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Marketing & Advertising

Old School Marketing

September 06, 2012
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In today''s "tech savvy" world, you have so many newly emerging vehicles for marketing your business that it can be very confusing to most entrepreneurs.

You have websites, e-mails, mobile marketing, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Angie''s List, Google+, YouTube… the list doesn''t end there, it goes on and on. As technical marketing accelerates at dizzying speeds, some are wondering… is direct mail marketing dead?

The jury is in

The smartest marketers in the world are pretty much in agreement that, although the marketplace is changing and the delivery systems are expanding, human nature is still the same.

What is the basis of human nature? It''s the same as it''s always been. It''s still asking, "What''s in it for me?"

My friend and direct marketing "kingpin," Dan Kennedy, had this to say during a recent interview I conducted with him, regarding whether or not direct mail is dead: "Every few years a bunch of people declare something dead." He also went on to state: "There is new and additional media, but not dead media."

And how does Kennedy know this to be true? He creates direct mail campaigns for companies that generate millions of dollars — even in today''s tech savvy marketplace.

Another point Kennedy highlighted was that, while many local businesses are foolishly abandoning certain marketing platforms that are declared "dead" — such as direct mail — some of the largest companies in the world are flocking to direct mail to drive people to both online and offline sales. And they are doing it very successfully.

Reach your market

Direct mail has certainly seen its peaks and valleys.

At one time, not so long ago, it was one of the only vehicles of delivering messages to prospects. But with the invention of the Internet, smartphones, tablets and digital notebooks, more and more companies have shifted to strictly online delivery systems.

But is this enough for your company? Remember, your consumer is being hit with sales messages online and through e-mail virtually 24/7. That means you have to cut through the "noise" to reach them.

So what this shift in media and delivery systems really does is afford you opportunity. People still get mail, but they''re now getting less of it. Your competition in the "mail box" has declined.

Direct mail is not dead. It has simply changed.

In fact, this "change" has led to a little known, exciting opportunity available through your local United States Postal Service (USPS) location. Better known as your "Post Office."

Everyone knows the Post Office is hurting for business. In an effort to boost sales, they are offering you a chance to reach your target customer at prices that haven''t been seen in decades.

This exciting program is called "Every Door Direct Mail" and here is how it works. The following quote is straight from the USPS website:

"With Every Door Direct Mail® service from the U.S. Postal Service, you can reach the market that matters most to your business: nearby neighborhoods. Postage is as low as 14.5¢ per piece — and you don''t even need to know names or street addresses. You simply identify the neighborhoods you want to target, and your printed piece is delivered with the day''s mail to every address."

That''s cheaper than you would pay someone to hand deliver pieces to someone''s front door!

But, now with opportunities like this, the real "trick" becomes getting people to respond to your direct mail pieces.

No excuses

I''ve heard it a thousand times during my almost two-decade long career in teaching effective marketing to professional cleaners.

"Flyers don''t work."

"Direct mail doesn''t work."

"Post cards don''t work."

The truth is it all works. But the secret to success is delivering the right message to the right market at the right time.

I''ve taught thousands of professional cleaners and thousands of entrepreneurs in other industries to use this type of marketing to make a lot of money in their businesses.

As a result, my clients have generated millions of dollars collectively with the same advice I''m giving you right now. And the secret is to follow the proven, time-tested rules of successful direct-response marketing techniques.

These methodologies and strategies must be followed if you are going to find real success in direct mail marketing.

Have a plan

Direct mail still works, but only if you do it right.

Attempting direct mail without knowing the proven plan for success is like building a house without following a blueprint and, upon failing, blaming the lumber and nails.

People who are "failing" at direct mail today aren''t following the success "blueprint," and that is the major flaw in their marketing plan.

Fortunately many, many others ahead of you and I have "cracked the code" with timeless principle-based marketing methods and strategies. I discovered them almost 20 years ago and continue to tailor them specifically for professional cleaners and restorers.

These methods are working today as well as they did 20, 50, even 150 years ago. How can that be? Because even though the world we live in changes with technology, we know that basic human responses and wants have not changed.

I like the way world renowned copywriter, John Carlton, put it: "A lot of people want to think that we''re so advanced we are ''out of the jungle''… we haven''t left the jungle, our basic needs are still driven by fear and greed."

And direct response marketing is the only form of marketing that speaks to the basic wants and needs of human nature.

The secret to success

There simply isn''t enough room in this article for me to teach you everything you need to know about effective marketing, but here are some basics that will put you on the right track.

Let''s start with getting your envelope opened.

If your promotion is going to a "cold" prospect, it''s best to make the envelope look as personal as possible. You can do this by using a plain white envelope with handwriting or a handwriting font, and a live stamp and by refraining from putting your business name on the outside.

You want to make your piece look like a letter from their "Aunt Minnie" so it goes into their "open" pile and not the trash can.

And when it comes to creating your direct mail piece, you will get the best success when you follow these proven direct-response "rules." This is a way of turning your marketing into your own personal "sales force:"

  • Attention getting headline
  • Compelling, interesting copy
  • Clear, irresistible offer
  • Call to action
  • Expiration date/sense of urgency
  • Testimonials
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Your contact information.
By following these principles of proven, direct-response marketing, when you invest in any of your marketing — including direct mail — you will find real success.

Expand your marketing

While we recognize that the landscape of delivery systems is expanding from a paper and ink world to digital technology, what it really does is expand your opportunities to reach your prospects.

I like the way Kennedy put it: "One is the worst number in business." You never want to have just one way of getting clients, or one ad or one form of delivery of your sales message. Otherwise, when that one gets "tired," you have a zero on your hands.

As the media available to spread your message about your services diversifies, it''s apparent that the rules and fundamentals of response have not changed.

Take advantage of all that online delivery systems have to offer, but to keep your marketing plan from becoming "one dimensional," also take advantage of all the opportunities direct mail has to offer you.

Why? Because, when executed with the timeless principles of direct-response marketing, this "old school" technique becomes the perfect complement to your "new school" ways of advertising your business.


Joe Polish is the president and founder of Piranha Marketing, a marketing and business building company in the cleaning and restoration industries. Piranha provides ready-to-use marketing tools, sales systems and training to create E.L.F. businesses – Easy, Lucrative and Fun™. Get his all new FREE Report where he reveals "4 Little Known, Easy Ways To Have Your Carpet Cleaning Business Booked Solid In A Week…" For instant access, just go to: www.RichCleaner.com/4Free or call this 24 hour Free Recorded Message (800) 842-2360.

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