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Old 04-19-2012, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
6,296 posts, read 9,890,902 times
Reputation: 12378

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I noticed that the company that supplied my business cards also offers direct mail campaigns as a service (postcard mailings). They have "targeted mailing lists" directed that seem to match my desired audience.

The total cost to send 250 postcards would be 184 dollars (for one with color printing) I think black and white is slightly cheaper.

By my estimation about 80% of the businesses contacted might have use of my services. Using the figures I have seen for direct mail results I can expect a 1 to 2% response rate resulting in 4 new clients (250 X .8) X .02. This would be "OK" because one new client would pay for the mailing.

The problem/reason I am hesitating is I will not be mailing a specific "call to action" like a special sale where clients will have to act soon. My plan is more to get my name out there as a resource they can call on for future help. Do you think that a direct mail campaign would be useful for long term client awareness of a businesses services?

Eventually just about every business using the product I specialize in will have a need for some sort of help. There are other people offering services in this area but NONE of them advertise the types of services I am focused on. Do you think if I emphasized the specific services in my mailing the business might retain the card for future reference?

My concern is wasting 184 dollars on an ineffective direct mail campaign. If there is a chance a business might retain the card in case they need help it might be worthwhile. If there is a chance they might write my contact info for future reference it might be worthwhile. If the card is likely to go directly in the trash it is pointless to even think about.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 8,298,131 times
Reputation: 6650
My experience has been that postcard is a waste unless you are dealing with a demographic that reads the postcard. That would be seniors or folks in rural areas where mail delivery is welcome.

No one retains a postcard as the Internet provides all the information for when the occasion arises. Unless one does not use a computer which may be certain seniors and rural folk but hardly anyone else.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
6,296 posts, read 9,890,902 times
Reputation: 12378
I am going to give it a shot anyways, I ordered 500 cards (60 bucks), .30 cents to mail them and I will be paying .25 cents a lead for new business registrations. I found a place that has no "minimum" lead order amount so I can mail once every two weeks and get them out to people right as they are starting their business.

My idea is to get my name out there with the hope that either they need help right now or when they DO look on the net for help they may remember my name from the mailing. (It is a distinctive name that is easily remembered)

I think spending 335 dollars is worth the "risk". If I get just one job out of it I will break even. Considering they claim a 1 to 2% response is considered good I may get up to 5 to 10 leads which would be GREAT.

I'll see what kind of results I get from this and then test out an e-mail campaign. I hate to "Spam" people but it would be interesting to compare the methods and determine which works best.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
6,296 posts, read 9,890,902 times
Reputation: 12378
FYI- For anyone reading this thread- I found out that a lot of local library's subscribe to "InfoUsa" database that has new business listings. You can access it remotely from the library website.

This is going to cut my costs greatly for this effort. Now 500 mailings will cost 210 dollars rather than 335 dollars....
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Here and There
410 posts, read 514,554 times
Reputation: 841
No, you should never advertise a product or service without a call to action. And a call to action isn't just a special offer. You need people to respond to the card. They either should call you or visit a website (with a special URL just for this promotion) or whatever it is you want them to do. How else will you measure the effectiveness of the campaign? Don't be passive when it comes to acquiring customers.

Here's my take on your original post.
1.) I have never known of any business that has built brand awareness with one postcard. You need an integrated marketing communications plan that will communicate your message to your target audience through a variety of channels. And you will need multiple touch points - not just one mailing.
2.) Instead of relying on a postcard to communicate your message, why don't you stop by the businesses and introduce yourself to the potential clients. You should also have a leave-behind (brochure, etc.) that highlights who you are, what you do and what value you will provide your clients/customers. It sounds like relationship marketing may be key in your business venture, so a face-to-face introduction might be a nice way to start the relationship.

Just a few suggestions.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
6,296 posts, read 9,890,902 times
Reputation: 12378
gagirlatl,
I do offer a "free hour" consultation with the invitation to call even if the potential client does not need my services currently. (I offered to answer quick questions they may have for free). I also included my web address however it wasn't a special URL so I won't be able to track the results from that.

I am new to marketing so I think I have a LONG way to go in learning. The problem with "face to face" marketing is my potential client base is hard to identify.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:15 PM
 
28,900 posts, read 48,683,325 times
Reputation: 46235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
I noticed that the company that supplied my business cards also offers direct mail campaigns as a service (postcard mailings). They have "targeted mailing lists" directed that seem to match my desired audience.

