Direct Marketing – Discover 6 Intermediate Methods to Boost Your Sales

Here’s how you can get the most out of your direct marketing efforts:

1. Communicate the benefits of your products and services. When selling your offerings, always visualize your prospects having this question on their forehead “what’s in it for me?” Buyers these days are very interested to know what they can get in exchange of their purchase. Give them what they want and you’ll surely be able to increase your chances of making a sale. Tell them what your products and services can do to improve the quality of their lives or to reach their goals.

2. Send direct mail. Despite the advent of the internet and email, the act of opening a snail mail is still somewhat engaging and exciting. One tip that I can offer you to boost your response rate is to get your clients to act right away. Here’s an example; you can tell your prospects that if they call within 2-4 days and give you the code include in the snail mail, they can get at least 15% off on their first purchase.

3. Outplay your competitors. Know what your competitors are doing to lure your prospects and outdo them at all cost. If they are offering 10% discount, you can offer your customers with 15% (as long as you don’t shortchange yourself) to get them to do business with you. You can also outdo them and still charge more by simply offering your clients with high quality products and great customer service.

4. Use your most friendly-looking photos. Based on personal experience, you can really make your sales soar high by just putting personal touch on your direct mailings. Post your photo on each of your letters and personally sign them.

5. Make your marketing messages simple and easy to understand. Being mysterious and getting your prospects to really think hard just to analyze your messages isn’t exactly the best route to go when writing your ads. Keep in mind that confusing your clients will not help you convince them to make a purchase. So, make your marketing messages simple as much as possible. People who are reading them must have a solid idea what you sell and how this can benefit them.

6. Offer freebies and discounts. This is the best way to capture the attention of your target market. Based on research, people are most likely to make a purchase when they know that they’ll pay less and if they’ll get something free in return.

What Social Marketing Can Learn From “Learner-Centered” Education

If a lot of the philosophical language surrounding the new social network marketing sounds vaguely familiar, it should: we’ve heard it all before from the good folks in the educational field.

Beginning in the late sixties, picking up force in the seventies, and becoming the foundation of pedagogy in the eighties, the “learner-centered” approach to education called for a shift of control from teachers to students. The idea was that students were in a better position to know how they learned than were the teachers. Given the freedom to do so, students would essentially teach themselves, while the teachers simply provided resources allowing them to do so. To reflect this new approach, teachers were no longer “teachers,” but “facilitators,” while students became “learners.” Lessons were no longer meant to be uni-directional, with one person standing in front of the class imparting information, but to be multi-directional, a “dialogue” in which the ideas and thoughts of the students were of equal, if not more importance than the authoritative course material.

Much the same has been occurring in the realm of social network marketing. Its proponents insist that the consumer is better positioned to know which advertising techniques work, and which don’t. We are to move away from simply broadcasting information about our product or service in an authoritative and uni-directional fashion, choosing instead to engage in “conversations,” the content of which is driven as much by the public as by the company trying to sell to them.

And how has this worked?

Well, in the educational field, it turned out that when you asked students (sorry, “learners”) the most effective way of teaching them (sorry, “facilitating their education”), they responded by telling us to either entertain them, or leave them alone. Course curriculum became subject to whatever pop-culture trends were enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame at any given time, and classroom instruction turned into classroom discussions in which the only opinions that counted were those of the “learners.”

Speaking as a college prof who is tasked with trying to teach the products of this system how to write a coherent sentence, I’d have to say it’s been less than a resounding success.

“After that I applied for [name of college] and had to write a English test to get in and believe it or not I passed with an excellent mark they even called me to welcome and congratulate me into the program, yeah I was just as surprised as you” (personal essay from student, aged 23)

The profound illiteracy and lack of general knowledge with which we’re faced on a daily basis is disturbing — not to mention debilitating to our motivation. The multi-billion dollar educational system is a sham, and we know it; but there’s nothing we can do about it. Too much has been invested in the philosophy, and those most fully indoctrinated in it (public and high school teachers) are hardly likely to suddenly admit it’s all been a big mistake. Meanwhile, those of us with the least indoctrination are in the post-secondary institutions, and therefore unable to bring about meaningful change where it would do the most good — in the lower grades when students’ minds are still open to learning.

