printed advertising

Branding Your Services with Printed Advertising Products

Business owners think that to become successful in their chosen business they should have the following points ready:

  • a properly written business message
  • the right font color and size
  • the appropriate logo
  • Well researched target market

But then, how can these factors be applied to achieve an effective advertising and marketing project? The answer, according Unlimited Printing and Signs is a vibrant and eye-catching printed marketing materials. In fact, this is the foundation to any type of successful marketing initiative because it is the best means to let potential clients know about a business.

Here are some reliable suggestions to use when branding your business using printed marketing and advertising products.

  1. Company identity plan

Having an identity plan is the initial step when it comes to starting a branding campaign. This type of marketing initiative is different because it lacks the same appeal as other branding initiatives, but supplies a larger audience that is vital to an effective branding project.

A strong business identification plan consists of a business card, letterhead, envelopes, sales brochures and presentation folders. The magic of the business identity plan is that each document you distribute to consumers strengthens your business image.

  1. Direct-mail advertising

This method puts your message in the most effective place possible–right into your potential clients’ hands. Direct-mail advertising could be anything from basic postcards, leaflets to an 80-page directory and even multi-piece sales letter plans. Effective branding that will keep your business on top of clients’ minds could be attained with direct-mail marketing. If at first, your direct mail marketing efforts do not succeed, it does not mean that it will not work on the next marketing efforts. Basically, the more frequently you send mail (without overdoing it),the higher the client response rate.

  1. News/Press release

This type of branding initiative needs to be published on a company’s letterhead and distributed to the media. News or press releases are effective branding devices, because, if your information is published, you obtain impartial third-party recognition and the possibility of getting clients you never though you could get.

  1. Point-of-sale displays

Effective marketing campaign can be found on POS displays such as a discount coupon, sales brochure and even a food menu that could improve your branding initiatives, due to the fact that they are voluntarily taken home.  One more way to use POS is to fund a charity through a retail outlet that asks clients for a tiny contribution. This then leads to their names being positioned on die-cut forms as well as taped to the wall surface for all to see. All you need to do is supply the published intermediaries and include your business’s name as well as logo design. Your brand name will certainly show and project a good reputation which could encourage and inspire other companies to do the same.

  1. Sticker labels

Sticker labels supply one of the most enjoyable branding campaigns and also possibly one of the most innovative. You could stick customized sticker labels to anything– note pads, automobile bumpers, bathroom stalls, floorings, wall surfaces, home windows, mirrors, submitting closets– you name it, you  stick it! It is better if you could develop an enticing sticker label layout that clients will want to keep. In some cases, your company could also give out sticker labels to kids at ceremonies with an adorable tag that display your logo.

  1. Organizers/ Planners

DO you want clients to remember you on daily all year long? Why not distribute calendars or planners. This is the simplest as well as most efficient branding approach since it is cheaper to produce and customers see it on their desks daily.

Give Unlimited Printing and Signs a call for help with branding your company. Whether you are brand new or have been in business for years, we can help you be identified with your target market with great branding of your business.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582
843-273-5290
https://www.upsprinting.com

Marketing

5 Ways To Improve Your Holiday Marketing

MarketingThe holidays are just around the corner and that means we are about to face the busiest buying season throughout the year. This time of the year is a “make or break” for several companies, which also needs to have a strong showing in the fourth quarter. What campaigns and marketing initiatives have you launched to ensure a successful end of your for your company? If you want to have a successful holiday season, here are five important tips that you should know.

Begin Marketing Now

  1. Begin your North Myrtle Beach marketing efforts now so you can acquire early holiday business at a time when you still have little competition.

Traditional thinking believes that consumers start their holiday shopping after Thanksgiving. This may have been applicable a few years back, but things have changed following the online shopping revolution. According to research, online spending begins to increase as soon as early October and numerous large-scale retail chains are kick starting their sales well before Thanksgiving in order to compensate. One thing holds true here: consumers are all set to spend before the month of November. With countless companies still sticking to the old-fashioned way of thinking and waiting around for “Black Friday” to kick off their promotional campaigns, advertising early (offline and online) offers your company countless untapped opportunities.

