With the popularity of social media and digital media companies have stopped sending out direct mail. E-marketing is more affordable and has been a way for companies to trim their marketing budget.
According to Mintel Comperemedia, which tracks direct mail marketing, there was a 27% decline in 3rd quarter of 2009. Studies have also shown that purchasing mailing lists and sending mass flyers or coupons are not cost effective. Instead, business owners are creating personalized mailings which include special offers to their current or perspective customers. The idea is to send something that is more appealing and will be more valued and noticeable than a mass general mailing or a mass email blast. A personal touch that a smaller firm can create in a direct mailing can be very effective.
Postcards are more colorful and can be more appealing than a standard letter that is sent out. It can include something funny, memorable or of interest; information about the company anything to reach customers so that they think if you. A postcard is easy to read and will be less likely to be thrown away. It is much easier to delete email without looking at it. A postcard if eye catching just reminds your customers that you are thinking of them and in turn hope that they think of you. The question always remains, “what is the best way to communicate with customers?” The answer is: As many ways as possible, all the social media avenues can be effective, as well as a postcard, and always face to face contact.
With everything available, take advantage and always track where your customers are coming from and how they heard about you. Good luck, we all know that marketing is not an exact science the more ways to get noticed the better.
It’s time for a hard look at your sales, expenses and net profits from 2009. With the new year here, really think about what this year could bring.
Okay, everyone has had enough of the general gloom and doom in the news. If you’ve tuned it out, then tune in to some of your own research. Is your industry growing or shrinking? What does that mean to your sales projects.
1. Call SCORE to find an office near you for a Small Business Check-up. Schedule a personal mentoring session. Get a free and confidential review of your business in 2009. Call 1-800/634-0245 or Find SCORE Online.
2. Do Some Research. Use Google search to find out general industry trends. If you’re in retail, how much is retail down right now? What sectors are doing better or worse. This is the news you need–specific to your industry with an impact on your business. If you see an industry holding steady, growing or contracting, your plans for 2010 should take that into account.
3. Tune up your business plan. Really take a hard look at sales projections and expenses. You can break the plan into quarters, this way you may plan revenue and expense based on slower sales earlier in the year and a pick-up in volume a little later in the year. It’s too late after the fact. Now, you have the chance to set budgets based on expectations–and that is the management tool that helps you in 2010.