Monthly Archives: August 2012

5-Step Guide to Writing an Effective Call-to-Action8:00 am

By Melissa Cober

5-Step Guide to Writing an Effective Call-to-ActionSo you’ve decided to embark on a direct marketing campaign? You’ve already got your marketing list, developed a great offer, and designed an eye-catching creative – but wait! You still need one thing: A strong, convincing call-to-action! Having an effective call-to-action is crucial in any direct marketing campaign, because prospective customers need a little guidance when it comes to taking action. Luckily, it’s not rocket science; follow these 5 steps and you’ll be writing effective calls-to-action like a pro in no time!

1. Communicate Value
When writing your call-to-action, you cannot be shy about telling people exactly why they should respond. This means laying the groundwork for your call-to-action. Before you jump right in to the CTA, take some time to explain why people will benefit from taking that action. Lay out the problem that acting on your CTA will solve. This can be short and sweet or in-depth, whatever is most appropriate for the medium, but never throw a call-to-action in someone’s face without first communicating what’s in it for them.

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Top 22 Funniest Sales Signs of All-Time6:59 am

By Guest Blogger

Are sales for your business lagging? Maybe you’re not tickling the buyer’s funny bone enough. Humor, whether intentional or unintentional, can be a mighty effective sales leads tool, no matter what business you’re in. Don’t believe us? Then take a look at the Top 22 Funniest Sales Signs of All-Time, and tell us these tactics don’t work. Go ahead. We dare you.

1. The Shell Apology

Okay, we’re not exactly sure which Shell gas station owner had the idea for this-details are sketchy around the web-but it certainly speaks to the heart of what most Americans are feeling, and manages to ingratiate the business that is actually charging the hefty tag. The self-deprecating nature works because it redirects our anger to another source. By distancing itself from the root of high prices, this particular station manages a few chuckles out of us even as we wonder how we’re going to make rent while spending half our income on fuel.

Source

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Targeted Marketing: Why Exclusion Is a Good Thing9:00 am

By Melissa Cober

Targeted Marketing: Why Exclusion Is a Good ThingHere at US Data Corporation, we are big fans of targeted marketing; it’s the only practical way to plan a marketing campaign, especially in today’s economy. No business can afford to target everyone, and let’s be honest: The less you target, the less relevant your marketing becomes to the people who see it. This is why we strongly recommend that every business spend some time defining their target market before embarking on a marketing campaign: It will both save you money, and render your marketing more effective. However, many businesses shy away from targeted marketing, because they don’t want to “exclude anyone”. While this mindset may seem to make sense on the surface, it can actually hold your marketing efforts back in a substantial way. Here’s why.

Targeted marketing is, by definition, exclusionary, and that’s a good thing. Many businesses struggle with defining their target market because they don’t want to exclude anyone, out of the fear that they will lose potential customers. Now, in a sense, this is true, but let’s be clear on who we’re talking about here: The outliers. We’re not talking about losing your core consumers; we’re talking about those random people who you didn’t really expect to purchase from you but who, for one reason or another, ended up having a need for your product anyway. Ask yourself this: Are these lost potential customers, these outliers, really bringing in the bulk of your revenue? Chances are, these outliers are probably not your best customers. They’re unpredictable. Spending money on them is a gamble, because they are inconsistent, at least as their purchases relate to your industry and/or product. That doesn’t mean marketing to them might not bring in some money, but your marketing materials will be watered down, and your ROI will be low.

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The Dreaded Deal Hunter: Why Direct Mail Coupons Are More Effective Than Daily Deal Sites10:20 am

By Melissa Cober

The Dreaded Deal Hunter: Why Direct Mail Coupons Are More Effective Than Daily Deal SitesFor a while, it seemed like I couldn’t go two days without hearing about some amazing deal one of my friends got on a daily deal site like Groupon or Living Social. Daily deals were all the rage, and businesses were raving about the enormous boost in business they had been seeing. However, as time has passed and many of those businesses have faded away, people have begun questioning the efficacy of these daily deal sites. Amidst all the debate, one thing has become crystal clear: Direct mail coupons are, and always were, much more effective at creating loyal, repeat customers. Why does direct mail have such a distinct advantage over online deals in the coupon world?

While daily deal sites seemed to flourish for a time, it is now well-known that daily deals have driven many a business into the ground because, rather than attracting new customers who then develop into repeat customers, these online coupons merely attract “deal hunters”. These deal hunters are loyal to one thing, and one thing only: Discounts. While businesses that utilized these daily deal sites usually experienced a boom in business after offering a coupon, very few of these new customers ever converted into repeat customers. They were busy hunting for their next deal, and were never prepared to pay full price in the first place. This translated into huge losses for these businesses.

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