How to Plan Your Direct Mail Campaign

Small businesses have a variety of options to promote their products and services, and many are re-discovering the affordability and effectiveness of reaching markets through direct mail marketing.

According to a study, 85% of consumers will open a piece of mail if it looks interesting. Compared to industry benchmarks for e-mail engagement of 27.1%, it’s easy to see why marketers are returning to the mailbox. While it’s proven that direct mail engages customers, you’ll want to ensure your message is targeted to achieve the best use of your marketing budget. To do this, you must first define your target audience and location.

Here are some simple steps on how to plan an effective and well-targeted campaign:

Take into consideration the 40/40/20 rule

Follow this rule which is spending  40% of your time finding the right customers — the ones who are most likely to respond to an offer; 40% on developing a strong offer; and 20% on making a connection through creative design and messaging.

Stay on target

Identify the right audience for direct marketing efforts, including the demographics, geographics, psychographics, and behaviourists and buying patterns of customers.Statistics Canada, for example, offers a database of high-quality information online for all marketers.

Develop a strong offer

Don’t just say you’re the best. You need to offer your customers something that’ll give them a reason retain your message. Are you offering: something new; a limited time offer; a coupon; a sale; a sample; or a free trial? Deliver a successful and relevant call to action that sets an offer apart from those of competitors.

Create an impactful design

Design. Design. Design. Create a look that grabs attention but isn’t overwhelming. A great design considers brand messaging and colours that truly portray the brand in an impactful way. Graphic designers can use templates and assist with creative direction to produce a direct mail piece that will stand out from the competition.

Measure your success with DRMG

The success of a direct mail marketing effort can be calculated in terms of costs against increased sales. But there are more underlying factors and goals to consider in your direct mail campaign: are marketing efforts helping to push brand awareness, nudge a customer along the sales funnel, or convert casual customers into lifelong clients? Decide which results are most valuable to you and set a target.

At Direct Response Media Group, they can design, mail and analyse your direct mail campaign success and how close you came to your goals. Furthermore, they can also use unique coupon codes and URL’s so you can attribute leads and sales to the direct mail piece that you mailed. Contact them today for your small to medium business marketing needs!

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4 Most Effective Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses

There’s so much written about marketing that it’s hard to know where to start. It’s especially true if you are a small business owner without a marketing department or a lot of digital experience. It can be intimidating to try to learn new trends and tactics in such a fast-paced environment.

However, there is no need to worry. Digital has made it easier for customers to find the information they need online, making purchase decisions before they make a single phone call or fill out a contact form. To make it even easier, we’ve put together a short list of the most effective digital marketing tactics for small businesses. Use them to generate new marketing ideas for your small business:

Company Website

A website gives you a place to send customers for more information, grab free traffic via search engines, drive people from social media, write helpful content that paints you as a professional. Also use your website to upload ebooks and digital brochures, capture and collect email addresses.

SEO & Local Search

Local search optimization is an added layer for those targeting smaller geographic areas (e.g., Toronto plumbers). It’s recommended to do all the SEO activities that national companies do, but with added steps of claiming and optimizing your listings (e.g., Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.). Local optimization also means paying attention to online reviews.

Build Reputation & Keywords

Once you have your brand identity and website in place, it’s time to generate content that portrays you as an expert, problem solver for your target customers – this builds trust with your audience. Great content means credibility for you and added value for potential customers. It can also be leveraged on social networks and in advertising.

Complement with Paid Advertising

Once you have an established website and social account, it’s time to take it up a notch and add a paid advertising layer. Paid media is exactly what it sounds like. You pay for someone else to serve your information/ad up to their audience for you, usually effective in search and display advertising. You’ll often discover that certain sources of traffic already work better than others, and then you can invest your additional budget in those specific channels.

If you’re looking to improve your marketing to gain more new customers and brand awareness, contact Direct Response Media Group. At DRMG, they sync your digital marketing with your complete advertising campaign. Contact them for a FREE quote for your business’ direct and digital solutions.

