ListAbility's Direct Marketing Blog

5 Reasons Why Franchisees Make Good B2B Prospects

Posted by Carol Arnold on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 @ 10:13 AM

target your customersSMALL iStock 000019300053SmallOne of the first steps in developing a marketing plan is to decide the type of companies you want to focus on.

Franchise business owners are great prospects

They need goods and services just like the rest of us.  Here are 5 reasons you should consider directing your sales and marketing efforts toward franchise owners.

1. Most franchisees are small to medium sized businesses which make the decision-makers more accessible.

They are entrepreneurs and have demonstrated that they want to have the independence of owning and running their own business. It is easier to reach the decision-maker because they have fewer levels of gate keepers.

2. Have the support from the corporate which gives them a better chance of success

Successful businesses are more ready, willing and able to make purchases to support their business.                                                                                                                                     

3. Franchise business owners have the independence to make purchase decisions of most non-core goods and services

You won’t be selling sugar glaze to the Krispy Kreme franchisee, but you could have good luck selling them financial services, cleaning products, technology or office supplies.

4. Many franchisees own multiple locations

One contact can help you to supply for several stores. We all know how this can save time and money for your marketing efforts.

5. Franchisees can be a great source for referrals

We all love referrals. Franchisees have close links with other owners and an incentive for everyone to succeed. Once you have put in the effort to land one franchisee, you can get an “in” with additional owners with the same business model.

Direct marketing to franchises by phone and mail can be very effective.

Obtaining a quality list of franchise owners should be a priority to kick-start your marketing campaign.

Your franchise mailing and telemarketing list should be customized to target the best prospects for your business.

  • Focus on your market area – could be a region, state, county, radius around your office.

  • What types of businesses do you want? Retail, food service, automotive, tax services etc. Industries can be selected using SIC codes.

  • Are there particular franchises that you are interested in marketing to? For example, you can get a list of McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts, H&R Block, Midas, Applebee’s, Snap-on, Panera Bread, Supercuts or fits your business model.

  • Decide if you want owners that have a single location (store, office, restaurant, service location etc) or multiple locations. You can even specify how many they have. As an example:  5 or more. A good list broker will ask if you only want to get the primary HQ for the franchisee and skip the branch locations.

  • You can select the size of the business by sales volume or number of employees.  

ListAbility's Franchise Owners Mailing List allows you to pull contacts, addresses and phone numbers of the specific types of businesses you want to target.

ListAbility is a list broker with experience helping businesses obtain targeted mailing lists and telemarketing lists to enhance their direct marketing programs. In addition to listings of franchise owners, we have B2B marketing lists and consumer mailing lists. Our experienced list brokers are able to ask the questions and offer suggestions to pull the best prospects from our marketing databases.

Tags: Direct marketing strategy, direct mail marketing, business mailing lists, direct mail campaigns, B2B marketing, Marketing to franchises

Use Direct Mail Marketing to promote your swimming pool business

Posted by Carol Arnold on Wed, May 09, 2012 @ 02:47 PM

Don't be left high and dry, this is the time to be marketing to swimming pool owners

marketing swimming pool maintenanceSpring is in full swing in many parts of the country and just around the corner for other areas. People are starting to think of summer fun. If you want the lucrative business of opening pools and maintaining them for the season, NOW is the time to start signing up homeowners with pools.

Most broadcast and print media are out of reach for the smaller pool companies. Even if your company has a large marketing budget, TV, newspapers and radio are reaching out to too broad an audience. Smart marketers want to direct their advertising dollars to homeowners with swimming pools who are going to need their services!

Direct mail marketing will put your message in the hands of the people most likely to want to buy from you.

The key is the mailing list. Take a look at ListAbility’s Swimming Pool Owners Mailing List as an example of how you can actually target your mailing to just the people you can expect to be your best prospects.

First you need to determine where you want to travel to service your customers and select a list within that area. It might be a group of towns, a couple counties, or even a radius distance from your business office or storefront.

Homeowners in single family homes are the most popular target market, but quite a few pool owners have a 2 or 3 family home. You might consider adding in those people as well.

Depending on your promotion and price point, consider specifying a minimum home market value or income so you don’t mail to people who probably can’t afford your services.

Pool owners with children could be your target market if you want to promote pool accessories such as slides or motion detectors. If you are offering environmentally friendly services, target people with an interest in Green Living.

