is it the most successful? The answer is that McDonald’s success is a measure of their marketing proficiency. So, what exactly allows McDonald’s to sell billions of dollars of food each year? It really comes down to one key marketing strategy: frequency. Frequency simply means that McDonald’s has a high level of consistent exposure in the marketplace. McDonald’s many locations and consistent advertising make it the most recognizable brand in their industry. Marketers call this establishing “top-of-mind awareness.” By effectively using this strategy, McDonald’s is able to outsell the best restaurants in the world despite the fact that McDonald’s product would seldom be considered as the best. Of course, you are not McDonald’s. In fact, your marketing budget pales in comparison to the mega-corporation. However, frequency, the primary marketing strategy used by McDonald’s, works for every product or service, whether it’s movies, iPods, dry cleaning, or dentistry. Frequency of exposure is the key to growing your practice. It’s just a matter of applying the strategy effectively to your particular situation.

WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY?

So, let’s talk about frequency by comparing the marketing strategies of two doctors: Dr. Blue and Dr. Green. Both doctors have great clinical skills, facilities, and patient care. They both have superb teams, and they both rely on referrals to bring in new patients. In fact, their practices are really quite similar in many ways, except for the fact that Dr. Green consistently attracts many more new patients than Dr. Blue. Let’s look at how the two practices market themselves using frequency, starting with Dr. Blue. His primary marketing tactics consist of running a yellow pages ad and a weekly newspaper ad, asking for referrals when appropriate, and trying to provide great customer service so patients will refer their friends. These aren’t bad strategies, but they don’t provide very high frequency of exposure to prospective patients. The yellow pages ad is great, but only works when people are specifically looking for a dentist. It’s also very expensive since every other dentist in town has a full-page ad too. The newspaper ad, on the other hand, is pretty inexpensive, but it’s small and, since many people don’t read the whole paper consistently, prospects often don’t even notice the ad. Asking for referrals should be effective, but the team is unenthused about “begging” for new patients, and Dr. Blue gets tired of carrying the load. Finally, great customer service does pay off, but most patients are seen only once every six months, which means the practice only has a chance to implement this tactic twice each year. These common marketing tactics do work. But, as you can see, the total frequency of exposure for Dr. Blue’s practice is really quite low, and it could take forever to get top-of-mind awareness with just these tactics. Now, let’s look at Dr. Green’s marketing strategy. Remember, these practices are practically the same-except for one thing-Dr. Green understands the power of frequency.

Advertising

Like most successful business leaders, Dr. Green knows that advertising is a key to establishing top-of-mind awareness. Consistent advertising won’t hypnotize prospects, but it will increase awareness over time by increasing frequency of contact with prospects and current patients. This increased awareness leads to more referrals and awareness in the community. Dr. Green is also careful to invest her money wisely. She tried a big yellow pages ad once but found that it became more expensive every year and seemed to draw fewer quality new patients. She also tends to avoid television, radio, and newspaper ads. Although these tactics can sometimes be a good investment, the advertising rates for these mediums are usually based on a very large distribution area-the entire city. Dr. Green’s practice statistics report, however, shows that 80 percent of her patients come from three zip codes. Taking her strategy from major companies that only advertise on television programs or in publications that target their core demographic (you don’t see ads for toys on Law and Order), Dr. Green targets her marketing efforts to focus only on her core demographic. She does this by mailing professional, full-color brochures to key households in her core market at regular intervals. And, although she doesn’t expect the mailer to hypnotize prospects into calling, she finds that prospects do begin to recognize her name after several mailings. Also, since prospects can keep a brochure if they aren’t ready to call, the mailers last a lot longer than most other advertising would. Of course, Dr. Green knows there is no “magic pill.” So, advertising is just a piece of her marketing program.

