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Why the Mailing List is the most important part of your Direct Marketing Investment.

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You need new customers but may not know how to find them. Direct Mail is a highly effective way to find new customers. There is rarely any other factor that is more important to the profitability of a mailing than the quality of the list you use. While the offer and creative elements are important in the total picture, they can’t make or break a mailing like the list can.

An accurate mailing list of past and current customers is a goldmine for the sales and marketing department in any company. Keeping mailing lists up to date and accurate is important to maintain their usefulness. These are just a few useful ways to segment the list so that communication can be tailored to the specific customer.

  1. Sales Leads

People who have already bought from you are more likely to buy again, provided their experience was a good one. A mailing list gathered from past and current customers is a great place for sales to start.

  1. New Products

Happy customers are more likely to be willing to try a new product. As a result, a customer mailing list is a great place to start a product launch. Utilize your customer list to build excitement about the product even before it is ready to be purchased. Get people talking about what they want or need before the product officially launches and improvements can be made to make it even better.

  1. Targeting

Whether you have a traditional brick and mortar store or an online business, there’s no doubt that building a responsive list of prospects, leads and customers is an essential part of your success. There is information available on more than 100,000 lists. These lists can be sorted by market sector, cost and any other criteria that describe your target customer.

  1. ROI

With any form of marketing what really matters is the Return On Investment (ROI). One of the great things about direct mail promotions is that they can easily be tested using a small – and therefore less expensive – list, to assess the likely ROI.

  1. Flexibility of Testing Options

The different components of a direct mail package, by contrast, can be individually tested and refined. Giving you more opportunity to get the perfect campaign piece out to your potential customers.

  1. Ability To Reach A Wider Audience

Although a very high proportion of the United States population uses the Internet – around 88.5% according to Internet Live Stats – there are many users who are resistant to online advertising. “Banner blindness” and the annoyance of pop-ups may severely restrict the effectiveness of online campaigns.

So whether you want to generate immediate sales or gather more leads and prospects, having the right mailing list is a key component to the success of your next direct mailing.

The Team at AVS leads has the knowledge and expertise to assist you in building the right mailing list(s) for your next direct mail campaign. Call AVS Leads today at 714-617-4589, or your can reach any of our team members at contact@AVSLeads.com. Visit us online at www.ASVLeads.com.

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Social Media is Direct Marketing

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Social Media has established itself as an essential marketing channel. What’s changing is the way it’s being used for direct marketing purposes.

Social Media is flexible, new, and very engaging.

While well-established businesses are still struggling to integrate social medial fully into their overall marketing and business strategies, 78% of companies had a dedicated social media team in 2014. In spite of this, only 26% integrate social media fully into their business strategies.

Direct Marketing is proven, established, and measurable.

Direct Marketing has been around since 1872 when Montgomery Ward introduced the mail order catalog, though advocates of Social Media want to think its dead.  Guess what? Direct Marketing is not dead. Direct

Marketing has been working quietly in the background generating income and building loyalty for its users for years. And, lets not forget that Direct Mail has that long retention aspect that keeps orders coming in months

after the first mail piece gets delivered to your mail box. Almost every aspect of Direct Marketing can be tested and measured so you can maximize your ROI.

One way to better integrate social media into overall business strategy is to couple it with your direct marketing efforts. How? There are three fundamental ways to integrate the two.

1.  Build a Better Customer Profile: Social media sites contain a wealth of information that can build a foundation for your direct marketing efforts. What interactions took place between your customers and social media? Which posts, links, ads, etc. did they click on? What topics or brands were liked, followed and/or shared with others? What hashtags, keywords and topics are of interest to your prospects? What hobbies, interests, and other demographic information can be gleaned from their social profiles? Collecting information about your customers can help you devise ways to integrate your offers with the interests of your prospects in mind.

2.  Include Social Proof as Part of Your Offer:  According to #Socialnomics 2014, 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media because 90% trust peer recommendations. But only 14% trust advertisements. Examples of Social Proof derived from social media sites include:

Customer testimonials: Draw testimonials from social media sites where people are talking about your brand.

Number of shares or downloads: Display the number of times your offer has been shared or downloaded. If an offer has been shared a lot on social media, it shows credibility and trust on the part of those who see these numbers.

Embedded social media posts: Monitor social media to find mentions of your offer, brand, products, etc. that reflect positively on your business. You can then insert these tweets, Facebook posts, etc. as part of your offer.