While the list is important in getting your message to the right people, you want to be sure that your mail piece is pleasing to the eye, well written and relays the benefits of your service. You want to include a call to action that will give your prospect a reason to pick up the phone or get on their computer to get in touch with you.

ListAbility is a mailing list broker with the expertise and quality data to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing, telemarketing or email list. A better list will pay dividends with the savings you garner in printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!

 

Tags: mailing lists, Direct marketing strategy, Marketing to swimming pool owners

Direct Mail Advertising continues to be a powerful marketing channel

Posted by Chris Dyer on Fri, Mar 02, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

Many people would be surprised to read that the US Postal Service ended their fiscal year 2011 with a volume increase of 2 billion pieces of standard class mail. This 2.6% increase comes in spite of the barrage of negative media coverage. Standard mail is the primary mail service for Direct Mail Advertisers.

                  The Direct Marketing Association’s Statistical Fact Book states that
                     US marketers send over 90 billion pieces of direct mail per year!

What does this mean? The volume increase sends a clear message:

                                              Direct Mail Marketing still works
!

My advice to Marketers, especially younger marketers, is to incorporate a multi-channel strategy when developing their marketing programs. And that should include direct mail.

When planning a direct mail campaign, there are many options to consider. Some methods are enduring, and have been used for many years by the best direct marketers in the world.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • A strong offer or promotion is probably the most important element for all direct mail advertising campaigns.

  • Select an updated and accurate mailing list that has been targeted to recipients considered most likely to respond positively to your offer.

  • Consider making your promotion time sensitive to generate urgency.

  • Testimonials or a guarantee can be effective, depending on your product.

  • Copy and graphics focusing on the people you are sending to can increase results exponentially and easily justify the cost of using multiple versions. For example, use a different message for young adults than you do for seniors. Ask your printer about “variable print capabilities”.

  • The use of Digital Printing can bring increased capabilities for personalization. These can include PURLS (Personalized URLs) which set up individual web pages for your prospects to key in, and QR Codes (Quick Response) that can be read by a smart phone to link to a special marketing page on the web.

  • Postage is a large part of any direct mailing job.  Make sure your mail list is certified and processed to get the highest postal discounts for automation.

  • Consult your mail shop when you design the physical aspect of your mail piece. Something as simple as a flap folded in the wrong direction could cause problems with the automated machines, which could cause delays and cost money.

  • Coding records and setting up tracking metrics so response and conversion rates can be done accurately

  • Testing – Try a couple different offers and mail pieces to see what works best for you. This will help the success for your future direct marketing campaigns. 

ListAbility is a premier mailing list company. Our dedicated List Professionals can help guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing lists, telemarketing list or email list. A better list will pay dividends with higher response rates, savings in printing and postage costs – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!  

Tags: mailing lists, direct marketing list strategies, mailing list brokers, mailing list, mailing list broker, direct mail strategies, direct mail marketing, business mailing list, business mailing lists, direct mail, direct mail campaigns, Direct marketing strategy, consumer mailing lists, consumer mailing list, direct mail advertising, mail list, mail lists

Small businesses increased their customer base in 2011

Posted by Carol Arnold on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 @ 03:12 PM

Business is growing with direct marketingSeventy nine percent of small businesses surveyed increased the number of customers that they worked with last year. Not surprisingly, 71% also reported increased revenues.

Are you working with more customers than you were a year ago?

Are you getting your fair share of new clients? These companies didn't get stuck only marketing to that same old company list. They are reaching out and converting new prospects using a media mix that includes targeted prospect lists and inbound marketing channels.

The Netherlands based company VistPrint N.V. conducts a quarterly survey for companies with 10 or fewer employees. More than 1900 responded with these findings that they are reporting.

How are they finding these new customers?

While tried and true “word of mouth” is still the favorite, a successful business knows that can’t rely solely on this good will method.

Many of the micro businesses surveyed stated that Direct Mail Marketing would continue to play an important role in their marketing plan for 2012, along with growing interest in internet and social media.

Direct Mail Marketing is a proven and very effective way to communicate with new prospects. It allows for tightly controlled budgets with accountability, which can be very important to companies without massive advertising and marketing budgets. Direct Mail Lists can be tightly targeted – so postage and printing are only spent for the best prospects, those who are likely to be interested in your products and services.

Whether you are selling to the business or consumer marketplaces, ListAbility is a mailing list provider that can help you reach out to more qualified prospects with your direct marketing programs. As a qualified list broker, they can research just the right business mailing list or consumer mailing list to target your direct marketing campaign.  