How Franchise Lawyers Can Help with Franchise Agreements

Opening a franchise can be a fulfilling and exciting opportunity if you play your cards right. Often times, new franchise owners come across a lot of legal jargon and uncertainty in franchise agreements, which can be intimidating or even a bit overwhelming. Your franchise agreement dictates the relationship between franchisee and franchisor, so it’s important to make sure both parties are treated fairly. It never hurts to get some outside help if you are considering a franchise agreement, here are a few reasons why:

They can offer advice on how to choose a business entity

Should your business be a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)? Maybe it should be a Subchapter S? Or perhaps you should file for a C-Corporation? If you don’t know the difference, you can set yourself up for future complications. It is paramount to choose the right business entity for your new franchise. It determines your legal rights and liabilities as a business owner, and also influences how your business is taxed. A franchise lawyer can offer useful suggestions on how to set up your your new franchise business.

They can help with legal compliance

Franchise lawyers possess relevant knowledge to ensure your franchise agreement complies with local, national, and international law. Whether it’s a small municipal law or a major legal principal, franchise lawyers can help you navigate your franchise agreement to ensure its fair for both parties.

Franchise lawyers keep things simple

Franchising, especially franchise agreements, can be complicated. Experienced franchise lawyers can help you cut through complications by explaining how certain terms or documentation work together, clarify legal boundaries, and negotiate a desirable agreement between franchisee and franchisor. Contact Law Works, Canada’s leading business law firm for professional franchising help. 

franchise business lawyer Ontario.

What To Look For When hiring a Franchise Lawyer

Franchise lawyers can make or break a franchise, since they can influence your franchise agreement and how your business operates. From clarifying legal jargon to helping you navigate legal boundaries or disputes, franchise lawyers are essential for both franchisee and franchisor. With so many lawyers around, it can be tough to find one that works for your situation. To give you a head start, here are three important factors to consider when hiring a franchise lawyer:

Franchisor vs. Franchisee Experience

Most good franchise lawyers have experience on the franchisor side of the equation, so it’s ideal to find someone who meets this criteria even if you are a franchisee. If your franchise lawyer does the majority of their work for franchisees, their approach might be skewed towards the franchisee. Either way, you should ask whether or not they draft franchise disclosure documents (FDDs), because if not, they’re likely unqualified.

Flat Fee vs. Hourly

Many franchise lawyers will work on a flat-fee basis, since they have enough experience to know how long the process takes. Flat rate franchise lawyers can be beneficial since the overall cost is predictable, often allowing for financing over a few months. However, they do have a downside; in some rare cases, it might be more expensive than if you were to pay an hourly rate.

Industry & Business Knowledge

While industry specific knowledge is not always necessary, in some cases the knowledge of relevant regulations can be very helpful. There are some cases/industries where industry specific knowledge is vital; medical franchising, health-care franchising, and dental franchising are a few of many. Try to ensure your franchise lawyer has experience in the industry you are getting into. If you’re looking for professional expertise in the franchise business, contact Law Works for a free consultation. 

4 ways to improve your direct mail.

4 Ways to Improve Your Direct Mail

Many marketers dismiss direct mail as an old-fashioned or obsolete method of getting your company’s message in front of the right audience. This idea could not be further from the truth. Over $45 billion was spent on direct marketing in 2016 and the number continues to grow. Social media, mobile ads, and SEO are all great but when one of the biggest online companies in the world, Google, uses postal direct mail for its campaigns, it makes sense to pay attention.

Are you convinced? Get started with these 4 tips that can help you improve your direct mail marketing and get you a better response to every mailer you send.

Send it to the Right People

One of the most effective ways to improve marketing happens before any marketing takes place. A message on a direct mail piece will ever be only as effective as the list or database it is sent to them. A well-targeted list means a better response overall. Identify an ideal audience based on demographics and geographics. A great tool is DRMG’s Precision Targeter where companies can reach audiences in specific cities and target different ages, education, family structure or income.

Send Something New and Unique 

Not only should the information you share about your business and offer be unique, but sending out an creative mailer grabs more attention than a plain card. If your design looks like everyone else, your mailer won’t get the same consideration.  Think about over-sized postcards, bulky envelopes, or interesting colors and shapes.

