Direct Mail Advertising

Direct mail advertising is one of the most often used methods of advertising throughout the business world. It is easy to plan, simple to execute and can provide satisfactory returns on the initial investment if carried out properly. The estimated percentage rate of all direct response advertising is approximately 1-2% return rate for any campaign. These figures are challenged by many who have seen greater responses at times by unusually successful mail marketing campaigns. There are a few basics that can be learned that will insure general success if implemented properly by any small or large business.

In order to receive the results that are hoped for, a direct mail advertising campaign should be targeted, well written and designed for quick response. The target group must be compiled before initiating any direct response advertising strategy. Determine who they are, what their needs are, how to fulfill their needs and how to encourage an active response from them. A target group can be senior adults, teenagers, young adults, middle aged men or women. There are many sources from which to compile a target group list for mass mailing of a marketing campaign. The list may come from an accumulated list of customers and prospective customers that have responded to some marketing strategy in the past.

Prospect lists can also be formed by checking sources that compile lists of names and addresses pertaining to any number of interests or needs. No matter the group, just make sure that a particular group is determined for the strategy. This will influence the look, message and presentation of the mail as it arrives at the targeted location. The design of the direct response advertising document is important in order to catch the target audiences attention. Sometimes it can be helpful to secure the services of a graphic design artist that is proficient in formulating ads for marketing. Colors, fonts, logos, and general layouts are all important in catching the attention of the receivers.

If the letter is contained within an envelope, there must be something that draws the recipient into opening and reading the letter. Marketing experts suggest that there be a one liner or teaser that will interest the reader enough to open their mail and read on. After that, the written form is very important in providing information, motivation and sealing the deal for a direct mail advertising campaign. Many times businesses hire professional writers who are expert in writing for marketing campaigns. This can save time and money by providing well written, succinct and effective letters, brochures, postcards, flyers and any other direct response advertising tool. Copy written for marketing projects must be concise and easy to read. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness." (Psalm 48:1)

Writers must be careful to write paragraphs that are not too lengthy. The content of direct response advertising should be at the average newspaper reading level which is considered no higher than an 8th grader reader. There should be plenty of headlines, response phrases and interesting language used within the copy. Mailers that are quick to read, interesting and stimulating will more likely win the time of any recipient and maybe even his or her order. There are many ways to enhance direct mail advertising that will make it more appealing and less blase than before. Never use the same strategy twice or the same appeal more than once. Make the mail copy different than before so the recipients don't get so familiar with the look that they drop it in the trashcan even before opening.

Always try a different appeal through various types of mailings, incentives and exciting offers that will stimulate a response right away such as coupons and free gifts. Make it very easy for recipients to respond to letters by enclosing return, self-addressed envelopes that can be dropped in the mail immediately. One of the newest direct marketing advertising methods is blitzing the target group with postcards. Of course, this does not allow for return envelopes, but postcards are exceptionally good for promoting websites, events and a single product. Keep in mind that both sides of a postcard need to have a headliner and information.

Traditionally, postcards have displayed only one side with a picture or information. The other side is left for the mailing address. In marketing campaigns, a headliner or informational graphic also needs to be on the address side in order to solicit further reading from the recipient. Postage costs are also a plus for postcard blitzes because a postcard costs about half of what a typical promotional letter will cost if sent first class. The graphics and printing are cheaper and the appeal can be broad and effective. Many marketers have seen good results from postcard advertisements. Direct mail advertising in all forms continues to be the staple among marketing methods because the success rate continues to justify its use among businesses.

Email Advertising

Launching an email advertising campaign may be a great and new way to attract customers to the goods and services offered by many companies. This direct Internet mail option can also link interested parties to web sites that host a variety of products and online helps. The Internet has presented new and wonderful promotional avenues to those looking for innovative ways to get their businesses in front of consumers. And, these avenues are working well; the Internet is also responsible for millions of dollars in sold goods, annually. Because of the new techniques being utilized in advertising and because of the instant research available, the consumer of today is evolving into a savvy and informed buyer. And, because of this fact, those promoting their businesses will want to take time in researching ezine advertising and email advertising, and also find the audience that will truly need the goods or services being offered.

The Internet is literally exploding with new commerce possibilities. With millions logging onto the Internet daily, the potential of getting seen by prospective consumers is greater online than in any location in the world. Marketing specialists are creating innovative ways to get products promoted and to attract buyers through the airways known as cyberspace. And, just sense the eighties, one of the most effective tools being utilized today is ezine advertising. An ezine is a magazine that is offered online and delivered directly to a subscriber's email account. Just as advertisers place adds in hard copy magazines that are delivered through the postal service, the Internet ezine is delivered to e-addresses. The e-magazine hosts promotional adds and instant links to web pages. Advertisers have their promotional materials placed in front of consumers who may instantly access further information or purchase online, without every leaving the comfortable seat of their desk chair. What a way to shop!

Consumers are taking advantage of the ease of shopping online. Millions are making purchases and signing up for various buying and savings programs daily. And, these eager shoppers are not only buying with the greatest of conveniences, they are also making smart purchases. Within a fingertip's reach, consumers can research various products and comparison-shop with out driving to several locations or making numerous telephone calls. The retail climate of the current markets also reveal that consumers are quick to delete junk mailings and any spam associated with the desired subscriptions. These facts should be kept in mind when those looking for advertising opportunities consider email advertising. Audiences will need to be targeted to receive the greatest effect.

The ezine advertising option does approach a targeted audience. Those receiving ezines are receiving subscriptions that are wanted and read. This is not random bulk email promotional campaign that will sit unopened in a mail box, blocked by a software program, or be instantly deleted by the consumer. Adds are place within a newsletter or articles, guiding consumers to the products associated with the copy written. This type of promotional activity puts companies and their goods and services ahead of the competition, knowing that those exposed to the adds are interested in the products offered.

Promoters will need to find an online magazine that addresses topics related to their products. Some ezines have strict compliance rules related to what can be promoted and at what reduced prices. Fortunately, there are ethical issues being addressed throughout this marketing industry. Seekers can browse for e-magazines that offer related information and find a reputable magazine that has a large subscription base to work with. Before buying any advertisement space with an e-magazine, be sure and get references and ask for proof of any information given. Businesses will want their first ezine advertising campaign launch to make good first impressions.

When exploring different email advertising strategies, reflect on how the business will be presented to the consumer. Christian business people have the wonderful opportunity to sell products and at the same time reflect Christ's love to the world. All business dealings should be done in an honorable manner, worthy of Christ's approval. Committing all business practices and advertising campaigns to God's glory will display integrity. "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Proverbs 16:3-4) Making a living is important, but keeping a healthy Christian perspective is essential and God's will.

Reading articles and researching information about email advertising can give those considering this form of promotional campaign more information. And, for the truly adventurous, there are opportunities to start new e-magazines, relating information relevant to the products offered to consumers. With the Internet, and as stated before, the opportunities seem endless. Pray, seek, and research as much information as possible, and then see what exciting avenues for advertising are discovered online.





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