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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Is Direct Mail Really Dead?

You may have heard the hype that direct mail has died and gone to heaven. Don't believe it. That talk comes from people who have never learned how to use direct mail correctly and effectively or who have a vested interest in promoting an alternative marketing investment that might or might not work as well.

Why use direct mail? Because it works.
  • It works in getting clients.

  • It works to get your foot in the door.

  • It works for lead generation.

  • It works for growing traffic at brick-and-mortar (and even online) businesses.

  • It works at differentiating your company from those who rely strictly on online communication.
Direct mail marketing is extremely reliable and extremely precise. It can be inexpensive and personalized. In fact, direct mail arrives more personally than any other medium and can deliver a message with 100% exposure.

In addition to all of this, direct mail...
  • Requires virtually no tech skills

  • Can be leveraged using shared advertising space

  • Is what nearly all recipients prefer for unsolicited advertisement

  • Can bring in business without someone actively searching for it

  • Can be scaled infinitely

  • Has worked for over a century without fail

  • Has always been the king of all advertising

  • Can take almost any business to any level of success desired

  • Can be felt and not just seen

  • Has an infinite shelf life
To be clear, "junk mail" is NOT what we are referring to as effective direct mail. Some companies with large marketing budgets can afford this type of "spray and pray" mailing.

Effective direct mail marketing takes thought, planning, and strategy. It needs to be memorable, and it needs to stand out. Businesses of all size that are utilizing this powerful tool are still reaping the rewards. We know -- we hear good news every day from our clients.

No, direct mail isn't dead. It's alive and kicking. If you haven't tried it in a while, try it again. You won't be disappointed by the results.


Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Changes at the Post Office Create Cost-Saving Opportunities for Business

Plum Grove Printers Show Direct Marketers How to Save With Their Mailings

We've heard about troubled times at the U.S. Post Office. But for businesses that do large-scale mailings with the help of U.S. Post Office, technology has opened the door to new efficiencies and cost-saving opportunities. Plum Grove Printers, which specializes in printing and mailing targeted direct mail pieces, has partnered with the Post Office to bring these new services to direct mail advertisers-- co-mingled mail delivery, which decreases the cost of postage, and mail tracing, which helps maximize return on investment.

"Co-mingled mail" is a way to get postage discounts by reducing the workload of the USPS. When your mail is organized before it hits the Post Office -- co-mingled with other business mailings for scale, sorted by delivery route, and put into the system close to the recipient -- it saves the Post Office costs, which come back to the mailer as discount bulk postage rates.

Peter Lineal, founder of Plum Grove Printers explains how it works--

"For people that advertise by direct mail, postage is one of the main costs. Co-mingled bulk postage will never be higher than 24 cents per piece-- compare this to 45 cents for first-class postage. Using co-mingled mail delivery on a 30,000 piece mailing you can save $1,000 or more. And you get faster delivery too."

Mailing tracking technology has also become affordable and accessible to small business direct marketers. Every piece of mail is now imprinted with an Intelligent Mail Bar Code, which tracks the mail through the stream to delivery. As well as creating accountability and transparency, mail tracking means that marketers can know exactly when their mailings will hit each home, and respond with appropriate staffing levels and cross-media strategy.

Lineal continued, "Knowing where your mail is means you know the perfect time to follow up a direct mailer with phone calls and emails. Studies have shown response rate increase of 100-500% with coordinated multi-channel promotion."

"Huge companies have been using discount postage rates and tracking metrics for years, and we're happy that these efficiencies are within reach of small businesses also."

More information at http://www.PlumGrovePrinters.com


Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why Should I?

The average person gets bombarded with more than one thousand advertising messages daily. When it comes to marketing your business, the pressure is on to convey your message quickly and concisely, including benefits that give you a competitive edge. Here are a few reasons customers may choose your business over the competition:
  • Money back guarantee. Give customers a reassuring reason to buy today without the fear of tomorrow.

  • Industry-leading warranty. Increase peace of mind and perceived product value with a comforting warranty.

