Successful Direct Mail Advertising

Direct mail advertising is definitely a beneficial form of advertisement to any business if it is handled correctly. It might seem that sending out a letter, coupons, or postcard might be a relatively simple task, but it is actually more involved than you might realize. There is a lot of planning that goes into direct mail advertising. First you have to figure out how exactly you want to market your product or service to the public. After that comes the question of what exactly are you going to send out, letter or postcard? This seems like a really easy question, but in actuality making the wrong choice can be detrimental to a marketing campaign. It might sound a little dramatic, but the difference between successful marketing and unsuccessful marketing can mean a great deal to a business in terms of profit or lack thereof.

Think about it from the perspective of a customer since you yourself are a customer to many other businesses when you purchase a product or service. When you get your mail do you cringe when there is a stack of junk mail tossed in with your bills? How much attention do you really put into looking through all of the different advertisements? Most customers might take a glance here or there, but usually the majority of those advertisements end up in the trash. So how do you go about your direct mail advertising campaign in order to avoid such a fate for your own marketing techniques?

Believe it or not, it is important for you to do your research when starting your direct mail advertising campaign. Being informed is only going to benefit your business and your campaign. First you need to figure out who exactly you wish to target with your advertising. Once you have that figured out you then need to put yourself in their shoes, what is going to grab their attention in terms of an advertisement. Don’t over sell your product or service; try to make your advertisements somewhat personal to your target audience. Next you need to do a little research when putting together your mailing list for your direct mail advertising. Don’t waste your time and money mailing to the wrong target audience. By performing the adequate research needed you will make sure that the people you are mailing are within the age range or have some sort of interest in the product or services that you are advertising.

Make sure that your advertisement is something that is going to catch the customer’s eye. This can be done with interesting headlines and titles. Make sure that you include enough information on the product or service that will gain interest without boring the reader. Once the reader is hooked on the product, include the price and then include a way for the customer to contact the advertiser or location details. After you have included everything, it is time to test it out before you spend a fortune on mass mailing. Once you find something that works for your business, go with it and constantly look for ways to improve.

Financing Alternatives in Today’s Capital Market Environment

Raising capital in today’s uncertain economic environment requires public companies to look beyond the methods used in the past. Private investment in public equity (PIPE) transactions or fully underwritten offerings can be expensive and time consuming in the best of times.

Because shares placed in a PIPE transaction are not registered, a resale registration statement must be filed with the SEC and declared effective for the shares to be freely tradable in open market transactions. Investors in PIPE transactions typically request a heavy discount to the issuer’s current share price and possibly warrant coverage to compensate for the risks related to this illiquidity. Additionally, the terms of the PIPE transaction may include penalties or liquidated damages provisions in the event the issuer fails to obtain an effective registration statement within a prescribed timeframe.

An underwritten or secondary offering of shares can be time consuming and expensive, given the need to file a registration statement and accompanying prospectus with the SEC and the associated legal and underwriting fees. The shares cannot be priced or placed until the SEC declares the registration statement effective which, depending on the SEC review process and any related follow on comments that need to be addressed, can take time, a commodity that many smaller public companies cannot afford.

A registered direct offering provides an alternative to public companies seeking capital and provides a number of benefits to the above alternatives; however, an RDO is not without its downsides.

What is a Registered Direct Offering?

A registered direct offering (RDO) is similar to a PIPE transaction, in that both are marketed and sold to a limited number of accredited and institutional investors; however, unlike a PIPE, shares sold in an RDO are registered and therefore, liquid, and can be sold to anyone. To complete an RDO, an issuer must be eligible to use Form S-3 and should have an effective shelf registration statement on file with the SEC. If an issuer is Form S-3 eligible, but doesn’t have an effective shelf registration statement on file, the issuer must file either a single purpose registration statement (i.e. “bullet”) covering the shares to be issued in the RDO, or a shelf registration statement.

RDO transactions are governed by a placement agency agreement, rather than an underwriting agreement. With a placement agency agreement, the offering is sold on a ‘best efforts’ basis, so there is no firm commitment for the placement of a specific number of shares, and the placement agent never takes possession of any securities. The placement agency agreement will typically include issuer representations and warranties concerning itself and its business, certain covenants applicable to the issuer, a promise to indemnify the placement agent for any Securities Act liabilities arising from the transaction, as well as closing conditions, such as legal opinions, comfort letter requirements, delivery of certificates, etc.

To complete the RDO pursuant to an effective registration statement, the issuer will ultimately prepare and file a preliminary or final prospectus supplement that describes the offering, depending upon how the shares are marketed and sold.

What are the advantages of an RDO?

An RDO has multiple advantages over a PIPE or traditional secondary offering.

1. Pricing – The shares sold in an RDO are freely tradable and therefore, there is no liquidity discount that would normally apply in a PIPE transaction. Additionally, the warrant coverage, if any, is typically lower in an RDO than would otherwise be the case in a PIPE.

2. Timeliness – With an effective shelf registration statement on file, an issuer can offer registered shares when market conditions permit, rather than be subject to the regulatory timeline that is typical in secondary offerings and that can cause an issuer to miss a market window. Investors in a PIPE transaction negotiate and execute individual purchase agreements, which can delay the closing of the transaction, whereas investors in an RDO are not required to sign or complete any such documentation.

3. Confidentiality – Because an RDO is marketed similarly to a PIPE, an issuer and the placement agent can market the transaction confidentially, enabling the parties to assess the market for the issuer’s securities without creating downward selling pressure on the stock that would typically accompany a public announcement of a proposed share offering. An RDO transaction is typically publicized just prior to or at pricing.

4. Lower legal and administrative expenses – Investors in an RDO are not required to negotiate and sign individual purchase agreements as they would otherwise be required to do in a PIPE transaction. Additionally, the shares in an RDO are typically offered under a shelf registration statement and therefore, are marketed based upon the issuer’s existing public disclosures, which eliminates the complexities of crafting a preliminary prospectus supplement as a selling document. RDO transactions also avoid the ‘give and take’ with the SEC typically associated with registration statements filed in connection with secondary offerings.

5. Exchange Rules – Certain securities exchanges require that any offering of securities that is determined not to be a ‘public offering,’ such as a PIPE, and which is greater than 20% of an issuer’s outstanding capital stock, must be presented to shareholders for approval. The determination of whether an RDO qualifies as a public offering is typically on a case by case basis; however, an RDO can be structured to allow the issuer to sidestep the 20% rule and avoid the need for shareholder approval of the proposed transaction.

What are the disadvantages of an RDO?

RDO’s are not a financing cure-all and there are some disadvantages to RDO’s over other methods of financing.

1. Distribution – Because an RDO is marketed to a select number of investors, shares are not as widely distributed as would typically be the case in a secondary offering. As a consequence, the issuer’s shareholder base is not necessarily broadened as a result of an RDO transaction.

2. Exchange Rules – If an RDO cannot be structured to meet an exchange’s definition of a public offering, and the proposed transaction is greater than 20% of the issuer’s outstanding capital stock, shareholder approval may be required, which would erode the advantages of timeliness and cost effectiveness of an RDO transaction.

3. Form S-3 – An issuer must be Form S-3 eligible to complete an RDO. While Form S-3 eligibility requirements have been relaxed, not all issuers will qualify.

4. Best efforts basis – A ‘best efforts’ basis means no firm commitment to the issuer regarding the number of shares to be sold. If the market fails to materialize for the issuer’s securities, the placement agent has no obligation to purchase any shares.

How do I start the process?

If an issuer does not already have an effective shelf registration statement on file, the first step in the process is to determine, together with legal counsel, the issuer’s Form S-3 eligibility. The next step is to assess any exchange rules that might apply regarding the determination of whether a proposed RDO is a ‘public offering.’ If the issuer is eligible for an RDO transaction, identification of the appropriate placement agent is the next critical hurdle. For a successful RDO, the placement agent should have longstanding relationships with a number of institutional investors who prefer to invest in the issuer’s industry or niche.

The Bottom Line

RDO’s are quicker to close than either a PIPE transaction or a secondary offering, which allows the issuer to quickly take advantage of favorable capital market conditions. The securities offered in an RDO are priced similar to a secondary offering, but without the related hurdles, and an RDO transaction can be marketed confidentially, which will reduce selling pressure on the issuer’s stock prior to completion of the transaction. Additionally, RDO transactions are typically cheaper to complete, in terms of discount, fees and related warrant coverage.

