Why You Should Be Using Direct Mail

Yeah, I know the drill all too well. “I tried direct mail and it don’t work and it’s expensive.”

To be honest, I bombed and hit hard the first time I used direct mail too! It was ugly.

But I stayed with it and learned how to make it work from a select few pros in the industry. And it paid off in spades.

In this short article I’m going to give you some reasons why you should put direct mail to work in your business. If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table.

In another article I’ll show you how to make it profitable. But for now, I’m suggesting that you to at least consider using direct mail to grow your business.

I believe that you’ll soon be surprised at how efficient and profitable direct mail really is.

Let’s get to it.

Some of the largest and most profitable companies use Direct Mail to sustain and grow their business. It’s true, Apple, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Pfizer and Wal-Mart and numerous business use direct mail to get fresh leads and increase their sales.

And in case you’re wondering, internet companies such as Google rely on this marketing channel to get businesses to advertise with them.

Sending out direct mail works like crazy for nearly any type of business… medical clinics, plumbers, auto repair shops, publishers, sales organizations… and nearly any other business you can think of. And it will work for your business too!

Here’s Just A Few Reasons To Use Direct Mail

First, you won’t find a more reliable and robust system to get your message out to your clients and prospects.

While there’s no perfect methodology, the US Postal Service is hard to beat.

The Postal Service delivers to 146 million households and business each day, six days a week. Sure, UPS and FedEx compete but UPS delivers only 8 million and FedEx less.

Rest assured, the Postal Service is NOT Going Away! So, you have extremely reliable system right at your fingertips to get the word out affordably.

According to DM News, a recent study showed that 98% of consumers get their mail from the mailbox the day it’s delivered, and 77% go through it immediately.

Now, think about YOUR email. Do you think it’s treated with as much urgency?

According the DMA Statistical Fact Book, 12 Billion (with a B) Catalogs were mailed last year. Do you really think catalog companies go to the trouble and expense to send out 12 BILLION catalogs if they weren’t successful?

What’s more is that this method of advertising in the US is expected to rise to over $48 Billion.

So, what this all adds up to is a dependable, economical and profitable system to sustain and grow your business.

Stay tuned. Next, I’ll be talking about how to make your mailing profitable.

Trade Show Display Mistakes to Avoid

Creating a successful trade show display requires many actions: choosing the right exhibit company, selecting your target audience, selecting design features, simplifying text, and more. However, avoiding certain activities can also contribute to more profitable custom exhibits. Avoiding these mistakes is an important part of creating the highest quality, most affordable display possible for your business. Here are a few of the most common mistakes exhibitors make that can impact the success.

Failing to Read the Exhibitor’s Manual

You should receive an exhibitor’s manual for every trade show at which you register. This manual is an exhaustive list of the rules and regulations that govern your time at the trade fair. For example, it should include the deadlines for renting equipment, the types of lighting that are (or are not) allowed at the show, the kind of technology that the event can support, and so forth. If you read it carefully, you should know everything you need to successfully exhibit at that show.

Unfortunately, many exhibitors fail to read this manual, out of boredom or a misplaced confidence that they already know all of the rules. The truth, however, is that each trade show has its own unique rules that can impact the design of your display booth. For example, rules about the height of your custom exhibit, the types of lighting allowed, and delivery deadlines can all impact when and how you design your display. Reading the exhibitor’s manual before you begin the design process with your exhibit company can equip you to make decisions that comply with your trade show’s rules.

Choosing the Wrong Sized Display

Another common error also occurs before the design process even begins. This error involves choosing the wrong sized display. For example, if you reserve one booth size and build another, you might end up with custom exhibits that simply do not fit. Alternatively, your booth space and display might match, but the size might not fit your needs. For instance, exhibits that are bigger than necessary can eat up so much of your budget that you have nothing left with which to design your large display. Plus, if you go too big, you risk having a display that looks empty because you simply do not draw enough visitors to make the space worth it.

Alternatively, small displays can leave your booth feeling overcrowded. And an overcrowded booth can discourage visitors who otherwise would have stopped by. Or, it can make you look insignificant if your competitors bring larger exhibits. Plus, while you are likely to save money with a smaller booth, you may find that a small booth does not fit your business’ needs if you happen to grow quickly over the course of a few years. The key is to select a booth size that meets your needs, gets your audience’s attention, and leaves you enough money to build a unique trade show display.

