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Getting Direct Mail Opened

Getting Direct Mail OpenedGetting Direct Mail Opened – what does it take?  How can you differentiate yourself and ensure that you are noticed?

As a Targeted Direct Marketing List Broker, I have been working with direct mail marketing lists for years.  I believe that there will always be a need for them because people still like to hold onto something vs. look at a computer screen.

Here is an article from Maniac Marketing titled “5 Steps to Getting your Direct Mail Noticed.”   The author of this article recommends going out on a limb with your direct mail design.  She goes as far as to say be outrageous.

Here are the 5 steps she recommends following to ensure that your direct mail marketing piece gets noticed:

1.  Accept the idea that crazy is good – in order for you to be noticed amidst all of the marketing noise, be daring and very different from the usual.
2.  Understand that you are not your customer – listen carefully:  people are bored!!    Be outrageous with your ideas – thrill people!
3.  Always look for ideas – dig through mags at bookstores, libraries, etc.  Look for the ones that stand out and ask yourself what is different.
4.  Get personally involved – Be part of your advertising campaign – be front and centre and stand out!  Be different!  Be daring
5.  Have Fun!

These are awesome ways of getting direct mail opened!  What a concept!  Having fun….can you imagine?  I thought that business was serious…..  😉

Let’s take a look at one other article from Integrated Marketing Solutions titled “Five Unique Direct Mail Campaigns.”   Here are some great ideas for getting direct mail opened!

1.  GGRP Cardboard Record Player – this unique campaign included a cardboard record player and record!!  It was a huge hit with marketers!
2.  Spikes Meat Packaging – this was for a TV channel aimed at a male audience.  They sent out a direct mailer that looked like a slab of meat, that was actually a note pad!!

There are a number of other great examples.  The key is to think out of the box.  Be unique!  Be memorable!  It’s OK!

I hope that this posting has been helpful.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists to learn about the numerous targeted lists that we have access to.  Thanks for your time.

Social Media Direct Marketing

Social Media Direct Marketing - Update 2013Let’s look at Social Media Direct Marketing and what’s new in 2013.  What is happening for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google +?  Who is winning?  Who is losing?  What is working?  What is not working?

As a Direct Marketing List Consultant, I tend to work with organizations who are generally on the smaller end of the spectrum since the larger organizations lean towards larger advertising houses where they can turn their entire marketing mix over to a brain trust.  I am interested in the integration between permission based email marketing and social media direct media marketing.   I am also interested in integrating social media with more traditional forms of direct marketing like direct mail and telemarketing.

Here is an article from Direct Marketing News titled “Social Media Spending to Double in Five Years.”  The article states that organizations are presently spending less than 10% of their marketing budget on social media.  A poll of nearly 500 marketing professionals confirms that this number will probably double in the next 5 years.  I would expect that to happen sooner depending on what else comes up the pipeline.

I really wonder if people are becoming tired of social media direct marketing and looking to turn back to more traditional formats such as post cards and making phone calls.  Both businesses and consumers have become inundated by emails over the past 5 years and most are fed up with the volume that they don’t bother looking at emails that don’t fall into specific buckets – like colleagues, friends, or family.

It’s interesting to take note of the major metrics that marketers are reviewing around social media:  hits/visits/page views, number of followers/friends, & repeat visits.

I am sure that there will be more and more highly creative forms of marketing and advertising coming down the pipe in the next 5 to 10 years.  I think of the futuristic person centric advertising that was used in Minority Report.

I hope that this posting on social media direct marketing has provided you with some food for thought.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists for more information on targeted list marketing.  Thanks for your time.

Small Business Marketing Ideas

Small Business Marketing IdeasWhat small business marketing ideas can you use today that will support your business’ growth?

What steps do you need to take to ensure that you are on the right track?

As a Direct Marketing List Broker I try to support my clients with feedback on how they can utilize target marketing.

Today, I would like to look at some small business marketing ideas that can help you to be ahead of the curve.

I would like to see what kinds of direct marketing ideas are out there that are simple and cost effective.