Make Easy Money Online As an Affiliate Using SEO Marketing

If you have ever looked into SEO marketing (search engine optimisation) then you may have thought to yourself that there is a lot involved and a lot to learn in order to get good results. If you follow a few simple rules then you can cut out the learning curve and get started right away.

Its a fact that with this simple guide, you can make easy money online as an affiliate with strategic SEO marketing. Below i have outlined the steps you must take in order to gain first page rankings within Google, which will send targeted traffic to any offer you are currently promoting. I will also give you a simple method that sends the traffic directly to the offer.

First off, i would like to say that targeted traffic is the life blood of any affiliate campaign. Without lots of targeted traffic, you will not get the results you expect from the hours of hard work you put in. I can tell you that you do not have to spend hours in front of the computer to get results.

Finding A Market To Target

I always start off any campaign by visiting the ClickBank marketplace or any other affiliate or CPA network that i am a member of. If you use ClickBank then look at offers that have a high gravity as this means that there are lots of other affiliates promoting the offer.

Don’t look at competition as a threat, when you see lots of competition, the chances are that there’s a lot of money to be made, or the other people promoting it would not waste their time otherwise.

- For the purpose of this article, i will choose the “Make Money Online” market. So i have been over to the ClickBank marketplace and have seen that “Miracle Traffic Bot” has the best gravity. This is a type of software that would increase traffic so its on a popular subject.

Finding Your Keywords

Once you have found a market that you wish to target, its time to find the keywords. I use the Google keyword tool as this gives you a great idea of whats popular within the market. Your SEO marketing depends on these kind of tools to find the best words to target.

Choose two keywords that have a high monthly search volume so you know that there’s enough traffic to convert into sales. Ideally you would target a keyword with at least 5,000 monthly searches. When you have two of these keywords, you can move on to the next stage.

- As an example for this article, i have visited the keyword tool to find keywords for the product i picked from the “finding a market” section shown above and i would choose “increase targeted traffic” and “targeted website traffic”. These are the two keywords that you want to rank on the first page of results within Google.

The Method You Can Use

As you are using SEO marketing to advertise your affiliate program, you would need to use a strong domain in order to gain the best rankings. If you use a new domain then Google will not take much notice of your site for a long, long time, so its easier to use a popular domain that has a high authority within Google such as HubPages, EzineArticles or Squidoo.

For the purpose of this article i will say that I’m going to use EzineArticles to gain first page rankings for the keywords i have picked.

When i write my article, i must make sure that my keywords are visible within the title, the summary and within the body of my article to make it as relevant as possible for ranking purposes. I usually place each keyword in my article “once” every “100″ words.

TIP: For my keywords picked above i can merge them together which is ideal, so my title could be
“Increase Your Targeted Website Traffic Using Automated Software”. This allows me to then increase my rankings for the keywords chosen as well as making the article nice to read.

Write a good, 500 word article that is related to the offer you are promoting, making sure that you explain the issues surrounding this subject and then a brief outline of how people can overcome the issue. Don’t write the article in a way that would advertise what you are promoting or your article may be rejected. The resource box is used to recommend a product related to the article.

Direct Linking Approach

I have used direct linking a lot in the past and have had great results. All you have to do is register a domain that is related to the product you are promoting. Use the forwarding feature within your domain control panel to redirect any visitors to your affiliate link provided by Google.

You can then include this link within the resource box of your article which is the section you can use to advertise the cure to the issues you raise within your article.

This method is ideal for newbies who cannot yet create landing pages. I would personally always use my own simple landing page that would capture the name and email address before sending the visitor to the offer as i can then sell other related products later on. The direct linking approach is not for everyone but if you cannot make a landing page then you can use this method to break down this barrier and make sales.

Increasing Your Rankings

In order to increase the rankings for your keywords, you must build relevant backlinks to the web address of your EzineArticles page. You must use anchor text which include your keywords with a link to your article. The more backlinks you build, the higher your rankings will become.

Write a few articles per day and link back to your main article within the resource box. Use many different article directories and accounts on Squidoo, HubPages, Wetpaint, Zimbio, Weebly, Blogger and WordPress to build quality links to your main ezine article.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article as it explains how you can make easy money online as an affiliate using SEO marketing. Get stuck in and take action or you will never make money online.