Capture Attention Fast 

Whether your mail piece has neon yellow starbursts or a pithy slogan printed in bold lettering across the front, you need to catch the recipient’s attention. Besides unique mailers as mentioned above, use words and phrases that clearly demonstrate you deliver exactly what they want. 

Follow Up & Give Direction 

First contact with direct mail pieces may introduce the company, product, or service, but may not convince people to pick up the phone or open a web browser to learn more. To get an overall better response from a campaign, plan out a series of mailers with follow up methods that keep what you have to offer in the forefront of their minds in a positive way. For example, include a store coupon redeemable in store or a website URL where customers can sign up for a promotion.

Companies who use direct mail for their marketing efforts, effectively report a higher return on their investment than those that only use electronic means. Contact Direct Response Media Group, if you want to improve your marketing efforts with direct mail. DRMG can organize and execute creative campaigns to get your audience engaged and your business more sales.

Franchise agreement lawyer in Guelph.

Is a Franchise Business The Right Fit For You?

At one point or another, many of us have flirted with the idea of starting our own business. The complicated process can stop many dead in their tracks while they wrestle with such tough decisions; what type of business should I create? How am I going to run it? Do I need a partner? Most default to starting a brand new idea, but there is a strong argument to be made about entering a franchise agreement.

Opening a franchise is a unique way of starting a company as it allows individuals to build their own business while having the recognition of an established entity behind them. For some this is an ideal scenario, however it is essential to be well informed and patient when structuring the franchise agreement. The agreement is meant to be a mutually beneficial arrangement, therefore, you must ensure there aren’t any clauses that could lead to future conflict or disputes.

While franchises are often beneficial in most regards, the aspect of partnering with a well-known company can just as quickly deter potential franchisee suitors. That is because it can be very intimidating when it comes time to negotiate the franchise agreement. Being prepared by entrusting the negotiation process to a franchise lawyer can rid yourself of any anxiety and instill confidence that your best interests are their primary concern.

A healthy relationship is vital for success, and should benefit both parties to ensure that neither is treated unfairly. As such, a well-structured franchise agreement in the early stages will lead to future benefit by preserving this bond. If you’re interested in finding out if a franchised business is right for you, contact Law Works in Guelph to speak with a franchise lawyer today.

Waterloo franchise lawyers

Why You Need a Franchise Lawyer

In the unique business landscape of franchising, maintaining a healthy relationship between franchisee and franchisor can be difficult. It’s essential to have a franchise lawyer whose expertise can ensure you’re taken care of.  When first entering an agreement, a franchise lawyer will review it meticulously to certify the terms and remove any falsifications that can lead to future disputes. Once a relationship has been established, you can rest assured that your best interest will be at the forefront when any issue arises.

There are clear benefits to franchising a business, but the goal is to have both parties working together in a harmonious relationship. A franchise lawyer has the specialized understanding to enact the most productive and efficient process for conflict resolution, contract amendments or any other issue that comes about. The intricacies of labour laws like overtime and employer liability can be unclear at times, but a franchise lawyer will be well informed and prepared for any situation that you’re faced with.

Whether it’s your first or your fifth, entering a franchise agreement with a well established company can be overwhelming. A franchise lawyer knows what’s best for you and will be able to help you throughout the process to answer any questions you have, make recommendations for your benefit, and stand by your side, all to establish a fair agreement. If you’re looking for advice or assistance it never hurts to speak with a franchise lawyer. Contact Law Works in Waterloo, a premiere franchise law firm that can assist you with all your franchise needs.

House and roof covered in snow during winter.

How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

Winter is here. And it’s best to be prepared for the of harsh cold and snow coming our way. Even more so, it’s still important to properly prepare your roof for the season.