  • Specials or promotions. Offer savings or advertise upcoming promotions that are too enticing to pass up.

  • Customer testimonials. Let your customers do the selling for you by providing engaging customer success stories.

  • Business milestones. If you've been in business for 20 years or sold 10,000 products, make sure everyone knows about it.

  • Popularity sells. Share the names of other relevant businesses in your community who also purchase from you.

  • Free. Whether you're talking about delivery, shipping, assembly, or samples, never underestimate the power of free.

  • Industry awards. If your business receives an exclusive award, spread the exciting news.

  • Local ownership. Remind customers that the money they spend in their community stays in their community when they buy local.
Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

Like Plum Grove Printers Facebook PageFollow Plum Grove Printers TwitterConnect with Plum Grove Printers LinkedInConnect with Plum Grove Printers Google+
Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Encourage the Customer Voice

One of the best ways to promote your business is to get your customers talking about you, whether on the streets, via social media, or in product reviews. Here are a few ways to encourage customers to voice their opinions:
  • Create a message board, chat forum, or guest book where customers can create an online community and share their opinions and feedback.

  • Ask key customers to participate in a "customer spotlight" section of your newsletter. Use this feature to help customers promote their business and elaborate on their relationship with your company.

  • Add product review capabilities to your website that allow customers to rank and review your products or services. Send customers a link to an online opinion survey they can take shortly after making a purchase.

  • Start a blog and encourage feedback, questions, suggestions, and sharing of your posts.

  • Offer valuable incentives (coupon, discount, free gift, etc.) as a reason to fill out a survey, and keep surveys short and sweet. This will encourage customers to complete your entire survey... and to answer future surveys when you ask them to.

  • Encourage customers to contact you any time they have questions, comments, or suggestions -- and make it easy for them to do so. Include your contact details in your email signature, post your phone number prominently on every page of your website, and send a business card with every letter or mailing.

  • Engage with customers every chance you get. Ask them about their experience, seek their opinion on industry-related topics, and garner their feedback and suggestions regarding your business.

  • Don't discourage negative customer comments. Negative feedback provides credibility and tells customers the business is confident enough to show a range of customer opinions. Honest feedback and suggestions can also help improve your business.
Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com

Like Plum Grove Printers Facebook PageFollow Plum Grove Printers TwitterConnect with Plum Grove Printers LinkedInConnect with Plum Grove Printers Google+
Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Invite Them and They Will Come

Some companies think that a beautiful new website will instantly attract visitors like a moth to a light bulb. However, unless you turn the light on and direct them where to go, your visitors may wander aimlessly into your competitor's backyard. Here are a few mixed media marketing tips to draw visitors to your website:
  • Create a "web card" that highlights your site's benefits and entices readers to visit. Mail them as postcards, hand them out at trade shows, distribute them with purchases, and so on.

  • Create videos and post them on YouTube. Not only does Google index your content, but viewers can embed your videos on their blogs and share them via social media.

  • Offer free original content or blog postings to other publications in your niche market. Be sure to include a link to your website to draw new visitors from these high-traffic sources.

  • Distribute news releases to print and web periodicals in your industry. Your website link will remain in news databases for several months and may improve traffic to your site and increase link popularity.

  • Create a short but sweet email signature that encourages readers to visit your new website.

  • Ask partnering or non-competing businesses to link to your site, and do the same in return.

  • Post your website on trade sites and in specialized directories.

  • Include your URL on everything you can think of, ranging from business cards, stationery, and marketing materials, to pens, shirts, hats, mugs, and more.

  • Promote an exciting contest or giveaway, and direct people to sign up on your website.

  • Encourage customer feedback through a survey on your website.

  • Increase your SEO by editing existing content, removing barriers to the indexing activities of search engines, and increasing the number of links your website receives from other web sources.

  • Create a Facebook or Twitter post announcing your website, and offer prizes for the first XX people who visit your website and sign up for your newsletter.

  • Encourage repeat visitors by offering a bookmark button on your website, such as AddThis, a free content-sharing platform that helps you integrate sharing tools into your website, spread your content, and increase social traffic.