Tags: Trends in marketing, Direct marketing strategy, mailing list brokers, Marketing in the new economy, business mailing list

Printers: generate revenue by proposing new prospect mailings to clients

Posted by Carol Arnold on Mon, Jul 11, 2011 @ 02:36 PM

prospect mail can bring new revenue for the print industryThe past several years has seen a contraction in the printing industry.  As a result, many printing companies decided to add mail services for their clients, either in-house or contracted.

Mail can provide an important revenue stream for the print industry

Over and over we hear owners of printing companies say: “Over the past several years, my clients have been supplying their own mailing list. We just do the mailing”. It’s true, when budgets got tight, many companies started to focus only on their in-house data. By now, some of those customer lists are getting pretty tired and the effectiveness could be falling (commonly called list fatigue).

Before your mail clients simply decide to stop mailing all together (and you lose both the print and mail-related revenues), make suggestions to improve results.

Be proactive: make suggestions for mail campaigns to target NEW prospects

Prospecting campaigns can be planned around specific groups based on economic and demographic targets. Going beyond that, there are many possibilities for special interests, spending habits, political, charitable donors, automotive, home and mortgage, and so much more.

How about proposing birthday promotion mail campaigns to your client?

Everyone loves a birthday present and this can be a terrific way to build a monthly program for just about any type of client. Present this to restaurants, car washes, salons or just about any consumer services company.

Are you working with any insurance companies?

Suggest that they start mailing to prospects just before their car insurance is set to renew. Same thing will work with homeowner policies.

Are clients telling you that they are going to put more of their marketing budget on some of the newer online mediums?

With the right targeting, direct mail can actually support these mediums. One example would be mailing to people with a lot of friends on Facebook with a special offer if they visit their page.

ListAbility’s professional Mailing List Brokers can help you with direct mail promotion ideas that you can use to propose new projects to your existing clients and new prospects. Our marketing lists are highly accurate and we have the technology to easily explore various strategies for targeting. Get in touch today at 866-446-2055 or info@listability.com

Tags: mailing lists, Direct marketing strategy, mailing list brokers, Marketing in the new economy, Birthday Promotions

Direct Marketing “THINGS TO KNOW” for Higher Education Enrollment efforts

Posted by Carol Arnold on Fri, May 13, 2011 @ 08:28 AM

marketing for higher education

Stepping up to new challenges of college enrollment goals with tight marketing budgets

The task of building enrollments of non-traditional students has become more challenging with the improving economic conditions: fewer adult learners are re-training for new careers. Add to that, the new scrutiny on student loans, and everybody, community colleges to universities, needs to be smarter about using their marketing and advertising dollars to attract new students.

Direct Mail Marketing continues to provide a cost effective means to get the message into the hands of qualified prospects

This holds most true for college programs that rely on local markets for continuing education and other special offerings.

One of the most important pieces of the marketing plan is to match the intended audience with your message.

Whether you are sending catalogs or postcards, this is where the importance of finding the right mailing lists will come in.

  • For general information about programs; look at your prevalent demographic groups and select a mailing list to match. This should help you narrow your mailing to people within certain income and age ranges.
  • When looking for the non-traditional student, you can combine demographics with a person’s education level – consider a mailing list of people with a “High School Diploma but no College Degree”. You can even add in a self reported interest in career advancement.
  • When promoting specialized programs for professional credits, such as nursing or teaching, utilize lists based on professional state licenses.
  • You may want to send information on enrichment-type programs to everyone. In which case, a mail list that blankets your community and qualifies for saturation postal discounts will work best.
With the lowering of costs for short-run and digital printing, smaller mailings with a more targeted audience are becoming more feasible. Targeting mothers with young children is just one example of a niche campaign. Seniors in early retirement age might be another.

Be sure that the lists you buy are updated to US Postal standards with National Change of Address (NCOA) and CASS certification to assure a higher deliverability rate. Good mailing list brokers can help you select the best marketing lists for your campaigns.

ListAbility’s Consumer Education Level Mailing List is a comprehensive national list which combines powerful demographic qualifiers along with the level of education attained.

Matching the right audience with your message is a very important part of higher educations’ direct marketing campaign. Whether you are sending catalogs or postcards, it is important to find the right mailing list.

ListAbility is a mailing list broker with the expertise and quality data to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing, telemarketing or email list. A better list will pay dividends with the savings you garner in printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!

