How to Profit from Direct Mail

Posted by Vernon Simpson on July 18, 2018

In the next coming weeks I will be talking about developing and running an effective direct mail campaign to boost turnover and profits. You see, if you really want to make dramatic improvements in sales you cannot simple rely on having great presence on line. You need to have a range of strategic marketing weapons to make the most of your target market. And direct mail is one of the most powerful marketing weapons you can have.

You are running a direct-mail campaign every time you mail an existing or potential customer a letter and ask them to respond or take action.

Direct mail is a marketing strategy that can help you achieve a number of business objectives. From lead generation to customer retention, direct mail campaigns are a highly versatile and relatively cost-effective choice for business promotion.

What you probably don’t realise is the direct mail is one of the most targeted marketing strategies you can implement, and one of the easiest to track, measure and analyse results.

It is also one of the most personal. Instead of an advertisement, flyer, newspaper insert or catalogue, you are sending each customer a personalised letter that is tailored to their unique needs and desires.

Getting the most out of your direct mail campaign is easy. With a laser-sharp mailing list and irresistible offer, your direct mail campaign can easily flood your business with qualified leads.

Let’s get started!

A List of Ideal Customers

Unless you spend time carefully crafting a mailing list of ideal customers, you may as well pack and up go home. The success of a direct mail campaign largely rests on the pinpoint accuracy of your mailing list.

The only people you want on your list are your potential “ideal customers.” The people who are most likely to buy from you – often and in large volumes – and who are a delight to deal with. They are the type of people who will account for 80% of your revenue, and just 20% of your total customer base.

You have a number of options when you are creating your mailing list:

Existing customer database. This is a list of all of the people who have previously purchased from you. It is important to gather their full contact information at the time of sale so you will be able to get contact them again.

 

Existing Leads database

This is a list of all of the leads that have come through your door, but have not purchased from you. This may include those who responded to your last direct mail campaign, but have not yet become customers.

Outsourced list. This is a list that has been purchased from a market research firm, the government, or the post office. These lists are pulled based on demographic information – age, sex, location, income, family structure, etc.

Putting the mailing list together

Once you have determined the source(s) for your mailing list, you will have to spend some time assembling it and preparing it for your mailing.

1. Make sure all contacts are up to date. Phone  old contacts to confirm their mailing address. An out-of-date list will cost you money in printing and postage.

2. Ensure all contacts are accurate to the list criteria. Take a read through your list to make sure there are no contacts that shouldn’t be on the list.

3. Use a database management program to manage your mailing. This will allow you to keep a master list, and create custom lists for each mailing. Remember to save the file name as something that describes the mailing so you can easily find it.

Next week we will talk about writing effective direct mail pieces, and the first two steps of the Five Step Direct Mail Campaign. In the meantime if you want some help in putting your campaign together visit: http://businessgrowthforyou.com

Until the next time.

 

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

Make Your Business Thrive in 2018 with PROMOTE Part 4

Posted by Vernon Simpson on February 24, 2014

Did you know that a recent study from Stamford University found that on average successful companies spend approximately £1067 per year training each  of  their employees ? But do you think most of these companies get value for money from such investments?

On the whole, people enjoy training, they really do. With any decent facilitator, participants mostly leave satisfied and motivated, and with intention to do something differently.

But something seems to be broken when it comes to what happens next; because alarmingly research shows that on average, for every six people involved in a learning experience only one person applies this knowledge and follow it through!

The problem is in nutshell is that getting learning to stick, and successfully transferring it into an organisation is a huge problem. Millions of pounds invested into training is wasted as a result of haphazard planning, insufficient support, inefficient processes, and inattention to results. Being practical, relevant and inspiring at the point of delivery is not enough for learning & development to justify itself – it needs to make a difference, and the difference is truly made outside the classroom.
To address this learning transfer problem we have joined forces with our Strategic Partners Phoenix Training to deliver to organisations such as yourselves a new learning platform called PROMOTE®.

PROMOTE® doesn’t replace face-to-face training in the classroom – it enhances it massively, allowing face-to-face events to add the value they are best-designed for, i.e. practical exercises, immediate feedback, and dynamic group shared experience. In a time-poor, global market, it makes sure that sessions can be delivered in the medium that suits them best. And every programme is built uniquely to fit the client’s culture and style.

Have a look at this animated video: http://player.vimeo.com/video/80971851

So if you have any such contacts that could do with this fantastic tool it would be great if you can put us in touch with them. You can email me: info@businessgrowthforyou.com
Until the next time.

