Marketing Communication Uses Email, Newsletters and Direct Mail to Sustain Sales Momentum

Consistently communicating your marketing message is an essential part of your marketing communication strategy and a key element of sustaining sales momentum within your sales pipeline. Everyday your customers and prospects become busier and therefore your message would benefit from being delivered on multiple marketing channels such as newsletter (ezine) and direct mail. Using variety as a strategy is good because you may not know which marketing channel will reach through, deliver your marketing message and tip the scale, bringing your business to the top of their mind.  Increasing the channels you communicate through and the frequency of that communication, increases the chances that when your customer is on a burning platform and looking for solutions, your message will be there to solve their problem.

Email, phone, direct mail letters and email campaigns can all play a part within your marketing communication package. In the past I have mentioned I use ACT as my contact database to deliver email campaigns. For example I use email campaigns to deliver the newsletter for my company Executive Sales Support. You may have considered sending a campaign to market your business. Let’s that a look at newsletters sent via email campaigns and how analyzing the newletter statistics they generate, can help you zero in and sustain sales momentum.

We might think of email campaigns as the direct mail of the internet, although there are several added benefits when you utilize email to deliver your message. Benefits such as delivering your message to more customers and prospects and delivering it faster are some of the first benefits I think of. These alone help sustain sales momentum within your sales pipeline simply by casting the net wider and increasing the number of customers and prospects that hear your message.

Delivering by email campaign gets your message working overtime in several additional ways. Most importantly, email campaigns generate statistics. Let us take an overview look at how analyzing these statistics can improve the effectiveness not only of your message but also your ability to follow through.

One way to start utilizing campaign statistics is to implement split testing to improve message targeting. Split testing is a method that sends your message with two slightly different wording and uses statistics to determine which message drew more attention. Another important factor about email campaigns is that they enable you to highlight words within your message. The highlighted words, called hyperlinks, take the reader to places such as your website, where more information about your business and the products you offer can be found. As these links are followed, statistics are generated. Analyzing this statistic, gives you insight into generally which products interests the readers of your newsletter and specifically who is interested in those products.

In summary, email campaigns improve your ability to sustain sales momentum within your sales pipeline by not only delivering your message to more customers and prospects and doing it faster, but also by producing statistics. Analyzing these newsletter statistics, gives you insight into what interests your contacts, enabling you to target your message more effectively and improving your follow up by equipping you with statistical knowledge

While you are out seeing clients and closing deals, do not forget to ask how your customers and prospects heard of your company. Their answers will enable you to track which communication channel is providing impact.

Marketing and Marketing Communications Challenges For the Midsized Retailer

The consumer started to spend a little more in the first quarter of 2010 and, according to Bloomberg data, Wall Street analysts have upped their earnings estimates for more than 100 U.S. retail stocks. Good news, especially coming from Wall Street.

But, what if you’re not a Big Box store or boutique retailer? Let’s say you have about twenty doors and, while your on-line sales may be increasing, as a midsized retailer the “bricks and mortar” versus “e-commerce” investment strategy still presents a challenge to you.

Consider also the 27 percent increase in coupon redemption, according to Nielsen the first time in 17 years that consumers used more coupons than in the year before. You know you can’t continue to discount yourself into sustainable profitability, so to drive profitable revenue in the short and long term – isn’t it time to re-evaluate how you market yourself and what marketing communications tactics to employ?

Learn The New Marketing Environment
Before you start making any changes, step back and determine what your customers and employees think about your product and service offerings. You probably think you know everything about your existing and potential customers, but other than price, are you really sure you know what’s important to them?

And what about your employees? Fortune magazine’s “Most Admired Companies” issue points out, based on research done by the Hay Group, that these companies actually believe that employees are their most valued asset. They are your true brand advocates and probably know a lot about what may be holding you back from further growth.

For instance, in your retail environment, have you trained your staff effectively to deliver value to your customers? Have you provided them with the tools to create an engaging one-on-one experience? Consider leveraging your staff or bringing in a “local expert” for an evening event and creating co-promotion with a brand that can bring you both new customers.

And a similar evaluation needs to be done for your e-commerce business. What does your website say about you? What do you know about these customers and their needs and interest? How are they different from your in-store purchasers? Are your emails or social media tactics inspiring them to purchase?

