Welcome to lesson #10! In this lesson, we’re going to show you a strategy that can make it possible for you to stop spending money on traditional, under-performing advertising methods. As you know, with traditional forms of advertising, the “best case scenario” is usually getting a very small percentage of people to become your customers. By simply re-focusing your efforts to only reach a targeted audience, it’s possible to realize a far better return on your advertising dollars. The information that you’re about to learn in this lesson are things that traditional advertising and media companies truly don’t want you to know about.
Newspapers, television networks, and radio stations all rely upon advertising revenue to stay in business. Without advertising revenue, newspapers, television networks, and radio stations could not exist. This is the case with national newspapers, national television networks, and national radio stations, as well as regional and local newspapers, regional and local television networks, and regional and local radio stations. Since running a newspaper, television network, and radio station is so expensive, these companies are all forced to charge businesses outrageous prices, for advertisements that will only run one time, or for a limited number of times. The vast majority of people, who are exposed to your company’s advertisement, through these types of traditional ads, have absolutely no interest in your company’s products or services, because they are simply not your target audience.
The general idea, behind advertising in these traditional forms of media, is that you’ll reach tons and tons of people, in the hope that a small percentage of them will be interested in your company’s products or services. Of course, this is a massively wasteful way for a business to invest their advertising dollars. Could you imagine if, each time your business ordered products from your wholesaler, that you had to order 100 of the same item, knowing that only one of the items that arrived in the shipment will be good, but the other 99 items will be broken, expired, defective and non-refundable? Clearly, no business would order from a wholesaler like that. For some reason, though, most businesses accept the fact that if their ad goes out to 100 people, 99 of them will not be their correct audience, and maybe 1 person, out of every 100 or 1,000 people, will become a customer. Unfortunately, due to the way that traditional media companies work, they must charge businesses to advertise to a largely untargeted audience, where 99% or more of them are not going to be interested in your company’s products or services.
Most businesses have come to accept this inefficient form of advertising as a necessary evil, even though they realize that the majority of their ad spend will reach an untargeted audience. This section is not intended to speak negatively of traditional media companies. These companies simply do not have the ability to just charge you for ads that only reach your target audience.
The good news, however, is that you have the ability to invest your offline advertising dollars in a far more efficient way. In the same way that you can target your specific audience, with certain forms of online advertising, you can also do this with offline advertising too. You just need access to the right resources, and that’s precisely what we’re going to reveal to you in this lesson!
Purchasing or renting targeted mailing lists can reap huge rewards for businesses who know their audience. List companies typically have the ability to provide you with mailing lists that are highly targeted. Here are just some of the criteria that you can specify, when ordering targeted lists from list companies:
Consumers or businesses within a specific city
People within a certain age group
Minimum or maximum household income
New homeowners (i.e. homeowners who have not established any loyalty to any of your local competitors yet)
Some list companies can even provide you with lists of businesses or consumers who have specific interests, people who have a history of purchasing particular types of items, and even people who eat at particular types of restaurants!
If you’re a company who sells products exclusively to men, hopefully you’re seeing how targeted mailing lists can be a much better option than advertising in a newspaper, where half of the newspaper’s subscribers might be women.
As with any other form of advertising, marketing to targeted lists also needs to be tested, tweaked, and grown in a sensible way. When first dealing with any particular mailing list company, it’s a good idea to test out the quality and responsiveness of their list. As you compare the pricing of different list companies, keep in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for. Other times, a high priced list will not perform as well as a less expensive list, from another company. As they say, “Test, test, test!”
A good rule of thumb is to start out by working with list companies who have been around for a while and who have a good reputation. When it comes to list companies, here’s who we recommend:
In addition to testing out different mailing list companies, to determine which ones provide you with the most responsive lists, you’ll also want to test out the actual marketing messages or ads that you send out to these lists. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that they need to send out expensive packets or multi-page sales letters to their mailing lists. One of the most under rated mailing pieces is the postcard. There’s a common expression in the direct mail industry, which basically says that a postcard is the one piece of mail that you can guarantee will be opened. The idea, of course, is that the recipients of a postcard will essentially have to see your message on the postcard before deciding whether or not to discard it. On the other hand, if your marketing message is delivered in an envelope, it’s possible that many people could recognize it as an advertisement and throw it away, before reading the message inside. For this reason, many businesses will often place some sort of “urgent” message on the outside of the envelope. Many people have become wise to this ploy, so even those envelopes with “urgent” written on the outside often never get opened.
