Direct Sales – A Proven Method

These days many people, when trying to go about completing sales transaction, go through the services of an agent or other marketing firm. The counterpoint to this would be direct sales, in which the selling agent deals directly with the client, cutting out the middleman. This is a nice way to establish a good working relationship, fostering positive working relations and making further business down the road a high likelihood. The approach towards clients will take on a slightly different feeling with this type of sales, with more personal touches in approach that the wider net of marketing wouldn’t take into account.

Rather than offering products and services within a retail location, direct sales targets consumers in their own home or online. This is a buyer-to-seller relationship in which the consumers are either looking for a certain product and are led to the provider through searching online, or in which the seller directly outreaches towards the client. This can be done at home too through the old fashioned methods of door to door sales. With advances in technology in recent years, it seems that more and more people prefer to conduct sales online. This has caused the field to grow in leaps and bounds, allowing for many exciting opportunities in the sales world that has revolutionized how we sell and advertise.

There are many tactics that an online salesperson can take if they decide to work in direct sales. They can utilize internet marketing techniques such as pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, and other commonly used methods of driving up business. Additionally, marketing emails can be sent out to drum up new clients and establish relationships almost immediately. If unsure about how to enter the world of internet marketing for profit, there are a number of online seminars that one could take, or the assistance of a virtual assistant could be utilized.

Proven to be much more effective than retail sales or using an agency, direct sales and selling methods are going through the roof in profit margins. Because the standards in the field are almost constantly changing, it is extremely beneficial for the new or home business owner to learn about all the different possibilities in this field. You can learn how to put this into action for yourself and make a great deal of money while doing it if you take the time to check out the resources available.

The Value in Letting Return on Investment Drive Your Marketing Decisions

Based on the topics I write about, it could be easy to assume that I am against all forms of traditional marketing. This is not true. I am against marketing that requires a heavy investment on the front-end and that has a high or unknown cost per lead. In other words, in many cases I think companies take a great risk by using mass media such as television and newspapers to promote their business. A more prudent course in many cases is to use marketing strategies that place your message in front of a well defined group of people (your target market) and that has a lower cost per lead than mass media.

That is why my company still uses direct mail even though we are an Internet marketing company. Our sales letters go to a specific group of people whom we have determined would benefit from our services and are in a position to purchase them. Each letter costs us about fifty cents, which is way less that would cost as with mass media to reach those specific people.

That is also why I love search engine marketing and social media marketing. These marketing techniques get our message in front of exactly the people who need our services or who are potential referral sources. And we accomplish this not with a large cash outlay but by simply talking about and writing about the things we do (which we like to do anyway).

Also, we’re discovering that search engine optimization and social media and direct mail are not mutually exclusive. For instance, when we update one of our blogs, there is a search engine optimization effect because we are creating keyword rich content that links to our main web sites. Our blog posts then become the source of group discussion material in social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. When we send out a sales letter out, we always reference our web site.

All of this marketing is very low cost and highly targeted. It is also ROI (return on investment) driven. ROI is a wonderful gauge for comparison. I don’t think you can say the same thing about a TV ad. However, if you’ve got the cash to burn and are looking to generate a branding effect, then mass media is invaluable.

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.