Forrester, the tech research firm, believes we are now living in the era of “Splinternet” and must move with caution through the new world of consumer data mining, applications and internet standards. Mobile advertising and Facebook professionals moving to LinkedIn, for example, are just some of the most recent media selection challenges.

Find marketing consultants who can help you answer these questions with clarity, and then help you communicate with your constituents. Look before you leap.

Be Media Neutral
Assuming you have enough employee advocates on the floor and your retail environment is inviting and tells your story and your website is “smokin”, how do you determine the best mix between new and traditional media? Don’t be seduced by media efficiency. Media efficiency must be coupled with media effectiveness.

All of this starts, again, with knowing your customer. For instance, age is one key factor. According to a January, 2010 study by SSRS:

  • Only 20 percent of adults aged 18 – 49 read a print version of a newspaper every day, while 42 percent of adults aged 50+ do;
  • Further, while 34 percents of adults 18 – 49 prefer to get their news online, less than half of that number aged 50+ want online news.

And there’s the medium itself to consider. While total spending for U.S. advertising declined last year by 9 percent to $117 billion, Spanish language television increased by 32 percent, and cable television increased by 15 percent. Perhaps these marketers know a lot about their customers and how to reach them.

Also consider direct to customer events. Webinars are extremely useful and efficient (and soon you’ll start hearing a lot of great stuff about this summer’s launch of the Home Dec Show, a turnkey 24/7 virtual marketplace). But be sure to think outside the box for alternative ways of face to face selling, such as pop up stores or tying in with events, where a customer can see and touch the product (and gauge the sincerity of the person selling it).

With so much competition and convenience just a click away, retailers must deliver experience-based and interactive retailing to differentiate themselves. Depending on the customer segment, know what type of information they want and how they want it delivered. And make sure it connects to your web-based communication and sales efforts. Don’t underestimate the power of customer interaction to deliver profit to your bottom line. Seize the opportunity to create a continuum, not an “either or” scenario.

Find Established Marketing Communications Consultants
As it stands now, the marketing and marketing communications environment is complex. Most assuredly, media fragmentation will continue and exacerbate the decision making process even more. There is much to determine and evaluate, especially for a midsized retailer. Finding the right people whom you can trust to understand this environment and how to invest in it may be the hardest part.

Look for strategic and creative partners with demonstrated ability across retail businesses who aren’t “selling” a one size fits all solution or marketing approach. New and traditional media can work well together but you must find media neutral consultants who can master the challenges of efficiency and effectiveness.

And, fresh eyes may help you see more clearly.

Internet Marketing Services To Suit Your Needs

Internet marketing, also known as digital marketing or e-marketing, is the process of marketing or generally promoting your company’s products and services over the internet. The term is a catch all for various different techniques across a very broad range. It also covers marketing which is performed via email and using wireless media. It is because there are so many different forms of internet marketing available that more and more business owners are turning to professional agencies in order to outsource internet marketing services to people who have the knowledge and expertise to identify which techniques are best suited to their business and who can perform them to the highest possible standards.

Internet marketing services can offer a way for businesses to tie together the various creative and technical aspects of having an established internet presence including design, development, advertising and sales. Some of the main online marketing techniques which business owners tend to outsource is search engine optimization, email marketing and affiliate marketing, largely because these are some of the most complex techniques for inexperienced individuals to master. Other techniques which professional internet services can offer include social networking, social bookmarking, article submission and much more.

In order to build a successful internet presence your website must have the ability to attract large volumes of visitor traffic. This becomes easier to achieve if your website is properly optimized to allow search engines to index it in their search results. Statistics show that the average internet user will not go beyond the first page of results returned by a search engine. In fact, some users will not go beyond the top ten results. That is what makes search engine optimization such an important internet marketing technique. It is wise to use online marketing services to perform your website’s search engine optimization for you as they will have the knowledge which allows them to perform the task to the best possible standard which will have a positive impact on your site’s search engine rankings.

When compared with the amount of lost sales your business may have if your marketing efforts and not appropriate to your business, these services are fairly inexpensive. The type of internet marketing which is best suited to your company will depend largely on your target market. For example, if you are marketing your products to a younger market, social media may be the best place to focus much of your internet marketing. However, if you are more focused on older consumers, there may be more effective methods such as e-mail marketing or video sales letters.

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