Mail Early and Regularly

  1. Mail early and regularly so you can give your consumers all the chances they need to make a purchase.

While your rivals are waiting, you can begin marketing by sending out your mail now before the mail stream begins to be filled with your competitor’s marketing materials. Making sure that your clients get your mail early with the help of Unlimited Printing & Signs, you can send them similar materials multiple times over the coming months, which means they will have lots of time to make a purchase from your company. The typical mistake on this part is waiting around to see the performance of the first mailer or attempting to time its peak. Considering that the production, as well as delivery times, stretch throughout the busy holiday season, you will not have any time left to spare to respond. You need to plan accordingly and ensure your promotional campaigns are set in advance to make certain all your mailers are distributed.

Sell on the Internet

  1. Do not be afraid to take on aggressive marketing for your customers on the web.

It is common knowledge that online shopping has grown immensely these past few years and it is expected to continue to grow. About $175 billion was spent by online shoppers in 2007. In the year 2012, online shopping was projected to go beyond $335 billion, according to Forrester. In addition, online shoppers were less affected by the economic slowdown compared to general consumers. Considering the present economic climate, you should not disregard this money making channel. With amazing deals such a free shipping, low rates, or perhaps the value-added solutions like gift wrapping, transforming online sales is way easier during this season.

Boost Online Sales Through Direct Mail

  1. Focus on online buyers efficiently using direct mail, it creates an excellent one-two punch through email.

Effective online marketers will inform you that among the best methods to make the most of online sales and traffic is through the use of direct mail, which targets consumers and lures them to the internet. Email is wonderful – especially when you have got opt-in addresses. In case you do not have them or you wish to ensure that you reach all of the customers who are on your list, the ideal method to achieve this is through direct mail, which is one of the services offered by Unlimited Printing & Signs. Experienced marketers are well aware that you need to target your consumers through a strong blend of conventional and web-based online marketing. Contemporary postcards can assist you in targeting online shoppers and attract more of them to your site.

Consider Regular Seasons

  1. Do not just market your company before the holiday season – be certain to get a share of the sales after the holidays.

Take a tip from the experts – the sales after the holiday season are extremely popular, may it be individuals exchanging gifts that they don’t like or need or spending the cash they received during the holidays. Being able to reach your clients after the holidays using well time mail can assist you in liquidating the last of your inventory for the end of the year or begin your preparations for the next year through your New Year’s promotional campaigns. Consider direct mail as a practical investment technique – you do not wish to be trying to time the market.

Be sure that your promotions are consistent before and after the holiday season to make sure that you are always on the mind of your clients every time they are ready to make a purchase. Ask the help of professionals from Unlimited Printing & Signs.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582
843-273-5290
www.upsprinting.com

Direct Mail Myrtle Beach

Successful Direct Mail Campaign Tips For Real Estate Agents

E-mail marketing may be the cheapest and fastest alternative to convey messages today. But when it comes to advertising, direct mail campaign is still best especially for real estate agents. However, most real estate agents would just go for e-mail marketing rather than a direct mail campaign.

But did you know that e-mail marketing costs more and is less effective than it direct mail counterpart? This is why:

  • Leasing an e-mail list lawfully might be tough (e-mail activity is governed by the CAN-SPAM Act).
  • Sending bulk undesirable e-mail is technically not against the law. Nevertheless, lots of people dislike it. It might likewise get you disallowed by your web service company.
  • Premium e-mail lists – the type that would generate reactions – might be pricey. And these e-mails are typically not related to a real physical address – so they are not geographically unique to your place.

Advantages of Direct Mail Marketing

The benefits of direct-mail advertising consist of things like:

  • having the capability to concentrate on a particular place – which is necessary for an organization constantly handling locations.
  • Another vital benefit of a direct-mail advertising nowadays is that the area is less busy – lower number of associates sending direct-mail advertising you will have a chance to in the mailbox.

