From all the data we have gathered from how businesses operate for increased revenues (and profits) – there is no doubt that a HUGE SHIFT has happened over the just the last 5 years (2007) in terms of marketing, and the shift to ONLINE advertising and marketing (SEO, PPC, PPV, Social Media, Contextual, Retargeting, Banners, etc).
A day doesn’t go by where I don’t hear somebody slamming the Yellowpages (print edition) and that it is expensive, old-school and “doesn’t work”. The word is out on the street.
It’s true that each market is unique, and I recommend verifying data and testing (budget depending) what works. However, there is no doubt that the shift to online has been going on for a while, and CEOs and Marketing VP’s are excited about the results & trends.
Still, there are many businesses who don’t have a website. Here’s an example of how Google teamed up with Intuit to get New York small businesses online: http://www.newyorkgetonline.com/ (and that’s not the only region, more are coming.)
Billions of dollars are made using offline marketing strategies: direct response techniques / strategies and professional copywriters are used to create direct mail pieces, post cards, plain envelope letters, tear sheets, brochures, sales letters, mag-a-logs, billboards, catalogs and lots more (including online).
And, copywriting training companies like American Writers & Artists (Awai Online) can teach and show you a new way to prosperity – by becoming a direct response copywriter and marketer.
What are some of the tools that can help build your offline marketing campaigns?
First of all, at the top level – content and targets drive “everything”. If you are creating an advertising piece that is not targeted (your audience defined to great detail, history and purchase patterns), it does not have the right message, and incorrect media and format, you’re off to a bad start no matter what you do.
So, assuming you have done your research, and have your target market, let’s find out what you can do in tactical terms. And, remember that no matter what you do, if brand new to an offline marketing campaign or not – track numbers. That is response rates, conversions, ROI, cost per customer, lifetime value, overall budget, etc.
1. Sending letters, hand addressing
One of the key reasons direct mail doesn’t get opened is because it looks like junk mail and consumers are too busy with everyday life.
Independent studies prove that hand addressing drastically increases the chance that prospects and customers will open your mail. Hand addressing will personalize the mailing and capture the attention of your audience much more than standard mailing labels or typed envelopes. You can search for different hand type fonts online, and use those in your Word letters.
And, if you need help with this, ask for samples / kits first. See below for a list of great resources to help you with your mailers. Many higher end companies ask for “minimums” and it may start around $5,000 – or 5,000 units (items). It’s not the case for the ‘commodity’ based items, so please ask first.
2. Direct mail marketing companies
http://www.nextdayflyers.com – focus is on 24 delivery and turn-around
http://www.gotprint.net – inexpensive, good quality, but not the fastest
http://www.handymailing.com – http://handymailing.com/services_direct_mailing.htm
http://www.specializedmailing.com – tear sheets from the tear sheet queen
http://www.thinkinkmarketing.com/ – high-end, corporate mailings – tearsheets, post-it notes
http://www.modernpostcard.com/ – quality printing with mailing services
http://www.vistaprint.com – popular, often free business cards and specials to start
http://www.postcardmania.com – popular (very sales focused, but friendly)
http://www.uprinting.com/postcard-printing.html – also popular
http://taticketprinting.com/ – custom ticket printing and event wristbands for concerts, festivals, speaking engagements, nightclub events, weddings, new year’s eve, religious themes and others. Lots of templates, easy to customize. Interface a little cumbersome, but overall good.
http://www.snapshotpostcard.com/ – select photo from iPhone and create an instant postcard (your mum will love you for it)
http://www.overnightprints.com – fast http://www.overnightprints.com/postcards postcards – easy to use templates, in PSD, AI and Word
http://amazingmail.com/default.aspx – recommended by many top offline marketers
3. Direct Mail Data Providers
http://www.infousa.com – big dataprovider, many will leverage from these guys
http://www.melissadata.com – many software tools and search capabilities
http://lists.nextmark.com/ (mailing list finder – free)
http://www.srds.com – the godfather of lists and research. Discover the data list specifics BEFORE you call a list broker. Can save you a LOT of time.
4. Cool tools and ‘different’ offline marketing systems:
http://www.3dmailresults.com – lumpy mail, send different items in mail to get higher open rate
http://wallet-mailer.com/ – designed to look like man’s wallet – Nina Hershberger
http://www.arspromotion.com/ – thousands of promotional products
http://www.americanretailsupply.com/ – retail store supplies and products for sale
5. Hot marketing automation tips and 24 hour recorded message services
6. Google research online
7. DISK DVD Duplication – Digital Product Creation
Also, affiliates, points and rewards programs exist, so if you want to sign up, you can perhaps offset help some of the costs by referring new business.
Finally – if going “hard-core” on direct mail, swipe and deploy methods and tools are available. Learn from others here:
http://www.whosmailingwhat.com/ (Kathy is very nice, and can arrange a free tour for you)
Have you tried offline marketing with your online campaigns? It’s something to consider to your marketing mix for this year!
Make sure to do your research first. What keywords is your competition using?