The Telephone

Remember, higher frequency of contact leads to more referrals and case acceptance. In fact, sales trainers will tell you that most sales are made after the third contact. This is because multiple exposures help to establish trust. But frequent contact is difficult in dentistry, because most healthy patients are seen only once every six months. So Dr. Green combats this problem by making two after-care calls every day, effectively increasing her frequency of contact with good patients. Dr. Green also calls every new patient prior to their first visit. She finds that this helps establish rapport with the patient and makes them more comfortable during the appointment. It’s as if she’s already briefly met everyone who comes in for an exam. Don’t be fooled into thinking these calls are a simplistic strategy. In the course of a year, by investing just several minutes each day, Dr. Green has 600 more one-on-one contacts with good patients than her competitor, Dr. Blue. Dr. Green knows that these 600 contacts combined with consistent advertising give her a substantial edge.

Acknowledging Referrals

Although advertising is foundational to Dr. Green’s strategy, she gains most of her new patients from referrals. So she and her team acknowledge every referral with a $10 gift certificate to Starbucks. This, of course, increases frequency of contact with the referral source-not just when they receive the card, but also each time they use it.

Handwritten Notes

Dr. Green looks for easy ways to increase her frequency of contact beyond Dr. Blue’s average of two contacts per year. So she and her team send three handwritten notes to patients every day. The notes-whether for an anniversary, a birthday, a simple hello, or to send stickers to a child-all help increase frequency of contact with her best patients.

The Local-Wide Web

Dr. Green also makes use of the power of the web. But it’s not what you think. Instead of trying to attract patients from the Internet like it’s some glorified yellow pages directory, she has her staff direct new patients to the website to fill out their health histories before their first visit. This not only increases her contact with the patient, but also improves the odds of patients showing up for their first visit. Current patients are also sent to the site for additional information on needed treatment, enabling spouses (who were not present during the case presentation) to learn more. Of course, this also leads to more referrals when patients occasionally tell friends that they can also visit Dr. Green’s site for treatment information. Finally, the site helps “close” prospects who receive Dr. Green’s mailers by increasing frequency. That’s because prospects often prefer to visit a website to gather more information before calling to schedule an appointment. For many of today’s consumers, a good website is a predictor of quality service. (And I’m sure that, if you’ll admit it, you’ve based some purchase decisions partly on the quality of a website too.)

The Power of Frequency

Of course, Dr. Green does a few more simple things to increase her frequency of exposure-but I think you get the point. Each and every tactic is designed to slightly increase contact with patients and prospects. In the end, Dr. Green has many thousands of contacts each year-both directly and through advertising-with her key prospects and patients. Dr. Blue, however, has only a fraction of that exposure. This gives Dr. Green a significant edge over her competitor.

CONSISTENCY: THE BEST INVESTMENT

Consider this… Marketing is not a direct-results science. In other words, marketing is not about doing something and always getting an immediate result. Instead, marketing is like gambling-it’s about odds over time. In other words, Dr. Green doesn’t always get referrals because of a higher frequency of contact than Dr. Blue. Nor does Doctor Blue never get a referral because the frequency of contact is lower. However, the odds over time are that Dr. Green will get more referrals because the higher frequency of contact creates “top-of-mind awareness.” This means that each contact increases the odds that her name will come up at the right time-the time when potential patients are thinking about going to a dentist.

WHAT’S IT ALL WORTH?