With that being said, here are our top tips for preparing your roof for winter:

Clean the Gutters

Leaves have been slowly falling from the trees around your house for the past couple months. And while the falling leaves are certainly beautiful, they can do a lot of damage to your roof if you forget to clean them out of the gutters. Clogged gutters cause water to build up and overflow onto your roof, which in turn can cause costly water damage to your roof. So be sure to clean the gutters

Locate Any Leaks

While you’re checking out the gutters, pay attention to any potential water leaks. It’s always a good idea to stay on the lookout for leaks, as they are much easier – and less expensive – to fix if you can catch them early on. But this is especially important during the changing seasons. Be sure to keep an eye out for pesky leaks and get them taken care of before they become a bigger issue.

Be Aware of Ice and Snow

When ice and snow build up on a roof over time, both can cause significant – and costly – damage to the roof . So, if we do happen to experience an extensive snow storm, don’t forget to check the roof once it’s finished and clear away anything that has piled up.

Is Your Home Set for Winter?

Paying attention to these small details now can save you a lot of time and money down the road. Be sure to take the time to check these items out. If you do need help fixing your roof any issues related to your shingles and gutters anything related to your roof, contact Superior Steel Roofing or call 1-888-617-7663 for your home roofing needs!

Direct mail marketing trends 2018.

Direct Mail Trends to Use in 2018

There is no denying that we are heading into a more digital age but that does not mean that direct mail is becoming irrelevant. Direct mail offers a secure and intimate form of communication. It is also less noisy than the internet, meaning it’s read-through-rate is higher than an email blast. This means the return on investment (ROI) is high. Ensuring your business sticks to direct mail in 2018 will be crucial.

Take a look at these direct mail trends predicted to be popular in 2018:

Personalized Engagement

Personalizing your mail is a great way to create a bond to your audience. Gone are the days of sending out mass amounts of the same direct mail. Smaller amounts of a personalized mailing will give you better results you want to see. Researching your audience before sending out a mailer is growing in importance. Get to know the people you send direct mail to and then design your mailing to appeal to their interests and what is important to them.

Integrate Offline & Online

Whether it is interactive media, landing pages or an email address, integrating your online and offline media is super simple and easy for your audience to follow. Instead of  return forms which have somewhat become obsolete, offer an email or landing page URL to direct your audience to for correspondence. Making it easier for your audience to find out more information will contribute to the success rate of your direct mail. Take a look at DRMG’s Power Ranker that works perfectly at promoting your business service and product and directing them to an online landing page to track conversions.

Get Creative

Think of the design of your direct mail piece. Your physical piece of mail can say more to your audience than the actual message. Make your direct mail exciting and intriguing. Check out the color trends and typography trends for 2018. Consider incorporating these into your print so you stay up to date with your audience. Post cards or direct mail flyers are the most read through form of direct mail.

Ready to start your next direct mail campaign? Contact Direct Response Media Group for all your business’ marketing and direct mail needs!

Direct mail marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.

Top 3 Reasons Your Business Needs Direct Mail

When it comes to marketing in today’s digital era: social media, email marketing, and content are often the go-to. While these methods are certainly effective in different ways, these digital methods often ignore a massive segment of potential customers. Strategies like direct mail and marketing offers have a long history of success with steady conversion rates, but they are often overlooked in favour of the newer, flashier campaigns. Direct mail in the Greater Toronto Area can reach a massive audience for a fraction of the cost of most digital marketing tactics. Here are the top three reasons why your business needs direct mail:

Physical and Tangible

Studies have proven that physical collateral is much more memorable than its counterpart. Direct mail flyers deliver physical coupons, menus, and other marketing offers directly to potential customers. They provide customers with a tangible offer to look through, as opposed to a simple online ad that will likely be closed or ignored.

Demographic Analysis

Direct mail marketing also can help your business reach certain demographics that have a smaller online presence. Many older homeowners spend less time on the internet, so online ads have less of an effect on them compared to an envelope of relevant marketing offers.

Localized Targeting

Digital marketing for local businesses can be tricky since it’s hard to ensure that your ads only reach your intended audience. If your ads are mostly appearing to an audience outside of your region, chances are they won’t be interested. With direct mail in the GTA, you can ensure that all of your recipients are potential customers, maximizing your conversion rates.