Tags: Direct marketing strategy, direct marketing list strategies, Educational Marketing

Postal Service Offers Money-Back Guarantee for New Direct Mail Advertising

Posted by Carol Arnold on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 @ 05:21 PM

Proposal for “Mail Works Guarantee” market test to begin mid-May, 2011

The postal service is looking to increase their slice of national advertising budgets by offering a Postage-Back guarantee. This Mail Works Guarantee program is expected to run for up to 2 years.

Only 16 companies will be included in the initial test, so the average mailers won’t be feeling the direct benefit any time soon. The requirements for consideration are pretty stringent; a company must spend a minimum of $250 Million annually on advertising (as identified by Advertising Age magazine) and mail cannot currently be a large part of their advertising mix: postage must be less than 0.5 percent of the current advertising budget.

Each of the test companies will be expected to mail between 500,000 and a million pieces. They will be offered a postage-back guarantee based on the effectiveness of mail advertisements using First-Class Mail and Standard Mail.

“Effectiveness” will be defined by a set of metrics, based on the goals of the campaign. Both the mailer and postal service will collaborate on the goals and expected outcomes. For example,

  • A retail company’s Direct Mail offer could be designed to increase store traffic
  • The e-commerce company’s offer could be designed to drive Web traffic
  • A product goods company’s offer could be designed to promote increasing sales of a specific product.

If the Direct Mail campaign falls below the expectations of the metrics established in the plan, (verified of course by a Postal Service representative) the USPS will credit the postage paid for the market test, up to $250,000. The refund will not include any production and printing costs.

Currently, the USPS captures about 3% of the $90 Billion spent on media advertising by the top advertisers in America. The postal service is looking at a huge revenue potential if they can get more of these companies to open up a larger portion of their budget to direct mail.

What will this mean for the average mailer? Not much in the near term, but….

If all works out the way the post office is hoping, they will prove to the skeptics that direct mail works.

They will collect specific data for using mail to advertise both on-line and off-line products and services. This should provide us with some facts and figures that can be used in planning the campaigns for  the other companies who don’t happen to be part of the who’s who of advertisers.

 Maybe this will provide the boost needed to rejuvenate the mail volumes and stem the tide of negative cash flow at the USPS. That could mean that we won’t be seeing as many increases in postage which is what we really hope for.

After all, so many of us already know, direct mail lets us target our advertising budget directly into the mail boxes of the people most likely to want our products and services.

 

Tags: Trends in marketing, Direct marketing strategy, USPS Services

Direct Mail Marketing can help you grow your swimming pool business

Posted by Carol Arnold on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 @ 11:24 AM

Don't be left high and dry; this is the time to be marketing to swimming pool owners

swimming pool owners mailing lists can help you grow your pool businessSpring is in full swing in many parts of the country and just around the corner for other parts. People are starting to think of summer fun. It isn't enough to be good at what you do. You also need to put on your sales and marketing hat to grow you pool business.

If you want the lucrative business of opening pools and maintaining them for the season, NOW is the time to be marketing so you can get new customers signed up.

Most broadcast and print media are out of reach for the smaller pool companies. Even if your company has a large marketing budget, TV, newspapers and radio are reaching out to too broad an audience. Smart marketers want to direct their advertising dollars to the people that own swimming pools and are going to need their services!

Direct mail marketing will put your message in the hands of the people most likely to want to buy from you.

The key is the mailing list. Take a look at ListAbility’s Swimming Pool Owners Mailing List as an example of how you can actually target your mailing to just the people you can expect to be your best prospects.

First you need to determine where you want to travel to service your customers and select a list within that area.

It might be a group of towns, a couple counties, or even a radius distance from your business office or storefront.

Then decide what other factors can help you single out good potential customers.

Homeowners in single family homes are the most popular target market, but quite a few pool owners have a 2 or 3 family home. You might consider adding in those people as well.

Depending on your promotion and price point, consider specifying a minimum home market value or income so you don’t mail to people who probably can’t afford your services.

Pool owners with children could be your target market if you want to promote pool accessories such as slides or motion detectors. If you offer environmentally friendly services, you can target people with an interest in Green Living.

While the list is important in getting your message to the right people, you want to be sure that your mail piece is pleasing to the eye, well written and relays the benefits of your service. You want to include a call to action that will give your prospect a reason to pick up the phone or get on their computer to get in touch with you.

