Thursday, February 3, 2011

Direct Mail Keeps Getting Better With Age

I’ve been kicking around advertising a long time. I have seen technology become obsolete with the new and better, although sometimes I wonder if new is really better. I have seen things start to happen faster, and site back up here in the ivory tower and wonder if faster is better.

Sometimes a walk to the coffee shop rather than driving can get my head working on overtime then a sip of a delightful cup of “Joe” then the walk back and I have more ideas than I can handle. I can’t do that driving in the city. Give me a good 200 mile ride and it will have the same effect on my mind but local, no way.

But don’t let my longevity fool you into thinking I am clinging to the old ways of making things happen. Sure my company uses a lot of old technology and old ideas and old marketing tools. But ask yourself if you know too many other advertising or marketing companies that are working the Social Media world harder. Ask yourself if you know too many other advertising and marketing companies that work the web harder.

So why direct mail? In the early days of web marketing (rolling on the floor with laughter as I think, ya the early days what, 10 years ago? 5 years?) there was the promise of this new channel pushing out all the old marketing ideas and tools as people flooded to only online marketing , online newspapers and catalogs.

So as everyone moved into the wide world of the web good old Larson’s moved more and more into telemarketing and direct mail while setting ourselves up in Social Media Marketing with our first entry on MerchantCircle in September of 2006 . Why because that is where the action was and still is. We did not make a big splash back then we moved in, sort of like a gun fighter rides into town in an old Clint Eastwood movie. Head straight but eyes always moving.

So as everyone rushed or rushes into Social Media and the web we sort of slowly road in and sauntered up to the bar, ordered a drink (of telemarketing) then downing that another (of direct mail) looking over the room a third of shot (blogging). Slowing calculating as we lean against the bar our head straight, our eyes always moving. Looking. Watching.

As email and email blasts and email marketing rose up my mail box got emptier and emptier, but my email address got so full I did not read it all. As this happened I found that I, and those of my clients that were sticking with (good old) direct mail were seeing higher rations, better results and a stronger ROI. As each of our mailing pieces competed with fewer and fewer other items in the box, they were seen and read more and more resulting in more and more action.

One client of ours using direct mail has seen their performance in this channel go up 250% over the last 2 years. From 2% upwards of 5% return. In working the account we are finding that direct mail is becoming a stronger more viable channel to funnel valuable marketing dollars to. With variable data we can improve the levels of personalization and relevance to increase response rates even higher. I have been pushing direct mail hard over the last year not because my company is involved in it, but because it works.

Learn how to use direct mail while in harmony with your digital, web and social media marketing. Mix it up with the speed of light and you might surprise yourself.

Larson Notes & Satire: Am I old? You bet ya. Just ask my kids. I guess that is one of the reasons I still run races. I still place in the top 10% in the open race category. That is with all those 20 and 30 year olds the high school and college runners. 9 times out of 10 times I will be in the top 3 in my age group in any given race. The longer the race, the less their speed and my knowledge becomes important. Therein lies the difference between a 1 mile run and a full marathon.

Age has its benefits and one of those is the knowledge of seeing the past as we move into the future. My company has a 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year and 5 year goal on where I want it to be. The last year was not nice to most of use and I did need to revise things slightly but after revision I still hit my numbers.

It is sort of funny the requests I get from people that really have no idea on who I am. They are clues about what I want my company to be doing or where I want it go. They tell me how they can do this and that for me. How my web site stinks, which it does, but don’t know that in one of my targeted markers I place 1st page in Google, Yahoo and Bing, how I post too many links with my twitter messages which I do, but I get responses they have no knowledge of. How I do everything wrong and they do everything right and how they could fix my business. They know what THEY want but are totally clueless about me.  (big sigh)

Don’t let my old graying blond hair fool you. When you want to do something for me shoot straight. Know me and my company, because guess what, I think I should be helping you and not the other way around.

And oh ya, don’t every take yourself too seriously, I know I don’t.

We have 3 programs that you might be interested in.
1st is our Virtual Sales Manager Program.
2nd our Sales Function Outsourcing Program
3d our Virtual Business Consulting Program,

All designed to help small to medium size business thrive and prosper without picking your pocket.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

P.P.S. Take the Larson Challenge to double your sales this year and get listed on our web site @ . Email us your company name and web address to get listed. Make this year your best ever!

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