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach,

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

 

Make your business thrive in 2018 – Part 3: Create a winning sales team

Posted by Vernon Simpson on February 17, 2014

In the last two weeks we have been talking about critical things that you must do to make your business an outstanding success in 2014

So let’s imagine that you have done your SWOT analysis, developed your strategic plan and you have taken a hard look at one of your most critical resources and that is your sales team.   It has become clear to you that if you don’t have a sales team that sizzles, you’ll struggle mightily in the coming year.

Poorly managed sales staff and a lack of a systematised sales process is one of the biggest problems I see business owners make.  However, all of this can be corrected with an effective Sales Management System.

This week and next week I am going to show you how to do this. Let’s get started!

1. Develop Key Performance Indicators for Your Sales Team.  First things first, you need to know what specific numbers your sales team needs to hit in order make your business thrive.  This sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses fail to calculate these numbers!

Of course, it’s not as simple as just setting some arbitrary standard and leaving it at that.  To be most effective, you need to base these numbers on actual, past results – so that you’re not creating goals that are either so high that they’re unattainable, or so low that they don’t stretch anyone.

2. Tie Your Employees’ Performance to their Compensation.  When your staff has a vested, financial interest in their results, their output will soar.  Some business owners shy away from this, but believe me when I say that almost nothing you do will prove more powerful in terms of increased effort and productivity.

3. Create an Environment Where Your Sales Staff Can Thrive as Individuals.  Everyone is different.  They are motivated by different passions and goals.  Effective sales managers understand this, and motivate their people by showing them how reaching their sales targets will help them achieve what they really want out of life.

One of the best things you can do is to have everyone on your staff create a “Vision Book” that outlines in specific, visual detail what they’re really working for: the car, the house, the vacations, the ability to give to the charities and causes that mean the most to them, the financial security, whatever.   I will say more about this in next week’s presentation, including a free resource that will help your team produce great results in the coming year.

Until the next time.

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach,

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

 

Make your business THRIVE in 2018 Part 2

Posted by Vernon Simpson on February 10, 2014

As I was saying last week it is very important that we focus on what will make your business thrive in 2014. My first tip was to help you put in place measures that will enable you to side step any negative conditions that could derail you, and to position your business to thrive with the use of the SWOT analysis.

This week I want to tell you how you can improve your SWOT analysis by taking a hard look at your current resources and how to get the most out of them. This will help your capital go further and increase your profit margin in 2014 by maximizing what you already have. These include:

  • Recognising  the obvious
  • Unconventional breakthroughs
  • Facing  the facts

 

Recognising the Obvious

Sometimes when you are too close to something, you can’t make out the big picture. You need to step back and really take a hard look at the resources you currently have in front of you. You are surrounded by opportunities that can boost your career and help your business become more successful but maybe you are just too close to things to see this?

Unconventional Breakthroughs

Don’t sit around waiting for breakthroughs you need to create them yourself. A breakthrough is merely a new way of doing things or finding a new thing to do for the same or better results. You should be having regular brainstorming sessions and encouraging your team to come forward with breakthroughs or ideas any time they have them.

Some great examples of breakthroughs are:

  • A health and beauty company discovers a side effect of a product that can be re-marketed and sold.
  • A company creates a roll-on deodorant inspired by the shape and size of a ball point pen.
  • The founder of Nike poured rubber onto a waffle iron and created the most innovative and successful running shoe ever.

 

When attracting or strategising for a breakthrough in 2014 there are some key objectives you need to keep in mind. They are:

  1. Look for the hidden opportunity in every situation.
  2. Look for at least one cash windfall for your business every three months.
  3. The more value for your client, the better your breakthrough.
  4. Create multiple streams of ideas to find the best breakthroughs.
  5. Effective breakthroughs remove all risk or resistance.

Face the Facts

Before you can put your breakthroughs to work you need to face the facts of the processes and systems that are not working for you and work to correct or get rid of them. There are some great questions you can present to you and your team to get a handle on where your business is right now. They are:

  1. Why did I first start this business? Why am I in this industry?
  2. What products/services did I offer then? Which were the most popular?
  3. Why are my customers/clients buying from me right now?
  4. How did I generate new customers/clients then?
  5. Which of my marketing efforts were bringing in the best results?

Once you’ve got some answers to these questions, you’ll know better how to approach your weaknesses and really pay attention to what will help make your business a great success in 2014.

Until the next time.

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach,

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellen

Make your business THRIVE in 2018 Part 1!

Posted by Vernon Simpson on February 3, 2014

What is the one thing you can do as a small business owner to make sure economical and   other external factors do not have a negative impact on your business in 2014? Is there anything you can do right now that will enable your business to sidestep negative conditions and position your business to not only survive, but THRIVE in the coming year?