This is why direct-mail advertising marketing, with the competence of Unlimited Printing & Signs, might be the best tool that can be utilized by real estate agents.

Four Successful Direct Mail Campaign Tips

  1. Always stay connected.

Despite what your goal is, whether to create leads, to transform leads into potential customers, or to leave an impression to your future customers and those inside your circle of impact, you need to constantly exist – sending only one mail will not suffice and will not generate the response you want.

Keep in mind that:

  • Only 2% of sales are produced upon the 1st contact
  • Only 3% of sales are produced upon 2nd contact
  • 5% of sales are created upon the 3rd contact and just 10% of sales are created on the 4th contact
  • So 80% of sales are produced on the 5th to 12th contact
  1. Focus.

It is very important to understand that you need to focus your mailer to a specific audience utilizing a targeted subscriber list. That is if you wish to be successful in the real estate business.

By utilizing a leased subscriber list, you might lease from a list of homes found in a particular ZIP code or possibly in a particular radius near your workplace. Promote yourself and let them understand that you are their “the area professional.” You will see a boost in your reaction rate. You can also lease from an absentee owner list, which is described as the non-owner occupied list. Ask the support of Unlimited Printing & Signs if you wish to send postcards to every homeowner who may wish to sell

  1. Check, Assess, Repeat.

When it comes to direct mail advertising, testing is a must. Examining different components in the mailer, various sort of mailers, and a number of lists can help you in enhancing the response rate that your mail yields.

So what does increasing your response rate imply?

To start with, you require to come up with the most educated guess possible about the finest kind of mailer, deal, in addition to the Call To Action (CTA). Real estate representatives who made themselves the “area specialist” had a great deal of success with our flyer self-mailer, which they utilized as a newsletter. All the others who are looking to promote their services as being a listing representative to all absentee owners succeeded, thanks to our appealing graphics and big postcard. Evaluate out different headings, images, CTAs, and deals. Discover how those changes impact your response rate.

  1. Make the most out of Quick Response (QR) codes.

You may believe that it is paradoxical to prevent one innovation, which in this case is the e-mail while embracing another one, which is the QR code. Nevertheless, this part-mobile, part-direct tool can provide you a lot more and it is simply not a marketing pattern. If they are scanned utilizing a Smartphone, QR codes will reveal a text, and after that bring the user to a specific site, and even call a specific telephone number. It is rather basic to include a QR code on your mailer. All you require to do is utilize a web-based QR code generator, produce a sensational mailer style, and after that continue doing the exact same actions that you usually do when it concerns publishing your style to a web2mail provider.

The real estate market is crowded in Myrtle Beach. Stand out from the crowd with direct mail and the help of the experts at Unlimited Printing & Signs.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582
843-273-5290
https://www.upsprinting.com/

direct mail

Tips For A Successful Print Marketing Campaign

Being aware of the fact that print marketing can be your most powerful marketing weapon is different from actually getting successful results from your print marketing campaign. To help make sure that you have a profitable and successful direct mail postcard marketing campaign, here are some tips that you can follow.

The first thing you need to do is determine your campaign’s goal. These include knowing what you want to achieve and how do you want to gauge the success of your print marketing campaign. You need to set your campaign milestones. For instance, you can set your target response rate at 5% and your return on investment at 180%.

The next thing that you have to do is to determine your target audience according to demographic data, which includes:

–    Age

–    Income

–    Gender

–    Hobbies

–    Geographic location

–    Shopping habits

Once that is done, you have the option to either rent or buy a mailing list that is composed of customers who meet your set demographic criteria. You may also use your in-house list. Keep in mind that your whole campaign will depend on you convincing these prospects to help you reach your goal.

You may even consider creating a special offer for a limited time period that promotes a great deal, which your customers really want. After that, you should make your sales copy and be sure it has a bold headline, a list of advantages, as well as a strong call to action. You need to integrate a tracking system like a coupon code or a coupon. Don’t hesitate to seek out the help professionals like Ultimate Printing & Signs to make sure that your copy is perfect.

