Last week I talked about marketing must number one, personal contact. This week direct mail is our topic. You may be asking, “Why direct mail?” Obviously, the problem with direct mail is that most of it gets thrown away unopened. The costs of printing and postage have skyrocketed.

Direct mail has always been attractive as an advertising media because it lets you target geographically and, in theory, psychographically as well, assuming the right person sorts the mail. It can be used effectively to test market products, pricing, and services. It has also been the easiest form of traditional media to measure.

Direct mail is a follow up tool that could put you ahead of 90% of your competitors. The art of writing a personal thank you note has all but vanished from practice. When is the last time you received one? When is the last time you sent one?

The trick is how do you get your message absorbed above all the clutter? First, realize that direct mail does not have to be delivered by the Postman. Make your coupons, event dates, etc. electronic. The cost is significantly less vs. printing. It can be measured immediately too, giving you extremely valuable feedback on consumer interest.

Be simple and creative with your message. Provide value to the recipient. Have a headline that means something. What you are going for is the attention of your prospect. If you are stumped on ideas for great titles, get your staff together and do a workshop. Not only should you get a great idea, but everyone will have ownership in it, making it more successful.

Shane Boring

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Last week I introduced you to the Seven Musts of Marketing. Millions of dollars in research have been spent looking at which marketing activities top companies do consistently. The first one we are highlighting this week is Personal Contact.

Humans are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way we communicate due to social media. It can save you quite a bit of money, especially on the customer service side. Personal Contact, however, properly executed by professional sales personnel, is an absolute must. The effectiveness of developing a personal relationship with clients and prospects will never be replaced. In a world where brand loyalty can shift overnight, it is more critical than ever for customers to know your company’s story, philosophy, value you offer, etc. Personal contact is the best method of clearly communicating with your customers.

Do you have sales people who can clearly communicate with your customers and potential customers? Do they have market knowledge and data that is valuable? Are they highly trained professionals?

If you do not have sales people, how fast can you hire them? How fast can you train them?

If you do not want employees, what system are you using to ensure you are making personal contact with your clients consistently?

Spend some time working on your business and not in it this week. Workshop these questions with your executive team or your one-man army. A breakthrough could be right around the corner for you, and when you have it…share it with us!

Shane Boring