Direct Mail Marketing Tips For Retailers

Direct Mail Marketing Tips to Bring Retailers More Traffic in your Front Door.

Business is lousy. The economy is tanked. You’re looking around your store and saying, “Where is everybody?”

Good News: If you’re a retailer, here are some lean direct mail marketing tips to show you how to get people to show up at your front door. If you’re in a service business, here are direct mail tips that show you how to get your phone to ring. If you’re a restaurateur, I usually get hungry around 7PM. If the campaign works really well, I’ll be bringing a few friends.

1. Track Response of All Your Direct Mail.

Learn what’s working in your direct mail program, and just as important, what isn’t. Leave a memo pad by each phone and when you receive a call – in the very beginning of the conversation – say, “And how did you hear of us?” Write down the response on the memo pad, and throw that slip of paper in a specific drawer and forget about it. At the end of the month tally all the slips up and you’ll have a pretty darn good idea which direct mail campaign brought in the most customers.

2. The Best Direct Mail Campaign Ever: Mail to your house list.

No matter what industry you’re in, what you’re selling, or what type of business you own, your direct mail strategy and your direct response email campaign should have a single priority: to mail regularly to your house list. This is the lowest cost and most effective direct marketing strategy you can have. Hummm… Lowest cost? Most effective? Any questions?

Preferred customer sales, private sales, pre-sale access before you open to the general public – make your house mailing list people feel special. They are. Start by collecting current customer’s names and addresses. If you don’t have a customer “house file” – a list of the names and addresses of all your customers – start one now. This will become your most valuable asset.

Sign people up for your FREE Preferred Customer mailing list at every opportunity! Keep a card by the cash register, and by the front door, or both. Don’t be afraid to recommend to each person that they fill out the card so you can place them on your private mailing list to receive special offers and preferred customer treatment (and prices!)

3. Specify Direct Mail Lists to target your “Best Prospects” and get a customer for $.44

Depending on your type of business, getting new customers through direct mail can be a precisely targeted direct marketing campaign sent only to your very best prospects, with no wasted advertising expense. Send your direct mail to geographic targets (close to your store), demographic targets (people similar to your current customers who like to/can afford to shop in stores like yours), and industry related personnel – in the specific markets you serve (lawn care, hearing aids, etc.).

Additionally direct mailing lists can be specified according to zip code, income, number of children and ages, pets, house value, net worth, and an endless array of other parameters. Think about what characteristics your current customers have, and order your mailing list with people who have similar traits. If you don’t have a great direct mail prospect list, start one of those mailing lists now. Yea, right now.

4. Mail a Gift Certificate

A gift certificate is inexpensive to print, light weight and low in cost to mail. The nice letter you send with it? Same. The goodwill it generates, invaluable. A gift certificate is a double function direct marketing piece. It’s good for the customer and great for you, too. Gift certificates A) bring people into your store; B) offer discounts on selected overstocked merchandise; C) are cheap to print and D) light to mail; E) are naturally easy to track with great precision; and F) always have a high perceived value. They work on both new and returning customers. To make sure people open your envelope, print “Gift Certificate Enclosed!” on the envelope.

Best of all, a gift certificate has a cost only if the customer actually shows up and redeems it. No customer, no cost.

5. A Direct Marketing Campaign to Get Referrals

Feel free to ask any of your better customers if they have friends they would like you to send a $5 gift certificate, with their compliments of course. As an added incentive and as a surprise bonus, mail an additional gift certificate to the customer making the referral. Include a letter saying, “Thanks for the referral.” Then mail the new referral prospect a letter and the gift certificate – compliments of your original customer (and from you, personally.)

This “referral method” is one of the most effective direct mail campaigns on the planet, and is the best way to acquire new (and similar) customers who immediately have faith and trust in you, your firm, your services. Customer acquisition cost from this direct marketing campaign: just $.44 in postage. That five dollar gift certificate? Well, that’s taken off the merchandise or food bill: so it didn’t really cost you five bucks, did it? It was the discounted cost of your wares.

Whether used for new customer acquisition, referrals, or to get customers to return to your store, direct marketing campaigns using gift certificates are one of the most effective uses of direct mail. This is one of the best marketing tips for any business. All your direct marketing campaigns should include some kind of referral marketing techniques and gift certificates make this campaign easy to succeed.

