Effective Internet Marketing – Email Marketing Requires Strategic Attention

Jun 25 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

An email is such an important marketing tool. People are always looking into their email inbox, more than any site online. It is a psychological need to be communicated too, to keep in touch with friends or others as the main reason. This need is further evident by the rapid growth of social networks.

Communicating to your list is important but the way you communicate within your emails should be personal in the sense that your email is a one-on-one conversation. You are speaking to that receiver as though you are on the phone – without direct answers or input.

So what are you to place within your emails? It is important to note that every email is a sales tool but it does not contain blatant selling calls to action. Pound over the head of any person, email after email will never be effective. There are more subtle ways to work that in.

The structure of every email is informative. You are providing to your list information that will improve their situations. Quality content that educates them regarding your products/services/programs should be sent continuously. The timing for sales emails are intermixed, say every 4-6 emails, then you can be more upfront in asking for sales.

You still provide quality content but now you can structure the email to ask for their purchase. Describe within these emails the benefits of your offer. Be upfront and transparent; if it is a sales email, say so upfront and why.

Your remaining sequences should be informative or directing to your website for an interesting post or an article you wrote. Within these emails is the subtle suggestion for the sale; if you are sending them to your site or an article, these tools are specifically directing visitors to the sale. So by employing this in your emails, the email is not a sale-in-your-face email but does provide informative content.

Your email strategy will be determined by the segmentation activity you take. To have only one list, big or small, is not effective. People respond differently to emails and your list should be segmented to accommodate this emotion.

The more active ones on the list should be separated out from the less active. The emails that would be sent to these 2 separate lists are also different. To the less active, you can actually be more sales oriented; if they are less active or not at all, who cares if every email asks for a sale. They are more likely to unsubscribe anyway and never would be included in the bottom line.

The more active are becoming fans, supporters, buyers. This is where your money is and the type of person you are desiring to have on your list anyway. Treat them well for they will return the favor over and over.

Eagle Flight Marketing Group [http://eagleflightmrkg.com/blog] teaches internet marketing strategies to Network and Internet Marketers who are serious about reaching new heights in their home based businesses. You can learn more strategies by becoming a proud member of our Winning Lead System, a powerful tool in your marketing repertoire.

Position yourself as a leader in your market with our assistance. Any online business needs to understand what is necessary to succeed, learn the correct internet strategies and understand the commitment to complete.

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Article Writing – An Affordable, Profitable Marketing Opportunity 99% of Companies Are Missing

Jun 25 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

For many of us, business is down. It’s become harder than ever to gain new customers and increase market share. Traditional media, while still viable, is expensive and the ROI is often tough to measure. As a result, companies are taking a long, hard look at alternative marketing vehicles that are much more cost effective and quantifiable.

That’s where the power of article writing comes in. Using articles as a marketing tool is win/win for everybody.

• Articles can get you out in front of your target audience, whether they’re local or global, almost instantaneously.

• Articles provide readers with sought-after knowledge about their specific areas of interest.

• Articles build your credibility as an expert in your field. People are much more likely to trust experts when shopping for products or services.

• Articles allow you total control over your content and message.

• Articles can be posted on various Internet directories that cater to specific markets -at no cost to you. These directories earn revenues from the ads posted on their web sites.

• Articles can also be used as “advertorials” on targeted web sites that deal with your area of expertise or niche market.

• Articles rank higher in Internet search engines than web sites.

• Articles can be used in vertical market publications that speak directly to your audience.

• Articles can serve as handouts at meetings, conventions and networking events.

• Articles can be part of a regular e-mail campaign to existing customers to further build credibility.

• Articles will direct people to your web site where they can request more information and connect directly with you. That personal interaction enables you become a trusted resource.

4 steps for creating the most effective articles.

If you want your articles to inspire people to action – and initially that may mean asking for more information – they need to do four key things.

#1 – Entice readers with an interesting or intriguing title.

