Direct Mail Marketing

Gone are the days when you have to send mails in the post office. You are now in an era wherein the internet gives you the convenience of sending mail with just one click. Instead of sending hard copies of your catalogue, you can now send it through email. Indeed, direct mail marketing has been taken a step higher. This is something much less expensive than printing out catalogues and paying for your mail to be sent to your customers.

Imagine yourself trying to engage about a thousand customers at a cost of $50,000. Say for example, their average order value is marked at a price of $100, so that would mean the turnover value would be $100,000. Your cost of products is $50,000. With that, you have just broken even and maybe there are some other costs you ran up in running the business. You’ve taken a loss with the activity you just did. That is similar to many traditional direct mail marketing strategy results.

In the past, a lot of people have been dependent on mailing catalogues every month or so to be able to obtain successive orders. On an average, about 10% of your targeted market responds to the catalogue you have sent. One would be pleased that 10% responded, but how about the remaining 90%?

It is just too expensive and impractical to print and send out product catalogues. It is about time for you to send catalogues through email. What is great about email is that it allows you to make as many catalogues as you did before, and it will cost you less than sending out catalogues through snail mail.

Make a catalogue that stands out. Think about it in a logical manner. You can engage your business with an email service provider. The cost of sending out catalogues through email is virtually zero. Just make sure that your offer is appealing and comes with a reasonable price. You have to come up with a good layout as well. Your catalogue should entice your potential customers to buy and not get discouraged with the catalogue that you have. Be creative in coming up with a good catalogue. You can hire a few graphic artists to help you with your catalogue. Do not forget to add in a link to your website in your catalogue.

You can send catalogues to your valued clients. Direct mail marketing is a very effective approach because your valued clients will feel extra special. They will get the notion that you took your time to email them the things that are new in your business. You can treat them like they are VIP by ensuring them that they are the first people who will get to view your new line of products.

Also, you need to send catalogues to potential customers. These are the people that have visited your website. You can add in your website a section for people to put their email address. It would be wise that you send them a catalogue every month. Do not make it a point to send them a catalogue every week because they would consider it as spam mail and you will lose the chance of getting any sales from them.

Green Marketing – Fundamentals of a Successful Direct Marketing Campaign

There are three elements to a successful green marketing campaign: being credibly green, addressing a need, and communicating in an environmentally friendly way. We will explore each in more detail.

First: Credibility. This requirement is somewhat unique in the realm of marketing. Consider the scenario where Harley-Davidson had to certify that all employees ride motorcycles or Whole Foods had to attest to the good eating habits of its employees. Neither do, of course.

If you are going to make green marketing claims, however, the first place your customers will look in assessing those claims is at you. Have you determined your environmental impact and are you taking steps to mitigate it. You need not have eliminated all environmentally unfriendly practices, but you should disclose them along with your plan to address them (sooner or later).

As part of establishing your green credibility, you should seek to obtain valid third-party certification and you should demonstrate executive level (ideally CEO) commitment to sustainable business practices. The third-party certification can come from any of array of private or non-governmental organizations with business practice evaluation programs. The executive level commitment should be on-going and incorporated into regular business oversight policies and procedures.

Second: Address a Need. This is the fundamental purpose of business overall, but often gets lost in the complexities and mythology inherent in green business. Products or services must solve for a need or leverage a trend in order to be successful. Green products and services do not get a pass just because they have environmentally friendly attributes.

Consumers, for the most part, are unwilling to pay more for environmentally friendly products, services, or green attributes added on to existing products and services. So address the need, just do it in a green way.

If you are incorporating green attributes into an existing product or service, be clear and specific with your claims. Set the green benefits in context and communicate in a straight-forward way. Any hype or promotional tonality is likely to ensure your audience views the message with a high degree of cynicism.

If you designing entirely new green products or services, then identify the need, and address it in an environmentally friendly way. Thus, you may reformulate a product using environmentally friends raw materials and manufacturing processes, but it still must perform as well as non-green competitors, and may only yield a modest price premium (if at all).

