Why Should You Use an Updated Direct Marketing List?

To achieve success in direct mail marketing, the marketer needs to have the right mailing list. What is a mailing list? A direct mail marketing list contains the contact information of qualified leas along with other details that are relevant to a marketer. Using the mailing list, a business owner can launch advertising campaigns to reach out a targeted audience.

Indeed, it is very important to start with the right list so as not to waste time and money on a poor campaign. Many people often change their post mail addresses and email email addresses which is why it is important for a marketer to make sure that the list he uses is always updated.

Using an old listing could mean not reaching your intended audience and giving out your marketing mails to the wrong hands. On the contrary, a good list increases your chance of getting positive response out of your direct mail marketing campaign.

Direct Mail Marketing – Use Postcards? Or E-mails?

Direct mail marketing can be done both offline and online. If you choose the traditional method of direct marketing, sending postcards is the best way to advertise. On the other hand, if you have a business website or an online store, email marketing can surely increase your sales.

In order to boost their marketing potential to the fullest, many successful merchants use both offline and online direct marketing. Although the internet is a booming industry, traditional methods of advertising such as postcard marketing should never be overlooked.

Direct Mail Marketing Techniques

Let’s say for instance that you want to send out advertising postcards. To get the best results, it is recommended that you send via First Class Mailing to enjoy important mailing features such as the Return to Sender option. Although First Class Mailing may cost a little more than ordinary postage, you can be assured that your marketing letters will be delivered to their intended recipients.

If you are sending marketing emails, you need to be careful not to make the mistake of sending unsolicited emails as doing so can send a negative impression to people. In addition, it is easier to change email accounts so you need to do your research to make sure that the accounts you are sending to are still active.

There are standard rules in direct mail marketing that must be observed. Aside from not sending unsolicited emails, a marketer must also avoid spamming or bombarding the recipient with so many emails at one time. Most recipients would want to see both a Subscribe and Unsubscribe option for this gives them the idea that they can easily decide whether to accept messages or not from your company.

make sure that you are purchasing a mailing list from a reputable marketing list broker. Better yet, build up your own marketing listing by conducting market surveys or by offering free newsletters to visitors of your business website. Doing this will help you ensure that the people who signed up your listing are truly interested in your products or services.

Copyright (c) 2010 Luie De Von

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Mail

The advantages of direct mail advertising are many. Direct mail offers both large and small companies the ability to market their services or products to specific and defined markets at a reasonable price. Coupons or special offers can be offered to a company’s client list or potential client list. Alternatively, mailing lists segregated by many types of demographics can be purchased from various sources. The costs of direct mail are a major advantage as well. When compared to other mediums of advertising the price tag can be kept relatively low. In addition to low per copy costs, the total expenditure can be limited to any budget by reducing or expanding the number of mailings. The price of individual mailings can be kept low by ordering in bulk and reusing the same mailer for multiple mailings. Turnaround time for design to production is a key component to the success of direct mailings as well. The process can be as short as 1 to 2 months, which allows a time sensitive opportunity to be taken advantage of before it passes. Direct mailings can also be used to research a current or potential niche in the market.

As mentioned before the price is not as restrictive as with other types of advertising. Combined with the abilities to manipulate the “offer” to fit the customer and to isolate various segments of the population, direct mailings can provide invaluable data for planning future mailings as well as other types of future marketing. Some disadvantages of direct mailings include the fact that many people view direct mailings as junk mail. Also, there is no shortage of competing articles arriving by mail, so the advertisement may easily be overlooked or discarded. This fact makes the likelihood of a single mailing less probable. A longer more sustained campaign may be necessary to garner the desired results. Price can be prohibitive as well. Although the costs can be an advantage, they could also become excessive the more creative and extravagant the mailer. The balance between costs versus creativity is a crucial part of the equation to launching a successful direct mail advertising campaign.

10 Problems Lawyers Face in Marketing Their Practice

Too often lawyers forget that they are in business. It is not enough just to set up shop and expect clients to somehow find you. It takes a lot more to let the world know you exist, that you have great skills and will do an excellent job for your clients.

But, unfortunately you can’t do a great job for clients that don’t know about you. This is where good marketing comes in. When you look around and see successful practitioners in your field, you can safely assume they have effective marketing methods that helped them build a viable practice.

The most effective method of building and sustaining an active business is a mix of networking, referrals and marketing. For most lawyers, the first two-networking and referrals are the most natural to manage. Marketing, however, is more difficult to master and many lawyers don’t know how to do it well. Indeed, many make mistakes that can cost them time, money and clients.

Below is a list of 10 problems and sometimes mistakes lawyers make in marketing their practice:

1. Not devoting enough time spent on marketing

As in every “self- employed” business, practitioners need to devote a certain amount of time in bringing in new clients. Marketing is a part of that equation. A question that needs to be considered is how much time to spend on marketing? Consider allowing at least 200 hours a year for marketing. If you break this down by week, it’s about four hours during your work week. Your marketing can be done during a business lunch or at a professional conference. It is not difficult to weave those hours into your day if you plan ahead.

