Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Direct marketing tips by Leanne Dyck

In August 2002, when my business began, I was living on a remote island; I had limited finances; I had no formal education in marketing. By February 2003, my hand knitting patterns were being sold in three yarn shops; my bio appeared in Knit Together (Canada's only knitting magazine); people from 42 countries knew of my product. What is my secret?

I did a few things right. These "things" are inexpensive and easily done. Although, there is no guarantee they will lead to success--they can't hurt.

I work on my business: every day I try to do at least one thing to promote my business. What one thing can you do today?

Try e-marketing. E-marketing is superior to any other form of direct marketing. You save stamp money. It's fast so it is easy to contact a number of prospects in mere minutes. Immediately you know if your message got through. It is an easier form of communicating with a stranger than by phone.

Here are some tips:
1) Remember that direct marketing is not Spam. Carefully match your product with prospects. Find email addresses legitimately. One of the best sources I found was association web sites. Look at their mandate do they promote business in your field? If yes, then use the email addresses provided. Remember if asked you want to be able to share where you obtained their address.

2)Inform don't sell.

3)Be polite -- remember this may be the initial contact. The prospect may never have heard of you or your product. Your goal is to be product-specific, concise, and polite.

In his book Mail Order Business, Robert W. Bly states that direct marketing 'response rates can range from below 0.5% to 3% or higher'. You need names! The worldwide web has a wealth of contacts.

Like the wings of a butterfly, at times your efforts may seem small and unimportant...but who knows what tidal waves they are causing. Continue to work on your business--anything worth having requires effort.

(This article -- titled "Working on Your Business" -- was published in the Craftlink magazine in June 2003)