Third: Communicate using Eco-friendly Channels. One example of a recent perceptual shift is in financial services. Until recently, solicitations were viewed negatively primarily because of concern around the security of personal information and the potential for identity theft. Now those solicitations are a predominantly a bad thing because they kill trees. Imagine the reaction if a [paper] solicitation arrives in the mail offering a green product or service: instant credibility loss.

Be creative about how you promote the product or service. Investigate and leverage new channels, such as solar power billboards, or street advertising. Go beyond soy inks and recycled paper to leveraging virtual channels and viral marketing. Both are lower impact methods of getting the message out. Green is becoming very popular. Do it right by taking these fundamental steps and you will stand out; building a lasting, engaging relationship with your customers.

Veterinary Marketing Should Begin With Direct Mail

How many of us have placed ads in the local paper, bought air time on the talk radio station or set up a booth at a local event simply because some local rep showed up at our office and told us how great it would be for our practice? Cut to a week or a month later and we fall back to reality wondering what went wrong. Our time & hard earned money had been wasted and we are right back where we were, minus the optimism. I know I have been the main character in this scenario more times than I’d like to remember! But that is all part of learning and, after one to many such situations, I finally said “enough” and decided to learn how to market! Now I want to show you how to bypass such mistakes and actually make money from your marketing efforts! This article will get you started toward that end result!

While there is more to marketing than just where you place an ad, here we are only going to speak about the method of getting a message to a prospective client. While I can now say with certainty that the message I was putting out to the public back then was just as wrong as the methods I chose, even the perfect message won’t work if its not delivered to the right targets in the right way and so that is where we are going to start.

There are only three marketing outlets that should be considered by any Veterinary Practice wishing to gain more clients. And these three methods should prove their worth before moving in to any other methods, if it even becomes necessary to do so! The three methods I speak of are: 1) Yellow Pages advertising, 2) Targeted Coupon Books/Mailers such as Val-Pak & 3) DIRECT MAIL. And, while I wholeheartedly believe that every practice must be in the Yellow Pages, if I could only choose ONE of these options, it would be DIRECT MAIL. Here are some of the benefits of Direct Mail:

* Direct Mail allows you to target your ideal clients specifically so you can place the exact message that you want them to see right into their hands! Compare this to hoping that your ideal client sees your TV spot or newspaper ad. That is powerful!

* Direct Mail is not limited by those rules & restrictions that the other advertisers place on you. Your Direct Mail piece can be a postcard or it can be a 20 page letter, depending upon what it is you are hoping to say to your prospect. You can include as much information, as many photos, as many testimonials, etc as you like. No one is going to tell you an image is too large or your font is too large. If you can afford to mail it (and it’s legal!) you can do it!

* Your Direct Mail piece can be made”lumpy” by including a gift in the envelope. This piques your prospect’s interest and increases the likelihood of your piece being opened & read! Examples include a toothbrush to promote dental month or a “tick twister” during tick season.

* If you are on a limited budget, you can mail as little as ONE LETTER. When you save up for that next stamp (or, preferably, after that first prospect takes you up on your offer, which we will cover in a future post, and your budget has increased exponentially), you can mail as many more pieces as you can afford as often as you can afford to do so! This rotating mailing schedule allows you to take action IMMEDIATELY rather than waiting around for enough clients to magically join your practice so you can finally afford to sign up for that Yellow Pages ad (and the monthly fee that comes with it).

As your practice grows as a result of your mailings you can decide whether you set up a monthly mailing schedule or continue to rotate your pieces weekly or even daily so your responses come in more consistently rather than in “waves”. There is no right or wrong answer and YOUR Direct Mail Plan depends entirely upon YOUR schedule, goals & budget rather than those of that local advertising rep who, in most cases, is nothing more than a sales rep (rather than an ad rep) in the first place.

That is it for now! Next time we will get started on WHO your target market is and show you how to find them & get your message to them! Email any comments or questions to [email protected] & thanks for reading!