What you need to know…

This year there is one basic business principle that can help you turn negative economic and environmental factors to your advantage and you can use this same principle in your business to become the predominant force in your market. It’s called a SWOT Analysis, and it stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Why you need to know this…

A SWOT Analysis will help you discover your personal strengths, weaknesses, and lessons from 2013. If you do it right, you can use that information to position yourself so that your business perform its highest income-producing activities in the New Year. That immediately jump-starts revenue and profits for your business. I always do the SWOT Analysis on my coaching assignments and ensure that my clients combine it with our unique 1 page strategic planning process, and that we update it every 90 days for maximum success.

When we combine SWOT with our strategic planning, this will allow you to predict threats to your business, and develop a pre-determined plan of action that will enable you to turn any threat that materialises in the New Year into an instant opportunity. It worked for Toyota, didn’t it? They were the only car company whose SWOT Analysis predicted the gas crisis, and the public’s current demand for hybrid vehicles.

Do you have an up to date SWOT Analysis for your business in the coming year?

Do you know the tools required to properly perform one?

Do you have any idea what your strengths and weaknesses are, or for that matter, what your highest income-producing activities are for your business and what they should be in the New Year?

Do you know how to combine it all with the other critical success factors for your business into a 1 page strategic plan that you and your team can use every week in your business to make 2014 your best year ever?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             If you don’t, what will be the costs to your business in 2014 if you fail to act now?

Develop these critical skills and you will position your business as the obvious choice for your prospects to buy from and move your business forward with confidence.

Until the next time

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

Generate an Unlimited Amount of Leads for Your Business- Part 5

Posted by Vernon Simpson on September 16, 2013

For the last few weeks I have been sharing with you some great advice on the tactics and strategies you can put in place to provide your business with unlimited leads to create the customers you want for your business. This week I am concluding this particular series of business advice this by showing you how to manage all this with a great lead management system.

Lead Management Systems

Once your lead generation strategies are in place, you’ll also need a system to manage incoming inquiries. You’ll need to ensure you receive enough information from each lead to follow up on at a later date. You’ll also need to create a system to organise that information, and track the lead as it is converted into a sale.

Gathering Information from Your Leads

Here is a list of information you should gather from your leads. This list can be customised to the needs of your business, and the type of information you can realistically ask your potential customers for.

• Company Name

• Name of Contact

• Alternate Contact Person

• Mailing Address

• Phone Number

• Fax Number

• Cell Phone

• Email Address

• Website Address

• Product of Interest

• Other Competitors Engaged

 

Lead List Management Methods:

Once you have gathered information from your lead, you’ll need a system to organise their information and keep a detailed contact history.

These days the simplest way to do this is with a database programs

Electronic Database Programs

• High level of organisation available

• Unlimited space for notes and record-keeping

• Data-entry required

• Examples include: MS Outlook, MS Excel, Maximizer

• Customer Relationship Management Software

However, you can also do it the old fashion way by using a variety of hard copy methods such as the following :

Index Cards

• Variety of sizes: 3×5, 4X6 or 5X8

• Basic contact information on one side

• Notes on the other side

• Easy to organize and sort

Rolodex System

• Maintain more contacts than index card system

• Easily organised and compact

• Basic contact information on one side

• Notes on the other side

• Can keep phone conversation and purchase details

Notebook

• Best if leads are managed by a single person

• Lots of room for notes

• Inexpensive

• Difficult to re-organise

• Best for smaller lists

Business Card Organiser

• Best for small lists – under 100

• Limited space for notes

• No data entry required

• Rolodex-style, or clear binder pages

Well that concludes this series on generating an unlimited amount of leads for your business. I hope you found it interesting, useful and fun.  However, if you really want to find out more and get some help in putting all this into your business then visit: http://mybusinessdevelopmentacademy.com or make an appointment with me by clicking this link: https://my.timedriver.com/62NK1

 

Until the next time

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach,

 Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

 

Generate an Unlimited Amount of Leads for Your Business- Part 4

Posted by Vernon Simpson on September 9, 2013

Last week I showed you how you can to get more leads from your existing strategies. This included direct mailing to your ideal customers, identifying your ideal customers, crafting your special offer, and the importance of using advertising in your campaign. This week I will conclude the advertising aspects with some top tips for making your campaign a success.

The top tips are:

  • Leverage Low cost advertising
  • Spark curiosity
  • Grab them with a killer headline
  • Referrals and host beneficiary relationships

Leverage Low cost advertising

Place ads in the yellow pages, classifieds section, e-mail newsletters, and online. In addition, also make use of Facebook and Google Adwords.

Spark curiosity

Don’t give them all the information they need to make a decision. Ask them to contact you for the full story, or the complete details of the seemingly outrageous offer.

Grab them with a killer headline

Like all advertising, a compelling headline is essential. Focus on the greatest benefits to the customer, or feature an unbelievable offer.

Referrals and host beneficiary relationships

A referral system is one of the most profitable systems you can create in your business. The beauty is once it’s set up, it often runs itself.

Customers that come to you through referrals are often your “ideal customers.” They are already trusting and willing to buy. This is one of the most cost-effective methods of generating new business, and is often the most profitable. These referral clients will buy more, faster, and refer further business to your company.

Referrals naturally happen without much effort for reputable businesses, but with a proactive referral strategy you’ll certainly double or triple your referrals. Sometimes, you just need to ask!

Well I have for the last few weeks been given you some great advise on the tactics and strategies you can put in place to provide your business with unlimited leads  to create the customers you want for your business. Next week we will conclude all this by showing you how to manage all this with a great lead management system. However, if you really want to find out more and get some help in putting all this into your business then visit: http://mybusinessdevelopmentacademy.com or make an appointment with me by clicking this link: https://my.timedriver.com/62NK1

 

Until the next time

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach,

 Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

 

Generate an Unlimited Amount of Leads for Your Business- Part 3

Posted by Vernon Simpson on September 2, 2013

For the last two weeks we have been looking at the right processes for generating unlimited amount of leads. This week we will examine how to get more leads from your existing strategies.

The first thing I have to say about this part is that increasing your lead generation doesn’t necessarily mean diving in and implementing an expensive array of new marketing strategies. Marketing and customer outreach for the purpose of lead generation can be inexpensive, and bring a high return on investment. You are likely already implementing many of these strategies. With a little tweaking or refinement, you can easily double your leads, and ensure they are more qualified. Here are some popular ways to generate quality leads:

Direct Mail to Your Ideal Customers

Direct mail is one of the fastest and most effective ways to generate leads that will build your business. It’s a simple strategy –in fact, you’re probably already reaching out to potential clients through direct mail letters with enticing offers. The secret to doubling your results is to craft your direct mail campaigns specifically for a highly targeted audience of your ideal customers.

Your ideal customers are the people who will buy the most of your products or services. They are the customers who will buy from you over and over again, and refer your business to their friends. They are the group of 20% of your clients who make up 80% of your revenue.

Identify your ideal customers.

Who are your ideal customers? What is their age, sex, income, location and purchase motivation? Where do they live? How do they spend their money? Be as specific as possible.

Once you have identified who your ideal customers are, you can begin to determine how you can go about reaching them. Will you mail to households or apartment buildings? Families or retirees? Direct mail lists are available for purchase from a wide range of companies, and can be segregated into a variety of demographic and sociographic categories.

Craft a special offer.

Create an offer that’s too good to refuse – not for your entire target market, but for your ideal customer. How can you cater to their unique needs and wants? What will be irresistible for them?

For example, if you operate a furniture store, your target market is a broad range of people. However, if you are targeting young families, your offer will be much different than one you may craft for empty-nesters.

Court them for their business.

Don’t stop at a single mail-out. Sometimes people will throw your letter away two or three times before they are motivated to act. Treat your direct mail campaign like a courtship, and understand that it will happen over time.

First send a letter introducing yourself, and your irresistible offer. Then follow up on a monthly basis with additional letters, newsletters, offers, or flyers. Repetition and reinforcement of your presence is how your customer will go from saying, “who is this company” to “I buy from this company.”

Advertise for lead generation

Statistics show that nearly 50% of all purchase decisions are motivated by advertising. It can also be a relatively cost effective way of generating leads. We’ve already discussed the importance of ensuring your advertisements are purpose-focused. The general purpose of most advertisements is to increase sales – which starts with leads. However , ads that are created solely for lead generation – that is, to get the customers to pick up the phone or walk in the store – are a category of their own.

Lead generation ads are simply designed and create a sense of curiosity or mystery. Often, they feature an almost unbelievable offer. Their purpose is not to convince the customer to buy, but to contact the business for more information.

As always, when you are targeting your ideal audience, you’ll need to ensure that your ads are placed prominently in publications that audience reads. This doesn’t mean you have to fork over the cash for expensive display ads. Inexpensive advertising in e-mail newsletters, classifieds, and the yellow pages are very effective for lead generation.

Next week I will provide you with some top tips for lead generation advertising

Until the next time

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach,

 Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

 

Generate an Unlimited Amount of Leads for Your Business- Part 2

Posted by Vernon Simpson on August 26, 2013

Last week we focused on where our customers come from and how to record that effectively to work out our conversion rates according to the lead sources.

