Pop Quiz: Best Marketing Method?

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We hope your pencils are sharpened, because today we have a pop quiz for you. Don’t worry, it’s painless. One question.

Ready?

What’s the most effective marketing method?

 

☐ A. Radio

☐ B. Direct mail

☐ C. Internet and E-mail

☐ D. Television

 

Okay, time’s up.

Pencils down.

The correct answer is…

 

☑E. All of the above.

 

I know, I know. You’re probably saying, “Hey, that’s not fair! That wasn’t even a choice.” And you’re right. We cheated. But be honest, it’d have been way too easy if all of the above was an option. It’s always all of the above, right?

We wanted you to think about each individual method and the unique advantages and disadvantages they present. Because yes, while one is better than all the others, the real lesson here is the power of using multiple marketing methods at the same time.

the real lesson here is the power of using multiple marketing methods at the same time.

You need to reach your target audience on multiple fronts to really send home your messaging. We’ve talked about the importance of exposure rate many times before, but if you need a quick refresher – the more someone sees your message, the more likely they are to act on it.

And if they’re exposed to your messaging on different platforms, they’re less likely to tune it out. People tend to be either auditory learners or visual learners, so relying on just one marketing method can be inefficient.

Using multiple methods of marketing can be more costly, but are you actually saving money if you’re not reaching the people you need to reach? Because when it comes to marketing, there’s really only two options:

☐ A. you reach them.

☐ B. you don’t.

Take all the time you need on that one, folks.

A Little-Known Mailing List Could Be Your Best Source For New Customers

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The US Census estimates that nearly 36 million people move every year. And with an ever-increasing population, that number is only going to rise.

That’s a lot of mailboxes.

And as I’m sure you know by now, wherever there’s a mailbox, there’s an opportunity for marketing. What you may not know is that there’s something called a New Movers mailing list that, as its name suggests, specializes in targeting people who’ve recently moved.

There’s many industries and professionals who can take advantage of this information:

  • Doctors and Dentists
  • Plumbers
  • Pest control services
  • HVAC installers
  • Dog walkers
  • Interior decorators
  • Pizza delivery
  • Landscapers
  • Maids and cleaning services

And that’s just to name a few.  Really, it’s about getting creative and understanding one simple fact – people who are new to an area are typically looking for new resources. If they haven’t had a chance to fully explore their new surroundings, and if they’re in need of whatever it is you have to offer, it’s very likely they’ll go with you.

In fact, statistics suggest new movers will spend more in three months than people who are settled into their homes will spend in five years.  Let those numbers sink in for a second.

There are those who are skeptical about using direct mail in today’s digital age. But the evidence is clear: direct mail works.  Especially when someone is just moving into town. They may not have their computer unpacked or their Internet installed yet. But they’ll have a mailbox.  And they’ll be anxious to see what you have to offer.

Consider these facts:

  • direct mail is tangible and it creates a personal connection
  • when you reach out to someone new to an area, they’ll feel welcomed and appreciate you for it
  • new folks love seeing mail pop in their new mailbox, so they feel good about you right from the start

New Movers lists are inexpensive and they’re pretty easy to come by.  Most mail list brokers rent them on a subscription basis.  You can receive weekly updated names and addresses that allow you to periodically send off batches of mail with your welcome offer.

And that’s the secret to making the whole thing work: your offer.  You only have one chance to make a great first impression, so  make sure your mailing  includes something enticing — and something that the recipient can act on. Offer a free calendar with local landmarks, a discount coupon, a free home inspection.  How about a free magnet with important local phone numbers?

The best part about reaching out to new movers is that you’ll connect with people who are the most open to hear what you have to say.  Make the most of that opportunity with something they’ll appreciate.  Start laying the groundwork for relationships and referrals that can last for years or decades.

Be one of the first to reach their mailbox.

 

 

Healthcare Marketing Discovers Life In The Mail Box

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Healthcare marketers face one insurmountable reality: that timing is everything.

Deliver the right ad on the wrong day and your potential patient simply hits delete or turns the page.

Thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem.

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Postcard magnet mailers.

The postcards have all the informative benefits of traditional direct mail, but it’s the attached magnets that are the real game changer. Why? Because magnets stick around. And unlike traditional direct mail, magnets have a practical purpose beyond their offer.

When an orthopedic surgeon sends out postcard magnets and someone without any back pain receives one, they’ll still have a use for it. They’ll use the magnet to pin their grocery list to their fridge or filing cabinet. And a few weeks later, when they throw their back out because they tried carrying too many shopping bags at once, guess who they’re probably going to call?

if you’re involved with healthcare, you should be involved with postcard magnets.

Doctors and healthcare providers are beginning to realize the power and potential of postcard magnets.  Here are some ways healthcare marketers are using them:

  • Primary care doctors are announcing the grand-opening of their practices
  • Dentists are sending out annual updates and cleaning reminders
  • Sports physicians are promoting pre-season physicals

And while these healthcare professionals’ specialties and approaches may vary, they’re all experiencing similar results – an increased awareness among their local communities, fuller waiting rooms and big booms in business.

Still need convincing? Here are 3 more reasons why postcard magnets are great for healthcare marketing:

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1. Scope

As far as advertising mediums go, you’d  be hard-pressed to find one that’s as flexible as postcard magnet mailers. You can send out 250 to one particular neighborhood, or you can send 1,000,000 across the country. The dosage is entirely up to you.

