2008 Best of Hayward Award - Direct Mail Advertising

Best of Direct Mail Advertising

I am pleased to announce that Postal Systems Inc. the direct mail company that runs this blog has been selected for the 2008 Best of Hayward Award in the Advertising category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

WASHINGTON D.C., November 20, 2008 -- Postal Systems, Inc. has been selected for the 2008 Best of Hayward Award in the Advertising category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category.

These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2008 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)

U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Local Business Association

Here is the press release from the USLBA - best advertising company

Direct Marketing Tips for Success

Tips for successful Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing has to be the most exciting area of marketing. The results of a winning mailing are truly thrilling. Few things can compare with opening your mailbox to find a flood of emails or envelopes filled with orders and checks made out to you! And if you can increase the response to your offer by just a fraction of a percent, you can turn a slight profit into windfall profits.

So one of the key questions marketers have always ask is, “How do I increase the response to my mailings?” Not all of these techniques will work for every mailing you create. The key is to review the techniques whenever you’re planning a mailing. Pick the ones that apply to your situation and put them to work. Your bank account will be glad you did!

Here are your 21 Direct Mail Tips

1. Carefully target your audience.

Sales volume can be directly connected to your ability to accurately identify your most likely customers. If necessary, create different versions of your package tailored to each specifically targeted audience.

2. Solve your customer’s most irritating problems.

Most customers don’t buy products, but they do buy solutions to problems that plague them. If your product solves a critical problem, pull out all stops to let your customers know.

3. Help your customers achieve significant goals.

This is the complement of the prior point. If you can clearly show that your product or service will make your customer’s lives easier or better, your sales volume should shoot straight up.

4. Focus on your customer’s needs, not your product.

Customers have limited interest in your product or company. But they have unlimited interest in their needs, solutions to their problems, and making their lives better. Concentrate on fulfilling their needs through the use of your product or service.

5. ALWAYS stress benefits.

Always concentrate on how your product will benefit your customers-both logically and emotionally. Hit the right hot buttons and your sales will skyrocket.

6. Repeat your key benefits in the beginning, middle, and end of your email, letter or brochure.

Tell your readers once, tell them again, and then tell them one more time. Remember, people buy benefits, not products.

7. Use the “4 to 1″ rule.

Your sales copy should contain four “you’s” to every one “I.” Customers want to hear about their number one priority-themselves. One of the best ways to convey that you understand your customer’s needs is to use plenty of “you” language.

8. Use a stop-them-in-their-tracks headline or first sentence.

Some letters and emails benefit from a headline while others don’t. Either the headline or first sentence must be very powerful in order to convince your prospects that your letter is worth reading.

9. Use sub-headings liberally.

Subheads help break up long blocks of copy. They also act as a “hot point” outline to pull the reader through the key ideas of your email or ad.

10. Seize the reader’s attention immediately.

Don’t waster space building up to your blockbuster points. Start with them. You have only a paragraph or two to convince your prospects to keep reading your letter. Give them what they need to make sure they continue.

11. Flatter your reader.

These days people are much more sophisticated when it comes to advertising. They know that you got their name from a mailing list. You can turn this fact to your advantage by suing this kind of copy.

12. Share some “inside” information.

Direct mail offers a perfect opportunity to appeal to a person’s need to feel special. An ideal way to do this is to share some exclusive information. Make it clear that this offer is being made only to them.

13. Issue a personal letter from the President.

People like to deal with the person in charge. Using this type of personal message builds confidence.

14. Never end a sentence at the bottom of a page in a sales letter.

Always use a broken sentence to carry your reader forward onto the next page of your letter or email.

15. Feature the offer.

Everyone loves a good deal. Your job is to design an irresistible offer and make it a key focal point of your letter or email. A strong offer can often be the extra incentive that will convert your “maybes” to real live orders.

16. Give something away for FREE.

Free samples, trials, demonstrations, consultations, or information are all exceptional ways of getting customers to give your product or service a hands-on try. Sometimes that is all it takes to close the sale.

17. Run a contest.

Give away a free enrollment in your seminar, a free subscription to your newsletter, or anything else that appeals to your buyers.

18. Use a special “before the price increases” offer.

If you plan to raise your prices, make your regular customers a special offer at the old price for a limited time.

19. Repeat your offer.

An irresistible offer can overcome customers reluctance. State it at least twice in your email or letter, and again on your order form.

20. Make a time-limited offer.

Offer a special deal for a limited period of time. And do just that-legally you can’t continue a time-limited offer indefinitely.

21. Base your offer on a limited supply.

A close-out of your inventory can create strong demand. A limited supply offer can be used to designate exclusivity and prestige.

This article courtesy of SiteProNews.com


Direct Mail Fast Fact

Fast Direct Mail Fact

At the current annual level of $177 Billion, direct marketing accounts for 52% of all advertising expenditures for they year - Direct Marketing Association's Power of Direct Marketing Report

Are you are using your companies share of advertising money effectively ?

Contact Postal Systems today to ensure that you don't let your company's money slip away without the great return on investment direct mail marketing provides.


Direct Mail Results

Make sure your direct mail is achieving results!

And when you do invest in a winner, you can rely on it to keep attracting business.

Perhaps the best part of direct mail

is how quickly you discover whether or not it's working. Results are measurable and definite, with information you can act on. You learn exactly what hooks your customer — or doesn't.

And direct mail is flexible.

You can recalibrate or refine at any time.

Invest in a winner, call Postal Systems Inc today!


Repeat Direct Mail

Repeat Direct Mail for Results

One Message Won't Do!

Plan your campaign so you reach the same prospects more than once — preferably more than twice.

It's more effective to send three mailers to 1,000 prospects than one mailer to 3,000 — though the cost is the same.

If your list is honed and qualified, then you'll get better results from frequent mailings. Also consider a timed or sequenced campaign. For instance: Postcard 1 is a teaser. Postcard 2 is a puzzle or half the offer. Postcard 3 delivers the gift. That way, you set up both expectations and recognition.


Direct Mail Design Tips

When drafting the copy, look, feel and offer for your mail package, consider the 3 S's:

Simplify. Do not use this opportunity to brag about your company or include essays about the firm's history. Inform your customers about the benefits of one item or service. Don't confuse the customer with choices.

Specify. Tell him about the offer upfront (and preferably on the envelope). Then tell him again. Spell out details — clearly.

Showcase. Put yourself in the customer's place. Is this an offer you'd respond to? Make sure it's foolproof.


Direct Mail Advertising Rewards

Ever wonder what direct mail can do for you?

Direct Mail is full of Rewards!

Direct mail can:

  • Generate sales.
  • Bring in foot traffic.
  • Build recognition or brand awareness.
  • Acquire new customers or referrals.
  • Upgrade customer service.
  • Respond to competitors.
  • Support other marketing initiatives, such as newspaper or radio ads.
  • Build customer loyalty by rewarding top-tier customers.
  • Expand your market to a wider audience.
  • Test the appeal of new products or services.
  • Deliver company news such as upcoming sales or a branch opening.
  • Act as a warm-up for later cold calls.
  • Stimulate higher purchases from existing customers.

A recent survey completed by the United States Postal Service
found that the top three reasons for increased frequency of direct mailers were company growth or expansion, change of strategy, and introduction of a new product.

Author: Joanna L. Krotz

Postal Systems, Inc.
can help with all of your direct mail needs.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about our services and what we can do for you!

(510) 781-0544 or by email at postalsystems@gmail.com


Hit Your Direct Mail Target - New Customers & Higher ROI

Direct Mail: Customers and ROI

Direct mail marketing is booming.


E-mail and Internet marketing may be attracting buzz, but there are still strong incentives to send printed messages directly to customers whom you select. Direct mail gives you complete control over who sees your marketing, in contrast to advertising in print, online-mail, Web sites, or television.

For small businesses, where sales leads and customer contact information so often fall through the cracks, being able to market pinpointed prospects with postcards, flyers, catalogs, or personalized notes is a terrific opportunity. A well-crafted, road-tested direct mail package represents a cost-effective sales cycle all on its own, including advertising message, presentation, special offer, call to action and, ultimately, deal closer.

If you take the time to do it right, direct marketing can generate gratifying and measurable results.

Oddly enough, it's the latest electronic tools that are driving interest in commercial mail marketing. One consumer's throwaway is another prospect's prize, which puts value in the eye of your prospect. So the key to getting results from direct mail is a precisely targeted mailing list. You need the right message in front of the right customers at the right time to get the buy-in. Many experts say that 40 percent of direct mail's success will depend on the list.