By now, you are probably thinking that this “frequency” strategy just might work. It sure seems logical. If you get thousands of additional contacts over time, you’re bound to get more new patients. But you’re still wondering if it’s really worth it. What about “return on investment”? Well, let’s take a look at Dr. Green’s practice once again and use it as a prototype. First, let’s estimate the value of a patient by assuming that Dr. Green currently averages about $500 per year in production per active patient. Let’s also assume that her average patient stays in the practice for seven years. That means that her average new patient is worth about $3,500. (Of course, some patients invest $350 and are never seen again and some invest $15,000 or more over a lifetime-but $3,500 is a realistic average for a good clinician attracting decent quality new patients.) Now, let’s assume that Dr. Green’s thousands of additional impressions increase her average new patient flow from twelve to eighteen patients per month-an increase of just six patients per month. Let’s also say that she plans to practice for twenty more years before retiring. In this case, consistent marketing will increase Dr. Green’s production over the course of her career by about $5 million. (You can do the math if you want.) In contrast, her total marketing investment over the twenty years would be about $250,000 and fifteen minutes per day. If $5 million in production doesn’t jazz you, then take a look at Dr. Green’s net profit. Because fixed overhead (rent, equipment, facility costs, staff salaries, etc.) is paid on the first dollars of production each month, any increase in production is about 70 percent profit. (The other 30 percent goes to supplies, lab fees, and some increased salaries.) This means that, after marketing costs, Dr. Green could net an additional $3.25 million! Of course, I’m oversimplifying, but you get the idea. Even a slight increase in quality new patient flow could easily earn millions.

THE COLOR OF MONEY

The key, of course, is to think like Dr. Green, who markets her practice consistently to the right prospects. Unlike Dr. Blue, she doesn’t rely on random chance and coincidence to drive patients into her practice. Rather than waiting for someone who wants an extraction to stumble onto a yellow pages ad, she and her team take consistent action 192 days per year, every single year, to increase their frequency of exposure in the marketplace. And this is the power of marketing: frequent exposure applied consistently over time generating big results. So, start increasing your frequency now, and maybe your practice will begin to look just a little bit like Dr. Green’s. After all, it is the color of money.

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Hotel Email Marketing

Email marketing is considered as one of the most effective ways of reaching your existing and potential clients in a personalized manner. Since this is the era of digital communication email marketing is just the right kind of solution you want for your hospitality business as more and more people are now doing majority of their travel planning and booking through online means. Reaching the comfort of their homes or to their office desk, email marketing and campaigns can reach a large number of people at the most affordable prices irrespective of the geographical boundaries.

It can easily be used as a strategic tool for direct response and branding campaign. With this tool you can create a brand awareness of your latest happenings, schemes, events, prices and almost anything about your business directly to your customers. With various other benefits of email marketing this tool is always a profitable way of marketing your products and services.

Benefits of Email Marketing:

• The cost involved in the entire campaign is relatively quite lower and affordable than regular mail system.
• Email marketing increases the chance of immediate response as it links directly to the website. This in turn increases the chances of more visits through mails converting into plausible interaction.
• This is again relatively quite a faster way of creating and implementing a whole strategy than regular mail.
• It gives the ease of personalizing. It is easier to personalize an email than other mediums thus the convenience.

Pioneer Internet Marketing has comprehensive experience in developing and successfully implementing various email marketing campaigns in the hospitality industry. We have helped our customers through email marketing strategies, conceptualizing, planning the budget, launching the campaign and then providing timely maintenance and back up services.

We study and understand your clients, know about their business and then create a plan that fulfill their needs and their business requirements. We provide Email Marketing technology, advising on frequency and best practices, designing HTML email creative’s, creating promotion copy, setting up and managing email campaigns etc. We reach your customers at the time with maximum information and benefits plentiful.

Our email marketing services include:

• Review and Better Customer Email Capture Strategy
• Online and Offline
• Consolidate the opt-in email list from various sources
• Website sign-ups, Online leads etc.
• eNewsletter email campaigns to opt-in list

So if you are looking for a service provider who knows the nerves of the industry and understands the customer needs and the importance of email marketing for your business then Pioneer Internet Marketing is the right option for you. Contact us for more details or any other kind of information.

In order to expand your business on the internet, you need to have a strong and able partner who understands and extracts the best by utilizing the latest and up-dated technology, techniques and tactics of Web 2.0 which is a totally different domain compared to the hospitality industry. With Pioneer Internet Marketing on your side, you will find an able and efficient partner with experience and expertise to help you choose the best solutions for your business.

