Teaching everything we know to help you earn a living using the proven concepts of direct marketing and solution selling.

Teaching everything we know to help you earn a living using the proven concepts of direct marketing and solution selling.

If success is your passion, subscribe to our Direct2Customers Marketing Community and see for yourself the value of what we offer. FREE to join! 

Here’s the kicker. Using our FREE content will compel you how to blow away the competition. 

For example, In our Library of Marketing you’ll find a massive quantity of writings, articles, papers reports and more just for the asking. All the marketing content is based on learning and doing for people who want to succeed. 

Itoday’s marketing and selling, you need a better understanding of the way prospects and customers act. Always write down some of the actions you observe when you and the team are dealing with prospects and customersStart to build profiles of your prospects and customers. Why? Not everybody responds in the same way. Everyone does not have the same problem.  

People you meet may have similar personalities, but everyone is different. In addition, you have competition, direct and non-direct. If you want to create better marketing and selling, you must learn about your marketplace and record the “doing” that worked and others that didn’t.  

How The Direct Marketing Community Works for You 

1. Library of Marketing. 

As you scroll through the community web site (direct2customers.com), there are many FREE writings that you can request. If you don’t see something you like, send us an email and in a few short sentences discuss your problem or need. I’ll match writings to your request and send it your way.  

Even if you have more questions, I’ll answer as much as I can, once you become a member. The goal is to have members help other members. As writings are requested, I’ll add them to the Library of Marketing for everyone to access.  

2. Looking for a Strategic Marketing Advantage?  

We recommend five key strategies for growth.  Each can be used alone, or in combination, to become highly effective in your marketing communications. 

  • Customer-Centric Marketing 
  • Direct Marketing 
  • Multi-Channel Marketing 
  • Data Driven Marketing 
  • Digital Marketing

3. What is our Custom-Made Marketing E-book? 

When you visit this web page, you’ll find two offers. These two free modules, Situational Analysis and How to do Market Research and Analysis are the favorite modules requested. Choose one and contact us for how to ask and use the questions found in both modules. Gather your team and copy or record their answers and management as well. 

The eighteen modules in our e-book can help you build a better company, marketing and selling. Each module will help you think of better ways to operate your company at a higher level. If you want us to ask you and your team the questions and to analyze your responses, there is a fee, but there are discounts for all members.   

Remember the Rule of Three: Thinking Visually in Threes      
Optional services  
WHAT? 

Direct Marketing Mail Success content is available for companies that want to use it as an advertising tool.  

Our publication, Direct Marketing Mail Success, since 1993, has thousands of articles on Direct Mail, Direct Response, Small Business Marketing Success, and much, much more in our Library of Marketing. The copy is always updated based on current conditions as well as writing new articles. You can purchase a subscription for 4 copies within a year. There is an option to have us design the newsletter or just purchase the content. If there are any questions, please contact us at 800-251-3608 or Mdoc@direct2customers.com. 

WHERE TO FIND US? 

Number One. Our Direct Mail Success Newsletter – is still a quarterly publication, averaging five articles per issue, containing the latest information on Direct Marketing Mail, such as: 

  • Data Analytics 
  • Segmentation 
  • Customer Profiles 
  • Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy 
  • Multi-Channel Marketing Communications  
  • Digital Marketing 
  • Social Media Marketing 
  • Small Business Marketing 
  • Not-for-Profit Companies 

Number Two. MarketingDoc Blog – weekly posts on small business and b2b marketing – subscription pricing is available. 

  • Direct Marketing Techniques and Fundamentals for Social Media Channels 
  • Outbound and Inbound Marketing Programs 
  • Using CRM’s 
  • Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy 
  • Landing and Call-to-Action Web pages 

Locations of other posts by The Marketing Doc – Variety of Guest Posts, Google Blogspot, Constant Contact, LinkedIn, Discussion Groups, and MarketingDoc.net 

HOW? 

Custom articles – Here are many purchase options for you to consider. The most common are: 

  • Update selected content to present marketing conditions, if necessary. 
  • Create new articles for use in a pre-determined market. 
  • Purchase an existing article as is, Copyright assigned to your firm. 
  • Article usage in a blog post for you to customize with your company brand image. 
  • Article usage in a company email for client acquisition or relationship building. 
  • Miscellaneous needs – Let’s discuss your needs and set a goal for the content. 

WHO?  

Marketing Communications Group brings over 35 years of excellence and pride in helping companies and their people reach their marketing and growth goals.  

One of the benefits of social media and content marketing is you don’t have to be large company to succeed.  

Our goal:  providing consistent timely content and assist you by responding in a timely matter that really counts. 

Your goal: Know your target customer. You have closer and more frequent contact with customers.Your customers want solutions/answers to their questions, and if you can offer them more and better ideasyou are a solution provider. 

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at your Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?  Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-250-3608

   

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Be More Creative and Strategic in Marketing and Sales Promotions…

Be More Creative and Strategic in Marketing and Sales Promotions…

which lead to many benefits in the overall growth of your company and employees.

What are the top five strategies in our direct marketing community?

When evaluating existing marketing and selling programs, we always find a variety of solutions and ideas to enhance company growth. There are leadership skills that come with creative marketing strategies. And we all know the importance of leadership.

Selecting the best strategy or using a variety of strategies is common, but first do your homework. Just as you can’t fit your feet in a shoe size smaller than yours, you need strategies that work well with management, your team, and your targeted market.

I have used five battle tested strategies, from the past and in today’s digital landscape. There are a variety of strategic names, such as a game plan or master plan. In my world of marketing and advertising, creativity is prominent.  The art and science of marketing tend to lead one to build creative strategies.

I made a presentation in 1993, at a business trade show in Chicago, on how to use creative strategies in direct marketing mail with one-to-one marketing, and relationship marketing. These were creative strategies in this era showing results in marketing programs and tactics.

The good results were also the importance of gathering customer data and analysis to add some strength to a firm’s strategic marketing plan.

Our five strategies of importance are in no particular order. However, the customer always comes first.

A customer-centric marketing strategy

The customer is at the center of your marketing universe. Therefore, all your products and services must meet their needs and requirements. Not just in the beginning of a purchase, but every time the customer makes a purchase. People don’t buy products or services–they buy solutions.

If you Google customer-centric marketing, you will uncover a ton of definitions. To keep it simple, I’ll use the following information that hits on a few high notes based on experience.

Customer-centric marketing means to fulfill all the needs and wants of each customer with a desire to help them reach satisfaction and doing it all with a smile. If you want to experiment with the principles of customer-centric marketing, you need to learn the “how” from your customers, one-on-one.

  1. Learn as much as you possibly can about all your customers and prospects. Even the ones who may only purchase on an irregular schedule. For example, ask them how they use your product or service? How did they make a purchase decision?
  2. Share your product and service features and benefits with your prospective market. Give them a taste of what you offer. This will lead buyers to more ideas on how to use your products or services. Consider using the benefit from your company being a solution provider. Working closely with your buyers to design a special service or product that is very beneficial to them.
  3. Treat your customers with value added, no cost services.  This is one benefit that no one forgets.
  4. As you learn more about each customer, keep fulfilling their needs and wants to exceed their expectations. A happy customer leads to collect more marketing data. More data can lead to better advertising results.
  5. And when customers are happy, they give you testimonials. Testimonials are a great addition to your marketplace communications and especially customer service and the selling team.

Why use a direct marketing strategy?

You need a customer-focus mentality to see and understand why your customers buy or not buy. There is nothing better than weaving a direct marketing strategy and its many tactical choices to reach, attract and sell more to your target market audience. In one word, AWESOME! 

Direct marketing is also an interactive system of marketing and selling using two-way communication in your marketplace. Effective direct marketing uses more communication channels to get a measurable customer response and enables you to record and analyze event data.

The direct marketing strategy, as coined by Lester Wunderman in the 1950’s, “is advertising directly to the consumers mailbox with less competition.” An advertising message, sent to a consumer, provides a direct path to the person’s mailbox, with less noise from the competition.

For example, the United States Postal System is moving toward digital, but not at the expense of direct mail, but using it with direct mail. (See the post Informed Delivery from the USPS.)

Why a use multi-communication channel strategy.

Multi-communication channel marketing enables you to use a variety of communication channels to reach your customer and your customer responds. For example, direct mail, e-mail, landing pages and numerous channels in social media hit their target market with good results.

The customer is the center of your universe and all your products and services must meet their needs. Many times, more than not, it’s wise to make sure your database used for prospects and customers in your marketplace records, show what channels are used and by whom. People don’t buy products or services – they buy solutions.

Why A Data Driven Marketing Strategy?
May I quote, according to Fospha, “Customer Data Platform Specialists,” director Sam Carter stated that:

“Without fully integrated customer data, businesses are unable to fully engage their customers and drive conversions at sustainably low cost, retain customers and build brand loyalty.” 2016 publication. By the way, this is still true today.

At a ClickZ’s webinar, August 23, 2017, Maximize Your Customer Data, a definition of personalization is defined as, “communicating differently with a customer based on their characteristics, to optimize customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value.” Also still true today.

 Plus, according to McKinsey, personalization can result in a sales uplift of 10%, and increase return on investment on marketing spent by a multiple of eight. Without data management, everything else you build in your marketing model, is wasted.

The analysis of data will help one to determine isolated trends, regions, or time periods to compare with your other data from previous campaigns.

Designing solutions for your small business and b2b marketing is three-fold.

  • To attract and retain buyers,
  • using end-to-end visibility into all marketing and selling campaigns, and
  • from impressions to revenue.

This can easily combine data from various sources to get new insights about your marketing and advertising tactics.

Why a Digital Marketing strategy?

There are different types of customer profiles, behavior, and competitors. Designing solutions for your business to attract and retain customers, and gain visibility into all campaigns, from impression to revenue is extremely valuable. When your strategy enables you to easily combine data from different sources to obtain new ideas, value is generally recognized.

Develop and create a marketing and selling campaigns, driven by your customer data and paid‐search strategies, is measured by key performance indicators (KPI) you create.

In a small business and a b2b company, you can start to learn to increase your proficiency in social advertising, use Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Determine if your competition and other companies in your industry use digital marketing and learn why and how it is used.

A small business and b2b marketing and selling fact remains that those who “have a need for what you have to offer must be aware of what you have to offer.”

Summary

In many ways you can see it pays to have a strategic creative marketing and advertising approach in all your marketing and selling communications with your target market. Think of your strategic creative marketing plans like a good home-made recipe. What I mean is, you use a little strategy and a bit of another, to stay in the know about your customers and target market.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at your Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?  Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-250-3608

 

 

 

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Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

but pounce on them with an offer they cannot refuse.

Direct and digital marketing is a combination of words, pictures, and ideas. A great visual tool without compelling words often goes unnoticed. Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often doom those glorious words to oblivion. Great visual images without substantive words and ideas often diminish the result.

At times, your audience may not understand a visual. Many have heard of the Pareto Principle, but after seeing in use in a post or an article, it deserves a trip to Google to answer people’s questions.

Use another pause visual to slow or stop the reader to check it out. Make sure a post or solicitation opens in another company web page so the trip back for the visitor returns to the original location. Also, this is a clever way to explain the definition of a word or phrase.

Do you know your competitors, directly or indirectly? Find out before you read their product description after seeing their product in a photo or video. You may say, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” Or, “this new product will kill us.”

Each example is important, but prospects and customers will overlook the best words and most monumental ideas unless something grabs their attention. Producing “grabbers” work well with about any communication channel today.

The grabber for direct mail is the design. It’s the proper mix of color, shape, size, illustrations, photos, and typography.

I know what you are thinking. If you said your digital and social media communications could use a design makeover, you are correct. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.

A good headline accentuated with a photo or art is “a double whammy.”

Bright colors and bold graphics set your work apart. Illustrations are easily editable to fit your brand and can even be more universal than photography. Let Vector illustrations help your next project wrap up a punch.

Focus on creating a “how-to” or “why” or a “number series” while adding value and/or supplying entertainment in the form of a photograph, vector art, or even a short video or GIF.

As we learned in Direct Mail 101, the how-to is powerful because it engages the prospect on a deeper psychological level. It’s self-centered and most of us pay more attention when we hear “how-to and whatever follows after it.”

Try using a catchy relevant headline in the email subject line and see your open rate increase. Go a step further and add visuals with copy.

How to Reach a Qualified Target Audience… and motivate them to seek you out!

Momentum is not only a powerful force; it can keep people in motion. Eventually, when focusing on a segment of your contacts, such as once-buying prospects, you will learn how to qualify them.

The copy and the photo are enough to draw the reader in to the post. The copy can appeal to a human emotion.

Ask a question in the headline.

“What marketing communication channel delivers over 700 million messages each day?”

Curiosity can draw many reasons to find an answer. A good copywriter will add more subtle information. Like, in…

Subhead. Hint. Something you do with marketing.

 The answer is 700 million of letters and parcels are delivered yearly by the United States Postal Service. When you decide to use the US Mail channel, it’s a good guess the contact will get what you sent.

Thinking of using direct mail?

When designing direct mail, many people tend to be overly concerned about the individual design elements in the piece. Such as:

  • How does the headline look?
  • Should we put a few bullet points here?
  • How about some added color here?

Stop! Always try to look at your design. Stand back from your thoughts and look at it as you would a cool piece of art.

Imagine the blocks of text, the headlines, and various color blocks and photos as design elements – squares, circles, rectangles. Look at what stands out and what doesn’t.

Summary

If you want to learn more about this communication channel, direct mail, visit our Direct2customers.com and visit the Library of Marketing. There are a variety of sample writings. If you have a specific need send an email to Mdoc@direct2customers.com.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions? Mdoc@direct2customers.com     800-251-3608 (USA only)

      

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey marketers, “did you hear the latest about Informed Delivery from the US Postal System?”

Hey marketers, “did you hear the latest about Informed Delivery from the US Postal System?”

And this service is FREE! 

Most every mailing campaign can benefit by taking advantage of this great innovation available from the US postal System. Yes, it is FREE! If you care to see examples of just how creative and effective Informed Delivery can be, read on and I’ll share as much as possible. People are really getting it, and it’s making a difference to them. 

Informed Delivery 

Informed Delivery® is a free and optional notification feature that gives residential consumers the ability to digitally preview their letter-sized mail and manage their packages scheduled to arrive soon. Informed Delivery benefits the entire household by allowing users to view what is coming to their mailbox whenever, wherever – even while traveling – on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. 

How do you get started? 

You must live in an eligible ZIP Code™ location and be able to verify your identity in order to sign up for Informed Delivery.  In rare instances, you may live in an eligible ZIP Code, but cannot sign up for the feature because your individual mailbox is not uniquely coded; this coding determines which images are provided to each Informed Delivery user and ensures that users view mail destined for their address only.   

While most addresses are uniquely coded, not all are, especially in high density areas (e.g., apartment buildings or condos). If your address is not uniquely coded, you will not be able to sign up for Informed Delivery at this time, but please check back later. USPS is working to increase the number of addresses with access to Informed Delivery. 

How does Informed Delivery work? 

The United States Postal Service® (USPS) snaps the image of the front of a letter-sized mail while running through our automated mail sorting equipment. USPS is now using those images to provide digital notifications to users in advance of the delivery of physical mail. 

Users receive emails to the email address in their personal USPS.com® account containing grayscale images of the exterior, address side of up to 10 pieces of incoming letter-sized mail that is arriving soon. These images are also accessible on the Informed Delivery dashboard at informed delivery.USPS.com. Only the first 10 pieces of mail appear in the email currently.  

The remaining mail images can be viewed on your dashboard. This measure helps limit the size of emails being sent to users. Additionally, participating mailers can supplement their digital mail piece with a clickable and interactive color image below the grayscale image or provide an image to replace the grayscale image. 

Some mail pieces (e.g., catalogues or magazines) are not imaged by our automated equipment and will not appear in your Informed Delivery notification. If a scan is detected on these types of mail pieces, users will see a message stating, “A mail piece for which we do not currently have an image is included in today’s mail.” 

For any item with USPS Tracking®, including items such as Certified Mail® and Registered Mail®, users can view the delivery status in Informed Delivery notifications. Users can also provide USPS Delivery Instructions®, manage their notifications, and schedule redelivery from the dashboard. Users can also receive USPS Tracking updates for incoming packages via separate email or text notifications. 

The dashboard displays mail images for a seven-day period, and package information displays for 15 days after each package has been delivered. Users can opt-in to receive separate email or text notifications with status updates for incoming packages, too. 

Stay tuned for additional information. 

Thanks for reading. If you have any comments or questions, reach me at Mdoc@direct2customers.com

 

800-251-3608     

      

 

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Why Old-Fashioned Direct Mail Is Still Awesome for B2B Companies

Why Old-Fashioned Direct Mail Is Still Awesome for B2B Companies

The postal service reminds us today, nearly four in five B2B companies open most of their direct mail. 

Digital marketing and advertising tactics are playing a major role generating interest among consumers who are not already customers. Demand creation through advertising or better known as acquisition advertising, is implementing certain strategies to market a company’s products and services to new customers. It typically requires collaboration and alignment between marketing and customer service teams. 

But old-fashioned direct mail in lead generation can also play a big part.  

That’s because most consumers, including b2b, open most of their direct mail. They consider this type of mail communication less intrusive than email, which often arrives in floods. According to a few advertising and marketing publications, direct mail is the second most popular form of acquisition advertising behind television. 

“The part of the advertising industry that hasn’t been impacted by the internet and frankly can’t be because the internet does not do acquisition advertising,” said Gary Mulloy, CEO of Money Mailer, a demand creation direct mail business that reaches 15 million homes a month. 

To be sure, companies will continue to rely on search advertising, in which a company targets current customers mostly online. The next time you try to read a newspaper or another type of publication advertising online, count the number of digital advertisements you encounter. 

By exposing consumers to products and services in digital advertisingthey many not beware their data is collectedused and shared with others. By a few estimates, businesses lose about a quarter of their customers each year. To compensate, they need to replace them, so collected data sold by others may be tempting 

More than two-thirds of advertising dollars are spent on demand creationNike famously refers to its athletic endorsements as Demand Creation” that spurs interest in its shoes and apparel. Overall demand creation advertising is a $140 billion to $150 billion-per-year industry. Direct mail accounts for about one-third of that.  

“The biggest companies of marketers need is to have a primary demand creation medium” said Mulloy. People are more apt to open physical mail than one of the many emails they receive, or another advertisement goes unread. That is a less intrusive form of advertising.  

Consider that: 

  • The average American gets 570 emails a week compared with 19 pieces of direct mail advertising. 
  • The U.S. Postal Service says that about 98% of people check their mailbox daily. 
  • A 2014 study by the marketing research group DNN found that 77% of consumers open most of their direct mail.  

The most effective strategy for demand creation is combining direct mail and internet advertising to drive traffic to company websites. Direct mail can build brand awareness at a reasonable cost. 

“The internet and search trends appear to be speaking to current users and you cannot grow your business by only talking to current users. You need to constantly acquire new customers,” said Mulloy.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or phone 800.251.3608 (USA)

 

 

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