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Mass Emailing versus Direct Mail

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Getting your message to large groups of people is always important to a business. Whether you’re contacting a list of current clients or expanding to new markets, you need a simple and cost effective solution to contacting them. Two of the most popular methods to do this are mass emails and direct mail.

For those not familiar with these terms, mass emailing is sending one email (usually an HTML based email with images, links and text) to a large list of people. Direct mail is mailing a letter, postcard or other marketing piece to a large list of addresses. To get these lists of either emails or mailing addresses, you can either gather them from customers and people you know or – for a small fee – purchase lists from a reputable company. When purchasing lists, you can get Geo-targeted lists that collect addresses for a certain target area by radius from a particular zip code. You can also target gender, age, income and other variables to truly target your mailing.

There are pros and cons to each type of mailing. Obviously, which you choose will be determined by the needs of your company including the type of audience you intend to reach, the budget of the project and the message you wish to get across.

Mass emailing is the “cheap” method, as most things digital are often more cost effective by cutting out printing costs. You also avoid postal regulations and the rising costs of postage. The amount of information you can present is also expanded by the email format as opposed to the restrictions of a mailing piece such as a postcard or letter. You have the ability to embed links and images to drive traffic to your site, allow immediate contact with an email link, and reach people anytime and anywhere. Many mass mailing companies and services also offer tracking which presents what people are doing with the email like how many people opened it, if they clicked on links, etc.

On the other hand, mass emailing can be hit or miss. If you purchase a list, you may get a lot of unsubscribes from people not interested in your company. However, the more emails you send, you whittle your list down to people who are sincerely interested in your company. With emailing, you also need to contact people more often to make an impression. With print media, you often get a client’s interest in three to seven attempts. With email, it is more like twenty. The more often you hit a client with an email and the more attempts, the more likely it will be successful at soliciting business.

Direct mail has a different effect and different approach. Many people are saying that printed materials are going to be obsolete with the digital technologies and advances being made, however, viewing something on the internet doesn’t have the physical connect of receiving mail, holding a postcard or opening a letter. While it is subconscious to most people, the feel of the paper in their hand, the act of holding it and turning it over, the ability to hang it on the fridge or tuck it in their bag is meaningful. It is also a stronger message showing the stability to the business. Having that piece of paper makes your company more concrete.

Printing, however, is much more expensive. First, you must pay to produce all of the printed pieces, whether you get them professionally printed or print the piece yourself and pay for ink and time, there are high costs involved. Then you must pay to ship them, as well.

Both methods are viable and successful tactics for creating interest in your company. If you have questions about either, need a company to design and send a campaign out, or are looking for other marketing needs, email bga.lancaster@gmail.com or visit www.BrandywineGraphicAssoc.com!

Written by bgasnet

May 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Website Basics: Part One

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In the current digital climate, websites are rising in popularity. A constant advertisement that is open 24 hours a day which is accessible around the world, websites allow you to reach a broader audience for a lower price. Even a small, simple website will allow you to get your business more exposure, providing a list of services and contact information to help potential clients learn more about your company before picking up the phone or meeting with you.

When developing your website, you must look at key points in order to create a successful marketing tool. While some of these questions may seem pointless, taking the time to really substantiate your business, what you do, and who you are will make the creation of your site easier and faster.

1. What is your business name? Do you have a logo?

It may seem ridiculously silly to ask these questions, but step back for a second. Let’s use an example: Skippy’s Coffee Shop is right down the street from you. You stop there every morning for a cup of joe. You take a look at the paper cup your coffee comes in and read the shop’s name “Skippy’s Coffee Company, LLC” is the real name of the business, regardless of what everyone calls it. If you are a registered business, you must use that legal name for any marketing materials your release.

As for the logo, some companies just type out the name of the company every time they use it, trying to use the same font. But you should have a special logo, available in some digital format such as a PDF or Illustrator file. Using this file each and every time ensures that your company is always represented in the exact same way, creating familiarity and structure to your marketing. Obviously, this logo needs to be on your website.

2. Do you provide services or products? If so, what are they?

You need to know what you are selling to the public before you can sell it. By providing a precise list of services/products, your customers will already know what to expect from your company before they ever pick up a telephone or stop in your store/office. It makes the process of working with them go smoother and faster, creating a feeling of ease for the project. Happy customers then spread the word, creating free advertising by merely doing your job right.

3. What do you need your customers to know about your business?

There is an assumption that you can put anything and everything on a website. However, you do not want to overwhelm prospective customers. You want the most vital information available without overloading the consumer. You do not want them to take a glance at a solid page of text scrolling on forever before they just leave your site and look for someone else. You want to make sure they are well informed, providing the necessary information in an easy to use system. Easy to see links and buttons, organized pages, and well-written content will help a customer to use your site to its greatest potential.

4. What contact information should be provided, and how are you going to present it on the site?

There needs to be at least one form of contact on your site, whether it is an email address or phone number, so that any further questions or contact can be initiated easily. There is no limit on the amount of contact information, and the more you provide makes the user experience easier. You can have a “contact” page, all the information in the footer of the page, or add it to the banner graphic at the top. You can provide an email form that emails you with all the information you need. You can have sign up forms for your email list or newsletters. You need to decide how many ways you want your customers to be able to contact you and then make that information readily available on your website. If you do not want a particular method available (for example, your cell phone or personal extension), do not place it on the site. Just ensure there is some form of contact that is easy to find.

Websites may seem overwhelming or too expensive. Looking at Amazon, Twitter or Digg, it is easy to imagine thousands of dollars being poured into a 3 year project. However, if you take a moment ro readjust your focus to your company and your website, you should see what your business actually needs. You can get a 3 page website from Brandywine Graphic Associates for only $395, allowing you to present your services/products, contact information and background information (a perfect solution for a small or new business). If your website needs to be larger, pricing can vary.

If you wish to contact Brandywine Graphic Associates about creating a website for your business, please email bga.lancaster@gmail.com for more information.

Written by bgasnet

April 19, 2010 at 8:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized