Monthly Archives: July 2012

What Can Back-To-School Season Do For Your Business?12:46 pm

By Melissa Cober

What Can Back-To-School Season Do for Your Business?Back-to-school season is here, and with it comes a myriad of marketing opportunities for B2C businesses. Did you know that consumers will spend about $70 billion on back-to-school supplies this year? This is the second largest consumer spending event of the year, second only to the winter holiday season. As kids head back to school, their parents will be bombarded with back-to-school ads from every direction, so it is vital that you get your message out to them early!

If your business sells supplies directly related to school, such as backpacks or notebooks, then capitalizing on back-to-school season is a no-brainer. However, many businesses that are not directly related to school supplies don’t realize that they too could be boosting their revenue by participating in this major marketing season. Oftentimes, marketers assume that back-to-school season only involves marketing to kids from kindergarten to 12th grade, but this is simply not the case. Out of the $70 billion spent annually on back-to-school merchandise, only $23 billion will be spent on K-12 students; the rest will be spent on students either starting or returning to college. College students’ needs are much more diverse than students in elementary, middle, or high school, because many of them will be living on their own for the first time in their life. If back-to-school season doesn’t seem to fit your business, it might be time to evaluate whether or not you have been including college students in that assessment.

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Email Lists: Good Things Come to Those Who Repeat11:56 am

By Melissa Cober

Email Lists: Good Things Come to Those Who RepeatThe fast-paced “time is money” mentality of business often makes us forget that patience is a required virtue.  Never was this maxim truer than with the evaluation and use of email lists. Too many businesses approach an email marketing campaign with the expectation of instant gratification.  Without any prior experience, the sheer numbers involved have them thinking that a single broadcast to an email list will make them immediately and wildly wealthy. While this certainly would be nice, email marketing unfortunately just doesn’t work that way in the real world.

Many marketers new to the email channel presume that ROI can be measured according to the same metrics as a traditional mail campaign.  They later learn that email marketing metrics more closely resemble those of display advertising or television broadcast campaigns.  In these media, it is common marketing knowledge that a person must see your message 7 times before acting on it. This means that, while broadcasting once to an email list is absolutely a step in the right direction, once simply isn’t enough. The real returns arrive down the road, when you have broadcasted multiple times. Too often, we see businesses try one email broadcast who, when the returns aren’t what they expected, write the entire medium off without giving it a second try. Worse yet, many of them blame the email lists themselves. Even the highest-quality email lists may not show you the returns you expect, if you don’t give them the chance to perform under their optimal conditions, and that means repetition.

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5 Strategies for Planning Your Next Direct Marketing Campaign2:19 pm

By Melissa Cober

5 Strategies for Planning Your Next Direct Marketing CampaignEffective and memorable direct marketing campaigns do not simply materialize based on luck; they require lots of hard work, planning, and strategizing. Don’t jump into your next direct marketing campaign with blinders on. Follow these 5 strategies to ensure your next campaign’s success!

1. Plan your campaign based on ROI rather than savings. Too many businesses get caught up in the process of trying to save as much money as possible in the initial phases of their direct marketing, without considering the high ROI that an effective campaign will garner. A dirt-cheap, low-quality mailing list may save you some money now, but your ROI will also be significantly lower than a campaign based around a quality list. Always keep the big picture in mind, and don’t let initial campaign prices distract you from what’s really important – making money.

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Direct Mail: The Fundraising Champion9:15 am

By Melissa Cober

Direct Mail: The Fundraising ChampionFundraising is an integral part of many businesses and organizations. However, convincing people to donate some of their disposable income to your cause is not always an easy task, and it has been made even more difficult by the economic downturn. Luckily, direct mail is here to save the day. Direct mail is an extremely effective fundraising tactic, and any organization that depends on fundraising as a major source of revenue should absolutely be utilizing this practice.

Many businesses and organizations, especially smaller ones whose budgets are tight, shy away from direct mail. They are intimidated by direct mail’s higher initial cost per record, but fail to consider the substantial advantage that direct mail has over email when it comes to bringing in donations. Did you know that in 2011, 75% of new donors were acquired by direct mail? Or that a typical nonprofit received 75% of its donated revenue through direct mail? What’s more, a large portion of long-term donors who are initially acquired online often switch from online giving to offline giving, while the reverse is rarely true. All of this means that fundraisers need to take direct mail very seriously, because it is far and away the fundraising champion among direct marketing channels.

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How to Use Email Marketing As a Branding Tool2:04 pm

By Melissa Cober

How to Use Email Marketing as a Branding ToolEmail marketing is a valuable tool when it comes to branding your business. Whether or not your business is B2C or B2B, branding is an important part of developing credibility and customer loyalty. However, we focus on lead generation so often, many people don’t realize that email marketing can be effectively used as a brand awareness tactic as well. Let’s delve into the basics of branded email marketing to examine its uses and strengths.

Common marketing knowledge tells us that people must encounter a branded message 7 times before they will recognize that brand. What’s more, it is rare for people to do business with companies they don’t recognize. This means that getting your brand message out there, even if it doesn’t immediately generate new leads, is very important in developing long-term relationships with potential clients. This will ultimately translate into dedicated and loyal customers down the road.

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