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.

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).

How Can Direct Response Marketing Deliver Education Leads & Increase Applications and Enrollments?

Innovation Ads was originally formed as an education lead generation agency to service academic institutions. As time went by, colleges and universities began demanding applications and enrollments rather than leads. We saw that most academic institutions needed help with the lead follow up process–so we built and refined a set of solutions that address not only lead generation, but lead conversion as well. The Enrollment Solutions Platform, or “ESP”, is a unique platform that combines executive analysis and evaluation, with a dynamic lead generation and lead conversion system. The first step in initiating a campaign that generates more applications and enrollments is a thorough analysis of the existing enrollment process.

Analysis and Evaluation Analysis is the firm bedrock beneath a successful enrollment marketing campaign. In order to establish a comprehensive foundation, our senior staff members work closely with you, in order to: define your current goals and market share; identify the most effective means for attracting and retaining new students; and help determine the appropriate budget for the projected enrollment goals.

Another pivotal piece of our analytic process is “Mystery Shopping”–a term that refers to an anonymous evaluation of the existing enrollment process. Members of our enrollment specialist team walk through your enrollment “funnel” from start to finish, in order determining where improvements can be made. Once analysis is complete, we begin to initiate contact with prospective students.

Initiate Student Contact through Lead Generation We generate student interest by marketing across multiple channels. The direct response nature of our marketing process allows us to reach vast numbers of potential students, in a meticulous manner. Our large economies of scale in both the online and direct TV channels–combined with the direct response marketing and our tracking technologies–ensure that we’re generating more highly qualified leads, for less money. Our direct response strategies include:

o Online Media Planning o Online Media Buying o Direct Response Television o Creative Development o Micro-Site Development o Lead Remarketing o Search Engine Optimization o Trade Name Management o Virtual Tours Lead Conversion: Increase Student Enrollment with Our Prospective Student Conversion System (PSyC) In addition to our lead generation capacities, we’ve created a unique lead conversion solution–the Prospective Student Conversion System (PSYC)–guarantees that your enrollment funnel is working as efficiently as possible. PSyC marries our lead generation capacities to our unique follow up marketing process.

Once we’ve initiated marketing campaigns, and begun to generate student interest, our enrollment specialists that work in The Academic Advising Center (TAAC) initiate outbound phone calls to interested students, and field the inbound phone calls that marketing campaigns generate. The Enrollment Specialists help the prospective student to apply.

In helping students to apply, our Enrollment Specialists gather important marketing information. They enter this critical feedback into our technological platform–Multi-channel Interactive marketing Database, or MIND–, which organizes and tracks the response that each marketing campaign generates. Once the information is in our system, our technology optimizes your campaign according to the response that each piece of marketing material generates.

Our technology informs our Client Services Team which channels and campaigns are generating interested students, and which are not. Our client services team reacts to the success/failure of each phone call by boosting media allocation to successful campaigns/channels, and decreasing allocation to the channels that are not successful.

The must exciting feature of PSYC is the Real Time Optimization that takes place. We’re able to reduce marketing costs because we immediately know which advertising campaigns work, and which don’t: we’re able to cut campaigns that don’t work, and boost campaigns that do work, in a real time manner. This removes a large portion of the “x-factor” from marketing to prospective students.

Growth Strategies: Higher Education Consultant Solutions Enrollment Growth Consultant Solutions that are based on results. Because we have been so successful at increasing student enrollment at colleges and universities, we understand the daunting task that colleges and universities face: providing an academic service to more students within an economically viable framework is very difficult. Because we understand the goals and roadblocks that higher education institutions face, and because we’re able to offer pragmatic Enrollment Management Solutions, we’ve been able to refine our consulting skills in a way no other firm has. While many other consultants do just that–consult–Innovation Ads focuses on generating leads, applications, and enrollments. It is our experience generating tangible results that makes our consultant services so valuable.

Want to learn more about Enrollment Management? Click here to sign up for the Innovation Ads Enrollment Management Whitepaper.