Business

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.

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!

winter road salt

Essential Tools for Safe Winter Driving

In the winter, even a quick trip to the grocery store can be quite the challenge due to the slippery conditions. As we shift seasons, the decrease in visibility, slippery roads, and consequently, nervous drivers, can make the roads much harder to navigate. In order to keep roads safe during the winter time, it’s important that winter road salt is generously applied to problem areas. Businesses and municipalities are generally responsible for the use of winter road salt, but it’s always helpful to take precautions; here are a few necessities for safe winter travels.

Small folding shovel

If your car is exposed to the elements overnight, you may be forced to dig it out before you can get on with your day. Unfortunately, your hands aren’t a great solution, especially without gloves. Keeping a small folding shovel in your car can help you get out of a tough situation.

Tow and tire chains

Without winter road salt, snow and ice can build up on the road, creating an extremely dangerous environment. If you end up off the road due to a situation like this, the only solution is to be towed out. It’s essential to keep a tow and chains handy so that someone can pull you back onto the roadway.

Winter road salt

No matter your destination, it’s always useful to have winter road salt on hand to navigate the icy pavement. Whether you’re stuck in a parking lot, driveway, or just need to help someone out, winter road salt or even cat litter in a pinch can cure your winter woes.

3 Benefits of Direct Mail Advertising

When it comes to advertising, many people are quick to overlook the immense benefit of direct mail. In our digital age, people are constantly being bombarded with digital advertisements, whereas, print ads offer a unique and more curated approach. If you are contemplating using a direct mail campaign for your business, but are unsure of the specific advantages, read on to find out the 3 major benefits.

Targeted Audience

Direct mail advertising enables companies to target a particular demographic or audience that is likely to be interested in their good or service. This enables businesses to send out flyers to people in a certain demographic such as those within a particular age range, income, or family structure. Alternatively, they can purchase mailing lists which are even more precise based on buying habits or behavioural patterns to optimize the effectiveness of their ad.

Highly Measurable

Unlike some other forms of advertising, direct mail is highly measurable. Companies can use a particular coupon code on the flyer to track the amount of new customers they are generating as a result of their campaign. Plus, the information can be used to improve future advertising strategies.

Customizable

Direct mail advertising is extremely customizable and is written with the consumer in mind. Digital ads often sound generic and tend to follow a particular formulaic structure, whereas print ads can be addressed directly to the consumer. Also, they are ideally written by professional copywriters who ensure the information is communicated effectively.

If you are a Canada-based company looking to learn more about how direct mail can reach your target consumers, contact Direct Response Media Group for more information.  

4 Reasons to Consult with a Toronto Real Estate Agent

If you’re not a Toronto realtor / Toronto real estate agent yourself, it may be helpful to seek advice from a professional realtor. Professional representation when buying or selling a home can be invaluable.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. They can protect your interests

First and foremost, a real estate agent is well-versed in purchase contracts. As a professional Toronto realtor frequently deals with these contracts, they’re familiar with what conditions work in your favor. Ultimately they can ensure you’re protected if certain conditions aren’t met or if you can’t meet certain conditions.

2. They’re experts at negotiating

Hate the 70s decor but love the rest of the house? Your real estate agent may be able to negotiate a better deal by taking the cost of upgrades into account.

3. They’re aware of market conditions

Market conditions are important factors when considering to buy or sell a house. A Toronto realtor is aware of these conditions — such as average days on the market, average sales prices of similar homes, and ratios of list-to-sold prices.

4. They handle the paperwork

This one should be self-explanatory. Do you want to be knee-deep in a 10-page purchase agreement? Skimming doesn’t cut it, either — one mistake or oversight could result in a lawsuit.

Whether buying or selling, a real estate agent like Elli Davis is good to have in your corner. They can talk up your listing to potential buyers, negotiate counter-offers, and answer any questions you may have along the way.

MLS listings toronto

3 Keys to Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a property, the process can be overwhelming. So when selecting the right real estate agent, they should provide confidence and peace of mind. However, how can you determine what real estate agent is the perfect fit for you and your needs? Below are a 3 ways you can size up an agent’s record and potential –before you hire.

Research their Reputation and Pick a Winner

Make sure a prospective agent is licensed, respected, and awarded by clients, real estate peers, and staff members.

Select an Agent with Experience

Select an agent who has been in real estate for 5 years and one who has a particular knowledge of the area your home, or desired home, are in.

Look at Current Activity

Select an agent who is regularly active and has an attractive presentation on the web; as it shows they know how to use this tool effectively.

If you are looking for an agent with a specialty in MLS listings Toronto, and meets these 3 criteria guidelines, then Elli Davis is the agent for you. Elli Davis has an experienced team of licensed professionals, full time administration, and is recognized by her peers and clients as “the perfect professional, always going the extra mile.” She is consistently ranked as the #1 agent for Royal LePage in Toronto for over 24 years and specializes in all central Toronto residential areas including homes and condominiums. If your looking to be added to her listings of homes sold in 30 days, contact Elli Davis today!