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Old 23rd September 2007, 04:26 PM   #1
StillWorking
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Default Your Direct Mail Help Is Welcome!

Hello All!

I am new here, but have been reading a lot on these forums (great place and good info) so I thought it was time to step up and ask for a little help, or at least an idea or two.

We run various on-line businesses that work. Not patting myself on the back, but over the last decade we have learned (hard knocks) a lot about what works and what doesn't. But that is on-line.

Now, using our on-line experience along with other resources (like development/design/layout/SEO), we decided to branch out and sell website sites/hosting etc. I know that it's a crowded market and so many people know somebody who does websites (brother/cousin/kid next door), but we also found that there is an entire segment of the market that doesn't know where to turn to get started. In addition to that, we figured our major market (or best chance at new websites) would be to new companies (or less than 1 year old anyway)

We do play on the price game, so our offer is really affordable (by almost anyone's standards). We should be a 'good fit' to the new business that has a tight budget. Also, because new business lists are available, we have taken to a direct mail (postcard) program to advertise.

Although just starting our direct mail (both bulk mail and addressed direct to new businesses) we have not been flattered by results.

My question is...(ready?) what is that new business person thinking?? I would have to think that, like business cards, letterhead, stationary, etc., in today's marketplace, a website has to have been considered (maybe not right now.. but some time in the near future, no?). So what gives??

In some cases, telephone contact results in comments like "I think the internet is a fad" or "the only good computer is a broken one". Ok, those are not going to convert. But then you read about the millions of domains being registered and just about any 'new business' article includes having a website as part of your business, I have to ask, where are these people?? Or am I missing something.

Above that, can anybody give me any clue as to the lead time to conversion? I know people don't drop everything to get a website, but I have a list of people who responded to ads that still are 'not ready'. Hmmmm...

We have the budget to put into small programs (say 2-4000 names 3 times; being that 3x seems to be the standard as suggested on the board, and I will agree until proven otherwise) and a bigger budget when we find something that works.

I guess I am trying to figure out how other companies sell websites and what makes that company owner (website customer) tick!?

We have been trying different things (off-line) for the last few months figuring that on-line is crowded, so take it off-line, where we can stand out and grab some attention.

I hope to find a good sounding board here. All comments are welcome; you can't hurt my feelings.

Thanks in advance for your time!

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Old 23rd September 2007, 11:42 PM   #2
minphat
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Hi Still Working,

My partner and I run several businesses, one of them being website design and like yourself we found the online market to be overcrowded. We did comprehensive mailouts and found little response for the effort that we had put in. One of our biggest successes within our area was looking out for small business seminars that we being held and attending as many of these as we could. Most of these seminars tend to encourage networking, so we would take a presentation folder with our website package information and network with both start up and existing businesses. We received a huge amount of work from this as people enjoy the physical interaction that face to face networking provides.
The best seminars that we attended happened to be topics like "Putting your business online" and "Practical internet marketing"
We are located in Australia, but I am sure wherever you are located, there will be some sort of seminars for small business that occur on a regular basis.

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Old 24th September 2007, 07:16 AM   #3
mktgbiz
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OFFER free seminars. Usually allows you the opportunity to sell your services at the end.

Regarding direct mail. It depends on your piece. What are you offering to entice the prospect to contact you?

One of the best most useful and helpful information packs I ever bought is the Give-To-Get Marketing System by Joe Gracia. I use it on all offline marketing I do.

Keep in mind, one mailing or even two usually doesn't build confidence and trust in your prospect enough to reach out and contact you. However a super special one time offer can out them over that hump.........

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Old 25th September 2007, 11:33 AM   #4
StillWorking
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Thank you for the response and help. Minphat, your suggestion about local seminars was something I have now found right under my nose, and didn't even realize. That is something that I will be looking into.

Mktgbiz, I would offer seminars (and even thought about it) if I could get enough or a response to be able to 'take a better temparture' of the market. But your suggestion regarding the give-to-get marketing was very helpful. Thank you!

At this point we have finally put together a new postcard that will be released in the following 2-3 weeks (right after production). We have a strong headline; We are offering free information (reports) and an incredible deal to get a website up and going. We also have a strong call to action.

As soon as they go through production, we will release 2,000 card to new businesses 3 times, one week apart. If that don't shake something out of the bushes... I think.. uh, er.... nevermind. Let's see what happens.

Thanks again! Any other comments are always welcome!

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Old 26th September 2007, 08:34 PM   #5
Lance_Best
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Firstly with marketing it's all about selling. If the only computer is a broken computer means you can sell you should revisit your technique. A hard NO is the best thing ever, it's the wishy washy one you have to look out for. That's a perfect opening for 'that's exactly why you should let me win your business'.

Any way, with direct mail you need to get your buyers attention! You need to understand what's motivating them to buy. You need to play to that in your mail piece. Is it budget is it quality, or is the answer yes! Can you capture them in a short period of time, blow them away with the quality they'll get for the price. Can you provide a URL link for them to respond to that shows your portfolio?

Working with professionals is surprisingly inexpensive and can bring great results!

Good luck, let me know if you’d like some help…

Lance Best

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Old 28th November 2011, 05:29 AM   #6
samson smith
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Wow!! This thread is very useful. There are many suggestion regarding the direct mail that tells how your direct mail help is welcome. Nice sharing

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Old 5th December 2011, 07:45 AM   #7
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It's all about relationships and making them feel secure. Your strategy should be to get them to feel comfortable with you because of your expertise and integrity. It's not a quick sale. Perhaps test a letter where you can say more about your company. Need to be creative to get them to open the letter. Think in terms of helping them, not selling them

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Old 7th December 2011, 10:31 PM   #8
samson smith
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This post is very informative, thank you so much of this nice sharing.


Last edited by samson smith; 7th December 2011 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 8th December 2011, 01:43 AM   #9
BK1172
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Happy to help. Feel free to throw me some more questions.

Good luck,
BK1172

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Old 31st January 2012, 01:41 AM   #10
ilovemedia
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What are new business owners thinking? Most of the time they are thinking about everything except their website. If they were web-experts they would be your competition, not your customers. Grab their attention with statistics or stories that illustrate how important a web-presence is. Direct mail marketing is probably the best way to reach people who don't understand the impact of the internet. Shock them into the understanding that they need to be online.

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