How to Create Direct Mail Copy That Piques the Audience’s Interest

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The average person has received more than his or her fair share of junk mail with bright colors, capital letters and instructions to “Buy!, Buy!, Buy!”  This content is poorly planned in nearly every regard. It is not enough to simply connect with your target audience through direct mail. The content of your message matters just as much, if not more than the actual connection itself.  Here’s how to perfect your direct mailer message.

Sweat the Small Stuff

There should not be a single typo in your direct mail content.  Pay attention to the subtleties of your message. Consider what your direct mailers look like from the perspective of your target audience.  If you do not have a strong command of the English language, outsource your content creation to specialists. You can also use tools such as Grammarly that quickly pinpoint and correct problems related to syntax and grammar.

Build a CTA That Commands Attention

Your call-to-action or CTA should grab the viewer’s attention.  Every CTA should feature three essential elements: an appealing offer, ample information that encourages the acceptance of the offer and a means of empowering the reader to respond to the offer.  If you are struggling in distinguishing your CTA from the rest of your content, consider using a tactic such as a giveaway or sweepstakes to ensure this final message stands out to readers.

Zero in on Value

Direct mail is centered on a value proposition.  The optimal means of adding value to direct mailings is to move beyond the status quo.  Consider using curated content. Key in on quality content and your readers really will obtain meaningful value from your direct mailers.  It will also help to key in on the human interest. If you can connect with prospective clients on a personal level, it will be that much easier to bring them into the fold and retain their business across posterity.

Some business owners and managers have enjoyed success using punch-outs and additional inclusions.  Mail of a different size commands attention simply because it is so different. Make prudent use of punch-outs and additional “lumps” and it will be that much easier to convey your message.  It might also help to shift the focus away from your business to highlight other local services. Giving credit to others that help your business operate really will help separate you from the pack and show you value being a part of the local community.

Presentation Matters

The manner in which your direct mailings are presented matters a great deal.  It is not enough for the content to simply read great. If the content does not look good, people will ignore it.  So do not hesitate to ask for help from the professionals. A printing service will ensure your direct mailers look amazing.

How To Increase Customer Engagement Online

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These days, running a successful business online is all about setting yourself apart from the competition by engaging your customer base. However, if all you’re doing to reach out to your customers is maintaining a website, you might not be doing enough. Here are some simple yet effective tips for increasing customer engagement online.

Set Up Social Media Pages

According to Convince & Convert, 58% of Americans these days report that they have at least one online profile with a social media website. Therefore, if you don’t have a business page set up for your company on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, you could be missing out. By setting up a page and updating it regularly with photos, polls, and contests, you’ll better engage your customers and prospective customers while spreading the word about your business in the process.

Offer Special and Exclusive Content

Today’s consumers love receiving special recognition, so if you’re not already offering exclusive content to your customers, you might want to start. For example, consider sending out a special promotional code to customers who have purchased from you in the past few months. Doing so encourages loyalty to your company while rewarding your customers in the process.

Encourage Feedback and Participation

Believe it or not, your customers want to feel like they have a say in your company’s decisions. Therefore, you should start including them in some of the choices you make. For example, if you’re a candle company thinking about offering a new scent, why not ask for your customer’s suggestions or hold a contest where the winner gets to pick the new scent name?

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to better engage your customers online. Be sure to give some or all of these a try; you just might be surprised by the results.

Getting Referrals for a Small Business

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Getting referrals for your small business is one way of growing your company. In order to benefit from referrals, you need to build your customer base. This can be accomplished by providing excellent services and products.

Building solid business relationships is the foundational block of any small business. Any one of your current contacts can refer you to others. Rather than wait for them to volunteer, make an effort to ask for the referrals you need. The following offers more practical advice on how to build your referral network.

Developing Referral Building Habits

According to Ray Silverstein, President of PRO (President’s Resource Organization), it’s to your advantage to develop good referral-building habits. You can do this by revamping your thinking about asking and being more aggressive in your referral pursuit. Proactive referral habits include:

Integrating referrals into your initial agreements with new customers
Asking for referrals every time you receive a customer compliment on your services
Using client meetings as opportunities to ask for referrals
Setting weekly goals for getting referrals
Being specific in the type of referrals you ask for
Capitalizing on your networking opportunities to get referrals
Give and it shall be given

As your small business grows, you will come in contact with highly potential people whom you can refer to others. Giving referrals generously yourself when the opportunity arises will open doors for others to respond in kind. Be on the lookout for occasions to bring contacts or business associates together for mutual benefit and see how it reciprocates in your favor.