In terms of the design, you also need to create one that will be attention-grabbing. Your copy should not only be noticeable but also be able to encourage prospective clients to take the next step of the buying process.

The next step involves the paper that you will use for your print materials. Ultimate Printing & Signs always recommend for postcards to be printed on a top quality paper stock. Prospects included on your mailing list will appreciate the print material more if they can see that it is well prepared.

You also need to track all of your responses as well as the sales so you will know your return on investment. After that, what you need to do is to compare your goals and your actual ROI. If the results of the campaign have met or even exceeded your goal then you can safely say that it was a successful one provided that it will provide similar results if your print materials are sent to a similar mailing list.

You should also have a control postcard, which you know is effective. You can use this to make minor changes and test varying conditions against it to determine if there are ways for you to improve the performance of your campaign. Always remember that a direct mail marketing strategy like this is not just simple but also highly effective when done properly. If you are eyeing long-term then you need to send several direct mailers at regular intervals.

Keep in mind that there are other ways for you to benefit from print marketing apart from direct mail. What is important here is for you to be able to get the correct message to the appropriate target market at the perfect time.

If you want to achieve all these, then you should turn to print marketing instead of all the other marketing channels out there. Ultimate Printing & Signs is more than happy to help you achieve your goals.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582
843-273-5290
www.upsprinting.com/

Direct Mail

6 More Common Direct Mail Mistakes

Direct MailLast we covered the first six mistakes for a success direct mail campaign. Here are six more areas to avoid to get the response you need.

Mistake No. 7: Saving the best for last

Some copywriters save their strongest sales pitch for last, starting slow in their sales letters and hoping to build to a climactic conclusion.

A mistake. Leo Bott, Jr., a Chicago-based mail-order writer, says that the typical prospect reads for five seconds before he decides whether to continue reading or throw your mailing in the trash. The letter must grab his attention immediately. So start your letter with your strongest sales point.

Some examples of powerful openings:

“14 things that can go wrong in your company – and one sure way to prevent them” – an envelope teaser for a mailing that sold a manual on internal auditing procedures.

“A special invitation to the hero of American business” – from a subscription letter for Inc. magazine.

“Can 193,750 millionaires be wrong?” – an envelope teaser for a subscription mailing for Financial World magazine.

“Dear Friend: I’m fed up with the legal system. I want to change it, and I think you do, too.” – the lead paragraph of a fund-raising letter.

Some time-testing opening gambits for sales letters include:

  • asking a provocative question
  • going straight to the heart of the reader’s most pressing problem or concern
  • arousing curiosity
  • leading off with a fascinating fact or incredible statistic
  • Starting the offer up-front, especially if it involves money; saving it, getting something for an incredibly low price, or making a free offer

Know the “hot spots” of your direct mail package – the paces that get the most readership. Those include: the first paragraphs of the letter, its subheads, its last paragraph and the post-script (80% of readers look at the PS); the brochure cover, its subheads and the headline of its inside spread; picture captions; and the headline and copy on the order form or reply card. Put your strongest selling copy in those spots.

Error No. 8: Poor follow-up

direct mail followupRecently a company phoned to ask whether I was interested in buying its product, which was promoted in a mailing I’d answered. The caller became indignant when I confessed that I didn’t remember the company’s copy, its product, its mailing, or whether it sent me a brochure.

“When did I request the brochure?” I asked. The caller checked her records. “About 14 weeks ago,” she replied.

Hot leads rapidly turn ice cold when not followed up quickly. Slow fulfillment, poor marketing literature and inept telemarketing can destroy the initial interest that you worked so hard to build.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself about your current inquiry fulfillment procedures:

