According to an article extracted from a November 2009 McKinsey Quarterly by Harvard Business Publishing, executives are becoming more optimistic about the economy and the strength of the recovery. In the survey conducted during the last week of October 2009 that measured executive mood, 51% said they think the economy is better now than it was in September 2008.
Few other selling tools deliver your message with exact precision and impact. The amount of mail in your mailbox everyday attests to the success of this medium (If it didn’t work, your mailbox would be empty!).
Mail works when you’re not. Regardless of what you’re doing, working or playing your direct mail is talking for you. It gives your best presentation without you being there.
Mail multiplies your efforts. Send out thousands of postcards or letters and your best sales pitch is being presented to thousands of people simultaneously.
Mail allows you to aim with accuracy. Direct mail allows you to pinpoint the people who fit your profile, with as much or as little detail as you want.
Mail makes it easy to track your return on investment. With direct mail marketing you can code your mail pieces to determine the exact number of responses you received from each campaign.
Mail is relatively inexpensive. It is amazing what you can get into a small business size envelope and keep under the one ounce limit. Or you can use a jumbo size postcard and tell your story beautifully.
Mail gets one-on-one attention. One of the best things about direct mail is that it gets one-on-one attention from your target prospect. Direct mail is opened one piece at a time and read one piece at a time.
Mail gets delivered. There are no high tech filters on physical mailboxes. Your recipient will see your name and decide what to do with your message.
Mail is something you can touch and feel—it hangs around. Direct mail is something that you can hold in your hand. It is physical. It is something that can hang around for a period of time. It has “lingering” marketing effects.
Many people are hurting and according to most experts it is going to take a long time for the employment rate to pick back up. However, just as it took a very long time for people to admit that our economy was not good, things may be better than we think.
In October of 2008 I looked at what was happening in the economy and tried to understand what many people were saying and why they said it. I looked at a history of recessions in the U. S. since the early 1900’s. Today I looked at the economy from the other perspective, focusing on the periods of growth and prosperity; believing that the glass is half full, not half empty.
I found details about the US Gross Domestic Growth Rate (GDP) going back to 1947. A negative GDP for two or more quarters is what defines a recession.
When I look at the chart I see:
- Times have been good much more often than times have been bad
- It looks like the worst is over and we are moving into another growth period
- Perhaps the recent decline would not have hurt so much if growth in 2006 was not so big, I think we thought the good times would go on forever
What about your strategy right now? This is a great time to start cultivating new prospects. Get your name, your products, your solutions in your customers minds so that when they are ready to buy, you will come up on the short list. Think about sending mail.
Should you alter your marketing plan to prepare for the upturn?
These are ideas we shared some time ago. They are still true.
Don’t cut your marketing budget! Those businesses that continue to advertise will triumph when the economy picks up (and it will).
Let your customers help you. Retaining your existing customers and getting repeat business from them should be your highest priority. Customer testimonials are extremely effective in gaining new business. Referrals help you close new sales very easily and don’t forget to reward the customer who provided the reference.
Focus your marketing. This means use direct mail, marketing and offers that allow you to measure the results.
Be consistent with your advertising. If you are not persistent in your advertising, your customers will not recall you and will place orders with someone else.
Alter your marketing messages to take advantage of declining trends and promote features that relate to saving money for the user of your product or service. For example, “we just installed a new piece of equipment that is up to 50% faster — that’s a real labor saving advantage.”
Don’t keep doing what you’re doing just because you’ve always done it. Don’t let inertia be your marketing plan. Change creative often, unless it’s working.
Write a sales letter to your best friend, even if you’re not a writer: David Ogilvy got some of his best headlines from his clients. You’ll probably write a compelling, honest and factual account of why your product or service is worth considering.