Embedded Customer ratings and reviews: In addition to social media posts, you can also embed customer ratings and reviews of the product or service offered.

3.  Cross-promote Direct Marketing and Social Media: Use social media as part of your multi-channel direct marketing campaign.

There are many ways to do this, depending on which offline and online channels are used to promote your offer.

Here are some examples:

•   Make social media an integral part of your multi-channel direct marketing campaigns to amplify your efforts. Link email, direct mail, telemarketing, and direct response advertising to social media, and vice versa. Tying them together allows marketers to take advantage of the particular strengths of each.

•  Use social media to create anticipation by telling customers about an upcoming direct marketing offer.

•  Post direct marketing campaigns to social media.Your customers do not consume information in a “one-channel” world. The more you can integrate your messaging across multiple channels, the greater your opportunity for marketing success. That’s why it makes sense to incorporate social media into your direct marketing campaigns.

 

How to entice your customers using Coupons.

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5 methods that will boost your direct marketing efforts: 

87% of shoppers use coupons. Do you?  Think of all of the coupons you receive in the mail, there are always a few that peak your interest. What do you do with the coupon you’re interested in? Hang it on your fridge? Put it in your car? That company that mailed you the coupon will stay relevant in your mind every time you see it.

There are many good reasons to incorporate coupons into your direct marketing strategy.  Prospects like getting discounts for goods for services they need or already use.  Prospects can also be persuaded to try your product based on coupons and discounts

Here are a few direct mail strategies that will help you focus your coupons and discount marketing efforts.

  1. Targeting your prospects

Targeting your prospects as specifically as possible will increase their likelihood of redeeming your offer. Identifying the prospects that fit your customer profile will increase your return on investment.  If you target your offers correctly, you will give potential customers a reason to visit your business and ultimately become loyal to your brand. And you will save money on printing and postage by not mailing to the wrong audience.

  1.  Percent off vs. Dollars off.

One of the most popular ways to offer discounts is percentage based discounts. This can include small incentive percentages like 5% or 10% off.  If you really want to drive sales, offer discounts in the 20% and 25% range. Some of our clients will offer larger percentages like 50%+ to liquidate merchandise that is old or not moving, like furniture and appliances.

Dollars savings off will speak to the customer who relates more to money savings than the percent off. Offers that are based on a dollar value can also be positioned as a credit. We noticed that this makes people feel like they should use the credit or they will be wasting money.

  1. Create a Newsletter.

Creating a newsletter will keep you relevant and connected to your customer. When sending out your newsletter, why not include a coupon? It is a wonderful way to reward your core customer-base. Your customer may not even use the discount, but it will let your customer know that you value their business, and they will be more likely to look for a discount from you in the future. Your customer will not only get a discount, but will also learn more about your business in the process.

  1. Reward your repeat customers.

Offering coupons and discounts for repeat customers is a great way to build a long-term relationship with your customers and keep your profit margins healthy.  Coupons are also attractive to first time buyers. The coupon reduces the financial risk associated with trying a new product or service.

  1. Expiration Date.

The expiration date may be the most important part of your coupon. Neglecting to include one can be very hard on your business. Likewise, not displaying it clear enough can result in a lot of angry customers.

We have found that the average expiration date for print coupons is around 7 weeks, or just under 2 months.  For digital coupons, the deadline may be much shorter: 1 to 2 weeks, or even a couple days.

Learn to measure and track responses for your next direct mail campaign.

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The only way to systematically get better results from your direct mail campaign, is to evaluate each element of the mailing you just sent out, so you can refine and improve your future mailings.

How to measure response rate.

The response rate is the percentage of people who reply to your mailing. To determine your response rate, you simply count up the number of responses the mailing generates, and then divide by the quantity mailed.

There are two things you can do to make tracking really easy:

  1. Use a dedicated phone line and/or URL/landing page. That way you know exactly which leads/orders came in from which direct-mail campaign.
  2. Put a tracking code or coupon on the mailing piece.

Get that code every time, whether the tracking code is on a coupon or an order form, or a customer service person requests it when people phone in.

If you’re using more than one list, you’ll want to know the overall response from each mailing and you’ll also want to know how many leads or sales were in response to each mailing list and each direct mail piece.

