Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sell Ad Space in Your Publications!

I know of one person who sells so much space in his publications that his advertising costs are totally paid for with money left over. Why not do the same? Here's how. Design your advertising projects (direct mail piece, company newsletter, catalog, etc.) to include space for other non-competitor type businesses to advertise their products and services as well. If you are like most auto recyclers, your mailing list consists of a large group of auto body and general auto repair shops. There are many businesses who are marketing to the exact same group as you and would love to reach out to them with their products and services. Some examples of non competitors who are not selling used parts, but who are marketing to the same group as you, are: machine shops, automotive electric services, equipment supply houses, muffler shops, wheel alignment/axle frame repair shops, just to name a few. You probably already know a few of them well enough to pick up the phone and get them involved in your very next project. It could be a win-win arrangement for both of you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Broadcast Fax Customer Specials

Use this method only to communicate to your own customers. It’s best to speak to your customers in advance and get their permission to receive faxed “customer only specials” from you. This is called “permission” or “friendship” marketing. It really improves your response rate when people welcome your offers. Always obey legal requirements when using this method. Never send spam! Be sure to include the date and time you sent your fax, your name/or the name of your business or organization, and the phone number of your fax machine. This needs to be on the first page of each transmission, or located in the top or bottom margin of every page you send. Be sure to put a note at the bottom giving them a chance to get off your list. You can check online at www.gpoaccess.gov, for the current legal information. Keep them simple. If it is an easy, fast, read, people are more apt to read them and respond. Don’t use a lot of graphics because they fax slowly and don’t look good. Instead use mainly text. Make it all about your offer. Have a powerful headline at the top such as, “These New Arrivals Are Just in and You Are the First to See ‘em!” or, “A Clearance Special For our Top Customers Only!” Then follow your headline with a great offer. If the offer is astounding and easy to understand, the receiver will be responsive to it. Make your offer easy to respond to. The easier it is to respond to and place an order the better and faster the response will be. The best way is to make the fax ad itself an order form that they can simply check some boxes, add their name to it and fax back to you. I have done this and have had a hand full of orders within minutes of faxing the offer to my best customers! For smaller campaigns, you can use simple in-house computer programs. But, if you are dealing with a large campaign, several hundred or more email addresses, you might consider using a professional broadcast service.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Want a fantastic response? Write Personal Letters!

Don’t send form letters! This has got to be personal in order to work. The envelope must have a handwritten address (absolutely no label affixed!), and there must be a first class stamp affixed in the corner (no postage meter!). Your personal name and return address must appear in the upper left hand portion of the envelope (no professionally printed envelope, no company label). In other words, it must look like, and actually be personal mail when it arrives to them in the mail. The inside contents also must be congruent with the outside. It must be personally hand written or typed (second best) with the receiver’s first name at the top and your signature hand signed at the bottom. Keep your letter short and to the point and say something like, “Dear Bill, I’m writing you a personal note to introduce myself.” The more personal it is the better your response will be. If your letter looks like you simply did a mail merge and cranked out a bunch of them, you will NOT get the results you want! Incidentally, I know of one company owner who used this approach, and he even included a hand-made savings coupon that he personalized for the receiver, writing in their name, and putting his signature on the bottom of it. Everyone who got one thought they were the only person who did! He got more than a 90% response!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Send Post Cards

This is an easy way to get an offer into the mail quickly and cheaply. Perhaps you want to show a list of your new arrivals to a selected group of customers or prospects. You can get a bunch of 4" x 6" post cards professionally printed and use them as needed throughout the year. Or, if you're on a tight budget, you can produce them in house on your office printer. Buy some 8 ½ x 11 card stock paper at your office supply store, print them four-up to a side, and cut them apart with a paper cutter. You can put on labels and a 28 cent postage stamp and drop them directly into the mail. What’s nice about this method is that you don’t have to print and mail them all at once. You can buy a prospect list (or use your existing customer list) and address and mail a few every day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Phone Your Customers

This is how you can increase your company income by 20% to 30% without having to get new customers. Studies have shown that all you need to do to accomplish this amazing increase is to call all your existing customers and say, “Hello, I’m (name & company here) and I’m calling to see if you need anything.” You will catch some at their point of need and they will place an order on the spot. Others, because you called them, will remember you the next time they need what you have. Divide your customer list among your sales staff and have them call a few at the beginning of each day. A sales person, by calling five each day, can reach 100 customers a month!