This week we will look at working out our conversion rates and how to make sure our leads are the right ones.

From Lead to Customer: Conversion Rates

Leads mean nothing to your business unless you convert them into customers. You could get hundreds of leads from a single advertisement, but unless those leads result in purchases, it’s been largely unsuccessful (and costly) campaign.

The ratio of leads (potential customers) to transactions (actual customers) is called your conversion rate. Simply divide the number of customers who actually purchased something by the number of customers who inquired about your product or service, and multiply by 100.

# transactions / # leads x 100 = % conversion rate

If, in a given week, I have 879 customers come into my  business, and 143 of them purchase something, the formula would look like this:

[143 (customers) / 879 (leads)] x 100 = 16.25% conversion rate

What’s Your Conversion Rate?

Based on the formula above, you can see that the higher your conversion rate, the more profitable the business.

Now you can determine you own current conversion rate. Add up the number of leads you sourced in the last section, and divide that number into the total transactions that took place in the same week.

Quality (or Qualified) Leads

Based on our review of conversion rates, we can see that the number of leads you generate means nothing unless those leads are being converted into customers.

So what affects your ability (and the ability of your team) to turn leads into customers? Do you need to improve your scripts? Your product or service? Find a more competitive edge in the marketplace?

Maybe. But the first step towards increasing conversion rates is to evaluate the leads you are currently generating, and make sure those leads are the right ones.

What are Quality Leads?

Potential customers are potential customers, right? Anyone who walks into your store or picks up the phone to call your business could be convinced to purchase from you, right? Not necessarily, but this is a common assumption most business owners make.

Quality leads are the people who are the most likely to buy your product or service. They are the qualified buyers who comprise your target market. Anyone might walk in off the street to browse a furniture store – regardless of whether or not they are in the market for a new couch or bed frame. This lead is solely interested in browsing, and is not likely to be converted to a customer.

A quality lead would be someone looking for a new kitchen table, and who specifically drove to that same furniture because a friend had raved about the service they received that month. These are the kinds of leads you need to focus on generating.

How Do You Get Quality Leads?

Know your target market. Get a handle on who your customers are – the people who are most likely to buy your product or service. Know their age, sex, income, and purchase motivations. From that information you can determine how best to reach your specific audience.

• Focus on the 80/20 rule. A common statistic in business is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. These are your star clients, or your ideal clients.

These are the clients you should focus your efforts on recruiting. This is the easiest way to grow your business and your income.

• Get specific. Focus not only on who you want to attract, but how you’re going to attract them. If you’re trying to generate leads from a specific market segment, craft a unique offer to get their attention.

• Be proactive. Once you’ve generated a slew of leads, make sure you have the resources to follow up on them. Be diligent and aggressive, and follow up in a timely manner.

You’ve done the  work to get them, now reel them in.

Next week we will look at how you can more leads from your existing strategies.

Until the time

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach,

 Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

 

Generate an Unlimited Amount of Leads for Your Business- Part 1

Posted by Vernon Simpson on August 19, 2013

In the coming weeks I will be focussing on how you can generate far more leads for your business.

Where do your customers come from?

Most people would probably choose advertising as an answer. Or referrals. Or direct mail campaigns. This may seem true, but it’s not really accurate.

Your customers come from leads that have been turned into sales. Each customer goes through a two-step process before they arrive with their wallets open. They have been converted from a member of a target market, to a lead, then to a customer.

So, would it not stand to reason, then, that when you advertise or send any marketing material out to your target market that you’re not really trying to generate customers? That instead, you’re trying to generate leads?

When you look at your marketing campaign from this perspective, the idea of generating leads as compared to customers seems a lot less daunting. The pressure of closing sales is no longer placed on advertisements or brochures.

From this perspective, the general purpose of your advertising and marketing efforts is then to generate leads from qualified customers. Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?

Where Are Your Leads Coming From?

If I asked you to tell me the top three ways you generate new sales leads, what would you say?

• Advertising?

• Word of mouth?

• Networking?

• …don’t know?

The first step towards increasing your leads understands how many leads you currently get on a regular basis, as well as where they come from. Otherwise, how will you know when you’re getting more phone calls or walk-in customers?

If you don’t know where your leads come from, start today.  Start asking every customer that comes through your door, “how did you hear about us?” or “what brought you in today?” Ask every customer that calls where they found your telephone number, or email address. Then, record the information for at least an entire week.

Next week we will cover how we turn leads into customers and the importance of the conversion rates and qualified leads.

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence