Give me any issue of the Wall Street Journal and I can prove to you from the information within its pages that… 1.) We have reached the bottom of the recession and 2.) We have not reached the bottom of the recession.
Successful marketing, whether it’s for a product or a service, is usually based off of reliable historical data, proven strategies, and an economy that is somewhat predictable. Well, you can throw all of that so-called knowledge right out the window. Today, many of those responsible for their company’s marketing function are called upon to make critical decisions from information that may have no scientific basis, can change at a moment’s notice, or simply ignored because a deadline is quickly approaching.
So what’s a marketing director to do?
1. Make Old Customers New Again – Go through your old contact list, databases, invoices, and notes and look for people you’ve already done work for in the past. It’s a wonderful low-cost marketing method because their learning curve will be short. They know you, you know them, and most important, they trust you. And you won’t have to go through the sometimes lengthy courtship phase of the relationship. You can move right into reintroducing them to your product or service.
The recently announced US Postal Service rate hikes will work a hardship on some high volume direct marketers, but will actually help the smaller groups of marketers who market products to smaller, better qualified lists of targeted prospects.
With fewer pieces of mail hitting the mailboxes of prospects, the probability of well designed selling messages being read increases. The odds of a mailing piece getting noticed and read are in some measure dependent on the volume of mail that accompanies them.
Higher mailing costs reduce volumes, but the costs are still a bargain to marketers who are selling specialized or high value products or equipment. The cost of contacting a prospect through space advertising, trade shows, and personal contacts is measured in the hundreds of dollars while mailing a well designed sales piece that creates interest, sales, or website visits can still be measured in amounts closer to a single dollar.
Maybe it’s time to start using business sales letters again, now that fewer and fewer people are getting any substantial amount of mail. Buck the trend to get the bucks.