Direct Mail

Rhonda HiltbrandThe speed and efficiency of programmatic advertising is valuable, but it should always be used in conjunction with creativity to engage consumers, writes Denise Colella. “Overreliance on performance metrics at the expense of creativity is a dangerous practice, yet it’s easy to do,” she writes.

(Marketing Essentials of the Highly Successful Shop Owner – Part 4 Continued)

The advantages of direct mail are many…here are just a few!

  • It is targeted – You decide who it goes to.
  • It is measureable – You know who it went to and you can tell who responded to it right down to the individual.
  • It is scalable – You can mail as few or as many as you like. If using bulk mail to get the best rate you do need a minimum of 200 pieces.
  • It is expected – Consumers expect mail six days a week. They don’t have to order it, subscribe to it or drive out to get it.
  • It is appreciated – USPS did a recent study that showed over 60% of consumers would prefer getting offers by mail than by any other method.
  • It is non-intrusive – It doesn’t pop up in an article, appear in their social media viewing and it doesn’t show up in their inbox to be deleted in seconds. It comes and gets viewed regularly.
  • Now more than ever it captures attention because many bills, etc., are received online rather than in the mailbox.
  • Consumers can put it aside to look at later…unlike an email, social media, etc. You only get a quick moment and setting it aside for later is not an option with those venues.

You want consumers to spend time with your mail piece so make it worth their while. A recipient spends 213 seconds with a mail piece.  You have three seconds to draw interest to your piece.  You have 30 seconds to engage and 180 seconds to get it looked at thoroughly and generate a response.

  • Make it fun!
  • Add color and graphics
  • Make it sizzle!
  • Entertain for brand awareness!
  • Remember…it isn’t always, sell, sell, and sell!! (but do include an offer)

A short reminder…always live up to your marketing campaign no matter what method you use.  A lot of times shops say they are the best, the friendliest, the most high tech, etc…then they get a consumer to try them once.  When that shop fails to live up to that marketing campaign…they seldom get a second chance.

I hope these “Marketing Essentials of Highly Successful Shop Owners” has been helpful.  They were a brief overview of each type of marketing that most shop owners (and other small businesses use).  If you need more in-depth information on one or all, just let me know!

Thanks!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


The Power Of Direct Mail

Rhonda HiltbrandIt’s important to select the right marketing channels and to recognize the enduring power of print media to produce an effective marketing campaign, experts advise. Also, remember that it takes commitment to build a following through paid advertising. The Guardian (London)

(Marketing Essentials of the Highly Successful Shop Owner – Part Four)

Technology is great but too often tech companies leave out the human factor…to them it is data-to-data instead of a person to another person.  They still call it marketing…but is it really?  Mostly it is a quick, cheap “touch” and so it is given very little thought.  If one had to pay direct mail prices to send it…they probably would scrutinize it before pushing it out!  I get more complaints from my customers about the tech companies they use than about anything else.  They say their customers complain to them about receiving too much…34 or more touches a month.  Whatever we do…we don’t want to be annoying.  I appreciate the tech companies’ zeal and enthusiasm but too much of a good thing is still…too much! I always suggest that my customer ask the tech company to cut back on how much they push out.

Direct mail still delivers the strongest ROI for business to consumer.  If you are trying to find new customers, it can be done very inexpensively.  If you are keeping in touch with your current customers it works very well.

  • Direct mail delivers the strongest ROI for Business to Consumer acquisition of customers (31% for direct mail compared to 16% for email) as well as for retention of customers (37% for direct mail compared to 29% for email).
  • 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered and 77% sort through it immediately.
  • 65% of surveyed online Americans say they have made a purchase in response to messages received via direct mail.
  • For every $1 invested in direct (non-catalog) mail expenditures, the average return on investment is $15.40.

The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) uses $12 in revenue for every $1 spent to show you can have over 1200% ROI.  This is based on the lifetime value of your customer.  For example, if you spend $1000 on a direct mail campaign you may not see $12,000 worth of immediate business but over the lifetime of the customer you could reasonably expect to see a 12x return on investment.

No other type of advertising gives a small business that level of return.