Another way of giving is to offer rewards to customers who provide referrals regularly such as special discounts, free services or products, etc. Don’t forget to thank every customer and referral for their time, trust and support. Showing genuine appreciation to your customers and treating them with care will win their confidence and trust as loyal clientele.

Are Forms on Your Website Beneficial?

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A well-designed website form is a way to effectively collect useful data while giving your website a professional appearance. Executed correctly, website forms can easily do in a couple of minutes, what it may have taken countless man hours to do by hand. For that reason, and many others, forms are valuable tools that can provide a dearth of information and potentially boost sales for your business.

If you aren’t currently using website forms on your website, you may be missing a huge opportunity for growth. Forms can be used to order a product or service, collect feedback, register for an event, collect survey results, or collect contact information. The benefits of collecting such a dearth of information can help your business expand exponentially.

Once all of this data is collected, it can be saved, organized, and utilized. Whether you use that information for marketing campaigns, to disseminate new information, to provide product updates, or to follow-up with customers, you now have an arsenal of information that can be flexed in any number of directions.

Website forms are an easy way to collect consumer information. Brief, clearly-worded fields create an easy access point for consumers to share their needs and opinions while getting your company the information it needs to adapt to the needs of its customers. Setting a form up is relatively easy to do and can yield endless advantages for your business. It is an instant and cost-efficient way to put at your fingertips all of the valuable market research that you need to create a thriving a business.

How Social Media can Generate Sales Leads

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Social media is quickly becoming one of the fastest lead builders available to marketers. By using specific programs designed to weed out unlikely candidates, marketers can locate potential customers and create a list of possible clients without wasting their time on generalized lists that will gain them 10 out of a hundred possibilities at best.

Facebook’s new Graph Search is a perfect example of how social media can categorize people according to their interests, hobbies and careers. The program follows peoples’ search patterns and collects information that allows marketers to target those individuals with things they may be interested in. A person is much morel likely to click on a banner or ad if it pertains to something they have a direct interest in.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are designed to bring people together. Marketers who are savvy in following social media and the trends associated with them can generate a list of targeted leads that allow them to focus only on individuals who have an interest in their products. This eliminates wasted time and ensures that only the ones who may want the product are reached.

Another way to generate leads using social media is to create an account for the business. Business pages can be liked and shared repeatedly reaching thousands of individuals at once. Satisfied customers can share the page and give testimonials to anyone who asks questions. While this may seem a little backwards, one of the best ways to reach several people is to let one satisfied customers shout your praises. Social media is an exceptional outlet for that type of advertising.

9 Ways to Keep Leads and Prospects Engaged

Sometimes the usual phone call or email is just the complete wrong way to follow-up with leads. While tempting, keep in mind that you may catch prospects at a bad time, lead them to feeling like they’re

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“being sold,” or have them ask you to stop attempting altogether. How can you spark action and interest into that lead without a hard sell? Simple! Here are 9 types of information you can send to your leads to keep their attention:

Recorded Webinars
Webinars are a convenient way of educating a large audience with minimal costs associated. What is also great about them is that they can be recorded! If you’re going to deliver a great presentation that highlights your expertise, make the most of it by saving the recording and using it as a sales tool for future leads and inquiries.

Recorded Sales Demonstrations
In sales, you may come across a situation where you have to deliver multiple demos for the same company before you can close the deal. While every point of contact is an opportunity to get closer to the lead, make sure they don’t forget you (and can show you off to colleagues) by sending them a recorded demo. That way, they can refer back to it at their convenience and never forget the greatest parts of your company.