Here is an article from ValPak titled “4 Brilliant Small Business Marketing Ideas for 2013.”   Here are some of the ideas that the article puts forward:

–  Go Digital – one example is to take advantage of free business listings so that mobile users will easily find you when they search
–  Integrate Online & Offline Marketing Strategies – utilize social media to promote your products and services.   You can utilize text messages as well to promote.
–  Really understand your customer – for instance, during challenging economic times, you want to speak to your ability to be flexible with your customer – to work with your customer
–  Don’t throw all your eggs in the digital basket – traditional marketing still works – direct mail is still preferred by many people over email – why?  How many emails are you receiving a day?  How much direct mail do you see in your mail box?

Here is another article from 365 Days of Marketing titled “Tipping Points and Starting Points in Small Business Marketing.”  How many of us become overwhelmed imagining all that it takes to be noticed in today’s information overloaded world?  How many of us wonder how can we get noticed without breaking the bank to do so?

If you answered yes, to the above questions, then you will be interested in what this article has to say about taking steps to reach out to your marketplace.  That is the big one – simply taking action vs. doing nothing.  What kind of steps can you take?  All sorts!  You can trade services with friends who are tech savvy.   You can ask a teenager to help.  The big one is reaching out and asking for help.

I hope that you have found the content of this article worth your while.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists for all of your targeted direct marketing needs.

Thanks for your time!

Best time to send email blast?

Best time to send email blast?What is the best time to send email blast?  Morning?  Afternoon? Evening?  Is there a perfect time?

As a Direct Marketing Consultant, my clients generally want to send their email broadcasts out first thing in the morning thinking that they will have the entire day for people to open it.

Today I would like to see what others say about the best time to send email blast as compared to what my clients think.

Here is an article from Fourth Source titled “Is there a perfect time to send an email campaign?”

The article confirms that the right timing certainly impacts the outcome of a campaign.  Here are some factors that are discussed that can support this:

Optimizing campaign targeting – the best send time does depend on your industry and when your target audience is available.  One comment that I did not expect based on feedback that I have received previously, is that Sunday is a good day to send a broadcast.  Why?  Because many business people are checking their email before the week begins.

Another consideration is that spam filtering rates are lowest on Saturdays.  Therefore, this is another day to consider sending a broadcast since fewer emails would be stopped by a spam filter even if the person has opted in.

Make sure that you optimize your email to be read on a mobile device since over 50% of emails are now opened on a smart phone.

Remember that if the broadcast is being sent to a large volume of email addresses, it will take a several hours to process.

Here is another article from UN Marketing titled “The best time never to send email.”   What the author states is that everyone is an expert as to the best times to send your email broadcast.

This author also emphasizes that the best way to get your email opened is to write content worth opening.  🙂

Best time to send email blast?  Maybe it needs to be re-written as:  best email that will allow you to have a blast!

What this last article states is so very true:  go for the strong pull subject line.  Go for the strong content that has incentives for your prospects to take action.

I hope that this article has been of use.  Please contact Pinnacle Lists to learn about our targeted email marketing broadcasts.  Thanks for your time.

Google Direct Marketing – How many of you are optimized?

Google Direct Marketing - How many of you are optimized?Google Direct Marketing is a major tool that if properly utilized can seriously support your overall online marketing strategy.

As a Canada & USA Direct Marketing List Broker, I have worked at utilizing Google as a tool in supporting my exposure to my online audience.

Google has a lot of rules that can really help you to rise higher in the search engine results if you understand them and utilize them.

Today I would like to take a look at what others are saying about Google Direct Marketing and how it impacts everyone.

Here is an article from MarketingProfs titled “17 Types of Content that Google will Eat Up.”   Here is a sampling of the 17 different types of content that Google likes:

1.  Interviews – an easy way to publish industry content on your website is to include interviews with industry experts.  A number of benefits come out of this, least of which is your viewers trusting you more by association with the experts.
2.  Lists – Google likes it when you use lists to categorize, rank, or rate things
3.  Resource Centre – create a resource centre on your site – a place on your site for learning – Google likes them because users share them
4.  Social Content – an obvious one today – the key here is to share/create great content
5.  Revisions/Updates – make sure to keep your site current – update content that is no longer relevant – try to do this on a monthly basis
6.  News – If you are the first to report a big headline in your industry, Google may reward you with a #1 ranking

Here is one more article from Google SEO Specialist titled “Google Search Engine Optimization 2013.”  The key point that the writer of this article emphasizes is: the core foundation of SEO is content that fulfills the search intent of the surfer.   In order to do this you need to know your customers wants and needs.

