By Golly George! Who Built That Fence For You?!

 

My favorite clients all say, “We grow mainly by word-of-mouth.”

Excellent!  That must mean you do your job well. You deliver on promises made. And best of all, your customers like you!  A word of warning however — word of mouth is not what it once was.  Gone are the neighborly over-the-fence chats of the 1950’s.  Families don’t set roots in small hometowns for generations like they once did. College, career changes and snowbird retirements are spreading families out across the nation.  Clientele age and naturally drop out of your prospect pool.

Don’t count on referrals as the only source for qualified leads or risk losing the lifeblood of your business.

Good news!  You can capitalize on your strong word-of-mouth and satisfied clients by turning them into a direct mail advertising message that works.

We have proven formula to help you achieve remarkable results.  The success of your direct mail campaign will be influenced by three things: the list, the offer, and the design.

 The List

Be laser focused and target prospects who look and act like your clients.  What makes referrals great is that people generally befriend folks who are similar to them. Their sameness makes your job of closing the lead that much easier.  Understand your customer and mail to those just like them.  You need consumers who are able, ready and willing to buy. One of the most desirable demographics today is the mass affluent, the 21% of homes that are responsible for 60% of spending. They are the 98% of homeowners that are twice as likely to buy, and when they do, spend 3.2 times more.**

 The Offer

What offer can you make the conveys real value to the reader? We often get asked “How much should my offer be worth?”  We advise: Without giving away the house, what is the most unbelievable offer you can make?  If your ideal customer received your postcard today, what offer would motivate them to take action today?  Remember the stronger the offer, the greater the response.  What is trending in your industry now?  Can you entice the reader with that?   Follow the lead of marketing giants and use BOGO (buy one, get one) deals or percent off sales or cash back offers.  By now, everyone recognizes the trademark blue and white Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off direct mail offer.  Consumers want to feel like they are special and getting a deal.

 The Design 

While the artwork is important, the headline and message are more critical.  What can you tell me that will captivate my attention immediately?  What problem can you solve? According to John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing, “Tell stories. People love stories. Often even complicated ideas can be made simple through the use of a story. Talk about how your clients use your products or services.”  Avoid platitudes and generalizations like …”World’s best cabinets” or “Quality service, affordable prices.” Boring!

287 is the average number of meaningful branding and advertising messages seen daily. People are tired and bored of the everyday, the mundane, and the expected. If your message doesn’t resonate or impinge with the consumer, will they even notice it?*

This simple three-step formula can begin to fill your marketing funnel with new and interested prospects.  Once you turn your new leads into clients don’t forget to keep your referral train rolling. Make asking for them a part of your selling process.  Jantsch shares “One of the best ways to leverage the power of referral marketing is to make the providing of referrals an expectation of every client relationship.”

Still concerned about your message? Download the free white paper: 8 critical mistakes to avoid when marketing your product or service.

Contributed by Heather Craaybeek.

Heather

 

 

 

 

 

 

*source: Jay Walker-Smith, president of the Marketing Firm Yankelovuch

**source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey

More is not better, but too little is worse!

A Lesson from Goldilocks and the Three Bears…

GL&3Bears

As I have talked to business owners over the last 14 years who have adopted a do-it-yourself mentality to marketing their business, I have often heard, “My mailing campaign didn’t work!”  What I often find from them is that they have done their own mailing campaign of 100 or 200 mailers of some type, to a list of prospective homeowners that they’ve narrowly targeted, based on the direction of a friend, family member, or “marketing expert” at their networking group.  They’re surprised that they get no response, or one or two lukewarm prospects.

The reality is that zero, one or two responses from a mailing of say 200 homeowners, is not actually bad at all, it’s just not enough.  How does that make any sense?  In fact it’s quite excellent for a cold campaign at 1% response rate.  The problem is expectations.  One or two lead calls for a home improvement company is not enough to keep a sales staff gainfully employed, and cash flow healthy.  10 or 20 leads would be more like it – right?  50 qualified leads even better!

Most direct response fails I believe, because business owners find the least expensive Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM) advertising vehicles and blast their message out to mailboxes attached to dwellings of all types.  The result is lots of “activity” and a disproportionately low level of sales for the activity expended.

Worse yet, with all the sophisticated demographic, psychographic, and geographic targeting techniques – some businesses take the extreme opposite approach by disqualifying too many good prospects and focusing too narrowly on a list that has no chance of being successful, based on too many assumptions.

Well what if there was a way to target your entire population of qualified and select prospective homeowners (The Mass Affluent) and received full service marketing consulting and design based on years of experience and proven track record… and laser-focus that message into the home for one-tenth the cost of a postage stamp?

What I have found is that if we mail 1000 times the circulation of the earlier example, at one-tenth the cost, but mail that to the Mass Affluent Homeowners, we get the desired result our business owners are looking for.  They get qualified leads, enough to be impressed, that close at a high percentage, and have a strong ticket average.  The result is a strong Return on Investment (ROI) for the advertiser, with laser-focused effort, and a fraction of the sales staff!

More is not better, but too little is worse!

 

Contributed by Anthony R. Sucato,

Retired Engineer

President RSVP Publications of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio

“Direct Marketing to the Affluent”

Tony

Goal Setting for Home, Life & Work

What impact can goal setting have on your business and your life this year?

A year ago we tasked our staff with not only setting business goals but also share something at our first staff meeting of the year that they’re shooting for in their personal life.  We followed the SMART formula:  SMARTgoals

The goals were varied – some focused on weight loss, financial success, household projects, getting your first place, and even making and honoring time commitments with family. The experience of sharing weekly updates on progress has been eye-opening.  To speak that goal out loud each week and be accountable to taking one step closer to that goal led many to accomplishing their mission.

For 2014 we introduced our “personal best boards.”  It’s a simple two-sided acrylic picture frame.  On the front are our business benchmarks and stretch goals.  On the back is visual representation of our individual goals – usually a collage of related or motivational pictures.

I’m so proud on the progress of our team!!! Just four months into the year many have accomplished their first goal and had to create a new goal for 2014.  We have a fitter, happier success focused staff.  They encourage and praise one another, and even look for opportunities to help them accomplish their personal goals.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” –Andrew Carnegie

Experts will tell you to speak your goal out loud like a mantra.  Visualize yourself completing your goal and how you will feel.  Walking a mile begins with putting 1 foot in front of the other…

Reaching the goal is a combination of small but important steps.  Be honest with yourself.  Are your goals written down? Are they just dreams or do they have deadlines? What actions are you taking today to make this your best year yet?

Contributed by Heather Craaybeek.

Heather

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle While Working in an Office

health-bike

I find that it can be difficult to stay in tip-top shape when you are glued to your desk for 8+ hours a day. When resources, especially time can be scarce, here are some simple tips to stay healthy:

  1. Hydrate – Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee or caffeinated beverage why not grab a glass of water?
  2. Sleep – The average person needs 8 hours of sleep to regenerate your mind and body.
  3. Use Your Kitchen – Keep your fridge stocked with fresh foods and enjoy the fact that you can whip up a healthy and satisfying lunch.
  4. Get Up and Move – Even if you can only get and enjoy the fresh air for only a short break (walk few laps around the office) your muscles thank you for it.
  5. Set Boundaries – Overworking and not taking time for you can be detrimental to your health, your well-being and even your work performance.

Good Luck!
Contributed by Caitlin Tuohy