6. Specify Geographic Direct Mail Lists to Precisely Target Your Retail Market

Retail direct mail campaigns usually target a geographic center. Everybody likes to shop in their own backyard. Limit your direct mail marketing to people who live or work within driving distance. That “geographic market segment” qualification of your prospects varies by type of store and average sale. Generally speaking, the larger the ticket item you sell, the longer people will drive to get it.

Reaching people with your direct mail message can get expensive in a hurry, especially if you reach for the wrong set of people who are not shopping for your goods or services. Conversely, since direct mail can be targeted to tightly it can be the most effective and measurable marketing method you can use.

Easy Marketing Tips

I’m going to give you info on how to drive lots of traffic to your website and how you can achieve the same success as internet marketers who are making a solid income with their website.

First off, don’t fret! All the ways I’m going to show you are FREE ways of marketing so you don’t have to cough up a bunch of money.

Now there’s a few different ways to direct traffic to your website. You want to set up free accounts on huge social websites like MySpace, Squidoo, YouTube, and others you may know of, and direct as many eyeballs as you can toward your website. However, you’re not going to want to try to “sell” a product on these networking sites. Even though the idea might seem to “sell”, you don’t really want to do that. The majority of people do not want to be sold to, even less, people who are just browsing through the internet. In marketing, you want to first establish a connection, and then offer your products. People feel more comfortable when they see a face and hear a voice along with a product. The more comfortable a person feels, the more likely they’re going to purchase your product. It’s not rocket science!

“Okay, so I get the point. But now how do you direct traffic to these websites?”

It’s pretty easy. Since the majority of people have a MySpace and watch videos on YouTube and browse Squidoo, you need to sign up for all these sites if you haven’t already. Don’t worry, it’s free to sign up. Now don’t forget, the purpose here is to let people know who you are. Write down what your interests are, hobbies, goals, etc. It’s okay if you haven’t become the next online-marketing guru yet, just don’t be dishonest! What you don’t want to do is start all these campaigns and mislead people by saying you’re a multi-millionaire and you did it in 2 days and etc. Just be frank and let them know you are into internet marketing and where you want to go with it, etc. People become comfortable when they’re are able to relate to someone else, so you need to establish that connection. People are not just going to toss you money. People have to at least feel a little trust in you, and the more people see you, the more likely they will. The good thing is, as you start to take your business to a higher level, you can change your success story. Just don’t be deceitful!

Probably the best tool to market with is YouTube because then people can actually see and hear you and you can also upload your YouTube video to various websites. It’s not a problem if you’re not a movie-making expert as the majority of people on YouTube are amateurs anyway which is fine. Just about every modern computer comes with some type of software to make movies in case you didn’t know (Windows Movie Maker for PC’s; iMovie for Mac’s). There are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube if you need help making movies! If you don’t already have one, you should also get a microphone for cheap. No biggie.

Now you are all set and ready to go!

Throughout my experience in marketing and selling online, I have learned a lot from the information and tips given by my mentor. I am here to help as much as I can, so you can contact me with the info provided. But most important, things are not going to happen on their own, so the best thing to do is GET MOVIN’!

Why Lawyers Fail With Their Marketing So Frequently

This problem is so common and so prevalent that I can almost guarantee that every solicitor reading this article has this problem in their practise to a certain degree. If you do not take the time to understand the problem and correct it with yourself, your staff, and all of your marketing communications, it will constantly damage your business. This article is here to help you make the changes and to reap the rewards for doing so many times over.

This problem revolves around the common quotation:

“Enough about me, what do you think of me?”

This quote is used to talk about somebody that loves to hear the sound of their own voice and stories about them and how well they are doing. We all know someone like this. However, it is also a serious problem for solicitors in relation to all of their marketing communications.

If I can give you an example, I once received an email from a firm of solicitors looking to join a Personal Injury Panel. We first need to consider and understand the position that this firm of solicitors is coming from; they wanted me send them more clients.

You would assume that any approach would involve a review of the website of the company that they are approaching to at least find the name of the person that they are approaching for referrals. This is the email I received.

Dear Sirs,

We have recently taken on a new fee earner with specialist knowledge in the area of asbestos claims. Therefore, we are looking for more work. Please can you tell me how we can receive some work from you.

Yours sincerely

Enough about me, what do you think of me?.