The key to optimizing your website for SEO is to do so in line with Googles SEO guidelines.

I hope that this article on Google Direct Marketing has been worthwhile.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists for more information about our Targeted Marketing List services.  Thanks for your time.

Permission Email Marketing – what is it and how does it impact you?

Permission Email Marketing - what is it and how does it impact youPermission Email Marketing is the only approach that I recommend to my clients.

As an International List Broker, I have been offering my clients the ability to broadcast double opt in permission based email for over 7 years.

Many of my clients continue to come back because they see the benefits of utilizing permission email marketing.   They see that it is cost effective: there is no printing or mailing costs.  The only major costs are design and the broadcast fee.  My clients see it as very timely:  they can see the impact of the broadcast within days rather than weeks with a mailing.  I provide my clients with a tracking report that confirms the number of emails sent, delivered, opened, and clicks per open.

Today I would like to look at what others are saying about permission email marketing to confirm that I am on the right track.  🙂

Here is an article from Econsultancy – Digital Marketing Excellence titled “Permission Email Marketing, it’s what we do isn’t it?”  The first line in the article that has impact is: “Many forms of direct marketing can be seen by the recipients as intrusive and disturbing and this has led to a bit of a backlash.”  There is no doubt about this.  That’s why the first step away from this is to ensure that you are using permission email marketing.

OK, so you have their permission either by having them opt in to your website OR by approaching a firm like mine and having us broadcast for you to a targeted audience as per your requirements.  Once this is confirmed, the next big pieces are:

A.  Subject Line – is your subject line going to be junk mail friendly?  Is it going to connect with their interest?  This is very important to ensure the recipient’s viewing of your email.  Here is a good link to help you.
B.  Creative Quality – ensure that your creative is clean, crisp, and clear in order for them to spend their NYC minute reviewing it to see if they will in fact click on one of your links.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists to learn more about permission based double opt in email marketing to support your businesses’ target marketing efforts.

Thanks for your time.

 

USPS Saturday Delivery – responding to the changing demands of the 21st Century

USPS Saturday Delivery - responding to the changing demands of the 21st CenturyThe only constant is change.  I am now to understand that this is a quote by Heraclitus of ancient Greece.

With the USPS Saturday Delivery being stopped, one can conclude that electronic communication is most definitely causing serious impact on tradition modes of communicating.

As a Direct Marketing Consultant, I have been witnessing the change from targeted direct mail list demand towards targeted permission based opt in email list demand.  This has been happening for the past 5 to 6 years.

With the USPS Saturday delivery stopping it reinforces that email and the electronic transfer of information has definitely taken over the physical delivery of mail.

Lets take a look at a couple of articles around this topic to see what others are saying about the end of USPS Saturday Delivery.

Here is an article from Politico titled “USPS to stop Saturday mail delivery.”   The article confirms that since 2006, the USPS has made $15 billion in cuts, consolidated more than 200 processing locations, and decreased its workforce by 28%.  I would say that changes have been huge at the USPS!  A big reason for the Saturday stopping is to save the USPS over $2 billion.

In another article from The Guardian it has been clarified that the cutback is not due to lower mail volume back rather to the cost of future retiree health benefits which equates to $11 billion.

Here is one more article from Huffington Post that confirms that the mail industry is worth $1 trillion and that more than 8 million Americans are employed by it.

I am actually amazed that the industry is still this large considering the massively increasing volume of email that is being delivered daily.

Based on the every increasing demand that I am seeing for opt in email lists I am quite surprised that the USPS Saturday delivery is the big news from the USPS.  I would think that there are bigger headlines.

