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Smart Alternatives to Direct Mail
By D. CRUZ
Network Marketing is a great business that offers many people
the ideal alternative to a traditional job or business.
Many people will agree that a decent letter could be the most
effective marketing tool. If used smartly, a bunch of folded
sheets will be your treasured winner for many years. It can also
be very expensive.
Everyday is open season for the large companies who mail
thousands or millions of sales literature by bulk. They have
perfected their campaigns through the years. Furthermore, they
may have even began with a proven winning strategy. It surely
works for clearing houses and catalog marketers.
It is a different story, however, for the average home mailer.
Not having a permanent marketing department or high caliber
consultants, you have plunged into the business with sheer
determination. You will not feel the pain, initially, for that
occasional 100 postcard mailing or daily booklets of stamps.
However, as months go by, the gloom of achieving a 0.01%
response rate and seeing your growing pile of printing and
postal receipts finally devours your clever plan of growing a
real business. After spending $500, you net two sales, several
leads, and a bruised ego. Glance into your garbage can and
seeing those reverse mailings from other wannabees makes you
feel like someone is pouring lemon juice into your
entrepreneural wound. Still, you wake up stronger than ever.
Testing your materials makes sense, but sticking to a loser is
hopeless. Responses will not improve just by mailing out more.
Don't break the laws of statistics. Not just because so many
others are still doing it means that it works. Usually, they
know nothing better. Everyone is into the same fantasy. Until
you find success, use the other promotional media sparingly.
And when one or two clicks, you could always afford to
diversify. Each has its own merits and costs.
Classified ads -- The best way to sell low priced items and
generate leads are the classifieds. Studies also reveal that it
offers faster results. On per-inquiry advertising, Mail Order
Success Secrets, by Tyler Hicks states that "the media person
can often estimate within a few hundred how many inquiries you
Display ads -- Space advertising ranges from the tiny 1" to
full and double page spreads. Bordered ads out pull pure text,
but with added costs. Watch for discounts on additional ads and
insertions, free typesetting and checking copies.
Card decks -- Ad copies are usually effective in card packs
when they are around 150 words. They work well for generating
leads for high priced products or opportunities and can sell
moderately priced items. If it produces direct order revenues 2
to 3 times the cost, your campaign can be considered a success.
Cost increases as the audience becomes more targeted.
E-mail -- Use this free medium for your existing customer base,
downline, or receptive prospects. Forget about spamming unless
you want deep trouble.
Fax blasting -- Many years ago, this was the meaning of high-
tech. It was reported to work for sometime. Now, people
receive offers just because they have a fax machine or they once
dialed up a fax-on-demand number. They shell out ink and paper
(it adds up) and carries the cost of having their number
unlisted. There are plenty of other things. What do you think?
The good old flyers on the wall -- If you have the time and
enjoy it like I still do sometimes, zap some crisp copies of
your favorite ad and announcements and head to the laundromats,
supermarkets and any decent place where they will allow you to
do your thing. Make it easy for passersby to get your info.
Don't expect them all to carry pens and paper to jot your info
down. They are known to rip off the whole sheet and it's all
over. Cut pull tabs or insert your cards in a pocket. Pretty
neat plus you will get some local guys.
F.O.D.'s and web sites -- Both require external promotions for
themselves. They are like your instant portfolios where
prospects can quench their desire for instant gratification.
Remember, interests can subside overnight. Even airmail can not
compete with the speed of info travelling through the wires.
Internet advertising -- There is too much hype about this
medium. The smart spender should base his decisions on
statistics, and sometimes gut feelings. People will con you
into losing $40 for a year of web 'presence'. But are you just
buying a roundtrip ticket to nowhere? Sites should promote
traffic and get you business, not just type your text on a
virtual purgatory. The web is sticky enough, who would dare
venture into nothingness? Check out things like number of hits
and their marketing program.
A good way to go is to research all available avenues before
you blow a whole bundle. If you work with a company, you may
not have to re-invent the wheel. But don't do anything big and
foolish just because your sponsor said so. If he's, honest you
would not be dragged into doing the tightrope just to increase
his chances. Certainly not just because he said he earned $5000
last month doing the same.
At least co-op ads makes a leader put his money where his mouth
is. Or is it one way of getting a free ride. Well, assuming
that organizing takes a fair amount of effort and he trusts the
medium, then he probably deserves the freebie.
Free enterprise. It's your world. You can be in a business
for yourself. Now, you don't have to make it by yourself. Help
is all around you. Just make sure that providers are really
helping you get good exposure and not just helping you spend
D.Cruz leads an advertising co-op that offers "almost-free"
marketing services and straightforward solutions. Serious
entrepreneurs with serious business needs and visions are
welcome. Exploit the savings and power in numbers by reaching
D.Cruz at Box 984, Seminole, TX 79360. (915) 758-5355.
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Tags: Sales and Marketing