When tracking the profitability of a direct mail campaign, make sure you track all the costs associated with the mailing. That means tracking the cost for printing, list rental, data pro­cessing, mail processing and postage. Then subtract the cost of the mailing from the sales the mailing generated.

Example:

4 sales from the mailing generated $2,800.00

Cost of mailing:                                   – $700.00

Profit from the mail campaign:         $2,100.00

You will also need to keep track of the list history so you’ll know which lists to order in the future. AVS can assist you in maintaining and keeping your list history. Keeping a list history means you track the performance of one specific list each time you’ve mailed to it. Pay attention to the response rate. Did you see a lift in response when you mail it in one month vs. another? Did you see a decline in response the more frequently you mail it?

Determining your goals for each mailing will enable you to objectively measure how successful your mailing will be.   According to “Direct Marketing News,” not all direct mail campaigns are designed to generate orders. For example real estate and insurance agents, use direct mail campaigns to generate leads. They then call those leads and schedule appointments to make sales.

Direct mail response rate is usually no more than 1-3%. Occa­sionally it runs higher – and, in many cases, it runs lower into the fractions of 1%. You will see smaller response rates when you are selling relatively expensive, complex products.

Other than the response rate, there are many ways to measure the results of your direct mail campaign. Here are some of them:

Qualified Response Rate – let’s say you generate 100 leads on a 5,000-piece mailing. That would be a 2% response rate. But if after you call those responses, you determine that only 50% of those leads have a serious interest in buying now or in the future, then your qualified response rate would be 1% (50 qualified leads on a 5,000 piece mailing).

Order Rate – the order rate is a better form of measurement than either the response rate or the qualified rate because it tells you what percentage of people actually bought what you were selling.

Average Revenue per Order – this provides a snapshot of how much money your campaign produced on a per-order basis. 

Return on Investment (ROI) – You will want to know if your campaign made money. Add up all of the revenue generated by the mailing. Add up all your costs of the mailing then subtract the cost from the revenue.

Lifetime Value – over time, you’ll begin to notice that some customers continue to buy again and again over a long period of time while others buy only once. By tracking this information, you will be able to determine the average value of a customer over a typical lifetime.

Call AVS Leads today at 714-617-4589 to discuss your next direct mail campaign, we have the experience and expertise to help you gain a greater response rate and generate more leads with the right list.

Mapping is a sure way to increase your ROI.

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Mapping is important to many industries but it is extremely crucial in the mailing industry. Mapping plays a big part in marketing new or existing businesses that want to grow.  Mapping with AVS Leads will enable you to target specific areas or geographical boundaries were there is a higher concentration of customers that are more likely to purchase from your business.

What is mapping?

Mapping is the process of selecting specific boundaries or zones within geographical areas that a business chooses to market to.  Such selection process can involve radiating out by distance in miles from a business or by drive time from an exact location while being able to specify a target quantity.

  • Mapping can also play a part in identifying the market area when you need to send out notices for city events, construction site events, projects, promotions, announcements or any kind of news you would like residents to receive.
  • There are 2 main types of mapping. Carrier route mapping and Zip4 mapping.
    • Carrier Route mapping consists of routes aligned by the United State Post office of how the Postman walks his route. This can allow the mailing to qualify for the cheapest postage rate possible since it is already sorted by how the Postal carrier walks his route. It is also known as the saturation list.
    • Zip4 or GeoData consists of mapping down to the street level by zip+4. This is considered a more precise way of mapping. This mapping is done when a client needs to stay within a specific bounded area. Some projects that commonly use this type of mapping would be notification notices for a community, water districts, construction projects, liquor licenses or smaller areas as in 1500 feet radius or less.
    • There are specific type of names for these 2 types of mapping. They are referred to as “radius mapping”, “zone mapping”, “boundary mapping”, “zip code mapping”, and “carrier route mapping”, just to name a few.

Why is mapping important?

  • Mapping is important because it lets you target specific areas with criteria and demographics for your business or direct marketing campaign.
  • Mapping will help cut down the cost on postage because you will not be mailing to an area you do not want to target. This will save you lots of money.
  • Mapping will get you a better response for your marketing campaign that will lead to more new clients for your business.
  • Mapping gives you the option to pick the exact areas by carrier route or down to the street level. So if you have specific communities or areas within each zip code you want to target, then we can do that for you by using our unique mapping system.