I hope that you have found this article to be of interest in gathering some facts around the shifting postal industry.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists for more information on the targeted direct marketing lists that we have access to.

Thank you for your time.

Purchasing email lists – not a good idea

Purchasing email lists - not a good ideaAs a Direct Marketing List Broker I have been asked dozens of times about purchasing email lists by many prospective clients.  Several years back I would have said, “sure, I will look into it for you!”  Today, I say “No way!”

Why?  Because purchasing email lists is the surest way to put you and your company at risk of spamming people.  Here are some of the issues:
1.  Where is the data from?
2.  How can you be sure?
3.  How current is it?
4.  How much is it?  If it’s $250 or less I would be VERY cautious.  If it’s $2500 or more, I would be VERY cautious.
5.  How are you going to send out your email broadcast?  If you plan to use Constant Contact or a similar service, be careful, as they only allow you to use data that has opted in to your website.

Today, I would like to look at what others are saying about purchasing email data vs. having the list owner send it out on your behalf.

Here is an article from AWeber Communications titled “The Ugly Truth About Buying Email Lists.”  The author of the article confirms what I say: that you do not want to purchase email data.

An example is given where a marketing organization purchases 100,000 email addresses to send to their target market.  Well guess what happened?  over 85% of them bounced!!  Not only that, their ISP told them to go find another ISP!

You need to be VERY careful in utilizing email marketing.  You need to ensure that you use a legit service provider like ourselves, who have been in the list industry for over 8 years and know most of the key players.

Here is another article from Hub Spot titled “Why Purchasing Email Lists is Always a Bad Idea.”  The article emphasizes that “reputable” email marketing list vendors will not release their lists to you.  Exactly!

The article once again emphasizes that you either A/ want to rent permission based email marketing lists or B/ create very solid landing pages that will capture your own email addresses – this can take longer, but the contacts know you.

I hope that this article has been helpful in improving your understanding around purchasing email lists.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists to learn more about the permission based double opt in list vendors that we work with.

Thanks for your time!

Landing Page Conversion Killers and How to Avoid Them

Landing Page Conversion Killers and How to Avoid ThemI often wonder how much time smaller businesses spend developing their email marketing strategy.  A big part of the strategy is the landing page that the email broadcast is going to send people to.

Today I want to look at landing page conversion killers and how to avoid them.

As a Direct Marketing Consultant I am constantly looking for ways to support my clients direct marketing efforts.  The issue of landing page conversion killers is an important one today with so many organizations turning to email marketing for faster more cost effective marketing.

Here is an article from unbounce titled “5 Landing Page Conversion Killers.”    The article focuses on 5 conversion killers – here they are:

1.  Poor typography and white space – user wider margins and increase the contrast between your font and your background.
2.  Slow loading landing page -only have the essentials on your site – remove clutter
3.  Obsessing About the Fold – It’s OK to have a longer landing page with plenty of copy
4.  Weak Ass Testimonials – More than 62% of consumers will purchase a product based on positive ratings – so therefore have quality testimonials on your site.
5.  Crushing Readers with a “Wall of Text” – Highlight keywords, use headings, write short paragraphs, and utilize lists

Here is another article from Mintblogger titled “How to create Killer Landing Pages For Higher Conversions.”  This looks at landing page conversion killers from the other side of the page – what works vs. not.

One key question that needs to be asked is:  do you have the tech skills to build your own page, or do you need the support of a web developer?

The big one is:  What is the goal or purpose of your landing page?  You can have all the design and marketing skills, however, if you do not know why you are developing this landing page, then the rest is irrelevant.

The moment you plan to sell two or more products on a landing page, you are sunk.

The cleaner and clearer is your landing page, the better.  Keep it focused on your message.

This article emphasizes testimonials too.  The key is to keep them authentic.

I hope that this article has been helpful for your online marketing efforts.

Please contact Pinnacle Lists to learn more about our target marketing list options.

Thanks for your time!

Testimonials

The client was very happy with the campaign. The click-thrus were very good. We’ll definitely look to do this again in the future. Thank you for all your help and patience! SMS Campaign SuccessLinda J - Financial MarketerLA, California, USA