Next month we will continue with more stats and reasons to use direct mail!  I promised to keep my Help Me Rhonda’s short and sweet so I will stop here for this month!

Never hesitate to contact me with comments or questions!

Thanks!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Email Marketing

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Email addresses are not data.  Each represents a real person.  Treat them accordingly!”

(Marketing Essentials of the Highly Successful Shop Owner – Part Three)

This is part three in answer to a reader who is frustrated that many of his marketing strategies aren’t working like he thought it would! Today’s post is about email marketing!

I love email!  It is my favorite form of communication.  I like it because it is easy, I don’t have to play “phone tag” with my customers and writing happens to be my main vocation.

However…as a consumer nothing annoys me more than the “overzealous” emailer. I purchase my printer toner at Best Buy.  In December, they decided, for some reason, to start emailing every single day.  They never stopped.  They are on my list to “unsubscribe.”  Web MD seemed like a great business for me to subscribe to.  When they started sending me no less than 20 emails each and every Saturday…way too many through the week and on Sunday, I unsubscribed!  Certain LinkedIn persons decided I needed to hear what they had to say all weekend long and in the evenings and on holidays especially…I dropped them.

The main problem with email marketing is that it is sooooooo easy businesses forget that the email address represents a real human being and it isn’t just “data”.  Respect that person’s time.  Don’t be responsible for their “email fatigue.”

Always ask yourself this question before you send out email marketing…if I had to pay for this service like I do direct mail…would I send it?  Treat it like you would direct mail…always respect your readers!

Some suggested rules of email marketing:

  • – Address your readers’ concerns.
  • – Don’t make it be a big sales push.
  • – Remember it should be all about what you can do for your customer…not about how great you and your business is.
  • – Experiment with the best time to send it out. I do 7:00 am on Tuesday’s because that is when my readers seem to interact with it the most.  I get a great read rate using this time.
  • – Always include an “unsubscribe” option…don’t force yourself on your readers as this will turn them off faster than anything.
  • – I send out two “Help Me Rhonda’s” a month…one to service advisors and one to shop owners. That is all!  I want my columns to be welcomed…not an intrusion on my readers’ busy time.
  • – Keep it short and keep it simple. This email blast is far too long…but I wanted to answer the question I was asked.

If you have further questions about email marketing (this is just the basics) I have a lot more I can say about it so let me know and I’ll make sure you get the information.  You are always welcome to call or email me and I am here to help you!  Don’t hesitate!

Thanks for your time!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Frustrated with Social Media? Don’t Be!

Rhonda Hiltbrand(Marketing Essentials of the Highly Successful Shop Owner – Part Two)

Social media marketing can be effective, but it shouldn’t be your only tactic for promoting your business, writes Sticky Branding President Jeremy Miller. 

This is part two in answer to a reader who is frustrated that many of his marketing strategies aren’t working like he thought it would! Today’s post is about social media.

Many small business owners (and large business) are frustrated that “Social Media” isn’t paying off.  As small business owners you may have the advantage because:

  • Those who interact with your social media may actually know you and care more about your posts. They will even engage with them now and then.
  • Most of you are posting your own social media and aren’t paying someone (an outside service) to do it for you!

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all the other social sites are a good way to be “social.”  They aren’t necessarily a way to add dollars to your bank account.  Don’t stop being social because of this…your posts can still be enjoyed by your customers.

What type of posts do my most successful shop owners share?

  • Trivia about famous cars
  • Actual pictures of disastrous car parts they are replacing that day
  • Pictures of a staff member’s birthday party, etc.
  • Pictures of unique vehicles they are working on that day

Social media posts themselves may not be making you money, however, they do keep your shop “top of mind awareness” and isn’t that a very important part of marketing?

Do you pay Facebook for your ads?  If so, here is something you will want to know!
Facebook is collaborating with the Media Ratings Council and the Interactive Advertising Bureau on viewability. The social network charges only for ads actually viewed, but it defines that as any ad that appears even slightly in front of a user instead of the MRC’s standard that an ad should be 50% viewable for at least one second. The Wall Street Journal

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing