Database Marketing – Benefits of Direct Contact

Essentially database marketing is the use of databases to carry out marketing activities. Specifically it is the use of customer shopping and buying profiles to create targeted marketing that is in tune with items they have bought in the past and also what they may like to buy in the future. Typically it is classified as direct marketing within the business sector.

Most of these databases will contain a range of information, usually the names, addresses and the history of each customer’s transactions. Normally, if you sign up for something there is a little box asking whether you mind being contacted by the company and any other companies with deals that may be suitable for you; tick this and you will likely be added to a database.

That is not to say that being on these databases is a bad thing. If database marketing is carried out effectively, each person within the database only ever receives information on products that would genuinely interest them and not a whole host of products that are ill-suited to their lifestyle.

There are a number of distinct benefits to using database marketing over more traditional forms of marketing:

• It is believed to deliver an increase in sales to both existing and new customers as they are provided with more timely adverts that can cross-sell a range of products more effectively.
• Another benefit is that the communications capable with database marketing allow companies to have a more personal relationship with their customers. This in turn can help them to develop a host of different services that are ideal for their customer base.
• As an offshoot to the more targeted adverts and the greater successes experienced when giving people adverts related to products they are interested in, customer satisfaction is regularly improved.
• Customer retention can also be improved by tracking how long it has been since a customer has purchased from a company. If this time is deemed too long it is possible to attract the customer back by offering them a discount on their next order for instance.
• Ultimately it allows for increasing the value for each of your existing customers whilst tempting more customers to become regular purchasers.

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Direct Marketing – Frequency is the Key to Huge Profits

If you are thinking of using direct marketing, coupled with a sales letter to move your product or service, then you need to make sure that you are contacting your customer on a frequent basis. Read on to find out the best way to do this.

Most people take multiple exposures to a marketing message before it registers in their mind. Then, it will take even more exposures before they decide whether or not they will make a purchase decision. This is why the power of frequency is so important, and why direct marketing is one of the best marketing vehicles out there.

People naturally have their guard up when it comes to advertising. There is the old saying that people hate to be sold, but they love to buy. This is very true. So, naturally, customers are going to be resistant to any advertising the first few times they see it. It can take up to 5 times of contact with a marketing piece before a customer will even register it in their mind. This is why interruption ads are so unsuccessful.

It can take another 5-7 exposures before a customer will make a buying decision. Depending on the cost of the item, you may have to contact a few customers for a year or more before they will finally decide to purchase your product. This is the argument for frequency.

No customer on earth is just sitting at home hoping that you are going to sell them something today. They just want their problem solved, whatever that problem happens to be. When you can solve their problem and show them the solution on a silver platter, then you have a customer.

By delivering your sales letters on a frequent basis, you can grab the attention of the customer, showing them in a slightly different way each time, that they can improve the quality of their life if they purchase your product. The frequencies differ depending on the product that you are selling. Contact the customer at least once a month, but every 7-10 days is better. Each time you send that direct letter, email sales letter, or send a customer to your mini-site, you are increasing the frequency that they are contacting your product.

You are the one that is showing them that you can solve their problem. You are the one that is delivering them the way to solve their problem on a frequent basis. Therefor, when the customer is finally ready to pull the trigger and make the purchase, guess who they are going to buy from?

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Niche Marketing With Website Landing Pages

What Is Niche Marketing?

Niche marketing is one of the most popular and most effective marketing styles used by affiliate marketers. Niche marketing entails discovering a niche or segment of the market, discovering a need within that market, finding a service or product that addresses that need, and marketing that service or product specifically towards a particular demographic. One of the best ways to do niche market online is with landing pages.

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a web page that has been tailored and themed to be relevant to the visitor of that page. If designed properly, this page will be the first page that your visitors sees, whether by clicking on a link in your ad, seeing the link in a postcard, by Search Engine Optimization or other advertising medium. Landing pages work by serving as the gateway to your website and help to streamline the decision making process for your customers. A landing page is the point where a potential customer decides to commit, either by buying your product or service or by contacting you for more information. It directs a “niche” product to a “niche” client. A good landing page should interest your website visitors enough to read your message and respond to your call to action, instead of hitting the back button and taking their business somewhere else.

At this point, you may be asking, “why should I go through the trouble of directing my potential customers to landing pages instead of directly to my website’s homepage?” Imagine yourself in your website visitor’s shoes. You click on a link that is advertising iPods at 50 percent off and then you find yourself on a large and confusing website that loaded with all kinds of mp3 players and accessories. Where’s the iPods at 50 percent off? Instead of going through all of the mp3 players on the site to find the half-off iPods, you’d most likely lose interest and navigate to a different website or you may simply close the browser window altogether. Now– Imagine clicking on a link in that same ad, and it brings you to a page that’s all about discounted iPods, with information on the product you’re interested in– And a big “Buy Now” button on it. As you can see there are clearly benefits to having landing pages on your website to help direct visitors to where they need to go, without distraction, to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Another great advantage in using landing pages for your niche marketing campaign is that it’s the equivalent of casting many fishing lines in the water in order to catch more fish. With properly search engine optimized web pages that are themed toward a certain topic and or geographic location, you can increase your website traffic exponentially. A page themed one hundred percent to discount iPods is going to do better than a page that has a bunch of mp3 players on them. A page that is all about one subject matter is going to have more of a fighting chance than a page that is unfocused when it comes to someone looking for that subject matter online.

Search engine spiders like to come back to your website to find fresh content. If, after a while, they come back and there’s nothing new on your site– Your website can be considered stale and uneventful, thus giving the spider reason to only come back every once in a while in the hopes to find something new and interesting. By adding new landing pages to your website to attract new customers, you’ll also be providing search engine spiders with new information to find and index. When creating your landing pages you want to make sure that the information on them is unique, useful and interesting to not just your web visitor, but also search engine spiders. When the spiders start finding new information being regularly added to your website, they’ll come back more often. Doing this will help spiders find and index new pages or updates more quickly.

The benefits of landing pages are many. Landing pages help you get more customers who are looking for the particular product or service that you’re offering. Landing pages interest your potential customers long enough to respond to your page’s call to action, without presenting all the distractions of a website homepage. Landing pages also provide fresh content for search engines to spider, thus giving them reason to come back more often looking for fresh content.

Your website should never be a fire and forget method of advertising. The reasons to continuously add fresh new pages to your website are many and landing pages are an excellent way to do that while niche marketing in today’s fast paced web environment.

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3 Steps to Developing an Affiliate Marketing Business

There’s more to the affiliate marketing business than tossing up a website and waiting for the money to flow in. Even though this particular model is as turnkey as you may find for making money online from home there are a few things you must add to make it work. The affiliate business opportunity offers you the structure but you must control and direct it in a way for your efforts to be profitable. This is why no two online entrepreneurs can expect to have the same exact success because the paths they take and the tactics they choose are never alike.

Here are 3 things all online entrepreneurs must add to the affiliate business opportunity to bring it to life in order to make money online from home.


What are your intentions insofar as to what markets do you want to promote to and the amount of time you are willing to invest. Also since the affiliate business opportunity allows for you to promote several products, how many do you intend to promote at the same time? Perhaps you want to focus on just a few products until you start to see income! A determination must also be made as to how much of an income you want to generate and how soon you expect to meet these expectations. Any business must first start with some type of direction! In short what is it you expect out of your business and what is it you are willing to invest in it to do so!


After you determine ‘what you want’ and the ‘resources’ such as time and/or money you have available for this venture, you need to determine how to accomplish these things. A plan of action must be established concerning your work schedule, marketing strategies and product selection. Careful consideration must also be given to what type of marketing platform you are going to use such as a website or blog. Perhaps you intend to promote your products through social network or media sites and direct traffic straight to the affiliate sales page. In any case you must have a plan or ‘map’ that will allow you to reach the goals you have already set. Until you do your goals are merely dreams!

Willingness to Learn

Online entrepreneurs working from home enjoy the luxury of familiar and cozy surroundings but this will not substitute for them having to continue their learning. Let’s face it your business depends upon you knowing what you are doing and marketing online involves constant change. Are you willing to continue your learning and keep up with these changes because if not the affiliate business opportunity may not be for you!

The affiliate marketing business offers anybody with the ambition to make good money online from home. This model is much like a motor vehicle insofar as all it needs is to be given direction and then kept on course. The efforts needed to make this work must come from you in the form of the things we discussed above. The affiliate business opportunity is just that, an opportunity that requires you to give it direction and supply the efforts to maintain its course. When you do this you then have transformed your opportunity into a profitable enterprise!

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Currency Trading Tutorial – What Is a Bearish and Bullish Market?

In this tutorial I will briefly discuss the concepts of bearish and bullish markets. As a student chart technician you need to fully understand this if you are to be successful at currency trading. Especially if you are a short term, or day trader.

I will start by explaining what a bearish market is. Any financial market always strives to remain in “balance”. When price moves (in time) on a chart, the price itself is always governed by the “balance” between buyers and sellers.

If, at any time, there are more sellers than buyers, then the price will be moving down. This is known as a bearish market. The price moves down because the majority of sellers are all trying to sell the same thing to a minority of buyers. The only way they can compete for those fewer buyers is by dropping their prices, and thus the market moves downwards.

As an analogy, think of a row of shops in a shopping mall all selling the same type of bread. There are only a fixed number of shoppers (buyers) in the shopping mall at any given time. So, because there is so much bread available, the only way that each shop can compete with the adjacent shops, and attract buyers, is to constantly drop their price.

Consider the other side of the coin now. If there are more buyers than sellers then the price will be moving upwards. This is known as a bullish market. Now, using the same shopping mall analogy as before. This time there are only a very few loaves of bread available in the shopping mall, and a lot of shoppers (buyers). So the shop owners (sellers) can keep increasing their prices to almost anything they want as the bread starts to run out. They know that there will always be a buyer who is prepared to pay the higher price for the very scarce bread.

You may ask yourself why a market moving in a particular direction does not keep moving in that direction forever. Well the fact of the matter is – in a bearish market, a point is eventually reached where the sellers are simply not prepared to sell for lower prices. They elect instead to hold on to their “stock” rather than sell it at a loss. At this stage the downward movement (bearish direction) in price halts, and the market starts to reverse (become bullish). This is what causes the market to “cycle”.

As you can see now, the direction of a market at any given time – whether it is bearish or bullish – is determined ONLY by supply and demand.

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How To Track Your Offline Marketing Efforts

Marketing, in any form, should always be administered in a way that makes it possible to receive comprehensive data that determine the effectiveness of each marketing campaign such as direct mail, TV ads, newspaper ads, and more. This method is coined in many business circles as tracking, and it is something that you need to do to go far in your marketing efforts.

Marketing campaigns require money. As a businessman, your job is to earn an amount that exceeds your marketing expenditures. Otherwise, all efforts that were made will be a total waste.

Tracking offline marketing efforts is a task that needs to be undertaken in any type of business – be it an old one or a new one. In fact, tracking is most crucial when the business is just starting out, since all the gathered information from the beginning to the present can help create a more comprehensive graph. This makes it easier for you to make the correct decisions as far as the allocation of marketing funds is concerned. As a result, your marketing campaigns become less costly and more effective in providing you good results.

Here are two methods that can help you track your offline marketing efforts.

Tracking Print and Direct Mail Marketing Online
Once you’ve launched an offline marketing campaign, you’d do better to produce multiple ads. These ads should not be identical when it comes to slogans and the call to action text. This is because you still need to determine which advertisement can produce the best results.

So how do we segregate the results of each advertisement in a way that can be used for comparative data? It’s really simple: use designated domains. Using the log files, the designated domains can help you track the visitors of your website. Make sure that you assign a respective landing page to each of the designated domains in order to funnel each piece of information correctly. To understand how this works, I’ll show you how it looks like. As an example, let’s assume that the business has something to do with slot cars.

Direct Mail Text 1 – Tracking Domain –
Ad 1 – Tracking Domain –
Ad 2 – Tracking Domain –

If you notice, each advert leads to a unique URL. Once you’ve gathered all the results, you’d be able to determine which advertisement enticed the most people and which one produced the least.

Of course, it’s possible that extraneous variables can influence the outcome. These are rather theoretical, so what I can advise you is add some notes detailing these variables. These notes can come in handy in the future when the time comes you are required to do a business review.

The same method can be used in several types of marketing campaigns such as TV commercials, telephone calls, radio ads and newsprint media. Just apply the same principle depending on the technicalities involved in the type of campaign. If you track your offline marketing efforts, taking pains in recording data both big and small, they can help you determine what works and what doesn’t and might help you think of a groundbreaking business idea. In the long run, this should bode well for your advertising campaign and help your business go beyond your expectations.

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The Two Most Powerful Methods of Online Marketing

In the world of online marketing, it cannot be denied that the competition is really that stiff. Getting on top of the game is hard but staying there is a lot harder. For someone to survive in this kind of business he/she needs to be aware of the best strategies to use and how to execute them correctly, this article will discuss the two methods promoting an online business.

A. Advertise your business though the use of social media sites. Since social networking sites are free and are very popular, then take advantage of it. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube receive millions of visits each day from people of all ages, all over the world, imagine how being a part of these sites can help enhance your business marketing potential. Yes, it can certainly be your haven. You can build brand name recognition, strong company image and stronger relationships with your customers. You can also find a huge number of prospects or quality leads in one place and at the same time become more accessible to your market. You get to interact with your prospective clients and fish their point of views. And best of all the effect of these sites is viral, if one satisfied with your products or services, expect that the whole world know it after.

B. direct mail marketing is also another way of promoting your business. It has been used by many businesses for a long time. And it has proven to bring promising results. Aside from it is cause efficient, it is also offers flexibility for business owners. In fact, if you can combine both offline and online direct mail marketing techniques, you will surely get the best results. The message can be customized according to the niche or group of recipients to whom you plan to send your postcards or emails to. Since people may have different responses to marketing campaigns depending on their interest, age, or income bracket, a business owner can choose an approach that will initiate the best response from each group. Separate direct mail marketing campaigns can be launched targeting specific niches or groups. Direct mail marketing campaigns can be launched for different purposes. For instance, a business owner can send postcards or emails to a targeted market to introduce a new product, announce a sale or a big shop event, offer discounts, follow-up on customers who have previously bought from the shop, etc.

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Search Offers Higher Conversion Rates Than Direct Marketing

Search delivers higher conversion rates than direct marketing.

Search provides the perfect opportunity for London businesses to increase brand awareness and increase sales.

Search delivers better conversion rates than other traditional marketing strategies with their search campaigns.

Search is demand fulfilment, direct marketing is demand generation.

Trying to get the attention of your audience and deliver a compelling argument in only a few words is difficult. Not only do you have to create the demand, you are unable to buy the product immediately so you have to offer such a compelling argument that your message is remembered. That is why conversion rates are far lower with direct marketing methods. Rarely would a viewer of adverts such as banner adverts, see an advert and go and buy the product. The main value of banner advertisements is brand awareness. Search is unlike traditional advertising, users are actively searching for your product or service, and you just need to fulfil their needs. Being at the top of search engines achieves both brand awareness but also high conversion rates. Users are likely to choose a company from the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs), so to gain the most value from search marketing; you need to be on the first page of search engines. Make sure your London business’ marketing is efficient.

Make sure you are found online, fulfilling your clients’ needs. Make sure you prioritise digital marketing over traditional marketing strategies. Make your digital marketing vision a reality helping to achieve your marketing objectives.

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Holiday Marketing Ideas For More Website Sales

The good news is that the Holiday Season is a highly responsive time of year. However, as you know, it is a very competitive time, too. Here are some marketing ideas – both online and offline – to ensure that your current customers continue to shop with you and that new customers start shopping as well.