First impressions are everything. Your article needs to capture your readers’ attention immediately so they’ll want to know. Be sure your title contains “keywords” relating to the subject of your article. That’s how the search engines will find it.

#2 – Provide timely, relevant information in an easy-to-understand manner.

Remember, you’re the specialist, but your readers may not be. So you need to present your subject matter at a level that everyone can understand. Use short paragraphs with short sentences. And if you have to use technical terms, explain them in plain English. Above all, keep things interesting. So people will keep reading.

#3 – Make it easy to get more information.

If people receive value from the information you provide, it’s likely that they’ll want more. They may even want to contact you personally. You can give them the opportunity to do so at the bottom of your article in an area called a Resource Box. It should provide a brief background with your credentials, as well as contact information including your phone number, e-mail address and a link to your web site or blog.

#4 – Offer an added incentive.

Once someone has contacted you, they’ve expressed an interest in learning more. Take advantage of that by sending another article, a free report, or an e-newsletter. If you’re in the service business, you may want to offer a one-time complimentary consultation. Ask people to register for these things on your web site or blog so that you’ll be able to stay in touch with them on a continuing basis. By doing so, you’ll be building relationships that will ultimately help build business.

The more articles the better.

You wouldn’t run an ad just once and expect it to produce huge sales or a wealth of new clients. The same holds true with articles. Growth comes from consistency and frequency. By posting new and relevant information to the Web and other forms of media on an ongoing basis, you’ll continually enhance your reputation as an expert in your field and people will start responding.

That being said, while you may be an authority in your particular area, writing may not be your specialty. Articles have a lot of moving parts, so to speak, and they all have to work together to deliver the best value. So give some serious consideration to hiring a professional marketing writer to assist you in delivering your message in the most effective way.

Why be one of the 99% who’s missing out on one of the most affordable and profitable marketing opportunities available, when you can be in the top 1% who’s taking advantage of it.

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Direct Mail for Fast Food Restaurants

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Fast Food Restaurants know that they need to be on very busy corners in order to get the impulse eater to come in and buy a Sandwich, Hamburger, Chicken, Pizza, Taco or whatever. The spend lots of money on landscaping, lighting, signage, drive thrus and branding to insure traffic. Consider the amount of money a Fast Food Restaurant spends in promotion some time.

However, often they fail to realize that many locals do not bother to come in to eat. Why? Well, they have not invited them or provided the locals nearby the right incentive that’s all. A robust yet inexpensive marketing and advertising program might do the trick. Let me explain; you see, direct-mail and direct-mail marketing for fast food restaurants works.

By sending out direct-mail marketing coupon packages to all of the households within a 10-mile radius of a fast food restaurant will ensure good local traffic. These coupons should be sent out six times per year and each time with a new menu items and discounts.

Direct mail and direct-mail marketing has always worked good for fast food restaurants as it is a cheap and efficient way to advertise. Perhaps you will consider this is part of your marketing strategy in 2006.

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Marketing Strategies – Personal Engagement

Jun 05 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Yesterday, I was thinking about being a customer. That’s right, all day long everyone else is the customer/client but then suddenly I realized that I am a customer too and because of that I have an opinion on what the best marketing strategy has ever been for me (as a customer and as a marketer).

I won’t keep you waiting, the secret marketing strategy is Personal Engagement. Before you stop reading and move on, let me explain what I mean by personal engagement and why it’s so vital but yet rarely ever practiced.

What I mean by personal engagement is taking the time, as a company or corporation or service provider, or whatever your business is and making me (the customer) feel as if you care, are listening, and update me on what’s happening with my product/service/project, etc. And I don’t mean doing it generically with some “form letter” type of feedback. I mean – use the massive amount of social tools and modern-day Internet to reach out and speak to me directly. Yeah, direct contact with the customer.

Now, imagine how you feel when a company does this. Have you ever said, “wow, I can’t believe they actually talked to me…” or, “is this email really directly to me?”.

