News Archives - AMF Direct LLC

Email Marketing Pros and Cons

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Email MarketingIf you need to manage an inbox as part of your professional duties, then there are some days when it feels like that’s all you do. We all have emails that get deleted without ever being read. Because this is so common, email marketing efforts are often set aside. Our prospects are doing the same thing we are with emails, right?

Sometimes the risk of including email marketing into an integrated campaign is very much worth the reward that may be received. Both the advantages and the disadvantages must be considered.

The Advantages of Email Marketing
It expands the brand awareness. Even if the only thing a prospect sees in the business name and the email subject line, an organization has just enhanced your brand saturation rates. This helps them to remember the initial value proposition you offered them.

It offers an organization the chance to prove their expertise. Eventually a value proposition must become real value. Email marketing helps to provide evidence of that real value.

Good content shares itself. When a prospect discovers something profound from an email, there’s a good chance they will share it. Why? Because they get to offer others value because of their contact with an integrated marketing effort.

The Disadvantages of Email Marketing
There is a chance it may never been seen. Spam filters are very powerful today. Even if an email is on a prospect’s safe list, it could still get filtered out if they don’t open up an email every now and then.

It can be difficult to provide a personal experience. Email marketing must approach an entire list of prospects. This often means the email feels like it was created by an automated messaging machine. Avoid this and the results can create compelling action. 

Only one subject material can be offered at a time. There is a temptation to include everything being offered within an email on the chance it gets opened. Content that is subject specific and 250 words or less tends to create the best results.

Email marketing is an easy way to approach prospects with an enhanced level of expertise. It creates real value, but only if there is an effort to create compelling action. Implement these key points and the quality of leads that get generated will improve.

Direct Response Marketing

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Direct Response Marketing PostcardsAmong the many types of marketing techniques used, direct response marketing is not commonly used, yet it is recognized as a very effective form of marketing. It urges the viewer to respond immediately to the ad. Unlike other ads, ads that fall under direct response marketing do not restrict themselves with just gaining recognition and building a reputation, but get to the sole purpose as fast as possible. That is, they encourage the user to buy their product.

These ads have a “call to action” approach which makes the user want to pick up the phone, or go online, and directly call the advertiser in order to buy their product. Just as the name suggests, direct response marketing makes the buyer directly respond to the ad. It is a very simple concept, but it is not commonly preferred by advertisers.

Features of Direct Response Marketing

Direct Response marketing ads are more illustrative and stress about the brand name and the product. Further, they are also very repetitive about the features of their products. Towards the end, they give out a contact number or email to which the buyer can respond to, in order to know about buying the product. These ads provide a detailed description of their product, which is normally not the case with other ads. Including repetition and detailed descriptions, these ads are slightly longer than regular ads. In print and through media, these ads give a discounted price for a few days and urge the viewers to buy the product before the offer ends.

How to Plan a Successful Direct Response Ad Campaign

  • Be honest- You do not want to convince your customers into believing something that is not what your product is about. Building trust will prove beneficial when there are several other products under your brand name that are waiting to be sold.
  • Be clear and crisp- Convey the purpose of your products clearly. Give all the required details that your customer needs to know.
  • Freebies- Who doesn’t love free gifts? Add a free gift to your product and make sure you mention the price of the free gift. People like knowing the value of a product they are receiving freely.
  • Rope in existing users- Honest reviews about your product by existing users is something that will add to the buying quotient.

In addition to these, a successful ad campaign also needs to be something that is catchy and will run in the minds of viewers even long after they have seen the ad. So get creative and unique with your ideas and exhibit them through your ads.

Content Building: A Step Towards Gaining More Traffic

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Content BuildingWhat is Content Building?

Content building refers to the process of adding creative writing, pictorial representation or other kinds of visual content to your site or business. If you are an online shop, content building means adding descriptions of products and creating blogs for forums. However, if you are an online magazine, content building for you would be adding news stories and articles with pictures or videos.

How to Build Content

Written content accompanied by pictorial representation is the most common method of content building. For this, you need to decide on what to write about and come up with a format for the same. You must make it a point to check if your article is unique compared to others. There will be a lot of articles on the same subject, but only uniqueness will make your article standout. You can go through a number of other similar articles to understand better and check what kind of ideas have already been used. This way you can make sure to not repeat the same information as others. Readers like it when a site is fresh and not clichéd.

You can hire content developers and content writers through online portals to get the job done. If you want to check for quality, all that you need to do is go through the content and check for plagiarism. Otherwise, you can also include guest posts to your site. This will guarantee traffic to your site.