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Nothing Beats Cycle Analysis for Market Timing

To make profits trading in futures & Commodities, Forex & the Stock markets, we can all agree that you must buy low & sell at a higher price, or sell high & buy back at a lower price. Usually, this is easier said than done.

The majority of active traders today (as opposed to investors) rely on technical analysis as opposed to fundamental analysis for making trading decisions. The reason for this is that market timing is more critical today than ever before. If you enter the market too early, you must be able to withstand the pain and uncertainty that comes with seeing the market moving against your position and watching your account balance dwindle before your eyes. On the flipside, if you enter too late, you may see the market initially move in your direction, but come to an abrupt end and turn against you because most of the move has already taken place initially without you. Worse yet, because it initially was moving in your favor, you may be more inclined to stay in a losing trade thinking it is just a temporary setback.

There does not exist a perfect technical indicator. Each indicator has its pros and cons. Most indicators, if perhaps all of them, are not based on the true nature of market behavior. What would that be? The Law of Nature, or also known as “Natural Laws”.

We are all familiar with some laws of nature. For example, we all know that “what goes up must come down” due to gravity. In some way, that also applies to the markets based on ‘supply and demand’. However, as inflation will always be built into the goods we buy and sell, the up and down movement of the markets are not the same as that of gravity. No, the idea of natural laws affecting the markets is more in line with such natural phenomena as the seasons (for planting, growing and harvesting), which is tied to weather, which both are cyclic events. You have night and day, rain and shine, an other natural reoccurring cycles. No wonder that those indicators that fall in the “oscillator” classification tend to provide some good feedback for technical analyst. It just stands to reason that these type of indicators are based on information that is more in line with the natural influences of market behavior than indicators that do not take cycles into account.

There is a wealth of information to be gained from an oscillator like the Stochastic or MACD, for example. These tend to cycle up and down in a rhythm closely matching that of the market analyzed. By following this cyclic pattern, you can get a ‘feel’ for the direction the market is going at any given time. This practice is a form of analysis that is taking advantage of the underlying dominate cycle of the market.

Anticipation is part of the market timing task. As you watch the market moving down along with the oscillator cycle pattern, you start looking for when that oscillator moves into some expected oversold (over-extended) range and start to flatten out or turn up. The expectation is then that the market is making bottom and it may be time to buy. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not and price keeps dropping and the oscillator stays pegged in oversold territory. Perhaps you have experienced this for yourself from time to time.

Clearly, using just any oscillator, or just one can be a hazardous approach. But using an oscillator indicator that has proven reliable most times is a step in the right direction. In my own market analysis, I often like to use the Stochastic and MACD indicators along with my cycle turn dates.

What are cycle turn dates?

Let’s use the oscillator indicator as a reference for answering this question. Suppose that you notice the cycle pattern of your oscillator tends to top every 20 days. It would then seem logical to conclude that 20 days following the last time it topped that it will either likely top again be near doing so, if it had not done so by that time already.

With that information, you might then note the date of the market actually topped when the oscillator did and add 20 trading days to that date to get an idea of when another top may occur. Therefore, you could call that future anticipated date a cycle turn date, because you are expecting the market to possibly turn when that date arrives.

While this would be a valuable exercise in analysis, it is not the most efficient or accurate way to calculate cycle turn dates. In fact, there exist better methods for doing this. In my Market Forecasting Secrets book, for example, there are methods that deal with the current pattern found in the market for determining future turn dates, and there are more esoteric approaches that have nothing to do with patterns at all! Yet, a method alone or in conjunction with another often produce market timing results that just blow the doors off any indicator that you can find.

The reason for this is that the methods that work the best for market timing are those that dig deep into the actual reasons why markets make tops and bottoms in the first place. When you consider what influences the markets as already discussed (i.e. seasons, etc.), you should consider what influences those forces to begin with. There lies the answer to many questions in market timing.