Digital Company Brochures
If you have a fantastic printed brochure, turn the original PDF file of it into an electronic sales tool! It’s a great way to sum up all of your company’s benefits and services into one well-designed package, and your leads can then save it on their desktop. Be sure to share this via a software that handles electronic fulfullment so that you have a history record of sending it.

eBooks
Educate your audience with an enticing eBook that includes interesting facts about your audience’s pain points, and the solutions to those problems. You can subtly promote your services and products within them, but have this eBook act as a reminder to all that you’re the answer to their problems.

Videos
Position yourself as the expert by giving tips, best practices, and a summary of services in 1-2 minute video clips. Send this along to your prospects as a conversation starter, and let them get to know you through creative videos.

Podcasts
If you have team members who are fantastic speakers, podcasts may be the best approach to take when trying to capture their knowledge. You can get away with longer podcast sessions as opposed to videos because the listener can listen in the car, at their desk over lunch, or on their morning run. Invite educational guests and keep folks coming back monthly for more knowledge!

Infographics
If you have a great graphic design team, and some captivating statistics, highlight both of these resources in an infographic. They’re interesting, fun to look at, and share-worthy. You can share information about the industries your target audiences are in, how you have increased success for clients, or how you’re keeping up with new technologies.

Service and Product Sell Sheets
Perhaps your leads don’t need the entire brochure, all they may want is a one-pager that goes over key benefits of one service or product they may be interested in. Think real estate; they’ve mastered the 1-page sell. What’s great about having electronic sales sheets of your various offerings is that you can send a mixture of them depending on what your lead needs, and not clutter up their mind with too many ancillary services that don’t suit them.

Surveys
This sales tool is beneficial for two big reasons. If you deliver a survey with weighted questions, you can customize the end results of what the survey would say based on the lead’s answers. It also helps you qualify the lead in finding out what type of offerings would best fit their needs.

The bottom line?
The sales process doesn’t always have to be direct. Take more of an inbound marketing approach and let them come to you. Sometimes the best way to keep the conversation going is to send educational and informative materials that will captivate your leads and get them excited about what you have to say so when they are ready, they come to the expert first (pssst…that’ll be you!)

6 Ways to Get Your Sales Groove Back

Are your sales in a slump?

Or maybe your sales are just not where you want them to be. Without sales, you don’t have a business making money. So slumping sales aren’t just a downer, it can be downright scary for everyone in the company because the bottom line is that everyone feels the effects. Here are some ways you can get your sales groove back and get the numbers moving in the right direction:

1. Look at the products and services you offer. Are you missing anything? Is there something that you can offer that would complement your current offerings? A new product or service can really add some oomph to sales for a company.

Or perhaps it’s how it’s all packaged. Can you bundle certain products or services in a way that not only makes sense, but exudes “newness” as well? The “newness” is exciting and that excitement can shine through in your marketing materials and beyond. And that excitement is contagious to the point where your prospects and current customers want to hop on board and work with you.

2. Brainstorm on the true wants and needs of your audience. Wants and needs can change. And your marketing materials and sales strategies may not have changed along with those various wants and needs. So have employees from all departments answer the wants and needs question so you can get a diverse sampling of responses.

You may want to contact some of your customers and ask them. They may surprise you with their answers. By adjusting some of your materials (hopefully you won’t need to make a major overhaul) and how you approach your audience, you will see the sales numbers improve.

3. Along with determining the current wants and needs, you should re-evaluate the benefits your products and services offer. A benefit that would be a great talking point last year may be outdated and impractical now. So update your benefits and make sure that your sales department stresses the new, current benefits to your prospects and customers.

4. Celebrate the little victories. Your business should be recognizing its hard workers. A happy work environment includes one in which its employees are given the high-five for their ideas, breakthroughs and hitting milestones. And happy employees
work harder to hit those goals and keep those customers coming back.

5. Create new sales goals. When was the last time your sales goals were updated? It’s not easy to get excited about goals if they haven’t been tweaked or brought up-to-date in a long time.

6. Take a walk down memory lane. While “new” is great, sometimes you should look back to see what you did in the past that worked. Revisit the time that you landed a huge, exciting customer. Or the time that a particular marketing strategy resulted in a huge influx of sales. What was it about those times that seemed to resonate with your audience and create those great results? You don’t want to go back in time and just hit the repeat button, but you do want to look at what actions could translate to today’s market and replicate that.