If you're a realtor, for example, think about a postcard campaign offering your services — and perhaps an invitation to a seminar about retirement communities — to home-owning parents whose youngest has just headed off to college. Or consider the effect of an insurance agency that
specializes in business and property policies mailing personalized letters to companies that have just moved into new digs. That's the potential of electronic tools.

Generating Powerful Contact Reports

When hard copy mailing lists are transformed into electronic databases, you can manipulate and mine the list for byte-sized nuggets. Whether it's your own customer list or one you rent from a trade group, a professional organization or a list broker, a database lets you identify customers as broadly or as narrowly as your prospect's profile. You can segment by age or income, by hobby or geography, by education, occupation or gender and by a dizzying array of special qualifiers, like car models or types of professional services or how many movies a consumer sees each month.

Manage Your Expectations

Precisely targeting consumers who are likely to be interested in your products or services hardly guarantees buyers, of course. Having a well-targeted list increases your odds of success. But parents who receive that realtor's postcard, for instance, might have no desire to move. Average response rates for direct mail vary considerably, depending on what you're selling, the package's appeal, how distinctive your offer is, and the quality of your mailing list. Overall, a good return on mass mailings to new prospects runs .1 percent to 5 percent. A 2 to 3 percent response is excellent. Anything near 5 percent is spectacular. When it comes to mailings to loyal customers, however — say, your top 10 percent of big spenders — you should expect returns closer to 30 percent and up. Successful mailings depend on clearly defined targets and goals.
Author: Joanna L. Krotz

Postal Systems offers direct mail programs as well as direct mail & purl to help your business grow!

To learn what purl is and how this new technology can help your business make its direct mail campaign even more effective please visit our purl marketing blog post.


Creating a Great Direct Mail Piece

Great Mail Ad Creation is Imperative.

Creating a great direct mail piece.

It is possible to create good direct mail pieces. It's even better to create a direct mail piece and a complimentary email piece at the same time. The saying in Marketing 101 class is you have to hit someone seven times before they remember you. At the extreme, that's an ad in a magazine, a direct mail piece, a classified ad, an email coupon, a drive-by your store, a drop-in your store and a billboard combined. At the easiest, it's seeing a classified ad repeatedly, or driving by your storefront every day on the way to work.

One of the advertising things we have discovered over the years is most people in retail love to send direct mail pieces. It's usually creative, artistic and contains lots of images to grab people's attention. Since direct mail is a very precise medium, it is possible to create highly customized and targeted pieces. This is what makes them work, and why retailers love using this form of marketing.

Ensuring you're creating an effective piece:

Personalize it.
Today's technology allows you to simply add their names using a Word merge technique. Dear Sir has been replaced with a Dear Sam.
Target their birthday or big event if possible. Send a coupon to be used during this time.

Use quality mailing materials.
A striking, attractive envelope; thick paper stock, nice photos ...people tend to throw away what they perceive as junk.
Include a response mechanism. A reply card or envelope, contact information, sale dates, etc.

Write persuasive copy,
and remember to keep the "cheese factor" out of it.
Create a well-designed layout. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity....

Remember this tip: never treat current customers as "prospects" - watch your copy and market accordingly. Also, the
best direct mail pieces are they ones you yourself remember. Keep these as references and draw upon them when creating yours.
Author: Suze Bragg


Environmentally Friendly Direct Mail

Environmental Direct Mail

How to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Direct Mail

If you use direct mail as a promotional tool, you can easily ensure that your business is reducing wastage by using the following mechanisms.

1) Using the Mailing Preference Service The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) allows consumers and businesses to register their wish to limit the amount of direct mail they receive. Simply checking your data lists will ensure that you do not mail those who have opted into the MPS, and so avoid unnecessary wastage.

2) Cleansing your lists Cleansing your list will ensure that you are targeting a more specific audience. Improved targeting reduces the risk of “Junk Mail”. No business wants their mailings to be perceived as “junk”, and a targeted approach can reduce unnecessary costs to your business and an unnecessary waste of resources.