We have grown accustomed to being shoved off to the side and forgotten except for the occasional mention here or there or the “thank you for your business” style of commerce. Well, I say there is no excuse any longer to not engage directly. Too many customers? Hey, deal with it and engage with me anyway because I don’t care about your other 15,000 customers, I care about me.

I’m not being selfish – but I am saying to anyone out there that is providing a service or delivering a product that if you want to raise that barrier of competition to it’s highest level then start taking a more individual interest in your customers and talk to them directly. Don’t reach out to do a survey. Don’t reach out to cross-sell.

Here are some ways that would truly make you stand out and make me a customer for life (which is exactly what you should want):

* Follow me on twitter and mention me to others. Hey we all love to be mentioned!
* Comment on my Facebook page and let me know you took the time to even stop by
* Comment on my Blog
* Email me updates on my current project or service I have with you – talk to me directly
* Ask me for my opinion in a more direct and personal way – not with a survey
* Watch what I post and read and then send me a good book – surprise me
* If you are a service provider, educate me on a topic, offer to show me your place of business, call me up and ask me for advice on something

Those are just a few ways I would feel engaged. Yeah, I know they all sound “good” in writing but you are busy planning and growing and worrying about the economy, etc.

Well – think of it this way, while you are planning and growing and worrying, someone else is getting my business by using a bit of personal engagement. Not only that, they have gained a customer for life – and you can’t plan or grow with that model!

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Your Self-Directed IRA Checklist: Does Your Current Strategy Hit All the Points?

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When you plan a weekend getaway or a summer holiday, what’s one of the first things you do?

You create a checklist. On this checklist, you mark all of the necessary things you need to bring with you so that you don’t miss a beat while you’re away from home: clothes, food, medication, electronics, etc. Many Type-A personalities will fret and worry when they don’t have every item marked off the checklist and duly packed into the appropriate luggage.

If so many of us are organized and responsible enough to make a checklist to predict out future one week in advance, why don’t we also make a similar checklist when it comes to something as important to our retirement?

You’d be surprised how few people actually take even a few moments of their time to create a retirement or Self-Directed IRA checklist. Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and done some of the work for you by creating this IRA checklist. If you want to make sure you’re ready for your long-term retirement vacation, it will be worth it to examine this checklist thoroughly to see if you’re up to speed.

Item #1: Your Self-Directed IRA Goal

The first thing to do is to create a retirement goal, calculating an idea of the kind of money you should be expected to put aside each month. You should do this by starting with the end in mind: ask yourself how long you want to be retired, and what kind of monthly or annual income you’ll need in those retirement days.

Don’t worry; it’s not as difficult a process as it seems. The most important thing here is that you get a ballpark figure that will allow you to create short-term plans in terms of money set aside each month.

Item #2: Your Self-Directed IRA Strategy

Once you have a goal, the next item on the checklist is to ensure that you have a strategy for achieving that goal. What kind of return on investment will you need from your money every year in order to eventually generate the nest egg that you’ll need?

Most people simply put money aside in an IRA that’s devoted to stocks and mutual funds and hope that the market works out. But there are alternate strategies to consider as well, such as Self-Directed IRAs that can include real estate and precious metal investments to generate the ROI you need.

Item #3: Opening a Self-Directed IRA

Opening a Self-Directed IRA account is essential. Do you have an IRA now, or are you simply waiting until “the timing is right?” Well, don’t cross this item off your checklist until you’ve actually done it. And remember that there are many different types of IRA accounts, from Roth IRAs to Self-Directed IRAs. You should look into each of them if you want to get the most out of your retirement and truly take the reins of your financial future.

Item #4: Diversify Your Portfolio

Protecting your investments is just as important as making them-if they’re not protected, you won’t feel the security you deserve. Diversification is the most important way to protect your investments. We don’t mean invest in mutual funds; we mean make investments in all sorts of different types of investments, including stocks, mutual funds, index funds, precious metals, real estate, etc. The more diverse your portfolio is, the more resilient it will be to typical market forces. While other people fret over stock market drops, you smile knowing that Item #4 has already been checked off your list.

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How Print and Direct Mail Advertising For Online Businesses Are Effective Marketing Campaigns

Jun 03 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When most small internet businesses consider running an advertising campaign, they immediately jump to looking at online campaigns for their marketing needs. What these businesses don’t understand is that there are cheaper, more traditional forms of advertising that has been perfected for years before internet advertising even existed. Major internet companies realize the importance of these marketing mediums and utilize them to their fullest.

Print and Direct Mail Advertising

One of the most cost effective means of advertising is traditional print and direct mail marketing. There are a wide variety of specific ways that these campaigns can be conducted, but they generally involve the printing and distribution of some sort of page, flyer or booklet of information. Marketing firms exist that will conduct these complete campaigns for you from the printing through the distribution.

Traditional vs. Online Marketing

Most online marketing venues will offer your advertisement a very tiny window of opportunity to capture a user’s attention. Unfortunately, some products might require a little more explaining than the minimal amount of characters that online advertising like PPC offers. With traditional print advertising, your user has the opportunity to take a look at your advertisement in a more peaceful, slow paced environment. This will allow them to get to know more about your products and services, plus it will make them familiar with your brand name. This can be one of the most important things these days in marketing campaigns because these users will be repeat customers of yours for years to come and a real value cannot be put on their heads.

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How To Generate Traffic Through The Different Components Of Internet Marketing

Jun 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Internet marketing has got many components to it. To run a successful campaign online, you require a considerable amount of traffic directed to your offer/landing pages. To be able to generate this traffic, you have to understand how to make the different components of internet marketing work for you. My aim is to explore each one of the components and highlight ways in which they generate traffic back to you website. As you go through each of these components, remember that as much as they are broken down differently, they complement each other to make your campaigns successful.

For beginners it is important to note that you will be required to have a website. A website is equivalent to renting a space so that customers are able to come in to your shop and buy your goods or services. A website allows you to showcase your offer to the customers whenever they visit your website or landing page. If what you are offering is of value to them, they will come back again. When starting out, it is good to give away something for free, for example, a free report, e-book, training or even software in exchange for email addresses. You can then include them in a list of subscribers. With that said, we can start to explore the different components.

We will start with email marketing. When visitors come to your website and leave their email addresses, you should be able to store them in a database. This can be provided by various email service providers like GetResponse, AWeber or Sendlane. Once you have emails stored, you can further segment them into smaller groups according to how you choose to market different offers to them. You can then communicate with them through emails. Emails help you build better relationships with your customers. You can also direct them to your own offers or someone else’s offer as an affiliate. This email list is a very important asset in internet marketing and therefore you should really nurture your relationship with your list. Email marketing is also very effective because your subscribers are highly targeted and it is traffic that you can easily direct towards any offer you choose especially if they trust you.

Banner advertising is another component whereby you can get placement of advertisements on a website for a fee. Your banners will be displayed on websites that receive a lot of traffic and therefore this can direct some of that traffic to your site. Later on when you start to command a lot of traffic, you can also place other website banners on your site as an affiliate, you get a commission each time a visitor comes to your site and clicks on a banner and makes a purchase. You can compare banners to a newspaper or a magazine ad, the only difference is that they are offline strategies. Good banners should have good quality photo and a good copy for them to be effective. They also come in different sizes. Pay attention to those factors. Although when it comes to mobile, I do not think they are highly effective but it is worth researching. I might write an article on my findings in the near future.

Blog marketing is whereby you have a blog through which you share content on a particular niche. It is usually combined by networking in forums or Facebook groups with other experts in your niche. They all don’t have to be experts; most people join the groups to learn. You can then offer value through your comments, opinions on different topics and announcements that you may have. In these networking platforms, there is an option of having your details included on your signature. People are able to click on it and be directed straight to your website. So if you are offering real value that a lot of people resonate with, you will start directing traffic back to your blog. This will also increase your sales or leads.

Search engine marketing involves search engine optimization of your website to improve your ranking on search engines like Google, Bing or YouTube. SEO involves a lot of process that work together to improve the ranking of your website. For example, using focus keywords, adding tags on photos used, making your site mobile-friendly and many others. You can also pay for advertising on these search engines, to make it easier for the customers to find you. This will generate a lot of traffic back to your site. But you have to be able to set up your advertising campaigns well to be successful. You can also opt to list your website on web directories at a fee.

Social media marketing is also effective. You should have a presence on social media platforms to grow your fan base. You grow this fan base by sharing content that interests them. You can also redirect traffic back to your site by sharing posts. You can also opt to advertise on these sites and if you know how to prepare such ads, they can be very effective for very reasonable fees. You can start with one or two social media platforms, master them then move to others. I would recommend Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Article marketing is whereby you submit articles particular to your niche to syndicated sites like EzineArticles. The articles are then shared online. Since these sites command a lot of traffic, your articles will start driving traffic to your landing pages and thereby increase your leads and sales.

Press releases are another way to drive traffic to your site. There are websites that offer such services, for example, PRLog, or PressReleaser. If you want to increase eyeballs on your product offers or even drive traffic to a blog, they can help you prepare good copies that are newsworthy and share them out as press releases.

There you have it. You can work on each of these components to improve your campaign outcome. If you are starting from scratch, it will take some time before you can be able to get a large amount of traffic on average. Start working on your business today.

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How to Go About Direct Mail Marketing

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are plenty of different ways to market your business and get your name out there to potential clients. It is a good idea to try more than one marketing technique so you don’t miss any of the people that may be interested in your business. There are also certain strategies with each marketing technique that you will want to pay attention to in order to get the most out of the money spent for it. Direct mail is one marketing strategy that some people seem to forget about but it can still be a very effective marketing tool for your business.

When sending direct mail, you will want to remember to still keep in mind the demographics and try to lean toward your target audience. Some people just by addresses and names when trying to send out direct mail marketing. While the shotgun approach may work for some businesses, it can prove to be a waste of money for others. It is worth it to get a detailed mailing list so you aren’t wasting your time and resources, or the people’s time.

Keep the content of the direct mail easy to understand and brief so you don’t lose potential clients attention while they’re reading it. You want them to know exactly what it is you are offering them and what makes you a better candidate for their business over competitors in the area. It is also a great idea to include a promotional coupon or some type of offer that may get them initially interested in your company. For example, 20% of first time customers may pull in some new customers for your business which is important.

Keeping all that in mind, you will want the appearance of the direct mail to be professional and appealing to recipients. You will want to have store locations, your business logo, hours of operation, and all the necessary information that customers will need. You will want to present this in an organized manor, your mail reflects your business and you want to be associated with it.

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Is There Money in Direct Sales?

May 26 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Direct sales are a great way to own a home based business and make extra income. The level of income you generate is highly dependent on the opportunities you choose and business structure.

Looking to start a home based business in the near future? With so many opportunities to choose from it is no wonder entrepreneurs either fall for quick money schemes or jump from one opportunity to the next. Those considering direct sales as a means to generate income or even those with hopes of creating wealth, should take careful consideration in finding opportunities that really work for the average home business newbie. A common misconception shared by most is the idea that hosting parties to neighbors, friends, and family will put significant dollars in their pocket. While some money can be made, the average home business owner in direct sales generates merely $125 a month. If this is your goal, choose from any of the direct sales businesses out there. If you desire to generate more than a mediocre income, put your business decision to the test by considering the following.