So just how do you overcome short attention spans and deal seeking, fickle customer nature? Many of these ideas are obvious, but many are also often overlooked. Try these holiday helpers:

Free Shipping – We’ll just get this one out of the way first. Free shipping has become a holiday staple with a majority of retailers. And, the majority of shoppers are most responsive to this offer. Seventy-five percent of shoppers prefer to shop with online retailers offering free shipping. (Source: Forrester Research).

Start Early – Overcome procrastination and beat Black Friday to the punch with “early bird” offers. Also, note peak dates and give customers a “heads up” on upcoming offers so they’ll keep your offers in mind versus your competitors’ offers. Peak dates for 2010:

October & November – Previews, Pre-Orders, Limited Quantities, and Early Bird specials
Friday 11/26 > Monday 11/29 – also known as Black Friday > Cyber Monday
Friday 12/10 > Wednesday 12/17 – includes standard shipping service delivery expiration
Tuesday 12/11 – getting it there with 2-3 day shipping service
Wednesday 12/22 – getting it there with 1-2 day service
Thursday 12/23 – getting it there overnight
Friday 12/24 – Email gift certificates
Saturday 12/25 – Christmas
Monday 12/27 – After holiday sale
Well-Coordinated Campaigns – Many missed opportunities occur because campaigns are disjointed. Focusing your message and consistently executing it in all channels will drive customer response. Use a master campaign calendar to ensure all your media singing the same song-Search engine marketing, website, email, affiliates, comparison shopping engines, online advertising, catalog/direct mail, magazine, radio, TV, social networking, etc.

Online Video – Including professional video clips of featured products can increase conversion 10-30% and also decrease returns. Videos engage customers and help avoid high bounce rates at your website. These videos can also be used on blogs (good SEO!) and social networking sites, so the small investment can go a long way.

Delayed Payment or Installments – Especially during these times, delayed payments (eBillme, Bill Me Later) and payment installments are popular options, particularly on higher ticket items. They are proven to increase conversion.

Gift Guides & Gift Finders – Making it EASY is key to holiday shopping. Gift guides by price or type or an interactive gift finder saves shoppers time. It can also help you focus customers on the merchandise that is most appealing and in stock.

Gift Cards – Offer gift cards for easy gift giving. Many customers become indecisive because they are overwhelmed with gift choices. Gift cards can overcome this. Also, gift cards delivered by email are a great last minute gift solution all the way up to Christmas Day! (Extends your holiday revenue opportunity, too.)Gift cards also help introduce new customers to your company.

Social Networking – Audience demographic makeup = which social network is most relevant. However, Facebook is an easy choice for most marketers. The holidays are the best time to leverage social networking to build up your network and engage customers who are potentially your most loyal customers. Give these fans and followers your absolute best deals. Consider holiday giveaways, too. There are over 150 million Facebook users (Source: Facebook), over 50% are women, and users are starting to resemble the general population as the larger growth has been coming from people over 35 years old (Source:

Give a Gift to the Giver – Coupons, free gifts, free gift cards and other offers are great rewards to give to your shoppers. People like free gifts either to keep for themselves or to pass along as a gift.

Super Hot Daily Offers – For a week or two prior to Christmas, daily offers will keep your website top of mind. By knowing what your customer likes, you’ll know the most popular products to put on sale each day.

Office Gift Giving – Does it make sense for you to promote your products as great gifts for businesses and business people?

Coupons in Shopping Cart – Why encourage your buyers to go out to coupon sites when they are shopping on your site? Shoppers could change their mind when they go to these sites, and you may have to incur extra marketing costs at this coupon sites. Feature a couple of attractive offers upon checkout. These coupons could simply reinforce the offers you already have on your site.