How to Benefit from Content

Once you have built content for your website you are sure to get responses for your content or business if it has a lot of views. For this purpose, you must advertise your site either through blog posts or social media marketing. Setting up ads in your site can generate revenue for your site no matter how old the post is.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through Google Adsense, which is for showcasing ads on your site. Signing up for affiliate programs is another way to generate passive income. These programs will generate decent amounts of income if you have enough content and satisfying views. For this, you must make sure that your content is of high quality and provides the readers with what they want.

Content Building for Business

Content building for business establishes an online portfolio. You clients are more likely to check online about your business. Wouldn’t it be nice to present them with a good website?

While building content for your business, you must add your past experiences and clientele and any other possible credits that your business holds. Content building is similar to an office; except for it is a digital one. Your website is what your business is about. So it might as well be good and vibrant.

Branding – An Important Step Towards Establishing a Successful Business

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DuraWare BrandingBranding is a lot different from marketing. While marketing provides details about your products and encourages users to buy them, branding portrays a product as the only solution for a problem. This is where the product name and its brand’s power come into play.

How to establish your brand through advertising

Establishing your brand image through advertising is only possible when a great deal of honesty is involved. Honesty about your product increases the credibility with your audience towards your brand. This in turn encourages them to buy products from your brand, just because it’s your brand. A fine example for branding would be the products of Apple Inc. Individuals go for their products mainly because of the brand.

Developing your brand image can take a lot of time or very little, depending on the target audience. If you convince your audience that your brand is always available in case of queries and handles them with the best solutions, then you’ve already made your way through successful branding. A majority of firms do not have proper customer care, which are negative marks according to users who need them.

In your ads, bring true testimonies about your products by users who are happy with the product. Assurance and reassurance is one way to gain the trust of your target audiences. Another thing one should remember is that, almost all products have reviews and comments on the internet. So it is advisable that you have a blog or a forum for each of your products and provide timely advice to your customers who need it.

Why is branding important?

Branding is highly important if you want to remain consistent with your business in the long run. Marketing and advertising heavily are mandatory if your brand is new. After your products have earned recognition and have gained the attraction of the audience, you need to work on retaining your customers. That is, you need to make sure that your customers are always yours and do not go for identical products from other brands.

This process will be a lot easier if you have established your brand among the target audience. An established brand is easier to advertise for. The brand has to work towards improving the products and can focus less on gaining customers. Reputation will spread by word of mouth and you will be gaining more customers with each of your product though your advertising techniques are simple, only when you have established your brand.

Four Proven Lead Generation Tips

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Lead GenerationThe failure of an integrated marketing campaign often lies within the lead generation strategy that has been implemented. Optimizing landing pages, testing content, and all of the other tips that you see today are worthwhile, but lead generation today must go to the next level. Here’s how you can make that happen.

#1 Use Different Offers
Organizations tend to use one basic offer for all leads. The goal is to create a “sales funnel” so that eventually a customer is created. Instead of forcing everyone into just one offer, consider creating a unique offer for each buying stage.

#2 Validate with Evidence
Eventually leads must give an organization personal information. They want to know a company isn’t going to sell their data to the highest bidder. Any security certificates, testimonials, and accreditation that an organization has earned should be included to set the mind of a prospect at ease.

#3 Continue the Journey
When a prospect clicks on a call to action, what should happen? Many would say the lead should go to a home page, a shopping cart, or checkout page. Continue their journey instead by sending leads to a targeted landing page that further reinforces the value proposition that generated the click in the first place. This will enhance the chance of a conversion.

#4 Let the Leads Do the Work
Today’s leads are internet savvy. There’s a good chance they’ve already researched an organization before contacting it. Give these leads the chance to continue with their research with targeted information and links that lets them see real results and feedback. By the time they are done, they may be ready to become a customer.

Above all else, keep testing everything. Refresh content from time to time so it doesn’t feel stale or outdated. When content is so good that people will want to share it with others, then lead generation becomes easy because prospects will create more prospects.

An integrated plan which includes direct marketing, email marketing, and lead generation techniques can give any organization of any size in any industry an opportunity to capture a larger market share. Get started today and we think you’ll agree that direct marketing is far from an old-fashioned practice.

Mobile Marketing – An Increasing Platform for Marketers

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Mobile MarketingMarketers these days are looking forward to more methods of developing their marketing strategies and it has worked most of the time, thanks to digitization. One of the newest and most commonly used methods of marketing is mobile marketing. With the number of smart phone users increasing day by day, mobile marketing has become an easier way of targeting audiences.

How it happens

Mobile marketing is similar to digital marketing. In fact, it can also be included under digital marketing. The idea however is, using the help of digital platforms to advertise and market a product. Have you ever noticed the ads that appear in certain apps and games? Ever wondered why an online shopping website was sending you discounts and coupon codes via SMS? They are all part of mobile marketing.