3) Review the format and design of your mailings Could you mailings be simplified? It is important to review your mailings and consider whether your message is being sent in a powerful yet environmentally friendly way. Pages and pages of information are often preventable, and can actually deter the end receiver from reading the mailing. Could you reduce the amount of information in your mailings? Similarly, are you sending information that includes avoidable inserts? Regularly reviewing the content of mailings can both minimise the environmental impact and also ensure that your business is producing effective content.

4) Recycled or Recyclable? Can your mailings be sent on recycled paper, it is important to remember that “recycled paper” can mean anything from 100% recycled to 1% recycled! If this is not something that you could consider, can your mailings be recycled? A small proportion of mailings are not recyclable. Staples are acceptable for recycling, but some glues used in binding for example, mean that the whole mailing will be rejected for recycling.

The Direct Marketing Association has long been spearheading a campaign to reduce the environmental impact of direct marketing. Implementing these simple steps can enable your business to minimise its environmental impact. Evaluating your environmental impact can also prove to be cost effective and can assist in reducing direct marketing costs. Also, potential customers may be more responsive to your business if they can see it making efforts to reduce environmental impact.

Direct marketing techniques provide a range of benefits to your business, but you need to keep a careful eye on its environmental impact now more than ever. Don’t forget that if you are using direct marketing to either existing or potential customers, the quality and accuracy of your data needs to be up to standard, to avoid wastage and get the best possible results. Make sure you invest in data cleansing and quality lists from only the most reputable of sources. Never be
tempted to cut corners by using out of date lists or buying in low cost poorly targeted databases.

Author: Steve Sellwood
Article Source

Postal Systems is here for all of your evironmentally friendly Direct Mail needs, while being the highest in quality. accuracy and customer service!


Selecting the Best Mailing List for your Direct Mail Campaign

Best Mail List for Direct Mail

#1 Direct Marketing Mistake: Poor Mailing List Selection
The Wrong List can Jeopardize a Great Offer When most people are planning a direct mail campaign, they spend a lot of time and effort on getting the perfect layout. They usually end up wasting a lot of money because they don’t get the response rates they had expected and hoped for, originally.

Most amateur direct mail marketers think “if I have a good looking mail piece, people will respond.” But unfortunately, that is not true. If they would spend their time and effort on the most important thing; which is targeting their audience by choosing the right direct mailing list, it doesn’t matter what their layout looks like. That is because if they target the right people at the right time with the right offer, they will have great response rates. So what ends up happening when you focus on just the layout and look of direct mail? You waste your money. Then you may also think that direct mail is not the right media for you. But really, it is the most powerful marketing media. This is because you get to choose your targeted selections. That is the key to direct marketing.

You are not just mass marketing; you are targeting your perfect prospect. These are the consumers that will spend thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars. Depending on your product or service, it could even be hundreds of thousands. So, how do you do it right? Start with a Checklist:

Mail List Check list

· Know what area you want to target

· Know who you are targeting

· Strategically plan when you want to send out your message

· Use the selections to pinpoint your prospective customer

· Find the right list broker for you

· Join your list provider’s newsletter/ezine/blog (if available)

· Look for discounts offered by the list provider

· Look for quality, not quantity

· Use a list provider that has up-to-date information

Now you have a targeted plan. Test different layouts, formats, and offers at different times. You will end up finding what works. You may even have to change your criteria selections of your lists.

So how do you do this the best way?

The Right List Broker You should develop a relationship with a list broker. They will know what response and compiled lists are available. Don’t treat them as a supplier or vendor, treat them as a partner. If they provide you with a successful marketing list, you will end up forming a trusting relationship with them. It is always nice to work with someone you trust. Sometimes, all you have to do is tell the list broker what type of business you have and who you would like to market. They can suggest different criteria selections and maybe different target audiences that have been successful for other businesses like yours. They also know which lists do not yield high response rates. List brokers are only successful if you are successful.

Final Steps How often should you mail out a list? It usually takes three to seven times for a potential prospect to be marketed before you are recognized or remembered. So you may want to choose the option of multiple use when purchasing a mailing list. Make sure to ask your list broker for discounts, as well as how often their databases are updated. Discuss your budget. You want to make sure that you and your broker are on the same page. Finally, track the results, analyze them, and make adjustments. Don’t waste your money or time by using the wrong mailing list for your marketing campaign. Make the most of your offer by sending it to the right people.

Author: David Sklorenko III
Article Source