Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Don't call us, We'll call you.

I saw a promotion for the above titled webinar. I looked back at the direct marketing field and started thinking about what response looked like in the past. Thirty years ago people got a mailing for a product or service, (postal only by the way) and either went to the store to make their purchase OR, made a phone call if it was for a catalog. Then, email became a household method of communication. Although visiting a store and calling a call center continued to be key, people got used to seeing an email, clicking on the link and ordering their product or service.

Life got easier, more streamlined, but as with all new methods of marketing it too had it's problems. People would load their cart, then abandon them. They would respond to an email, click through and discover that what they thought they wanted, wasn't really what they expected. Forms asked for too much information so people just left, or they found that there are many more interesting things to click on than fill out a form or order.

Fast forward to the current environment and phones are as complex as a home computer. Everything that used to require a printed catalog and call center are now in our hand, accessible 24/7. I believe we have become overwhelmed with information. Everyone wanting a part of our time, a piece of our life. To the point where people no longer want to give their information to companies without a compelling reason to do so. Why? They know that the followup inundation of mail, phone calls or email will be more than they wanted. Which, brings me to the title of this blog.

People have developed the attitude of "If I want what you're offering, I will call you". I admit, I do this a lot. I get more advertisements (mostly email) from list managers pushing their latest and greatest list. Are these valuable to me? Not really. It's just more junk to delete and not particularly relevant. There are two sources that list every direct marketing list on the market. SRDS and NextMark and primary search engines for direct mail/email/telemarketing lists. Why keep or respond to an email for a new, updated list, when I can type in a few keywords and get a complete list of all lists on the market? It turns out, I have been using the Don't call us, we'll call you approach for years! I just didn't realize it.

What else does this new attitude toward our marketing message mean? Tracking sales is more critical than ever. Where did an order come from? If you do an email campaign, get an order but not from on line, where did that customer get the information they needed to order or attend your school? I guarantee you that if you have been doing billboards, broadcast ads, direct mail and email campaigns you likely have NO idea where your leads are actually coming from.

I had a client who spent hundreds of dollars on inserts in coupon packets. I did an analysis (at their request) of performance, added a user code, tracked it for 3 months and discovered that what they thought was a fabulous lead generation tool, generated zero response. NO ONE used their coupons to call and attend their school. Instead, their direct mail program generated over 50,000 leads over a period of years. Enough for them to call and follow up to attract new students.

The key to all of these changes in customer response is to build a system to track where your customers are actually coming from. Ask them. If you're a school in Higher Education, go to your Adult Students and ask "What brought you to our school?" It's simple, Ask and you will find out so much about your prospects and how to reach them. BUT, remember they are likely calling YOU, not responding in a way that you expect or anticipate.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Baseball has 3 outs, how many outs do you have?

I am constantly being asked to review email creatives and landing pages for my clients. What surprises me is the number of clients who fail to understand what their ultimate goal is. Let's look at this from the end result to the beginning.

First, the goal of any campaign is new students. So, consider your landing page. What should it contain? A list of benefits! A matching message from the email that they got. A form for them to fill out to indicate interest. A phone number in case they want to call. That's it! NOTHING ELSE.

Why nothing else. The reason is simple, if you give them any other options such as links to Facebook, LinkedIn, your website, even a program related portion of your website they are gone. They leave your landing page, never fill out the information, you never hear from them again UNLESS they decide to contact you in some other way other than the landing page. I constantly see reports where people click through to the landing page and then disappear in to the outs that you gave them. Why give them ANY choice but to fill out the form, or call you? It's self defeating and it dooms any campaign to the failure category. This is a sample email I sent in 2014, Notice that even I didn't know the best practices back then. Now, there are key Call to Action (CTA's) through out the email and NO outs other than to the relevant landing page.

Next, let's move backwards to the email. You craft a perfect message, benefit laden for a prospective student to want to attend your school. The CTA button is below the fold. Will they find it? Very possibly not. Above the fold? Yes, they will click on it if they are motivated. BUT, included in your email are OUTS. Why would you give a prospect the option to leave your email and go anywhere other than your landing page? You need their information. You have peaked their interest. Yet, you let them get away to YouTube, Facebook, or anywhere else.

2014 Email with over 14 outs

2017 Email with zero outs

I recently had a client who had a landing page with 18 outs. And they wondered why no one clicked through. Well, they did, they clicked everywhere but to their landing page to fill out the form! Understand the purpose of your campaign and then design ALL elements to focus on that goal.

Outs are never good. They distract from the purpose of the campaign and offer the prospect a way to go places that you don't want them to go. As an example, say you want to show a video. Most people will put a link to the video, the prospect clicks on it and goes to YouTube. Guess what? You just lost them. They go there, see other opportunities to click on or think about that new video that's out from Beyonce and poof, they are no longer thinking education, but are instead being entertained. The solution? All videos should be put in a shadow box. Click on the link, it opens a box over the landing page or email, runs and then stops, closes and they are back to where they started, your email or landing page. No interruption in thought process and they AREN'T watching a music video!

Keep all of these thoughts in mind,

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Innovation in direct marketing list acquisition!

Innovation in Direct Marketing comes slow. MMP List Management Inc. is on the cutting edge of innovation by dealing with multiple issues that affect direct marketers. What is it that companies want?

  • ·         Deliverable postal addresses.
  • ·         Customers who WANT to hear from you.
  • ·         Emails that don’t bounce.
  • ·         Phones that actually connect.

So, what is the solution? MMP List Management Inc. has solved all of these issues. Instead of updating our files every quarter or every month, we update our files when ordered! We survey our database of over 140 million consumers asking if they are interested in hearing from your company….Your products or services. Those who say yes, get added to your prospect database. The results?

  • ·         Prospects who WANT to hear from you.
  • ·         Postal addresses are up to date and deliverable.
  • ·         Emails with less than 5% hard bounce rates.
  • ·         Phone that are current, cleaned through the Do Not Call system and will connect.

PLUS! You can take delivery of postal, email and phones to contact on your own. While under license, your prospect list will be updated monthly, allowing your file to stay fresh, deliverable and up to date.

Join an Innovative Company and let us give you a quote for our prospect mailing lists. We offer a Customer Satisfaction Policy that guarantees email delivery exceeding 95%. Don’t rely on surveys that were done a month ago, six months ago and are generic in nature. Get a prospect list that contains people who WANT to hear from YOU!

Call David Fant, President 616-914-0537, or write

A new approach to target marketing. Be on the cutting edge of targeting. Call us today.