Pros of Mobile Marketing

  • It is instant: Since most of us are clinging to our mobile phones more tightly than our lives, it is guaranteed that we are always open to notifications. This is advantageous for advertisers since their sole aim is to get the message conveyed as soon as possible.
  • Responses are higher: Attaching a link to your product website or giving out the phone number along with your SMS will make it easy for the buyer to contact the advertiser in order to buy the product.
  • Easy to design: It is a well known fact that designing an ad campaign for desktop browser is harder than doing the same for a mobile platform. Mobile ads are easier to create and it is more preferred because the use of desktops and laptops for browsing has decreased considerably since the increase in the usage of smart phones. Ads that are designed for mobile screen sizes are not only cost cutting but also easy to design.
  • Analyzing success: Analyzing success of the ad campaign is easier. You can track the response of the ads easily and that gives you room to decide if you need to proceed with existing methods of advertising or change your methods.
  • Mobile payment options: They add to the buying quotient. Smart phones and finance options available through the internet make it easier to sell your product. Including a “buy now.” option makes it easier for the audience to understand that your product is available instantly.
  • Apps and Games: One-liners that appear at any part of the screen attract users and increase the chances of advertising your product. They are more likely to view your ad if it is catchy or the offer is too good.

Customer Service that Doesn’t Make Sense

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Poor Customer ServiceI own a multi-media direct marketing agency and have a practice of hiring outside contractors to work on specific projects. Most vendors come to me by recommendation, networking or word of mouth.

Here’s a case study on how an independent contract should not behave.

In November I started a new project in television media and I asked around in the community for a person to provide post production services for me. It involves transposing the raw recorded footage and editing it, under my direction, to create a 29 minute show for TV, YouTube and QuickTime.

I contacted this person, agreed on his price per hour without negotiating, and we began. The work is arduous and time consuming, but we made each session pleasant. I brought lunch and he supplied coffee. The goal is to finish each show at the end of a multi-hour session. Then I accept delivery in 3 formats and I pay for the services as provided. In a 2 month time period, I paid over $800 to this vendor and brought lunch for us to share.

As time went along, the quality of the work got worse in small increments. I pointed out specific items to fix. The vendor fixed them, his error, and then told me I have to pay for his extra time. I learned that after many years of working with this software, he didn’t know how to use the technology and had no knowledge of how to treat a customer. Then he only wanted cash instead of my check for tax reasons.

When the biggest mistake occurred that cost me time, money and embarrassment, and I called it to his attention, he sent me a text that he quit and told me not to call him again. I said that I paid for the project and he has to fix it and deliver it. Then he went to a few people and started trash talking about me, the good paying and pleasant customer.

Does this make sense? Absolutely not. Did he appreciate and properly service his client? Absolutely not. Will he make any more money from my progressively growing account or get referrals? Absolutely not.

So, there are certain people that should not be in business, because they have no quality standards, they don’t want to learn, and will leave a long line of unsatisfied customers. My lesson learned is pre-screen a vendor carefully, get referrals, seek out a few resources, and hire carefully. With that diligent process you will end up satisfied and have a vendor that will help you to be successful.

Crisis Communications for Restaurant Owners

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Restaurant ReviewTraditionally, public relations media is something that every business owner will seek. It’s used to raise awareness of your business in the media and approval of third parties, through your good customer service, excellent products or community donations for your brand or significant insights.

Crisis communications turns everything upside down, since the business owner is then challenged to deal with negative media. From the moment that “bad press” hits the news – in print, TV, online or social media or word of mouth – you must focus on diminishing damage to your company’s reputation by third party sources. It’s the opposite of a referral or testimonial.

Some examples may be a bad restaurant review, health department closure, murder at your restaurant, employee walkout, or even unappealing behavior by the owner such as sexual harassment or arrest.

If something like this should happen to your restaurant, you must act quickly. It will not just go away; it will resonate with your existing and future customers.

Here are three key actions to perform to get your business back on track.

Take ownership of the situation. Designate a spokesperson, someone who will be the calm and actionable face of the company. When you are forthcoming about either what you did or what you’re going to do to prevent the problem from happening again, the public is less liable to be angry or disgusted and give you a “second chance.” An apology goes a long way.

Act immediately and issue a statement as stated above. The sooner you react and respond, the faster you deny this crisis the chance to move out of control. This will assist in making this bad event news flash into yesterday’s news.

State your knowledge of the matter and correct information. Be exact in your statement about what happened, and state your actionable solution, step by step. For example, “We have identified the problem ABC, and are now working in XYZ manner to immediately rectify the issue. We appreciate your patience and continued patronage.” In a crisis, people fill in stories with their own suspicions and hearsay. Take away that conjecture with facts and swift actions, and then there is no place for the rumors to go.

If you are not sure about what to do, contact a public relations or corporate communications specialist (such as myself). They will advise you properly and guide you to a swift resolution. The cost is very minimal compared to the business you will lose and may never recoup.

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