Failing to Plan Ahead

One of the most common mistakes made by exhibitors is failing to plan ahead. Just building a unique trade show display requires 6-8 weeks of construction. Fleshing out your vision and creating and refining a design take even longer. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself and your exhibit company 4 to 6 months to complete the process of creating custom trade show displays. Any less than this, and you might not get your display on time. In addition, a failure to plan ahead can mean missing deadlines at the trade show (such as for trade show equipment rental or delivery windows). Or, it might mean losing out on the lower rates for reservations, materials, and services that are available to people who request them ahead of time.

Failing to plan ahead can also result in a less effective custom trade show exhibit. For example, if you do not develop a marketing strategy and set goals for your display, it will be difficult to create a display that meets your trade show needs. Without set goals, an understanding of your target audience, and a focused message, you are unlikely to attract the leads you need to make your time at the trade show worthwhile. Planning both your marketing strategy and your display needs ahead of time can lead to a less expensive but more effective custom trade show exhibit.

Focusing on Cost Instead of Quality

Creating a unique trade show display on a budget can be a challenge, especially if your budget is small. That is why many exhibitors try to build their displays with the least expensive materials and the cheapest design services out there. They hope to achieve a successful trade show display without overspending.

Unfortunately, this strategy rarely works out. By using cheap materials and cheap design services, you risk getting what you pay for: sub-standard designs that wear out quickly or do not work the way they should.

Instead of making cost the most important element in your design decisions, consider making quality most important. This might mean that you have to build a smaller display or add fewer features. However, choosing quality materials and an experienced exhibit company does not mean having to give up on your budget. Instead, your exhibit company’s design services should be able to work with you to innovate less expensive solutions that do not compromise on quality.

Trade show display mistakes may be common, but they are not inevitable. If you can avoid them, you can save yourself time, money, and stress, both during the design process and during the trade show itself. If you read the exhibitor’s manual, choose the right sized display, plan ahead, and focus on quality instead of cost, you should end up with a beautiful, unique trade show display. By avoiding the pitfalls many other exhibitors fall into, you can enjoy a more profitable and less stressful time at your trade shows.

Steve Bailey as Vice-President of Marketing Communications at Harcourt Achieve, guided the development and execution of catalogs, print collateral, direct marketing, the Web site, and public relations. Steve is an expertise employed with the best custom trade show company Texas Longhorn fan.

Get Quick Payback With Cheap EDDM Marketing

Every business needs a marketing plan to be successful. An effective way to get a fast return on promotional marketing campaigns is Every Door Direct Mail, (EDDM), a U.S. postal service for local business that can benefit from targeted zip codes to every house or house and businesses right down to the individual carrier route. Compared to traditional direct mail has very low distribution costs. The cost is $0.183 for each piece. This is cost-effective marketing solution that generates fast sales to new and old customers. Another benefit to EDDM is that it is delivered the day after it arrives at the post office. Direct mail can take weeks to be delivered and you may not know when it is delivered.

There are 6 standard sizes for EDDM: 4.5 X 12, 6 X 12, 6.5 X 12 6.5 X 9, 8 X 6.5 and 8.5 X 7. All sizes cost the same to mail. In addition to cheap mailing fees, there is no need to buy expensive mailing lists and address imprinting. Just select the zip codes in your target areas right down to the individual carrier route. To make this even easier, let your printing service handle the paperwork and delivery to post offices of your choice.

With this EDDM marketing, you can mail directly to local residential customers in the address area of the card. The maximum quantity allowed in this retail program is 5,000 to 25,000 a day at any one post office. Mailers must be bundled in 50 or 100 so they can be quickly distributed to the right carrier.

Put in your target zip codes and choose using breakdowns showing residential, business, total, age 25-44, size, income and cost. This free easy-to-use demographic guide map lets you select the best neighborhoods to give you a fast return on your investment.

You can deliver to other post offices as long as you send a minimum of 5,000 to each. This is so the post offices are not overloaded with EDDM mail. Another advantage is that many printing services offer full service mailing. They do the paperwork, bundling and delivery to your post offices of your choice. Having your printing service do the mailing for you allows you to not pay sales tax as you are not taking possession of this printing.

This quick return marketing plan is best with local businesses such as take out and restaurants, realtors, dry cleaners, retail stores, auto dealerships, contractors and home services, medical professionals, health and beauty services – to name just a few business that can benefit from this promotion.

One very important tip is that this is not a one-time test to see if you can recover your cost in your first mailing. If you offer a valuable discount sale you should get your investment back in a short time. The best way to get high returns is by making your EDDM campaign a monthly mailing to keep you brand in front of people’s eyes so they remember your business.

Using this EDDM program is a great way to get a fast return on your promotional marketing campaigns. It can save you in mailing costs as well as saturate any area you want to concentrate sales. Whether you use full service EDDM printing or do it yourself, this is a successful way to target your audience without spending a lot of money.