Friday, March 23, 2012

10 Commandments for Successful Direct Mail Marketing

Want to be better at direct mail marketing? Just follow these 10 commandments. 
  1. Thou shalt build a good list - It's all in the list. That's a common saying in marketing. If you don't have a good list that's comprised of your target audience, you're never going to see results from your direct mail marketing. You should always be trying to grow your list naturally. You need to make sure your list contains true prospects and customers, and you should segment your list to send more targeted mailings.

  2. Thou shalt know thy audience intimately - You must know who your target audience is. Make a list of as many characteristics as you can about your ideal customer. How old are they? Where do they live? How much money do they make? What's important to them when making a purchase? What are their likes/dislikes? The more you know, the more effective your direct mail will be.

  3. Thou shalt not make it all about thyself - Good marketing isn't about you, it's about your customer. You have to make sure you're speaking to your customers' needs. You have to make sure they understand how they will benefit and how their lives will improve by choosing to do business with you.

  4. Thou shalt track results - If you're not tracking the results of your direct mail campaign, you may as well be throwing your money away. You have to know exactly how your campaign is performing so you can constantly tweak it and improve its performance to boost your ROI.

  5. Thou shalt not use marketing jargon - Resist the temptation to use industry terminology and marketing speak in your direct mail pieces. Instead, speak to your customer in a clear way that they can understand. Write like you talk. It's that simple.

  6. Thou shalt request action - What good is a direct mail piece if it doesn't generate a response? Every piece of mail you send out should encourage some sort of response from the recipient. Whether that response is to use a coupon, place an order, or call you for a free consultation is up to you. Just make sure you're asking them to do something

  7. Thou shalt personalize when possible - Whenever possible, personalize your mailouts. You can do this by adding the customer's name in the copy or even creating a personalized URL for the recipient to visit online.

  8. Thou shalt keep the list up to date - Make sure your mailing list is well maintained. If a customer moves or asks to get off your list, update your list so that you're not wasting money sending mail to the wrong place.

  9. Thou shalt integrate - Direct mail marketing is most effective when it fits with your entire marketing strategy. You can integrate your direct mail with social media, web, and email marketing efforts to get better results.

  10. Thou shalt send high quality marketing materials - If your marketing materials look cheap and unprofessional, no one will want to do business with you. That's why you should just a professional company to design and print your direct mail for you. Search online for reputable mail companies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Finding The Right Business Processes For Your Enterprise

When you own a business, it is important for you to regularly look into the business and see if any changes can be made which would add to your success. Many businesses tend to focus on getting new customers and although having a fresh customer base is always a good idea, there are also many things that you can do which will help to improve your business without ever adding a new customer to it. Additionally, there are things that can be done which will help to improve how things move through the office. What are some of the solutions that successful companies have utilized in order to take care of many of these items automatically?
Among the many things that needs to be considered when it comes to automated software solutions is to get the right type of procurement software which is going to help to automate the purchasing that takes place within your organization. Additionally, you need to consider the overall customer to cash process and how it is commonly worked within your organization. By reviewing these things regularly, you will have a much better opportunity to make a difference in how the internal workings of your company affect your bottom line.
You should also consider how you are selling to individuals who have already purchased from your company. I'm sure that you are aware of what is known as the 80/20 rule where 80% of your business is going to come from 20% of your customers. If your business is set up in such a way that you are only selling them one product or service, you're really leaving a lot of money on the table. Once a customer has come to trust you, it is much more likely that they are going to continue to trust you with additional services that you may have to offer to them.
It may also be possible for you to streamline your advertising efforts and to focus more fully on those that are benefiting you. Many companies tend to throw money at advertising, not really tracking where the results are coming from successfully. It may be that some of your efforts are falling on deaf ears while others are really having a beneficial effect. If the advertising that you are doing is entirely online-based, it may be possible for you to track the success of the campaign through a software solution. If a lot of your advertising is done off-line, you may need to ask the person where they heard about you. Most people that are interested in what you have to offer will gladly let you know.
There are many other things which can also be reviewed regularly to help improve your business and the success that you are seeing. The key is, you must be consistent in doing these reviews in order to see the most improvement in your organization. During the review process, you will likely identify both strengths and weaknesses within your company. Make sure that you capitalize on that knowledge to improve your bottom line.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why Leasing Your Office Partitioning Makes Good Financial Sense

It may come as a surprise to learn that office partitioning can actually be leased. Perhaps this surprise has something do with the idea that any kind of refurbishment is considered a long-term investment. Certainly, a complete office refurbishment is not meant to be a temporary arrangement.
But leasing is an option that many companies opt for when changing the floor plan of their offices. In taking advantage of the array of demountable and relocatable glass walls and office dividers, it is possible to avoid the expense of making one large payment. This can only benefit the office budget in the long and short-term.
There are some specific advantages to leasing glass partitioning that divides a large boardroom in two. Refurbishing the existing office area is sometimes a necessity, especially if there is an anticipated increase of staff on its way. But it can also be done for aesthetic reasons, especially when the old surroundings do little to enhance office morale.
Affordable Fixed Repayments
Understandably, there are always some question marks over whether or not a new debt needs to be taken on. But with the right contractors, a leasing scheme should be very affordable and impact very little on the office budget.
This is because, unlike banks or any lending institutions, the agreement is a straightforward deal involving a set term with a fixed monthly sum. There are no concerns over fluctuations in the interest or inflation rates, and the repayment scheme itself can be tailored to fit into your own budgetary situation.
So, the benefits of a refurbished and fully modernised office can be enjoyed without having to fork out for it in one go.
Eases the Pressure on Cash Flow
Of course, the primary concern with office budgets is the delicate balance between incoming and outgoing cash. This flow of revenue is vital if everything that needs to be maintained financially is maintained. By agreeing a lease deal for installing the new partitioning in your office, this flow is not affected to a great extent.
This means revenue can still be dedicated to covering regular running costs so the cost of the refurbishment is not a drain on funds. What is more, when the benefits of these improvements manifest themselves in the form of higher levels of productivity, creativity and strategising, higher revenue can be reaped to cover the monthly payments.
Tax Benefits
Opting to lease the partitions is also a shrewd move in relation to company tax. The UK government has deemed that all rentals paid by a business are 100 per cent redeemable. This stands for the leasing or renting of office equipment and any items leased as a result of improvements made to the working environment.
This means that the improvements made can benefit your office workers and promote a more productive atmosphere, at hardly any cost. However, it is a good idea to check with your accountant or local authority to confirm what situations are fully covered, or partly covered, by tax.
Existing Credit Lines Unaffected
Another vital aspect of any business is maintaining a healthy line of credit with your banks, so it is understandable that an office manager would want to avoid damaging it by taking on extra monthly repayments. However, since the costs of installing office partitioning are kept completely separate for any credit arrangement with the bank, there is no threat to the relationship between business and lender.
The advantages of leasing new office dividers, whether glass or solid in design, makes it possible to afford the best in the range available. After all, an investment in the working environment should never be cheap, and when done properly can last for years.
Of course, the advantage in getting solid demountable or even glass partitioning is that they can be rearranged at any time in the future, so the same dividing walls and partitions can actually be used in a number of different floor plans.
So, three years from now, a new office floor design can cost next to nothing, with all of the advantages that a completely new office appearance has.