Direct Mail 101

How many junk emails do you receive each day? 50? 100? 200? More? While many of these communications are definitely unwanted and undesirable, some do provide valuable information about products and services you might actually want to buy. However, more often than not, these messages are deleted along with all of the other unwanted e-mails.

That’s why many organizations are going back to utilizing good old-fashioned postcards, letters and other correspondence via the Post Office. However, while thousands of e-mails can be sent for virtually pennies, there can be a substantial cost in developing a direct mail campaign. Therefore, it’s critical to strategically plan your campaign in order to ensure its success.

Think about the postcards you receive in the mail. Some are inexpensively produced, often by printing in black on a piece of 8 ½ x 11 colored card stock, then cutting the paper into four individual cards. No matter what the product or service that is offered on these cards, do you even pay attention to them? To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Cheap is as cheap does.”

If you’re asking a potential client to spend hundreds (thousands?) of dollars with your company, you must make a good first impression. Typically, that means having a graphic artist design your card and having well-written copy specifically for the postcard. Simply putting clip art on a card and using text pulled from your Web site isn’t sufficient. Give serious consideration to producing your postcard in color, at least on one side. Use high-quality paper, not card stock purchased at the local office supply store. This will mean using a professional printer, but that doesn’t mean that your cost will skyrocket. There are many ways to reduce costs, if you take the time to explore them. Professional printers also have the capability to produce your card in larger sizes, and even in special shapes. Remember that the goal is to capture the attention of your potential customer.

Regarding your text, you must always include a “call to action” and give the respondents a specific reason to contact you. “Call for a tour,” “Mention this card for a 10% discount,” “Free food!” – you get the idea.

It’s critical that your direct mail message matches the other messaging that your company has in place. If you’re referring people to your Web site, then what you say on your card must match what you say on your site. For example, if your card is referring to a specific product, then that product absolutely must be found on your Web site!

It also must match the “look and feel” of your other marketing collateral, including your Web site. Consistency = professional. If your collateral is inconsistent, the implied message is that your company – and its products and services – may be inconsistent, too. Using the same images, fonts, tag lines, and so forth can easily accomplish a consistent look.

Sending out just one card is a waste of time – and money. Most experts agree that in order to be effective, you should send out your direct mail at least six times. And, while sending the same card six times may be most cost effective for you, it’s annoying for the recipient. That means developing several different cards, letters or a combination. We also recommend sending these materials out every three to four weeks. That’s not a hard and fast rule, and is dependent on what you’re sending, but if you send items more frequently, you run the risk of appearing desperate.

Finally, the absolute most important part of your direct mail campaign is your distribution list. For some, an existing client database is a good target audience. For others, they will need to purchase the names to send to. Sending to “recipient” or “occupant” is cheap, cheap, cheap. Determine exactly who you want your card sent to, then work with a company that specializes in providing addresses. You’ll be amazed at how specific you can get – and it’s not all that expensive. Isn’t it more important to send to exactly who might purchase your product or service, rather than to waste your money sending to hundreds or thousands of people or businesses that aren’t your target market?

It’s a fairly simple process to determine how many contacts you should send your campaign out to. For example, if you want 300 new clients (or good prospects), you should send to 6,000 names (Five percent of 6,000 = 300). It’s important to note that your goal should be realistic. While it might be nice to get 500 new clients, rather than 300, are you capable of providing your product or service to 500? When determining your response rate, don’t forget to include the costs of the campaign that you need to recoup.

When done correctly and strategically, direct mail can be an extremely effective method of marketing your company’s products and services.

Network Marketing Endorsed by Robert Kiyosaki For Personal Development Education

The #1 reason Robert Kiyosaki recommends network marketing is for its system of education. Important real life business subjects like developing an attitude of success, leadership skills, communication skills, people skills, just to name a few.

The one area we tend to forget or gloss over is personal development and developing the right attitude. So many of us get into a network marketing business and just expect it to happen. We forget that the leaders once sat in the chairs we are now sitting in. To get where they are now they had to undergo a change…personal change. They had to become the best person they could be. We go to a conference and get all fired up and come home and start telling anybody and everybody about our great opportunity. We forget that we don’t have the skill set that our leaders have. We get so focused on business development that we forget that to be successful at business on the right side of Kiyosaki’s quadrant we need to develop personally as well.