In the advertising industry, things are showing signs of going in much the same direction. It turns out that when you ask consumers (sorry, “participants”) the most effective way of advertising to them (sorry, “engaging them in brand conversations”), their response is eerily similar to that of the students: either entertain us, or leave us alone. In place of uni-directional ads, they want YouTube videos which can be remixed and redistributed to their friends. Instead of information about product features, price, and availability, they want to see the CEO of the company sending out 140 character Tweets about the boring meeting he’s in.

Speaking as an advertising commentator, I’d have to say that this, too, has been less than a resounding success. Despite the millions of words praising the effectiveness of social network marketing, there have been shockingly few examples of anything approaching a decent return on investment. Where companies set up their own social networking platforms, the only visitors they get are those already committed to the brand: which is fine, but the very nature of such platforms encourages confrontation, and those visitors can easily take offense if their comments or incidental complaints aren’t dealt with in the fashion they expect. And where the brands are trying to invade pre-existing social networks, they open themselves up to mischievous attacks which have a far higher potential of going viral than do the brands’ feeble attempts at being “hip.”

The danger, of course, is that advertising, like education, will find itself overly-committed to a system that simply doesn’t work; but which nobody is willing to step away from.

Students don’t want to go to school, and if you ask them to redesign it to their liking, you end up with a social club. Likewise, consumers don’t want advertising, and if you ask them to redesign it to their liking, you end up with…well, a social club.

Email Marketing Services to Improve ROI

Email marketing systems understand the internet reader’s browsing habits and are adept at communicating the message within a short eye scan that prompts the viewer to go further. This approach calls for an understanding of browsing techniques, what attracts, what distracts and what irritates the viewer. Understand your customer profile and know what they like and the likely sites they visit with the help of the marketing solution.

Know the way

Email marketing software follows a fool-proof process of contacting the potential customer from a database, seeking permission to send e-mails, removing names of disinterested contacts from the database or tagging them appropriately and directing emails to a consenting population. Database access, selection of relevant contact id and sending out initial communication are aspects that these agencies are adept at. Be sure to select an agency that understands your dependence on the activity and can professionally manage your expectations.

Effective time utilization

When the activity of identifying and sending targeted communication is handled by an external system, you are better able to put your time into creative and managerial efforts. You will find yourself better able to involve yourself in truly strategic work once the high volume work is taken off your shoulders by professionally designed software. The software will be able to provide regular reports of mails sent and responses received as a method for changing strategic direction and techniques.

Identify the right partner

The right solution partner knows the importance of spam-checking mails and the importance of providing certain important features when you use direct mail. For instance, if your direct mail fails to provide the viewer with the option of unsubscribing, your mails will land in the spam folder. The list of email addresses needs to be continuously updated. Absence of this activity will lead to wastage that you can well avoid. Find out the software capability to keep information current.

What is the Most Successful Direct Sales Company?

How do you define success? If you define success by the bottom line, then you would look at the business’ profits to determine which is the most successful. But let’s look at what makes a successful direct sales business from the position of the position of a representative.

First, the financial standing of a direct sales organization is important! How long has the organization been in business? How much profit do they make? How much debt do they have? Ideally, you want to work for a firm that is profitable and preferably debt-free. This gives an indication that the organization is probably well-managed and stable.

Secondly, look at what the organization does for the representative. Do they have successful reps? Are the reps making money and satisfied with their benefits? Look at what training, benefits and discounts provided to its sales reps. The way a corporation treats its employees and contractors is another strong indicator of its success. Even if a organization is debt-free and profitable, if there are a low number of successful representatives, then I would not define this company as successful!

Finally, examine the product the company offers. Is it a high-quality product? Is there a large market for the product? Will there still be a market for the product line in 10 years? Evaluate who your target market is for the product. Ensure that these are people that you feel comfortable marketing to. You will find success difficult if you do not believe in the product.

The company that I have found that meets the criteria of a successful business is Carbon Copy Pro. Carbon Copy Pro is an online marketing business released five years ago and is now worth over $15 million. The company has set a goal of creating 100 millionaires by 2012 and many of its members have reached this goal already. Carbon Copy Pro is backed by a high quality, high commission product leading to many satisfied representatives. While there are many direct sales opportunities out there, Carbon Copy Pro is the best that I have found.