Will you be hosting parties? Typically in companies like Arbonne, Mary Kay, and Avon business owners start by hosting home parties. The objective is to eventually ask the party participants if they will host parties at their own homes, thus growing your network of sales and distribution through word of mouth. This approach leads to generating income in direct sales the slow way while running the risk of damaging relationships. Not everyone prefers to be sold to by their peers; some may even get offended just from being asked to attend a party. But there are success stories achieved by a small percentage, we’ve all seen the beautiful pink Cadillacs and white Mercedes. But do not be fooled into thinking that level of success is easily achieved. Those accomplished business owners have put in a lot of hard work through years of patience and diligence to become a top earner. Think twice if your business includes throwing a party at your home!

Who will you market to? While direct sales can work, people tend to look at it as an opportunity to generate income the fun way. Direct sales business owners are trained to market to people they enjoy associating with, mainly friends, family, and neighbors. Marketing is usually placed as the very last priority when it should be number one; and knowing who your target market is the key to success. Over the years there has been a shift in the direct sales business model from selling to recruiting. If the objective is to grow your business through word of mouth and add distributors within your network; it only makes sense to target other people who are like minded and not only believe in the product but also desire to start a business of their own.

Will you stock inventory? Most direct sales opportunities are based on the business owner purchasing products at wholesale prices and marking up for distribution. Some companies will buy back unsold inventory but at a discounted percentage of the purchase price. I suggest you avoid any business that requires a quota and inventory.

In the long run, entrepreneurs only achieve to the extent of where they aim. Therefore it is best that they aim at something high. Today the direct sales industry has embarked on a new, almost cosmic stage of existence on the internet. The message is clear: the internet age has become an accessible arena for internet newbie’s to generate significant incomes. Now you might say, “If that’s true, why don’t more individuals turn to the internet for direct sales opportunities?” The answer is quite simple. People methodically trust what seems familiar when looking to start a work from home business. Making party plans, prospecting relatives and neighbors, and receiving auto-shipped inventory all seem familiar; so naturally that is where people turn. Entrepreneurs tend to ‘graduate’ to direct sales online after failing in traditional opportunities. Business owners typically research Google to find ways to grow their failing business and come across content alluding to the benefits of online direct sales opportunities.

When choosing a home business opportunity, sometimes the mind isn’t used because we take it for granted. Studies have shown that most people operate on less than five percent of their brain capacity. Though we are blessed with unlimited powers of wisdom and discernment, we use only a fraction of it. Unlimited wealth lies all around us, but for numerous reasons, we don’t grasp our share. Choosing an opportunity in direct sales is a great decision, but it is only the first step. Selecting the right opportunity to suit your goals is the rest. Use your head and aim high!

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A Buyers Guide to Direct Marketing Services

May 25 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There is a tremendous growth and change occurring in the sphere of business marketing across the world today. This is largely due to the unprecedented pace of change in technology, entrepreneurial tactics and an open attitude towards new theories and concepts in marketing itself.

Direct Marketing is a subsection of marketing that focuses on planned recording, analysis and tracking of individual customers’ responses and transactions for the purpose of developing and prolonging mutually profitable customer relationships. Direct marketing can be aimed either at the individual consumer or on a business-to-business (B2B) level. This form of marketing attempts to send messages directly to the intended client by means of addressable media such as mail and email. In this way direct marketing differs from regular advertising in that it does not place its messages in the public market such as radio, billboards and magazines etc.

A distinction has to be drawn between direct marketing and what is known as junk mail or spam. Whilst direct marketing is very often criticised for generating unwanted solicitations, spam and bulk mail drops are not true forms of direct marketing as recipients are not identified as prospects by any form of selective criteria. Direct marketing on the other hand is a form of advertising based on a very selective process by which potential clients are screened according to certain levels of eligibility in accordance with the product being promoted. Direct marketing makes use of addressable as well as non-addressable media. Addressable media entails such forms as email, telemarketing and short message service (SMS) on mobile phones, although face-to-face contact is not considered a form of addressable media. Non-addressable media takes the form of mail outs and flyers, where no immediate user input is required. The important thing is that both these forms of direct marketing seek a response, and it is this which the marketer bases their future actions, or contact strategy on.