The key to market timing all comes down to market cycles. If you focus your study on cycles and less on trying to find some indicator that promises to make you rich, you can start to pinpoint the best times to buy or sell and the best times to do nothing at all.

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Control Your Future With Self Directed IRA Investments

Self directed IRA real estate investment has taken a prominent role as economic worries mount in today’s market. More and more individuals are looking for ways to ensure their financial security in retirement without subjecting themselves to the vagaries of the stock market. As they do so, they are finding that real estate investing is the smart way to go.

In order to successfully invest in real estate, you need to first make sure that your funds are in a self directed IRA account. This will free you from the constraints of dealing with brokers or companies who put their own interests first. But for individuals who feel they need some help with their money, you can opt to use the services of a custodian, an experienced financial advisor who can give you proper direction.

As with any financial transaction, though, the buyer must be wary. Self directed IRA real estate investing can be a tremendous asset, but only if you choose the right custodian to help oversee your account. Some custodians can hit you with high earned interest rates, draining your un-invested cash balance, which is the money you need to oversee properties purchased and owned by your account.

Choosing the right custodian is extremely important, as is being aware of the IRS rules governing IRA real estate investing. You may need to roll over your account to provide funds for your un-invested cash balance, but you can only do so once a year. If you try to roll-over your account more than once, the IRS can hit you with steep tax fees.

There are also rules governing the kind of real estate transactions you can make. Self directed IRA real estate transactions can never involve pieces of property which you use yourself. Only the account can benefit from the property, therefore you and your family may not make direct use of any properties purchased.

If you can manage to work your way through the rules and regulations and make the right choices, real estate investing can be a very profitable prospect. Buying up properties and making a profit either through rent or resale can dramatically increase the rate of return on your IRA. In some cases, the amount of increase was more than double that of an ordinary IRA account.

Self directed IRA real estate investing can seem like a scary concept in today’s market, but despite the current mortgage difficulties it is still much more stable than the stock market. Simply put, real estate is a concrete investment and it is much more stable than investing in stocks and bonds and putting yourself at the mercy of corporate America.

If you are concerned about being financially secure in your retirement, then why not consider making a move which could increase your IRA by leaps and bounds? Channel your self directed IRA into real estate and you’ll be making a strong investment in your future.

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5 Secrets to Better Direct Mail Marketing Response

1. Is my list current and well-targeted? The best marketing campaign is wasted without a relevant mailing list. Ideally, your list should consist of the people ready to buy your product or service at the moment they receive your postcard. The best list if your own customer list, and if you don’t have one, there is no better time than now to start! If you are looking to gain new prospects, list vendors such as SonicPrint can provide businesses or residential lists for as little as $30 per 1000 names!

2. Is my message short and my headline to the point? Many postcards fail because the marketer blends the objective of a postcard and a brochure. By putting too much information on a postcard, the recipient is overwhelmed and the message is lost.

In marketing, the law is E2 = 0. Emphasizing Everything Equals Nothing.

3. Does my postcard address my recipient’s primary needs and concerns?A good postcard will address the needs of the prospect and highlight the benefits of your product or services in regards to those needs.  For example, in printing, our customers don’t care about what equipment we have, as long as we can produce the best quality, with the best service, at the best price. Don’t sell your customer on the features of your business, sell them the benefits of using you.

4. Did I mention at least one thing that makes my product or service different from others? Every product or service has competition. If it doesn’t have competition either no one has a need for the product or service, or it’s only a matter of time before it does have competitors. Make sure that your customer knows why your product is better than the other that they could buy.

  • Is your customer service/customer commitment better?
  • Is your product higher quality?
  • Is your price better?

All of these can be measured in terms of value. The goal of your marketing is to convince your prospect that your product or services has better value compared to your competition.

