Integrated Marketing Tip 3 – Direct Mail and Email Marketing

Let’s All be Friends: Integrating Direct Mail and Email Marketing Marketers understand that first impressions mean everything. And they also know that those good impressions need to be sustained. Messages should be reinforced – many times, and in multiple channels – until your audience sees you as recognizable, trustworthy, and someone they want to do business with.

Unfortunately, using only one channel – say, email exclusively – to communicate your message forces the recipient to interact and respond via the channel you choose, not the one that is most comfortable for the recipient. That one-size-fits-all approach often leads to less-successful campaigns; but it can be avoided by using email in concert with direct mail. Indeed, response increases across the board when direct mail and email are combined in a multi-channel campaign. This two-ply marketing strategy will also strengthen your brand by reinforcing a consistent theme across channels.

Fortunately, the tools to coordinate a synchronized, direct mail and email campaign do not need to be overly complicated. Where do you begin? There are four elements to consider: branding; timing; the call to action; and analysis.

1. Branding and consistency: Both your direct mail piece and your email should contain the same slogans, logo, and other marks that help your prospects identify your company. If your marketing campaign includes a tagline or other brand-reinforcing slogans, you can repeat those in both the email subject and the envelope copy or a prominent line in the postal piece. Simple and to the point is best: keep your headline between 30 to 40 characters and try to make it brand-specific, action-oriented, or benefit-driven. To maximize the effectiveness of your direct mail and email campaign, play one off the other – and play to each channel’s strengths. You might, for example, consider sending the direct mail piece first, introducing the benefits you offer the prospect. Let the recipient know that in a week you’ll be following up with an email with a special online coupon.

2. Timing and frequency: Much has been studied and written about the day of week and time of day that maximize email open rates (it really depends on your audience – test and see what works best for you). More important is the timing of your email relative to your print mailer. In most cases, it is best for the first email to hit a week after the postal mail arrives (give or take a day or two). The printed piece goes first because it has a longer shelf life. Emails should continue at regular intervals.

How often should you mail? It depends on what you’re sending. Brochures and catalogs are often mailed quarterly, accompanied by monthly emails. Postcards and smaller printed pieces can be mailed more often. The general rule is to send two to four emails for every printed package.

3. The call to action: The importance of the call to action really can’t be overemphasized. Every piece in every channel needs a strong call to action. By using multi-channel vehicles, you have the opportunity to restate your call to action multiple times, and perhaps in multiple ways (maybe the print mailer asks the recipient to visit your store and the email asks her to visit your website).

4. Analysis: Some businesses measure a marketing campaign’s success by identifying responses by channel. Yet this is not as accurate as viewing the results as a whole. Remember that the whole point of integrated marketing is that channels reinforce each other. So the consumer may respond to an email, but it is possible the initial postal piece was the reason why he opened the email to begin with. Or the customer may phone in an order after reading both a direct mail piece and an email. So it’s important to test your email and direct mail campaigns individually, but to also measure how well they worked in coordination with other channels. In an effective integrated marketing campaign, the channels will work in harmony and, therefore, it is best that they are evaluated that way.

Direct mail and email have different strengths. But sending a consistent message through both channels is a great way to generate multiple contacts with your prospects, reinforcing your consistent messaging and building a relationship with your targets (which is, after all, the key to the sale).

Direct Sales and Network Marketing With Social Media

Social media and networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have dramatically influenced online home business network marketing and direct sales. These powerful and dynamic outlets have added new, cost free ways to reach potential customers and to capitalize on expanded listings of your products, business and opportunities. Promoting, network marketing and direct sales, using social media sites, can prove to be very effective, no cost techniques to improve the visibility and recognition of your business, products and opportunities.

Potential customers are now using these social media and social networking sites to conduct business, opportunity and product research; to locate experienced references and to pursue first hand consumer recommendations. This translates into an incredible opportunity for reputable business owners to get unlimited exposure.

Your best bet, as a retailer, wholesaler or seller, is to develop a relationship with your potential customer, first. That is what these social media sites are all about. Developing relationships. I am not suggesting that you need to find a new best friend. But, a recognizable friendship will benefit you, big time, when it comes time for your sales pitch. Avoid blanketing your new acquaintance with impersonal sales pitches, in the beginning. Consumers do not make purchases from faceless companies or factories. People make purchases from other people. Their purchases are based on emotions and not on practicality. So, if you have already developed a friendly relationship with your potential customer, and they like you personally – when it comes time to make a purchase, it will be more likely to happen through you.

Remember, strategically network and develop friendships with new potential customers first, then market products and work from home business opportunities to them, later on. I Hope this brief article helps. Looking forward to connecting with you.

A checklist for commercial property maintenance in winter

Winter is one of the most challenging seasons for property managers. While everyone is getting ready for the festive season, property managers prepare buildings to withstand heavy rain and snow to prevent damage. Winter maintenance can be a stressful task. To get your commercial buildings ready for the season, take a look at this comprehensive checklist and use Property Maintenance Software to keep track of your winter maintenance jobs.

Inspect HVAC systems

Check your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to make sure they’re working. Preventative HVAC maintenance is essential at this time of the year – you want to avoid as many repairs or replacements as possible, as there’s nothing worse than a cold building in winter. Arrange for your HVAC systems to be serviced and make sure the technicians change any filters that need to be replaced, clean drains and pipes, and check for gas leaks.

Check the property’s exterior.

It’s difficult to do repairs outside a building when the weather is terrible, so check the property’s exterior now to avoid fixing problems in stormy weather. Make sure the windows and doors are weatherproof, check the roof for loose shingles, the gutters for leaves, and trim back or remove branches that could fall and damage your property. Keep the areas around your building where people walk clear of snow and ice to avoid accidents where your tenants could be injured. Arrange for snow removal services throughout the season to regularly clear pathways.

Make sure buildings are well insulated.

To keep the heat in, make certain the building is well insulated. A poorly insulated property can increase your heating bill, which you’ll want to avoid as the price of gas continues to rise. Get a contractor to check your building’s insulation and ensure that the roof, windows, doors, floor, and walls are well insulated. Double glazed windows and doors can keep heat in the building, which is something to keep in mind for your property in the future.

Keep your smoke detectors working.

You should maintain your smoke detectors all year round, but it’s imperative to ensure they’re working during the winter months. During winter, tenants keep the building warm with heating. While central heating systems are reasonably safe, portable heaters and radiators can start a fire if they’re in contact with flammable furniture or clothing. You can test your smoke detectors by simply pressing the test button. If the alarm doesn’t work, you may need to replace the battery, get a new alarm, or get a fire alarm engineer to check the device for you.

Prevent frozen pipes

When pipes are frozen, it can be a real nuisance to have no running water. But frozen pipes aren’t only an inconvenience – they can be dangerous and experience too. When water is stuck inside a frozen pipe, it expands and puts pressure on the drain, which could burst the pipes and cause water damage. To protect your building and avoid expensive repairs, get a professional plumber to prepare your pipes for winter and prevent the cost of fixing frozen pipes in the middle of winter.

Stay on top of your checklist with Property Maintenance Software

It’s easy to lose track of your projects when you’re managing multiple winter maintenance jobs at a time. Make sure you get to every task before winter with Property Maintenance Software – a tool that makes it easier to create, assign and schedule maintenance jobs.