  • Am I filling order or requests for information with 48 hours?
  • Am I using telephone follow-up or mail questionnaires to qualify prospects? By my definition, an inquiry is a response to your mailing. A lead is a qualified inquirer – someone who fits the descriptive profile of a potential customer for your product. You are after leads, not just inquiries.
  • Am I sending additional mailings to people who did not respond to my first mailing? Test that. Many people who did not respond to mailing No. 1 may send back the reply card from mailing No. 2, or even No. 3.
  • Am I using telemarketing to turn nonresponders into responders? Direct mail followed by telemarketing generates two to 10 times more response than direct mail with no telephone follow-up, according to Dwight Reichard, telemarketing director of Federated Investors Inc., Pittsburgh.
  • Does my inquiry fulfillment package include a strong sales letter telling the prospect what to do next? Every package should.
  • Does my inquiry fulfillment package include a reply element, such as an order form or spec sheet?
  • Does my sales brochure give the reader the information he needs to make an intelligent decision about taking the next step in the buying process? The most common complaints I hear from prospects is that the brochures they receive do not contain enough technical and price information.

Don’t put 100% of your time and effort into lead-generating mailing and 0% into the follow-up, as so many mailers do. You have to keep selling, every step of the way.

Error No. 9: The magic words

This mistake is not using the magic words that can dramatically increase the response to your mailing.

General advertisers, operating under the mistaken notion that the mission of the copywriter is to be creative, avoid the magic words of direct mail, because they think those magic phrases are clichés.

But just because a word or phrase is used frequently doesn’t mean that it has lost its power to achieve your communications objective. In conversation, for example, “please” and “thank you” never go out of style.

What are the magic words of direct mail?

Free. Say free brochure. Not brochure. Say free consultation. Not initial consultation. Say free gift. Not gift.

If the English teacher in you objects that “free gift” is redundant, let me tell you a story. A mail-order firm tested two packages. The only difference was that package “A” offered a gift while package “B” offered a free gift.

The result? You guessed it. The free gift order in package “B” significantly out pulled package “A”. What’s more, many people who received package “A” wrote in and asked whether the gift was free!

No Obligation. Important when you are offering anything free. If prospects aren’t obligated to use your firm’s wastewater treatment services after you analyze their water sample for free, say so. People want to be reassured that there are no strings attached.

No salesperson will call. If true, a fantastic phrase that can increase response by 10% or more. Most people, including genuine prospects, hate being called by salespeople over the phone. Warning: Don’t say “no salesperson will call” if you do plan to follow up by phone. People won’t buy from liars.

Details inside/See inside. One of those should follow any teaser copy on the outer envelope. You need a phrase that directs the reader to the inside.

Limited time only. People who put your mailing aside for later reading or file it will probably never respond. The trick is to generate a response now. One way to do it is with a time-limited offer, either generic (“This offer is for a limited time only.”), or specific (“This offer expires 9/20/87.”). Try it!

Announcing/At last. People like to think they are getting in on the ground floor of a new thing. Making your mailing an announcement increases its attention-getting powers.

New. “New” is sheer magic in consumer mailings. But it’s a double-edged sword in industrial mailings. On the one hand, business and technical buyers want something new. On the other hand, they demand products with proven performance.

The solution? Explain that your product is new or available to them for the first time, but proven elsewhere – either in another country, another application, or another industry. For example, when we introduced a diagnostic display system, we advertised it as “new” to US hospitals but explained it had been used successfully for five years in leading hospitals throughout Europe.

Error No. 10: Starting with the product – not the prospect.

You and your products are not important to the prospect. The reader opening your sales letter only wants to know, “What’s in it for me? How will I come out ahead by doing business with you vs. Someone else?”

Successful direct mail focuses on the prospect, not the product. The most useful background research you can do is to ask your typical prospect, “What’s the biggest problem you have right now?” The sales letter should talk about that problem, then promise a solution.

Do not guess what is going on in industries about which you have limited knowledge. Instead, talk to customers and prospects to find out their needs. Read the same publications and attend the same seminars they do. Try to learn their problems and concerns.

Too many companies and ad agencies don’t do that. Too many copywriters operate in a black box, and doom themselves merely to recycling data already found in existing brochures.

For example, let’s say you have the assignment of writing a direct-mail package selling weed control chemicals to farmers. Do you know what farmers look for in weed control, or why they choose one supplier over another? Unless you are a farmer, you probably don’t. Wouldn’t it help to speak to some farmers and learn more about their situation?

Read, talk and listen to find out what’s going on with your customers.

In his book “Or Your Money Back,” Alvin Eicoff, one of the deans of late night television commercials, tells the story of a radio commercial he wrote selling rat poison. It worked well in the consumer market. But when it was aimed at the farm market, sales turned up zero.

Mr. Eicoff drove out to the country to talk with farmers. His finding? Farmers didn’t order because they were embarrassed about having a rat problem, and feared their neighbors would learn about it when the poison was delivered by mail.

He added a single sentence to the radio script, which said that the rat poison was mailed in a plain brown wrapper. After that, sales soared.

Talk to your customers. Good direct mail–or any ad copy–should tell them what they want to hear. Not what you think is important.

Error No. 11: Failing to appeal to all five senses.

Direct Mail North Myrtle BeachUnlike an ad, which is two-dimensional, direct mail is three-dimensional and can appeal to all five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste. Yet most users of direct mail fail to take advantage of the medium’s added dimension.

Don’t plan a mailing without at least thinking about whether you can make it more powerful by adding a solid object, fragrance or even a sound. You ultimately may reject such enhancements because of time and budget constraints. But here are some ideas you might consider:

Audio Recording. In selling summaries of business books recorded on CD or DVD, Macmillan Software Co. sent an CD in a cold mailing to prospects. This allows the prospect to sample the books-on-tape program. I would have said, “Too expensive.” But inside information, and the fact that I got the package twice, tell me it’s working for them.

Do you have a powerful message that a company spokesperson can deliver in dynamic fashion to your audience? Consider adding a CD to your package.

Video. Some companies are taking the idea one step further and mailing DVDs cold to prospects. Again, that’s expensive–but successful in many instances. One company I spoke to got a 30% response to such a program. And in telephone follow-up, they learned that 95% watched the tape.

Pop-ups. Chris Crowell, president of Essex, Conn.-based Structural Graphics Inc., says pop-ups can increase response up to 40% when compared with a conventional flat mailing. You can have a pop-up custom designed for your mailing or choose from one of many “stock” designs available.

Money. Market research firms have discovered that enclosing a dollar bill with a market research survey can increase response by a factor of five or more, even though $1 is surely of no consequence to business executives or most consumers. Has anyone tried using money to get attention in a lead getting industrial mailing?

Sound. Have you seen the greeting cards that play a song when you open them because of an implanted chip or some similar device? I think that certainly would get attention. But as far as I know, no one has used it yet in direct mail.

Product samples. Don’t neglect this old standard. Enclose a product or material sample in your next mailing. We once did a mailing in which we enclosed a small sample of knitted wire mesh used in pollution control and product recovery. Engineers who received the mailing kept that bit of wire on their desks for months.

Premiums. An inexpensive gift such as a slide guide, measuring tape, ruler or thermometer can still work well.

One recommendation and warning: A lot of us, including me, need to be a little more imaginative if we want our mailing package to stand out in the prospect’s crowded mailbox. At the same time, we must remember that creativity can enhance a strong selling message or idea but cannot substitute for it. As copywriter Herschell Gordon Lewis, president of Communicomp in Plantation, Fla., warns, “Cleverness for the sake of cleverness may well be a liability, not an asset.”

Error No. 12: Creating and reviewing direct mail by committee

Do you know what a moose is? It’s a cow designed by a committee.

Perhaps the biggest problem I see today is direct mail being reviewed by committees made up of people who have no idea (a) what direct mail is; (b) how it works; or (c) what it can and cannot do.

For example, an ad agency creative director told me how his client cut a three-page sales letter to a single page because, as the client insisted, “Business people don’t read long letters.”

Unfortunately, that’s an assumption based on the client’s own personal prejudices and reading habits. It is not a fact. In many business-to-business direct mail tests, I have seen long letters outpull short ones sometimes dramatically.

Why pay experts to create mailings based on long years of trial-and-error experience, then deprive yourself of that knowledge base by letting personal opinions get in the way?