Also, keep in mind that mailing a postcard typically costs less than mailing an envelope. Additionally, postcards are often cheaper to produce and prepare for mailing, as compared to sales letters which have to be folded, placed in envelopes, and sealed. It’s also worth noting that when the recipient receives their mail, and there are several white envelopes and one full color postcard, it’s very likely that the full color postcard is going to stand out the most. Of course, this is not to say that mailing sales letters in envelopes can’t work too. Just consider the benefits and advantages that we’ve outlined for postcards. Naturally, always use your best judgment, when deciding what type of mailing piece is best for your particular type of business.
Regardless of which type of mailing piece you decide to send out, you should always include a “call to action” in the mailing piece. As the name implies, a “call to action” tells people to do something specific. Common “calls to action” include:
“Bring this coupon in for 20% off today!”
“Call today and mention promo code ABC-123 for 25% off your purchase!”
“Go to www.abc123.com to join our VIP mailing list now!”
Besides motivating people to do business with you, a “call to action” also allows your company to track the success of your mailing. It’s rather incredible to see how so many companies spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on advertising, without including a “call to action” in their ads. Unless you’re a company with millions and millions of dollars to spend on simply “building your brand”, it’s vital to include a call to action in your advertisements. Never underestimate the importance of telling your customers specifically how to do business with you, in all of your ads.
This next bit of information might not make the expensive copy center in your local area too happy, but consider the following: Those large copy centers, which are in almost every city throughout the country, have some expensive operating costs. One of their biggest costs is the rent for their expensive retail storefront space. Obviously, the way that they cover the high costs that are associated with operating their copy center, is by passing those costs along to their customers.
For business owners who cannot afford to pay those high prices, for simple marketing materials, there’s a better solution. Online-based printing companies can often fulfill the exact same orders, for a fraction of the cost. Since online-based printing companies do not have to pay rent for expensive retail storefronts, they can pass those savings onto you. If you’re going to start taking advantage of doing targeted mailings, to reach your best prospects, these savings can really add up. Of course, lowering your costs is essentially the same as increasing your profits. Ultimately, if your business ends up with more revenue at the end of the year, because you increased your profits or because you cut your expenses, it’s a win either way.
Here’s our favorite online-based printing company:
Of course, you might be more comfortable with the idea of being able to walk into your local copy center, placing your order, and returning when your order is ready. Keep in mind, though, that as long as you’re dealing with reputable online-based companies, you can place your order at any time of day or night, without having to travel all around town, to place orders and pick them up. Online-based printing companies are simply a very convenient, highly cost-effective way to place orders, for your marketing and advertising materials.
Although we’re big proponents of online advertising, there are also massive opportunities, for reaching a targeted audience, through the offline means that we’ve discussed in this lesson. Also, keep the following in mind, when it comes to doing offline mailings: With the explosion of the internet, and so many businesses rushing into online advertising, a unique opportunity now exists, for businesses that are able to recognize it. Specifically, people’s mail boxes now have a lot less mail in them, as compared to the days before internet marketing. Savvy business owners will recognize that the increase in online advertising equals a decrease in “snail mail”. Obviously, since people are receiving less mail in their mail boxes, this means that there is less competition for people’s attention, as they sort through their “snail mail”. Of course, the best approach is to diversify your marketing and advertising efforts into multiple areas. Just keep in mind, though, that people are receiving far less mail than they used to. Take advantage of this fact that there are now fewer companies competing for people’s attention, at the good old fashioned mailbox!
This lesson concludes the core information that we wanted to share with you. As more relevant topics come up, though, we will make every effort to provide you with additional training in those areas. It is our hope that you’ve gotten genuine value out of this training. Our greatest wish, for your business, is that you implement the lessons that you’ve learned, and that your business reaches new heights as a result.
We wish you all the very best, in all of your future business endeavors!