Some of the advantages of direct marketing are listed below:

Specific targeting

Clearly, the most important aspect of direct mail is that it can be targeted ‘exactly’ at the specific, individual, customer.

Personalization

Direct mail can address the customer personally. If the full benefits of precision marketing are exploited, it can be directly tailored to his or her needs (interactively based upon prior experience, as recorded on the database).

Optimization

Because of its direct response nature, the marketing campaign can be tested and varied to obtain the optimal results.

Accumulation

Responses can be added to the database, allowing future mailings to be even better targeted.

Flexibility

A direct mail campaign can be mounted quickly on a wide variety of topics within an overall promotional campaign.

When searching for potential services to assist you in your campaign of direct marketing, there are various aspects which need to be taken into consideration in order to gain the most out of your promotion.

At the core of any direct marketing campaign is the customer database. Most direct marketing services will offer recourse to their databases. For this reason it is necessary to choose the marketing service that will be able most accurately cater to your specific needs. Different service providers specialise in different market areas, for instance consumer marketing, or B2B marketing, as well as group variables, such as income, age, and lifestyle. The solution to this target audience will most likely come from your own database of customers or prospects. On the other hand, being selective by choosing only those who will be susceptible to the mailing saves on cost and also protects the investment in the database, by not exposing recipients to volumes of unwanted and irrelevant mail.

The most important question to ask when investing in an external list is how accurate it actually is. The source of many lists may be suspect as they are frequently derived from subscribers to magazines or respondents to free offers. This audience may not be the ideal prospects to your campaign, but then again this may be the only way in which you can reach your target market. Lists may also be out of date, for instance 12 per cent of the UK population changes address every year, which means they may need ‘cleaning’ (for example, to remove duplicate entries or to update contacts within organisations). Usually the only adequate way of finding out how useful a list really is, is to run a test mailing, even though it might represent an investment of time and money.

As mentioned above, the most productive mailing list is one that you have compiled yourself. Unfortunately, these lists are often the most neglected. For most direct marketing companies, such lists are their single most precious asset. Even in organisations with more general fields of operation, the data obtained as a result of those operations (enquiries, face-to-face selling, exhibitions, direct mail, etc.) should all be regarded as highly valuable. Data should be consolidated and protected so that they are usable, and useful, as a direct input to all marketing activities – especially for precision marketing.

When approaching prospective direct marketing companies, it is good to know what kind of products and services to expect, and how these can help you in your campaign. Generally speaking, marketing companies should be able to offer access to a specified name database, made up of prospective clients as set out by your needs. You have to consider that different companies have varying databases that cater for differing needs. It is thus up to you to find the one most suited to your requirements. Furthermore, direct marketing companies should offer services such as:

- Databases specified to cover various forms of media, i.e. mailing data, telemarketing and email data.

- Segmentation of data into areas such as job title, geographical location and industry classification.

- Data cleansing and verification services

- Data enhancement as well as analytic and strategic consulting.

Some emerging channels which hold interesting possibilities in the future include:

Digital Cable:

Cable television has never enabled highly targeted direct marketing to become successful. Digital cable is seen as the solution that will make the delivery of personalised marketing content via television possible.

Wireless:

To date, the majority of wireless marketing was constrained to text based SMS services, but with the advent of 3G, the promise of delivering richer content has gained more interest from marketers.

Internet:

Banner advertisements are often considered indirect advertising, but in many cases, companies like Google and Yahoo serve advertisements on their websites for their own purposes.

Political campaigns:

Recently, political campaigns have begun to appropriate the methods of direct marketers (or to employ direct marketing companies) to raise money and create activism.

Once you have acquired all the relevant data regarding your target audience, factors such as the channels you choose and the timing of the delivery (e.g. time of year or even day of the week) can play a major role in the effectiveness of your campaign. The correct marketing service will be well equipped to assist you through all these areas.

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