Other ideas that have high potential for the Holidays and any time of year:

Cart Abandonment – Utilize emails and/or live chat to recover lost sales. Only about 15% of online retailers address shopping abandon carts, with abandon cart email re-marketing converting at 10-20 times more than other emails (Source: Listrack). A Forrester Research study reports these reasons why 60-70% of shoppers report they abandon carts:
> Shipping and handling costs were too high (44 percent)

> I was not ready to purchase the product (41 percent)

> I wanted to compare prices on other sites (27 percent)

> Product price was higher than I was willing to pay (25 percent)

> Just wanted to save products in my cart for later consideration (24 percent)

Sitewide Web Banners – We pay a lot of attention to home page marketing. However, the home page is typically a smaller share of total site traffic. Flaunt your great offers using sitewide banners. “Slim banners” under top navigation or other banner formats in side navigation.
Web Shopping Cart Upsells/Cross Sells – Relevant items and impulse buys are great ways to increase average order value. Stocking stuffers make great upsells/cross sells. You are guaranteed a lift in average order size and incremental revenue from the first day you implement this one. Even test a more interruptive (vs. passive) up-sell with a pop-up or roadblock web page as long as there is great value in your up-sell.
Refer A Friend – A best kept secret to acquire customers at the lowest cost and easily increase loyalty. Reward customers with offers when friends they refer become customers.
Bounce Back Offers – These offers are given to buyers to get them to come back and shop again. Why not start promoting holiday offers in shipping packages in October and November? An after holiday sale could be promoted in your packages, email, point-of-sale, and direct mail campaigns in December.
Reward/Points Programs – Increasingly popular way to increase loyalty is a rewards program. Incentivize customers with extra points/rewards during the Holidays.
Website Performance – Are there any user interface, user flow, application availability, speed, or other website performance issues? Website speed and navigation has become critical in maintaining customer attention. Slow sites can easily lead to site abandonment. Speed is also now a big factor for natural search rankings in Google (SEO).

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Using Direct Mail? Here’s 3 Ways to Get Your Letter Opened

Your direct mail efforts can be increased by simply changing the design on your envelope. A powerful envelope can mean the difference between mediocre response and a response rate that is beyond normal. So in this article, we will take a look at how you can improve the response rate from your direct mail by simply changing the design of your envelope. Here’s the first tips for direct mail envelope success.

1) Order envelopes first

You should order your envelopes first before any other aspect of your direct mail campaign. Manufacturers can require a long wait time before they delivery your envelopes, so be sure to keep this in mind.

2) Consider eye flow pattern

There’s usually a typical pattern to how someone opens your envelope. They will start with the front of the envelope, then move to their name and address, then any teaser copy you have, then the corner of the envelope, the postage, and last – the recipient will turn the envelope over to see if anything is written on the back. With this information, you can do a few things to your advantage.

The first thing that you can do is use a real live stamp. Even if they don’t recognize who you are, they will more than likely open it due to the live stamp on the envelope. The live stamp makes the envelope seem personal, so this is why you should use it. The next thing you can do is hand address the envelope in blue ink.

When you hand address the envelope in blue ink, you take personalization to a new level. Your prospect will view this as a personal message and will open your letter right away. If you’re thinking it takes this much work to open an envelope, then you have no idea. Getting a prospect to open up your envelope is tough, which is why you have to pay careful attention to how you design it.

3) Use teaser copy

It may work to your advantage to use teaser copy on the envelope. Teaser copy is usually just a short blurb that will entice a reader to open up your envelope. Your teaser copy can be as general as “first class mail” or as specific as “open for your free gift today!” You will want to test which one is better for you when creating the teaser copy of your envelope.

You will also want to test multiple locations for the teaser copy of the envelope. Going back to tip number 2 above, you may find it useful to include teaser copy on the back of the envelope.

One last thing that you should know is that teaser copy works best for prospects at their home address rather than businesses. Secretaries usually will take your envelope and through it in the trash if they perceived it as advertising.

All 3 of these tips will allow you to have the direct mail success that you dream of. Direct mail doesn’t have to be hard and with the increased cost of postage today, it’s becoming more difficult for marketers to really market effectively with direct mail. But these tips will allow you to gain the upper hand that you need to have success. Good luck with your direct mail efforts.

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