A mentor of mine said:“You can only grow professionally as much as you are willing to grow personally” -Jan Janzen

When I first got into network marketing I was shown a diagram:

A_______________B________C

A is where you start and C is when you have a successful business. The B can fall anywhere on that line. It could be 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years or quite frankly never. The journey from A to B is the 6″ between your ears. Personal development skills are a big part of this equation. Some people come to this industry with these skills; most do not. These are not sales skills I’m talking about; in fact salespeople often do not do well whereas teachers shine. The beauty of this is these skills can be learned and are taught by many of the companies that Kiyosaki endorses. Read Cashflow Quadrant Chapter 4.

Kiyosaki also says that the only difference between the 95% and the 5% is the way they think. How do you make that transition from the left side of the quadrant to the right side of the quadrant. How do we change our thinking? Books, CDs, webinars. Think it’s expensive? Many of us, myself included went to university and didn’t care about how much the school made on us; we wanted the education. Yet time and time again I’ve been asked if the leaders are making money from the books and CDs. Quite frankly I didn’t care. If someone was going to teach me how to escape the rat race I was all ears. I subscribe to the J.Paul Getty philosophy of preferring to get paid 1% of 100 people’s efforts rather than get paid on 100% of my sole effort. We expect the professors to get a salary and we even buy books written by them; yet we are skeptical to learn from 5 figurers. Go figure.

It’s curious to me that we dish out thousands of dollars on university where there is absolutely no guarantee of success or of a job. Today young people graduating with degrees are thousands of dollars in debt. I heard some examples of Harvard grads being one hundred thousand dollars in debt! How many years will it take them to pay that off? How many years will it take just for them to break even? If this were a horse race and our children were out of the start gate after graduation how many of them wouldn’t be anywhere near the start line let alone in the race? Now don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying a university education is not important, I’m just saying make sure you go for the right reasons. We see the rich send their children to university so we make the assumption that that is what we need to do to become rich. WRONG. The rich send their children to university for the education not to get a safe secure job. The rich also teach their children how to leverage themselves by owning a ‘B’ Quadrant business.(if you don’t know what a ‘B’ quadrant business is read p.4 of Cashflow Quadrant. Kiyosaki’s buckets of water story was a life changing Oprah light bulb moment for me.) University is just one component not the be all end all.For more of my thoughts on education you can read my hubpage on Thomas Friedman.

It’s important to associate ourselves with the 5% whether in person, in a book or on a CD because otherwise when we hear the 5% speak it doesn’t add up; it doesn’t compute. Nobody wants to be part of the 95%. Nobody knowingly chooses to be in the dead, dead broke or still working category. There is a rule called the 95% rule that says: 95% of everything you personally know you learned from people in the 95% income group. If this is true what income group should you end up in? The 95% group! At 13 my son read Rich Dad Poor Dad. When he started Grade 9 he came home from school with a consent form for Go to Work With Your Parent Day.

Across the top he wrote: Another example of teachers teaching us to be employees and not employers.
Our teachers are employees after all and they are simply teaching what they know. The problem is, the majority of us have a job or own a job (self-employed) so therefore it is considered normal. Normal thinking doesn’t think about the future. We want to be abnormal. We need to think I have to retire so I NEED TO DO SOMETHING NOW. I have to develop both personally and professionally. I need to read good books, attend webinars, and grow my business because I need and want to be able to do what I want when I want and not be controlled by the almighty buck.

When people fail in Network Marketing it’s typically not the company that failed but they failed themselves and as most of us don’t want to admit that, we bad mouth the industry. You see people are anxious to improve circumstances but not to improve themselves. All want more time and money without changing.

So here’s a recipe:

Change your thinking = change your future

Have attitude that it is going to happen. Develop an attitude of success.

5% live the dream 1st, write down their goals 2nd, plan 3rd and apply effort 4th

95% have reversed the order. They ask how much effort will this take? Then they do, set the goal, and then dream

Interestingly enough only 5% ever write their goals down.