 

Now that you have a good idea of what goes into a successful sales campaign – let’s   talk about the specific of your direct mail project. Call today for a free no-obligation consultation.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582
843-273-5290
www.upsprinting.com/

Mail Marketing North Myrtle Beach

The 6 Most Typical Direct-mail Advertising Errors

Mail Marketing North Myrtle BeachEffective direct mail doesn’t depend on expensive, four-color design or overly creative copy. Below are 6 errors that businesses often make with direct mail. Next week we will share six more.

Error No. 1: Neglecting the most important factor in direct-mail advertising success

Do you know what the most important part of your direct mail campaign is? It’s not the copy. It’s not the art work. It’s not even the format or when you mail. It is the mailing list.

A great mailing plan, with superior copy and scintillating design, may pull double the response of an inadequately conceived mailing. But the best list can pull a response 10 times more than the worst list for the identical mailing piece.

The most common direct-mail mistake is not investing sufficient time and effort up-front, when you select – and after that test – the right lists.

Remember: In direct marketing, a subscriber list is not just a way of reaching your market. It is the marketplace.

The best list available to you is your “home” list – a list of customers and prospects who formerly bought from you or reacted to your advertisements, public relations projects, or other mailings. Normally, your home list will pull double the response of an unsolicited list. Yet, less than half of all business marketers surveyed failed to capture and use consumer and prospect names for mailing purposes.

When leasing outside lists, get your advertising agency or list broker involved in the early stages. The mailing piece ought to not be written and developed until after the right lists have been organized. UPS Printing, Marketing and Design will work with you to ensure you are getting the right list for your target direct mail piece.

Error No. 2: Not testing

Big customer mailers check all the time. Publishers Clearinghouse tests almost everything … even (I hear) the slant of the indicia on the external envelope.

Business-to-business marketers, on the other hand, rarely track reaction or test one mailing piece to a specific list against another.

As a result, they repeat their past failures and have no concept of what works in direct mail – and what doesn’t work. Big Mistake. In direct mail, you never presume you understand exactly what will work. You need to evaluate to learn.

For instance, copywriter Milt Pierce wrote a subscription package for Good Housekeeping magazine. His mailing became the “control” package for over 25 years. That is, no package tested against it brought back as many subscriptions.

The envelope teaser and theme of that effective mailing was “32 Ways to Save Time and Money.” Yet, Mr. Pierce states that when he used the very same style to subscription mailings for other magazines – Science Digest, Popular Mechanics, House Beautiful – it failed miserably.

“There are no catch-all answers in direct-mail advertising other than to test responses,” says Eugene Schwartz, author of the book, “Break-through Advertising.” “You don’t know whether something will work up until you test it. And you cannot predict test results based upon previous experience.”

Error No. 3: Not utilizing a letter in your mailing plan

The sales letter – not the outer envelope, the brochure, or perhaps the reply form – is the most vital part of a business-to-business direct-mail package.

A bundle with a letter will nearly always out pull a postcard, a self-mailer, or a pamphlet or advertisement reprint mailed without a letter.

Just recently, a business evaluated two bundles offering, for $1, a copy of its mail-order tool brochure. Plan “A” included a sales letter and reply card. Bundle “B” was a double post-card. The outcome? “A” out pulled “B” by a 3-to-1 ratio.

Why do letters pull so well? Due to the fact that a letter gives the illusion of personal interaction. We are trained to view letters as “real” mail, pamphlets as “advertising.” Which is more important to you?

One suggestion I typically provide clients is to attempt an old-fashioned sales letter initially. Go to a fancier piece when you begin making some money.

Mistake No. 4: Features vs Benefits

Perhaps the oldest and most commonly welcomed guideline for composing direct-mail copy is, “Stress benefits, not features.” However in business-to-business marketing, that doesn’t always apply.

In specific scenarios, features need to be provided equivalent (if not top) billing over benefits.

