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.

Why a Small Business Must Use Internet Marketing

An effective marketing campaign considers the use of every method to reach potential customers and generate leads, including both off-line (traditional) and on-line methods. This means reviewing just about every one that has ever been successfully utilized. To locate a comprehensive list, the first place that comes to mind is the index page of textbooks on marketing. After viewing a couple of indexes, it is easy to compile a complete checklist of available choices. Every business uses different method combinations to sustain success.

For any campaign to be effective, understand the target market, then select a method that suits the target. Obvious examples are: an expert offering SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services would market to prospects who already have websites, probably reaching the prospect via the published email contact form on their site. Website designers may instead use telemarketing or direct mail, since it would be difficult to find an email address for a business that does not yet publish a site.

Most brick and mortar small businesses choose traditional methods like yellow pages, direct mail, newspaper ads, but few include a website. These methods are what they know, because for decades they have been the cornerstones of reaching their clientele. But these methods are very expensive. To guarantee market saturation they use a shotgun approach; big ads in the yellow pages and mailers to every address. Shoot enough times with enough ammunition and you will hit something. In other words, by repeatedly sending the same ads, to the same target market, every prospect should eventually see the ad. One of the problems for businesses today, is too many off-line choices. There are several yellow pages in most communities, and none of them have complete listings, translating to only partial market penetration. Additionally, there is no tracking for the advertiser to know how many prospects are looking for them, how many have found them, or how many return to read their ad a second time. Direct mail improves slightly on the yellow pages, but has similar problems; their effectiveness is only measured by how many coupons are redeemed compared to how many pieces are mailed. Advertisers have no idea how many times their ad is actually viewed. No traditional off-line form of advertising provides in-depth tracking and without it, one can only speculate what to change or improve. For the business person it is hit and miss. This kind of marketing approach is rapidly changing.

What marketing method can get advertising not just delivered, but opened and read by prospective customers? Internet marketing. According to the Internet World Stats website, 76% of American households access the Internet on a regular basis. They are there looking for content that targets their interest. On the Internet, a website’s message is available all day every day, delivering each businesses unique selling proposition. It is relatively inexpensive because it not only avoids the wasteful, repetitive, shotgun approach, it captures tracking data, measuring the advertising campaign’s effectiveness. Analyzing the results helps a business improve it’s marketing message and convert more leads to customers.

Moving an off-line business to one on-line and capturing the off-line business niche is essential to 2010 success. Doing it correctly requires using a knowledgeable on-line marketing specialist who knows how to blend both off-line and on-line methods; some one who understands the market and the secrets to positioning the local business in a top search position. These consultants typically use permission marketing methods, encouraging follow up, and loyalty building programs for repeat customers. The correct specialist will use techniques moving all potential prospects from costly hit and miss advertising, to personal promotions requested by the prospect themselves. This personalization captures and improves customer loyalty with each contact. It reduces cost, because the website, once established, does not incur the same high ongoing cost of the yellow pages and direct mail.

An Internet presence, produced by the right consultant is essential for every one in business today.

How to Use the Directional Movement Index

The Directional Movement Index is one of Welles Wilder’s lesser-known creations, but it is explained in his book “New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems” published in 1978. Many of the most common indicators in use today originate in this seminal book on technical trading. The ADX, RSI, Average True Range, the Parabolic SAR, and the Directional Movement Index all come from the same volume. If you have not read this book yet, it should be on your required reading list as it is truly one of the classics in trading.

The Directional Movement Index (DMI) is a momentum indicator. It calculates the strength of the upward movement or downward moment and shows the results as a trend strength line, also called the ADX. But for the purpose of this article, we will exclude analyzing the ADX and speak strictly of the DMI. The indicator is recognizable by two distinct lines called the +DI and the -DI.

The + DI measures the upward pressure, or upward movement or buying pressure (take your pick of which term you prefer) and the -DI measures the negative or downward movement, or selling pressure. When the two lines cross it can be a buying signal if the + DI crosses over the -DI, and conversely if the -D1 crosses over the + DI is considered a selling signal. Wilder also theorized that when a crossover takes place, it can be seen as a trend reversal.

My experience with the DMI, which is extensive, would suggest that the crossover points are not necessarily indicative of trend reversals. On the contrary, depending too heavily upon the DMI can cause you to be whipsawed in tightly congested markets. So I discount Welles Wilder’s theory on crossing points being indicative of trend reversals.

In non-trending markets the DMI can be confusing and cause many false buy/sell signals. For that reason, I do not use the DMI in consolidating or congested markets. However, in trending markets the DMI can be quite useful in identifying potential retracements, and when combined with Fibonacci retracements, can allow you to obtain a few extra points playing the retracements in a broader trend.

To Welles Wilder’s credit, he was aware of the whipsawing tendencies of the DMI and places a limitation upon its use. Wilder thought that you should not initiate a long position until price has taken out the high posted on the day or the bar that the+ DMI crosses above them. This caveat does tend to lessen the number of spurious crossovers the DMI can display, but I’m still not comfortable using the DMI as a primary indicator in my futures trading.

On the other hand, the DMI is a great backup indicator, especially since it is momentum-based, to filter trades off of your primary indicator. This is the exact role I have implemented to use the DMI and have been pleased with the results.

In summary, the DMI is not an optimal primary buy/sell indicator because of the false and/or spurious buy/sell indicators it routinely indicates. But it can be very valuable as a filter indicator to back up the validity of your primary indicator and ultimate trading decisions. Finally, I have used the DMI in trending markets to identify retracements with great success and it truly shines in this capacity.