5. Is my information accurate and my spelling correct? Often overlooked spell-checking is a very simple process. Have a few of fresh eyes look over your postcard before you print your piece. Computer spell-check is usually not enough. Simple spelling and grammatical errors discount your validity. How good can your company be if your customer thinks you can’t even spell simple words? Also, ALWAYS check your phone numbers, and promotions for accuracy!

TRUE STORY: A client printed 20,000 cards with the wrong phone number. Even worse, we have heard stories about a company who printed thousands of cards with a phone number that ended up being a competitor! Be sure to check phone number, addresses and information regarding any promotion that you have.

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Associating Yourself with Top Direct Sales Companies

What do your parents say about hanging out with your friends? They say that are growing to be very like them. And that is very true in the world of online marketing as well. If you associate yourself with the top direct sales companies of today, their success is likely to brush off you – either you will become one of their top affiliates or you will eventually build a marketing empire yourself.

Without a hint of a doubt, the top direct sales companies over the internet are the richest ones. And a good number of them even have affiliate programs that a regular person could join. By joining, you officially become a part of the network. You will have a chance to earn some good income for yourself as well.

This is how you associate yourself with top direct sales companies. Search for them over the internet and then find out if they are offering affiliate programs. If they do, then it’s your lucky day. You are not only working with the market leaders – you are also giving yourself a chance to be like them as well.

The top direct sales company over the internet today must be Amazon. And truly enough, they do have a very sound affiliate program in place. In fact, they are the pioneers when it comes to these programs. They are the company who has thought of involving the rest of the people over the world wide web to make money for themselves by promoting their merchandise.

Indeed, there are a lot of things being sold at Amazon’s website. Most of them are books but to date, they have expanded way more than that. They are now carrying a range of other things online shoppers would be interested in. So if you would like to jumpstart on your business empire, try signing up as an Amazon affiliate. It’s fast and it’s free. You can try it without making a dime worth of investment.

In order to earn through Amazon’s affiliate system, all you really have to do is to promote their products using your affiliate link. When people buy through your link, then you give yourself some commission. There’s no limit as to how much you can earn per month or per day even. The more sales you make, the bigger will be your paycheck.

If you have to join affiliate or MLM companies, always do a background check on them first. If they are part of the top direct sales companies list, then that should be a go. You want to be associated with only the best because that’s also one of the determinants of your income. People want to buy only from trusted sources, given the instances of identity theft these days. If somebody really want to buy something off the internet, he or she know better than just giving his credit card number to a website that has questionable security measures.

Top direct sales companies, on the other hand, are most likely to have the best online security system in place to protect their buyers from identity theft. This is a requirement all online shoppers first look at before they get their wallets and pay through credit card. As a seller that too, should be your utmost concern.

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Media Series: Issue 7 – Direct Mail Advertising

Overview of Direct Mail
Direct Mail is a form of “Direct” or “Direct Response” marketing. In effect, it is simply a customized piece of mail sent only to targeted consumers. It is called “Direct” because it circumvents traditional mass media and goes directly to the home or office of the consumer. Although measurements vary, it is generally considered to be either the third or fourth largest advertising medium behind TV, Newspaper and, sometimes, Radio.

Upside of Direct Mail
Some of the upside I mentioned above, but there are a number of very good reasons why direct advertising can be advantageous.

  • The format is extremely flexible. There are few rules or limitations beyond good taste and your budget.
  • A unique piece gets you noticed. You can have a strong visual impact and differentiate yourself versus the rest of the mail.
  • It is easy to fit a campaign to your budget. Mail more or fewer pieces based on the amount you want to spend.
  • If you put in the effort, you can target your mailings to effectively hit the target audience. It can be very focused.
  • On a per piece basis, it is relatively inexpensive. You can spend lavishly on a very decorous piece but it isn’t necessary.
  • With modern technology, it’s quite easy to personalize your mail piece to each specific consumer.

Downside of Direct Mail
Direct advertising is not without its pitfalls, though, and while there aren’t very many of them they are significant.