For instance, if you’ve ever marketed semiconductors, you know that design engineers are starving for specs. They want hard information on power distribution, drain-source, voltage, input capacitance, and rise-and-fall time … not broad advertising claims about how the item conserves money and time or enhances efficiency.

Vivian Sudhalter, Director of Marketing for New York-based Macmillan Software Co., agrees.

” Regardless of what tradition tells you,” states Ms. Sudhalter, “the science and engineering marketplace does not respond to guarantee – or a list of benefits – oriented copy. They respond to facts. Your response piece needs to tell them precisely what they are getting and what your product or service can do. Scientists and engineers resent copy that sounds like advertising jargon.”

In that same line, I believe that medical practitioners are swayed more by complex medical data than by advertising claims, and that industrial chemists are eager to learn more about complicated formulas that the typical advertising author might turn down as “too technical.”

In short, the copywriter’s real difficulty is to learn exactly what the customer wants to know about your product or service – then inform him in your mailing.

Error No. 5: Not having a call-to-action

An call-to-action is what the reader will receive when they responds to your mailing.

To be successful, a direct-mail bundle must sell what you are offering, not the product or service itself. For example, if I send by mail a letter describing a new mainframe computer system, my letter is not going to do the whole job of convincing individuals to buy my computer. But the letter is capable of swaying some people to at least show interest by requesting a complimentary brochure about the computer.

Ensure you have a well-thought-out offer in every mailing. If you believe the offer and the way you explain it are unimportant, you are incorrect.

A free-lance copywriter recently ran an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal that offered a complimentary portfolio of post reprints about direct mail. He received dozens of replies. Then he ran a similar advertisement, but charged $3 for the portfolio instead of giving it away. Variety of responses that time? Just 3.

Here are some effective offers for industrial direct mail: Free pamphlet, free technical info, totally free analysis, free consultation, free demonstration, free trial usage, free item sample, free brochure.

Your copy must state the offer in such a way that it increases the reader’s desire to send for whatever it is you offer. For instance, a brochure ends up being a product guide. A collection of sales brochures ends up being a free information package. A list ends up being a convention organizer’s guide. An article reprinted in pamphlet form becomes “our new, informative brochure-‘ Ways to Avoid Computer system Failures.'”.

From now on, design your literature with titles and information that will make them work well as offers in direct-mail advertising. A simple change such as a brochure listing United States software programs offered for export overseas, could be changed to call the book “The Worldwide Directory site of US Software application,” because people would think such a directory was more valuable than a mere product brochure.

Error No. 6: Shallow copy

Nothing kills the selling power of a business-to-business mailing much faster than lack of content.

An example is what I call the “art director’s sales brochure.” You have actually seen them: Display pieces predestined to win awards for graphic quality. Pamphlets so gorgeous that everybody falls in love with them – until they finally understand that people send for information, not beautiful pictures. Which is why typewritten, unillustrated sales pamphlets can frequently pull double the reaction of expensive, four-color work.

In the same way, business-to-business direct mail is not tantalizing. Its objective is not to be remembered or make an impact, however to create a response now.

One of the quickest methods to kill that response is to be superficial. To talk in vague generalities, rather than specifics. To rattle on without authority on a subject, instead of showing consumers that you comprehend their problems, their industry and their requirements.

To compose strong copy – direct, factual copy – you need to dig for truths. You have to study the product, the prospect and the marketing problem. There is no way around this. Without strong facts, you cannot write great copy. But with the facts at their fingertips, even average copywriters can do a good job.

Just how much research study suffices? Follow Bly’s Rule, which says you should gather at least twice as many details as you need – ideally three times as much. Then you have the luxury of choosing only the best facts, rather trying frantically to discover enough information to fill the page.

Next week we will discuss six additional direct marketing errors and how to avoid them.

Are you ready to market your business with direct mail? Give UPS Printing, Marketing and Design a call today. We can assist you with finding the best list, creating the direct mail packet and testing the response.

Unlimited Printing & Signs
2408 Madison Drive Suite 101
North Myrtle Beach, SC  29582
843-273-5290
www.upsprinting.com/