2. Counting on industry exposure

Speaking at conferences, doing interviews, writing articles or doing radio interviews isn’t enough. Simple industry exposure alone will not count towards explicitly planned marketing efforts. Marketing is not an “organic” process. If you do have an interview, whether it is radio, TV or a podcast, be sure to put it on your website. Roughly 30 percent of the population has grown up with the internet always present in their lives and video is a big part of how they look for services. If you don’t already have video on your site, you need to add it. It’s an excellent opportunity to show your best skills in how you represent your firm and impress future clients. It’s a great business-getting technique. Live interaction on your website can certainly count towards your marketing efforts.

3. Not sure of your target audience

Who are your clients? If you are not sure, then your advertising and marketing efforts are a waste of your time and money. You need to analyze very carefully and clearly who wants your services. Otherwise, you will waste time and energy on the wrong prospects. Once you have identified and analyzed your target client, will your advertising and marketing efforts be more effective, when you do have your ideal client, that client will be an excellent advocate for future clients. Just as referral business is always ideal, directing your marketing efforts towards the right client base to produce a more optimal result. You can meet your ideal client anywhere, especially when you know where to go to find them.

4. Failure to measure marketing results

How do you know your marketing plan is working if you don’t measure the success or failure of your campaign? Line up the specific actions you have taken and see which ones are getting the most action. Even if some are not getting the same level of response does not mean you trash it. What measuring does tell you is which areas to beef up. Like any advertising or marketing fishing expedition, you want more than one line in the water. Take a look at the response to your blog, for example. See how many people visited or commented.

Law firm marketing is relationship-based like most other service industries. It is how sales originate. One option for measuring is to look at the elements that can be measured and will have easy to identify metrics. Some of those include:

Open rates on your email
Click-through on your website and analytics
Results from client satisfaction interviews
Rates than win proposals
Events that gain repeated attendance
Business from seminars and CLEs
Good placement for your articles
5. Lack of a clear marketing message.

Too many law firms get disillusioned and have a negative attitude towards marketing. One of the problems is that they don’t have a clear idea of what their marketing message should be. A half-hearted approach or lukewarm effort certainly won’t work. If your method is good but the message is vague, then you have a problem. If your message isn’t clear, then chances are the entire campaign will fail. Be clear on your message before you create a program, make sure you create a competent marketing message. A good message is critical to a good marketing method. You must have both to succeed

6. Poor website design

Your website is a reflection of you and your brand. It is an important venue for your public relations reputation. Your website is your marketing image and platform. In terms of your public relations component, your website offers the opportunity to position your firm securely as an expert in your field. If there is a case in which there will be media attention, your website will gain significant attention both from the media as well as the public. Consequently, you need a good design that is easy to navigate and matches the personality of your typical client. According to the top law firms who rank high in the web design world, the overriding recommendations suggest keeping it clean and simple. Content should be informative, engaging and highly readable. Visitors should be able to easily find what they are looking for without having to leave your home page. Tabs should indicate where on the site the visitor can find specific information as well as a way to send a question via “contact us” page.

7. Poor business development

Marketing is more than advertising and getting the word out about your practice. Business development should be part of your marketing plan. List every way you plan to develop your practice. Start your plan with clients you know you will win and work from there. Build a reputation and have references. These should be people who know and trust you. In fact, these clients will be a very important part of your marketing operation. These are the clients that you can count on to send you new business and keep you informed of current issues in your field of practice. A business development plan is something you can measure. Create a file of every part of your practice where you plan to grow your business. From that measure how many times you “touched” a client. For example, how many times did you have lunch, talk on the phone or received a referral from that client. How many clients did you gain from a networking event, professional meeting or lecture?

8. Trying to do everything at once

Marketing ambition is a good thing. Certainly it is better to be enthusiastic about marketing your firm, but stay focused and accomplish each task fully before jumping to another. Focus on one strategy at a time. You can begin with your website.

Create and launch a newsletter
Join some networking groups
Investigate effective advertising options, such as a pay-per-click plan on Google
9. Not using social media

If you do not have more than a website, no one knows you exist. It’s not enough just to have one presence online. Even if prospective clients see your website, they will also be looking for you elsewhere to get to know you better. Create a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Google+ page, Twitter account and record some lectures you gave and put them on YouTube. Social media has changed the marketing balance. Today it is about building relationships and communicating with the world via an online message. Your future clients want to feel they know you and they do this by seeing your persona online. Now the emphasis is on building direct relationships and developing a conversation with the people you want to reach.

10. Ignoring the world of mobile technology

More people find what they are looking for from a mobile device than even a laptop computer today. Every part of your online presence must have a mobile component to it. Research has found that 84 percent of Americans use smartphones, and for about half of those people, their smartphone is their main connection to the Internet. A recent study from Portio Research found that mobile applications will exceed 200 billion per year by the end of full year 2017, and revenues in 2017 will reach 63.5 billion US dollars.

Mobile computing and searches have far exceeded desktop for several years now. In fact, 70 percent of all online searches come from mobile devices, far outnumbering desktop and laptop. Of that, 31 percent of searches to law firm websites comes from mobile search. That means that about half of all of your web traffic is coming to you from a smartphone or tablet user.

Marketing mistakes can derail even the sharpest law firm. A lawyer can’t exist without clients and clients can’t find you if they don’t know you are in practice. It is just a fact of the business world that effective marketing practices are necessary to let the world know you exist.