If we look at this email in more detail, it sums up very well the problem I am talking about with law firm marketing.

Dear Sirs

Comment: My name is easy to find on the website yet this firm did not even look for it. This is a solicitor looking for referrals and they did not even have the time or inclination and are not prepared to make the effort to find out the correct contact name. A poor start…. and unfortunately it did not improve.

“We have recently taken on a new Fee Earner”

Comment: The start of their email should relate to how they could have helped me, not their firm and their needs. It should explain how they have reviewed the website, found it to be of interest and believe that they could be of benefit to our clients. Instead, the communication is all about the law firm and what matters to them. Whereas that is of course the reality of their situation, it is totally, wholly, absolutely and completely irrelevant to the person that they are approaching for referrals, on this occasion me.

The rest of the email has little to be said for it. However, the next major flaw with the email is that it was the only form of communication that I received. If you have any knowledge of direct marketing then you will know that you need to send more than one communication and you need to use different methods of communication to have the best prospects of success.

The email could and should have been followed up with a telephone call (although, as they did not have a name to speak to they would not have got very far) and in addition, a letter. They should persist until they finally manage to speak to me. Even if I had said there were no opportunities at that time moment, they should make a diary note to contact me again in three months. Persistence is vital as one communication only is unlikely to lead to referrals. I cannot stress this point enough. If you are approaching a business for referrals you should make contact at least seven to ten times to stand a chance. If you only send one email or one letter, you will rarely succeed.

Where Else Is “Enough about me” Endemic In Solicitors Marketing?

1. Websites.

The next place that this problem is commonly seen with law firm marketing is on websites. The home page of the website and each page within the website frequently starts with information about the law firm, their experience and how long they have been in business. Where it should start is from my position, i.e. my position as a potential client.

If I land on a Family Law page, how am I feeling? What concerns do I have running through my head? Am I looking for a divorce solicitor or a solicitor to provide me with contact for children?

If I land on a Will page, am I concerned that my family will receive everything they are entitled to?

If I land on a Personal Injury page, am I in hospital or immobile? Have I been prevented from returning to work due to my injuries and therefore am worrying about being able to pay the next bills?

This is the position you must start with on your website; hHow has your client arrived there and what are your client’s concerns?

If I land on your website, I am not interested initially in hearing about you, what I want to know is how you are going to help me!

Once you have thought about my position, and answered my initial concerns, you can then move on to explain how the experience in your firm puts you in the best position to help me from where I am now to where I want to be, but if you don’t take the time first of all to explain that you understand where I am now, why would I think you can help me?

Applying this test to your website could increase your new enquiries by at least ten fold. I have tried this with many law firms and it makes an incredible difference. Apply the test to your website now through fresh eyes and see if you are talking about your clients position or your firm’s needs.

2. Advertisements.

Another huge problem here. Many solicitors fail to consider what their client needs. 99% of solicitors’ advertisements start with the practise name at the top followed by a list of service and contact details. Whereas this is the perfect and only advertisement you should place in the Yellow Pages (where 62% of people visit just to obtain your phone number when they already know your business name – figures confirmed by Yell.com), in a newspaper advertisement you should only be placing a direct response advertisement. These are advertisements that give people a reason to read and contact you.

They do not want to hear your firm name and a list of your services, that is all about you and what you are trying to achieve. They want to hear how you can help them. Examples of headlines that you are welcome to use (but will need to adapt to fit your needs).

Conveyancing.

Moving home – Find Out Why Most House Moves Fail Before Exchange Of Contracts.

Wills.

Will your family get what’s coming to them?

Personal Injury.

Injured in an accident? Did you know that 50% of people who use claims companies do not keep all of their compensation?

Business Services.

Thinking of starting a business? Download our free guide: 7 legal issues you must fully understand before starting a business.

In all of these advertisement headlines, not once have I mentioned the firm or the firm’s needs. You must be thinking about your client and where they are starting from and not about your firm. By taking this action in all of your advertisements you will dramatically increase the response rate and the amount of business you obtain from it.

Summary. Always ask the question “What does the referrer or potential client care about”? If you find yourself starting an email, advertisement, website page with your firm’s name or information about your firm, you can be confident you are starting in the wrong position. As the famous quote goes when asking for directions, “Well, if that’s where you want to get to I wouldn’t start from here”.