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Direct marketing

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The product or service your business is offering has passed the test of consumer acceptance.  You’ve found a niche.  The customer base is growing by word-of-mouth and expanding.  Obviously, you are offering something that consumers want and now it’s time to surge, get the word out, and let the outside world know that what you’re offering is worth considering and, ultimately, buying.  You’ve decided to give advertising by Direct Mail a shot.

The first thing you have to learn about with Direct Mail is the 40/40/20 Rule.  This is the concept of breaking down any Direct Mail campaign into three key components: The Target Market, The Offer and The Creative Design of your mailer.


The Target Market is the group of consumers whom you are trying to reach with your particular offer.  Once you identify them, either by income or location or profession or a myriad of other criteria based upon your product offering, you need to go to professional mailing list provider and work with that supplier to find the right list of direct mail recipients for your product or service.  About 40% of the success of your new business campaign will depend upon the efficacy of this list, which is what the first ‘40’ of the 40/40/20 Rule denotes.  That’s why most direct marketers allocate about 40% of their budget to procuring this list.

The list of consumers and their mailing addresses that you end up buying will probably not be a perfect fit for your campaign.  Direct mailing lists rarely are.  As a matter of fact, it might only satisfy a small part of the criteria that you originally desired.  That is not uncommon because, obviously, the world outside your nascent business’ narrow customer base is a huge, diverse, unpredictable zone.  But that’s part of the beauty of a Direct Mail campaign – you are expanding into the unknown.  These are all new customers with different needs and wants and your company’s offer is being placed right smack dab in front of them at their mailbox.  Who knows what might happen?  There could be a gigantic customer base just waiting to be mined somewhere outside your experience or environs that you never even dreamed of finding.


The Offer is a request for your potential customers to consider changing what they have been buying, or to try something completely new.  It is a call to action for mail recipients to eschew what they’re used to and to break new ground.  Your offer could be anything from a discount coupon to an invitation to a grand opening to a logo’d t-shirt to a chance to win a new car.  It is the reward a consumer gets for just walking into your store.  But the more exciting The Offer is, the more likely your direct mail solicitation will yield results, which brings us to the second ‘40’ of the 40/40/20 Rule.  You should allocate at least 40% of your campaign budget to The Offer.  It will add to the Return on Investment (ROI) of this Direct Marketing campaign more than any other single component, so you should think long and hard as to exactly what this enticement is going to be.


The actual Direct Mail card or letter that ends up in the consumer’s mailbox is the ‘20’ in the 40/40/20 Rule and, thus, should be around 20% of your marketing budget.  This is the one-time, brief contact a potentially new customer has with your company so it must be dynamic, colorful and attention grabbing.  If your solicitation takes the form of a letter, with coupon and bonus inserts, you’re going to need personalized envelopes with some eye-catching graphics to make sure that envelope gets opened and to keep it from hitting the trash can, unopened.  The rest of the graphics in your mailer should support a single theme and drive it home with forceful, single-minded purpose – get the customer engaged and entice him or her to follow through on your offer.


The typical response rate to a Direct Mail campaign usually ranges from about 1% to 5%.  There are a lot of factors affecting this rate.  If you have a ‘warm’ list, that is, a list that you’ve direct mailed before, meaning that this solicitation would be the second time a consumer has seen your announcement, you should be in the upper extent of that range.  ‘Cold’ (first time) list will probably be less.  To help you decide how much you should allocate for your first campaign, there are Direct Mail Online Calculators that will demonstrate how much you can expect to gain.


When starting a New Age business, normal small business principles apply. As with any other type of business, the key areas you have to focus on include product or service development, the writing of a business plan, budgeting for initial set-up costs and other financial planning, marketing efforts, and finally the successful management of the business.

With a New Age business concept, defining the type of products or services that you plan to specialize in plays an important role. There are various fields that you can focus on, such as gift ideas, healing services, books, and interior decorating that are based on New Age principles or New Age training services. The type of product or service that you specialize in will determine the initial set-up costs, the type of rental space required (if any), the selection of an ideal location and the number of employees required. With New Age businesses, it’s important to budget for business internet service to ensure a reliable connection.

Managing your own business is hard work and it is crucial that you have enough passion and self belief if you want to make it work. One reason many people cite in starting a New Age business is to enhance people’s lives. Find out what it is that you have a passion for and focus on building your business on that passion.

By creating a vision and mission statement for your business, you will be able to define your ideals and set reachable targets. This process will help you determine the best type of product or service for your business. When you have finalized your business concept, the next step will be to research what your potential customers will be looking for and how much they will be willing to pay for it.

Before making a decision on the location of your business, have a look at the potential customer groups in each area that you are considering. Locations that are close to eco-friendly housing communities will be ideal for health and holistic living products or services. Decide if you want to focus on working professionals, housewives or students and look for a location that can provide you with access to your target group.

The branding of your business is vital to creating a successful venture. Think carefully about the colors, shapes, designs and the signage of your business. Is the personality and aim of your business reflected in the branding? Can customers easily identify your business and the type of products or services offered?

One of the marketing ideas that you can consider is to showcase your brand at local fairs, events, and industry trade shows. The use of flyers and advertisements in the print and online media, as well as involvement with community events are effective promotional tools. Consider hosting regular events at your shop where potential customers can be introduced to your brand. Running specials or competitions can expose your brand to even more potential customers.

The online presence of your business is a powerful promotional tool. Consider investing in a professionally designed website and hosting to ensure that visitors can find your business online. Social media marketing is an essential part of any successful online marketing campaign. It is important to reach your target audience by using all of the available marketing and promotional tools at your disposal.

Continue to use all of the resources and tools that you can find online. Also, creating a network of entrepreneurs and industry professionals will help drastically. If you have the passion and self-belief, you will make a success of your New Age business.