The total cost to send 250 postcards would be 184 dollars (for one with color printing) I think black and white is slightly cheaper.

By my estimation about 80% of the businesses contacted might have use of my services. Using the figures I have seen for direct mail results I can expect a 1 to 2% response rate resulting in 4 new clients (250 X .8) X .02. This would be "OK" because one new client would pay for the mailing.

The problem/reason I am hesitating is I will not be mailing a specific "call to action" like a special sale where clients will have to act soon. My plan is more to get my name out there as a resource they can call on for future help. Do you think that a direct mail campaign would be useful for long term client awareness of a businesses services?

Eventually just about every business using the product I specialize in will have a need for some sort of help. There are other people offering services in this area but NONE of them advertise the types of services I am focused on. Do you think if I emphasized the specific services in my mailing the business might retain the card for future reference?

My concern is wasting 184 dollars on an ineffective direct mail campaign. If there is a chance a business might retain the card in case they need help it might be worthwhile. If there is a chance they might write my contact info for future reference it might be worthwhile. If the card is likely to go directly in the trash it is pointless to even think about.

Any thoughts?
First, unless it is seriously targeted, Direct Mail is not cost-effective.

So the piece really has to count. A Direct Mail piece without a call to action is like a bucket without a bottom to it. It looks like the real thing, but it's unequipped for its essential purpose.

At the same time, $184 on a direct mail campaign is not much at all. If you think the phones are going to ring off the hook, then you're very much mistaken. In DM, as well as almost every other media, repetition is critical. So if you're just doing a one-shot campaign and counting on results, you might as well invest in bumper stickers instead.

Personally, if I were going to have a long-term effort on a small scale, I'd do social media, with continual analytics on who's interested, etc.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:38 AM
 
5,656 posts, read 17,832,716 times
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Agreed with the targeting, also what industry are you in? B-to-C or B-to-B?

That will make a difference. Most agree now that a variety of marketing channels is the way to go - facebook, twitter, email, website, coupons, direct mail. Direct mail is still very viable and cost effective way to advertise as with emails, you run into problems with spam filters, etc. And the fact that it can be hard to get a good email address, do not fall into the trap of buying one of those email lists, they are scams. If you can get good emails, (ask for peoples emails). Although research email marketing carefully before you go there to avoid getting a bad reputation as a spammer! (whole nother discussion)

Agreed with the call to action, give the person a reason to call, or at least hold on to the coupon, whatever. Actually as a consumer I use coupons and I actually open those valu-packs - you may want to get into one of those programs (depending on industry).

Also, if you have any testimonials, and references, use those in your advertising if you can. Put them on a website.

Are you a member of a trade association? Chamber of commerce? You can get business through those. as otherspointed out, it sounds like building relationships is a key in your type of business.

Others above gave you good advice as well. Remember that marketing may not work overnight, I think people really underestimate that it takes some time to get awareness of your business out there. and you have to keep at it.

Last edited by gardener34; 05-12-2012 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:38 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,168 posts, read 67,984,889 times
Reputation: 36999
99.999% of spam mail is a complete waste of time.
That last .001%? Pure chance that what you're selling will be read by one of two types:
1) an idiot who will buy anything.
2) someone who actually is interested.

I keep the recycle bin immediately below the mail box.
Nothing comes into the house without 1st class postage addressed to me.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
6,296 posts, read 9,890,902 times
Reputation: 12378
I guess persistence and testing is the key. On a brighter note I just scored an excellent domain name (I was surprised it was available) and the services I plan to offer through the website have somewhat low SEO competition. Another great thing is there is a great opportunity for affiliate marketing in this business so it may be a good source of additional income along with the services offered.

I currently have a website through a professional organization but it lacks the features I need to really get the SEO working on it. They had an "upgrade" plan available but it is with "homestead" hosting and I have heard some bad things about them and their pricing (14.95 mo) is high.

I am new at "marketing" but I am starting to learn that "knowing your stuff" in the business you are in is only half of the job. Unless I work on my marketing it doesn't matter how good I am......

Last edited by Wartrace; 05-12-2012 at 11:32 AM..
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