  • While the printing and mailing can be inexpensive, building a good database can be both time-consuming and expensive.
  • A campaign consisting of only direct mail is somewhat limited. It is better when used as a component of a larger campaign.
  • Direct mail pieces generally arrive uninvited and are very easily discarded. They’re often seen as “junk” mail.

Main Thing To Know About Direct Mail Advertising
Like OOH, Direct Mail is generally not a great option as a stand-alone medium. It is a very good complement, though, to a multi-faceted campaign. The best part about it is you can really customize the format to align well with your brand. The next best thing is that it can work with any budget. It is literally as big or small as you want it to be. If you’re going to do Direct Mail, spend your money on two things. Number 1: Build the right list. It may cost more but the increased response is worth it. Number 2: Do a high quality piece. If your piece doesn’t make your brand cut through the clutter it ends up in the trash without a second look.

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Discover the 3 Direct Marketing Principles That Work

There are probably more than one hundred principles of direct marketing, ferreted down from marketing gurus and internet marketing experts all over the world. Different sorts of experiences lead to different conclusions, and inevitably, different advice. This article is designed to tell you there is a difference between advice and principle, whereas advice may be applied to isolated incidents and regions, the latter can be transposed into almost any situation of direct marketing. I have siphoned away 3, not because they are the best, but because they can be universally applied – so wait no longer, read on land earn direct marketing principles that work.

I will start in reverse order of importance. The first (or the last one for those that have been paying attention), is the copy. Be it fax, mail, internet or offline marketing, what you write is essentially the difference that either helps you close a deal or remain wondering what happened. Compelling copy can be considered to be the life blood of your direct marketing efforts. If you are not talking to them on the phone or shaking their hand in real life, what they read from you must be good enough to influence a purchasing decision. Remember, you are already at a disadvantage – you can’t see their reactions or hear their worries first hand. A mailer or brochure can’t talk back so you have to seal the deal the minute they read the first few lines.

The copy must be simple – you may be marketing to the lowest common denominator, so Shakespearean prose has no place in sales copy. It must be from the heart and sincere, use real life experiences and testimonials to breathe life to the product. The copy must keep a single question in mind – the ‘what’s in it for the consumer?’ The offer must be IRRESISTIBLE, so concentrate on how you word your offer, write and rewrite and read it to yourself, over and over again until it’s just right.

Secondly, whatever you do, ensure that what you put out there must have what marketers call ‘an action device’. This can be a reply cut-out, an order form or even a point of contact. Make it easy for them to initiate a response, don’t leave them to guess where and who. Look at sales copy for websites, there is always almost a link somewhere at the end of the website. Point them in the right direction – closer and closer to buying the product.

This is the last and most important point. You may have the best, most sellable copy in the world. You could be selling a fantastic product. Your carrier could be striking, a design fit for the Louvre. But sent to the wrong market, all this would be pointless. The contacts that you have built up or have acquired must be highly detailed and highly targeted. This means that each and every name will be much more likely to consider the product – ‘needs identification’ can only occur through a high quality list. It is of crucial importance to match the product to the prospect, eliminating as much doubt as possible from the purchasing decision.

So now that you have learn direct marketing principles that work, you can apply it to any situation, for any product and for any market you wish to enter!

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What I Learned From David Ogilvy (Copywriting and Marketing Lessons From a Legend)

David Ogilvy, the Scottish born French Chef, who farmed as an Amish, Sold Agar stoves door-to-door and then got a job at his brother’s advertising agency, turned their advertising philosophy on its head and then went on start one of the most successful Ad Agencies of its era…

He jammed in enough experiences into his life for more than a lifetime. Amassing a fortune, buying a French Chateau, authoring books, and forever pressing the case for his first love – Direct Response Marketing.

By the end of his life he even managed to squander most of his fortune.

