Direct Marketing Mastery: The Link Between Profits and Success! (It’s Stronger Than You Might Think)

“Good Marketing can’t overcome bad math.”

Dan Kennedy.

Good marketing is all about getting better response rates, but if your math isn’t good then you’ll go broke.

Now, math basically means profits. If you make $1,000 when you put a bum in a seat at a seminar it had better not cost you $2,000 to do it.

That is really bad math. It can be fixed. Find higher priced options to sell to them at the seminar, get sponsorship – you can change the math more readily than you can change the response rate.

The better your math the more you can spend to get a customer and the more you can make from a given transaction.

Assuming the percentage margin is the same, do you think you’ll make more selling the $50 product or the $100 product?

The close rate isn’t; going to be that different when you actually know how to sell. And that is often the catch – the businesses relying on being the cheapest are the ones who don’t know how to really sell. In fact the additional profits allow for more sophisticated selling and they allow for more sales effort on the back of this you may very well sell more of the $100 than the $50.

You need to be able to sell value and show that the extra investment is worth it. I’ve got a client who sells hosting and support for enterprise software applications. I can tell you right now that he is at least double the price of the ‘cheapest on the market.’

Now in lieu of differentiation, every buyer will resort to comparing price and buying the cheapest. We’ve worked very hard to explain why his solution is better and is actually a steal in terms of the additional value he provides. We can probably raise his prices further on the back of this.

However, most people act as if their math is fixed. NEVER assume this. Because it means you are now consigned to the better marketing camp. Personally, I would rather have terrible response rates and awesome math than great response rates and terrible math. I’d take a $15,000 cost of sale on a 80% margin in a $100,000 product – even if it was happening at a 1/1,000 response rate.

Direct Marketing and SEO

Direct marketing and SEO work well together when used in conjunction with each other. Direct marketing is all about generating a desired response to a certain stimulus. SEO is all about getting the greatest number of people to a website to see if particular offer is appealing to them. It is fairly obvious why these two things work well together. If you are getting traffic to a website then you generally want those people to convert into buyers. However, what most people get wrong is that people mistakenly believe that they should convert everyone who comes to their website.

Direct response marketing is all about getting a response to a stimulus. However, what most people do not realize is that direct response marketing is also about repelling people who do not fit the unique selling proposition of that particular business. Many people go to direct response marketing because it is far more effective than regular marketing. There is also instant gratification tied to direct response marketing because this type of advertising generates a result. It also happens to be faster than regular advertising and it is also trackable. Most of the problem with marketing is that there are no hard and fast numbers when presented to the business owner by many advertising sales people. Many of the advertising salespeople that exist do not understand what it takes to run a business therefore; they cannot give right metrics on how a campaign will perform when in use. Direct response marketing does that for a person.

Therefore, SEO along with direct response advertising works well together. You drive traffic through search engine optimized funnels and then you track the effectiveness of those campaigns using direct response tactics. This gives you the best idea of the marketplace you are working in as well as marketing intelligence that will help you convert those people in the funnel into buyers.

However, if a business needs to do this much quicker they can always use pay per click advertising. This would be more like a direct mail as there is a cost associated in the game. The trick to the system is to optimize the amount of returns based on the money that is spent on marketing. Therefore, the return on investment is much higher in search engine optimization because it tends to be cheaper. There is a very low amount of money that needs to be spent (generally speaking) than with a pay per click campaign. That is why a small business should use search engine optimization hand in hand with direct marketing principles. It is a very low cost activity that can produce big results.

In closing, businesses should use search engine optimization with direct marketing approaches. This will give them the best chance of generating traffic and converting those people into buyers. It also gives the business marketing intelligence about who exist in the marketplace and what words they are using to access the information that they want. This means that a company can build a marketing campaign around those keywords and get more of those people who actually buy their products and services. Therefore, direct marketing principles with strong SEO always do well in the marketplace as long as the business owner or the marketer knows what they are doing with these particular tools.

Direct Mail – 4 Keys to Increasing Profitability Through Mailing Lists and Data

Every business owner who depends on marketing to produce leads has run into the same issue. You work hard to set-up your systems and you train your sales force to operate at peak performance. You refine your procedures and develop your products or services. You study your marketplace and build an outstanding business plan. You consult with marketing experts and design the most effective mail piece. It’s time to open up the marketing floodgates but the lead-generation deluge you expected to rain down on your office is instead more of a lead-generation drizzle that causes a marketing drought.

Where did it go wrong? The answer is always in the data used on your marketing campaign. It doesn’t matter how great your marketing creative is or how talented your sales force is or how much mail you sent out, if you don’t market to the right audience. Here are five important suggestions to turn all of that hard work into leads, sales, and profits.

1. Not All Mailing List Data Sources are the Same

A Data Source is a Data Source is a Data Source! Right? Wrong unless you’re buying cheap data and trying to convince yourself that it will be just as effective as the proven data. The reality is that today’s marketplace provides several data compilers and several data re-sellers. Most of the people you talk to are data re-sellers and many of them are purchasing data for their own use. What does this mean for you? It means that you will be purchasing old data from a second hand source and only after that source has taken the best data for themselves. It’s important to build a relationship with a data source you can trust.

2. Mailing List Data Analytics: What are they and how do they benefit me?

Data is selected to be included in a data pool based on criteria that you determine. The first step in selecting the best data is to understand the “DNA” or make-up of your ideal target audience member. Once this process is complete, it is time to find a data list of audience members who most closely match this ideal profile. Data Analytics is the process of filtering data through algorithms in order to find the most relevant data. All data has variables, some are statistically significant (SSVs) and others are statistically insignificant (ISVs). The purpose of the algorithm is to include as many SSVs in your data pool while eliminating as many ISVs as possible. The end result will translate into you marketing only to your intended target audience.

3. Make sure your Mailing List data is fresh?

Many so-called data sources, often data re-sellers, are not interested in developing a long-term relationship with your company. They truth is that they only care about making a quick dollar. Because of this, you can end up with a large database of unusable records. The main problem is that the data provider is continuously re-selling data, regardless of how old that data is. This is why you end up with wrong phone numbers, people who moved, someone who should have great credit but is in default. You should only use data that has been updated within the last 30 days.

4. Track Your Results

Tracking results can be a painstaking, frustrating task. However, if you have a lead-generation dependent business model, you need to make sure that you’re maximizing the Return-on-Investment for your marketing budget. It’s important to continually analyze not only your response rates but also what works and doesn’t work with your current data. Often data problems are not the result of false promises on the part of your data provider, but rather are due to subtly tweaks that need to be made during the data analytics process.

The best analytics are effective, but still may need adjustments. For example, one of my clients in the past requested only records of homeowners, who had $25,000 or more in consumer debt and mid-range credit scores. The problem we encountered was that the computer read Home Equity Lines of Credit as revolving debt because of the way that the credit bureaus sometimes reported the information. This made a person with an 800 credit score, no credit card debt and a $100,000 HELOC look like someone with a 650 credit score and $100,000 in credit card debt. By tracking the data results, we were able to easily identify the problem and adjust the algorithm to provide a more relevant data pool.

Mailing List Data is not a simply aspect of marketing, and it may be the most important. For the data users, companies that depend on great data for great marketing results, data is an unknown commodity. Unfortunately, the huge demand for data has allowed the marketplace to fill-up with opportunists. Many data providers would rather learn “how to sell you the wrong data” than learn “how to provide you with the right data”. The bright side is that there are great, honest suppliers of quality, relevant data. Just be sure to keep these five factors in mind when purchasing data and your marketing will soon produce the outstanding results that your hard work deserves.