School has taught us that failure is a bad thing but how else did we learn to ride a bicycle? Making mistakes is how we are designed to learn. Kiyosaki says he is more financially successful than most people, not because he is smarter but because he failed more.

“In network marketing, you are encouraged to make mistakes, correct, learn and grow. To me that is life changing education.”-Robert Kiyosaki

The only way you truly fail in network marketing is quitting too soon. Here is one of my favorite stories on giving up too soon:

A man meets a successful man in the road. The man asks, “which way is success?”

The successful man speaks not, but points to a place off in the distance.

The man, thrilled by the prospect of quick and easy success, rushes off in the appropriate direction. Suddenly, there comes a loud “SPLAT.” Eventually, the man limps back, tattered and stunned, assuming he must have misinterpreted the message. He repeats his question to the successful man, who again points silently in the same direction.

The man obediently walks off once more. This time the splat is deafening, and when the man crawls back, he is bloody, broken, tattered, and irate. “I asked you which way is success,” he screams at the successful man. “I followed the direction you indicated. And all I got was splatted! No more of this pointing! Talk!” Only then does the successful man speak, and what he says is this: “Success IS that way. Just a little PAST splat.”

Our best thinking has gotten us to where we are today. The definition of insanity is to continue thinking the same way and expect different results.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.-Albert Einstein

Our best thinking got us to where we are today. To be successful we must have or develop an attitude of success. The reason Robert Kiyosaki endorses network marketing is because this is an arena where you can develop in all areas. Self-improvement is a neglected area in traditional education. If you are in network marketing or are considering it make sure you do your homework; don’t just sign up with a friend. If your company is not teaching you to develop personally, embracing the internet as means of attracting people to you and teaching you to use the many resources available to you to leverage your time consider that a red flag. I thought I was part of a great system. Their personal development education was invaluable and transferable. It was excellent except for one minor detail; their method of finding people still involved making a list, contacting family and friends and when our list dried up to go mall crawling.

So by all means find a company that will encourage you to develop personally and encourage you to fail forward and at the same time teach you to leverage your time and let the internet be your main tool of leverage. As Robert Kiyosaki says, the secret of the rich is leverage.

Small Business Marketing Using Your Dog

I’m a dog lover. And my small business has profited immensely from this fact. How so? Well, it just so happens that my dog became the voice in my small business marketing for years, which drove my sales through the roof, even when the economy was sinking like the Titanic.

Can your dog help drive your business?

Can your beloved pooch be at the forefront of your direct response marketing?

Read this short article and decide for yourself.

Small Business Marketing Using Your Dog:

1. Do This And Your Dog’s Marketing Piece Will Bomb.

There’s a rule that says if your small business marketing is boring then you’ve got no chance of selling your audience. In fact, don’t think for a second you can bore your prospects into buying from you. It just ain’t gonna happen. And that’s where your dog can help. In fact, a clever thing to do with your dog is to simply make him or her the voice behind a majority of your marketing campaigns. Why does this work so well? Because right from the get go, this is entertaining to your audience.

2. Don’t Forget To Sell.

So you’re on board with using your dog to drive your marketing. Great. But don’t make the mistake of simply entertaining your prospects. That is not a good strategy either. In fact, your dog should also use proven direct response selling strategies in every marketing piece you send out. So while entertaining your prospects, your dog is also selling your audience on buying whatever it is that you sell.

3. Use Your Dog’s Personality.

What’ll keep your audience’s attention is the personality behind your dog’s voice. So if your dog is shy then let that voice be a bit shy. If your dog is a playful pup then be playful in your marketing. If your dog is a stoic leader then write a campaign that uses this theme. But whatever you do, make sure you allow your dog’s personality to shine through.

4. Write At A Simple Level.

Remember, your dog would not write and sound like you. So make sure to write your dog’s marketing campaign using very simple language that is geared at a 3rd grade level. This is not insulting to your readers. Just the opposite. In fact, your audience expects the language to be simpler since it’s coming from a dog.

So there you have it.

Four ways to pump up the results of your next small business marketing campaign using your dog.

Never be boring.

Make sure your dog sells.

Include your dog’s personality.

Write at a 3rd grade level.