Perhaps most worth noting is Ogilvy is unique amongst the Madison Avenue crowd as being liked by “The Direct Response” posse – most of marketing considers them the black sheep of marketing. Ogilvy credits all of his success as a copywriter and an agency owner to understanding direct response.

At the same time he is loved by ‘traditional’ marketers (by the way the first direct response sales letter was sent shortly after June 11 1194 – predating ‘traditional’ marketing by almost a millennium) for his brilliant creativity.

Ogilvy did explain that “if it doesn’t sell it isn’t creative” but by then a lot of Madison Avenue had stopped listening.

The three core lessons he instilled in my marketing philosophy are:

“We sell or else.”

It was Ogilvy’s personal belief that the single purpose of advertising was to sell the product. He was adamant that advertising has no other function. It was this foundational belief that led him to take many of the principles of direct response and mail order and apply them to general advertising.

It was this idea that was behind Ogilvy’s insistence that everyone involved in writing copy should read “Scientific Advertising” at least seven times. I listened to that one.

Take an interest in lots of things

After reading Kenneth Roman’s biography of Ogilvy, “The King of Maddison Avenue” I say that Ogilvy was very inquisitive about a lot of things. He took great interest in all sorts of things so he could better understand his market but mostly because it was interesting to him. Roman relates stories about Ogilvy asking so many questions of people he met that it verged on an inquisition.

Research and Measurement

Early on Ogilvy brought George Gallup into his agency to do customer research. Now the thing is research is the foundation of creating persuasive copy – this goes back to before Hopkins. Measurement proves that your advertising actually works. Kind of simple when you think about it. Ogilvy did both. Being able to sell more for clients and proving his methods work brought him a great many new accounts.

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Email Vs Direct Mail

There’s only one way to find out…

Now I like email but I also like direct mail but which one is better… there’s only one way to find out… fight! Only kidding. As an email marketer you would think that I would vehemently promote email and yes I do, but there are pros to both. Email marketing is more efficient by some distance and it’s also a great way to keep in touch with your customers and generate sales leads. Direct mail is also a good way to reach your target audience and in this blog I will discuss both.

One of the beauties of email marketing is how cost effective it can be. It doesn’t cost a fortune to design a good email and to make effective use of text, graphics, pictures, links etc. A direct mail campaign will invariably involve sending out a brochure as well so all of this adds to the cost of posting it out.

Designing a good email campaign may take a few hours. You will need to look at factors such as target market, segmentation, design, layout and ensuring that the content is of good quality and worth reading. Once the email is sent out, as long as you have got a good quality delivering system, you will have a whole host of important statistics at your fingertips. Statistics such as open rates, customer profiles of those people who opened your email and went on to purchase, opt-outs and auto deletion of incorrect email addresses all help greatly when evaluating the success of a campaign and determining what strategies you can develop in your next email campaign.

In addition to this, it is much easier for a person to click on a link in your email and be directed to exactly where they need to be to make a buying decision. You can’t achieve that very effectively with a brochure in a direct mail campaign where you would be relying on the recipient to make a note and type it into their computer.

Designing a good direct mail campaign can be a bit more cumbersome. It will take longer than a few hours to sort out the design, layout, printing and postage for your campaign. Once you have sent it out you should be able to track the delivery and response rate but this may take a while because undelivered items tend to take a long time before they are sent back to you. Any updating of incorrect contact addresses will need to be handled manually as well which is time consuming. Having said that, direct mail campaigns are great for sending out giveaways, coupons, competitions, and special discount items so it shouldn’t be disregarded as part of a marketing strategy.

Email marketing is also a greener option than using direct mail. We are increasingly asked to look at ways that we can use less resource and by using email you will be saving on paper and the fuel costs associated with delivery. You will obviously be using electricity to drive your email servers but all things considered, it is still the most environmentally friendly option.

So which one’s better? I’m going to remain firmly on the fence. Depending on your strategy there are good opportunities in both methods.

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