ListAbility is a mailing list broker with the expertise and quality data to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing, telemarketing or email list. A better list will pay dividends with the savings you garner in printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!

 

Tags: Direct marketing strategy, direct marketing list strategies, mailing list brokers, Marketing to swimming pool owners

Direct Mail Birthday Promotions Provide Great Marketing Results

Posted by Carol Arnold on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 @ 01:58 PM

Who Doesn’t Love a Birthday Present? Birthday Promotions are an effective way to drum up new business

Use Birthday Promotions to build your businessBirthday promotions are gaining popularity once again. They are an excellent way to do smaller-scale marketing for incremental increases in business. Once someone comes in for their birthday present, chances are good that they will come back again and you will have a regular client!

Almost any consumer business can say Happy Birthday to introduce new customers with a promotion.  Restaurants have been doing this for years – ½ price entre, buy one / get one free, free desert with your dinner. Other types of businesses can stand out and make offers.

Here is a list of some Birthday Promotion ideas:

  • Half-off your next car wash, oil change or manicure
  • Buy-one-get-one-free at the stationary or hardware store
  • Get a free “something fun” when you buy a dress, get a massage or bottle of wine
  • The list goes on; gourmet biscuit with a dog walk, free cake with your grocery delivery, foot cream with your pedicure, a handmade bookmark with your book

Mailing birthday promotions can be as simple and economical as sending a post card.

If your budget allows, a greeting card is effective. Adding an insert can make an even bigger impression. Try to give the envelope a personal touch.

Marketing results show that it is best to run the promotion for longer than just the day of their birthday.

Too many people have busy lives with work and plans with friends and family. (Schedule an oil change on your birthday?) Instead, be the one that extends the fun by offering a promotion any time during their birthday month! 

Your birthday promotion mail list is an important factor in the success of your campaign.

For most, it isn’t enough to simply mail to everyone with a birthday that month. Selectors such as gender, age, children and income can narrow your list to include only the best prospects for repeat business.

If you work within a smaller geographic area, you should consider obtaining a list for 3 months at a time. You can do your mailings so they arrive in mail boxes just before the start of the month.

The Happy Birthday Promotions Mailing List from ListAbility is a highly accurate file with the flexibility to select the best prospects for your business. You are sure to be pleased with the ROI from your marketing budget.

ListAbility is a Mailing List Broker with the expertise and quality data to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing, telemarketing or email list. A better list will pay dividends with the savings you garner in printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!

Tags: Trends in marketing, mailing lists, Direct marketing strategy, Birthday Promotions

What is the best way to market to Pet Owners?

Posted by Carol Arnold on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 @ 07:29 AM

Use direct mail to find pet loversAmerica’s cats and dogs are treated like they are part of the family! Pet owners tend to spend plenty of money on items that will make their lives easier and more fun.

Small industries catering to the growing pet business are popping up everywhere. These businesses are offering everything from dog walking services, sanitation, gourmet pet food, obedience schools, day care, play groups, fashion accessories and much more!

These entrepreneurs tend to be smaller, local businesses. Mainstream media is often priced out of their budget because it is directed at an overly broad market.

Direct mail marketing allows a company to focus on a very specific group of dog owners and cat owners that fit their demographic profile.

A good mailing list provider can help a small business narrow a pet owner consumer list with the right demographics. This will save money in postage and printing – because you are only sending your advertising to people that will be the most likely to want what you are selling.

Some of the criteria commonly used to narrow a pet owner list include:

  • Adults without children
  • Presence of children and their ages
  • Household income
  • Homeownership
  • Active lifestyles
  • Interest in “Green” living
  • Type of cars they own or might be likely to buy next

Mail lists allow you to be very specific on the geographic area that you want to target.

This can be achieved in several ways; specific towns and zip codes, full states or counties and even a radius distance from your business.

Direct Mail Marketing can also be used to widen your exposure on Facebook!

Using many of the same selectors above, you can target a group of active Facebook users that own pets. Sending a postcard with a special offer if they visit your page can be an effective way to increase your social networking buzz.

The Pet Owners Mailing List is a highly targeted, accurate file that can help increase your marketing ROI.

ListAbility is a mailing list broker with the expertise and quality data to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing, telemarketing or email list. A better list will pay dividends with the savings you garner in printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!

866-446-2055

Tags: Direct marketing strategy, direct marketing list strategies, Social Network Marketing, Marketing to pet owners