 

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2. Focus

Because postcard magnets utilize mailing lists, you can be incredibly targeted with your approach. Sure, you can blanket an entire area – and sometimes that makes perfect sense. But you can also pay a little extra to hone in on specific segments. For example, if you’re a pediatrician, you can target households with children. If you’re a plastic surgeon, it might benefit you to reach out to more affluent individuals with higher incomes.

Regardless of who you want to focus on, the important thing is that you’re able to. It’s this quality over quantity approach that usually pays off big. Other forms of advertising might be able to get you and your message in front of more people for less money, but if those people aren’t interested or in need of what you’re offering… what’s the point?

 

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3. Reach

While digital methods are new and exciting, the fact is most organizations can reach only 40-50% of their potential customers via e-mail. A lot of people still prefer the personal connection and tangibility that comes from receiving physical mail.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying postcard magnets are the be-all end-all solution to marketing. In fact, they can work best when used in tandem with other media. If you have billboards or online ads, postcard magnets can further cement your place in the minds of potential patients.

The more ways they’re exposed to you and your services, the more likely they are to visit. Exposure is everything.

But it in the end, it’s all about results.

If your healthcare magnet is positioned on somebody’s refrigerator, who are they most likely to contact when a need arises?

Six months after your postcards are mailed, new patients will still be walking in your door.

And you can relax, having solved that ‘insurmountable’ healthcare marketing problem.  You, and a one powerful little magnet.

 

For more information on postcard magnets for your healthcare organization, please call us at 800-233-6690.  Or visit us at magnetbyMail.com .

 

Why Use Tangible Advertising In The Digital Age?

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It seems like everything is going digital these days. Netflix replaced video rental stores, mp3s replaced records, and for many people, tablets and smartphones are replacing their daily newspaper. So why spend time and money designing physical promotional materials — like customized mugs, pens and magnets — when you could just send an e-mail at a fraction of the cost? Surely tangible advertising is outdated too, right?

Wrong. Today there’s a great opportunity for physical advertising, precisely because digital has become so popular.

For one, home mailboxes aren’t as cluttered and bombarded like they used to be. Don’t get me wrong, consumers still aren’t interested in junk mail. But that’s the beauty of most tangible items: they’re not junk. They’re useful goods with a real purpose.

A well designed postcard with a magnet attached is more akin to receiving a small gift, instead of an inconvenience like most other forms of advertising. The perceived value is much higher, especially when compared to an e-mail. Everyone knows what an e-mail costs.

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Another postcard magnet advantage? E-mails aren’t a constant reminder. For most people, once they’ve read an e-mail (assuming they read it at all), that’s the end of that. They delete it, or it’s pushed down by waves of new e-mails, never to be seen again. With postcard magnets, your message is there to stay.

Once your magnet makes it onto the fridge or the filing cabinet, the odds are pretty good it’ll be there for a  long time. And if it’s there for a long time, it means your target audience is going to be exposed to your messaging over and over again. We know that on average, most people need to see a message six times before they feel compelled to act.

Do you think that’s going to happen digitally?

 

you can’t feel an e-mail.

 

Finally, when you’re considering what method of advertising to use, remember this: you can’t feel an e-mail. For many people, a tactile experience goes a long way towards creating a connection to whatever it is they’re trying to understand. By feeling something with weight and texture, the senses are activated in a way they simply wouldn’t be by merely looking at a screen. When the mind realizes something exists in the real world as an object, it suddenly gains more priority and importance.

These are just a few of the many ways time-tested postcard magnets can be superior to their digital counterparts.  How about you? What kind of advertising do you find yourself responding positively to? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

5 Tips to Get Your Magnet on Their Fridge

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By now I’m sure you’ve realized how awesome postcard magnet mailers are. They’re powerful promotional pieces with proven staying power, and the key to their effectiveness is their exposure rate. Once your potential client or customer makes the decision to use your magnet, they’ll be seeing your message often.  But how do you get them to make that initial leap? How do you get them to stick your magnet on a frequently visited sweet spot, such as the refrigerator or a filing cabinet?

Don’t worry. We have 5 helpful tips:

 What would YOU want on your fridge?

1. Be beautiful

I’m sure this one might seem obvious, but no one wants to put something ugly up on their fridge. If your magnet is poorly designed, cluttered, or if it features unpleasant imagery…guess what? It’s probably not going up. A well-designed magnet makes all the difference. Sometimes it helps to think of your magnet as art instead of advertising. What would YOU want on your fridge?

2. Be useful

If your magnet has information your customer perceives as valuable, they’ll want to keep it around. For example, magnets are a great option for Urgent Care offices because when a medical issue occurs, the last thing someone wants to do is extensive research. Likewise, if someone is getting ready to move, they’ll probably keep a moving company’s magnet around. A calendar of upcoming events is another great way to add some extra staying power to your magnet. People always appreciate convenient reminders.

3. Be relevant

Many people have a product that every household can use, but sometimes you’re selling something to a specific clientele. The beauty of mailing lists is that they can be incredibly focused. If you’re a moving company, you can get a list of people who have recently placed their home on the market. If you’re selling high end yachts, you can get a list of higher-income individuals. The possibilities are endless. The important thing is you’re getting your magnet into the hands of people who, well, could use what’s on your magnet.

4. Peel don’t seal

We’ve found the most successful magnet mailers are the ones that employ easy peel-off glue instead of plastic shrink wrap. Why? Well, for two very important reasons. First of all, in the past we’ve seen situations where the plastic shrink wrap fuses with the postcard, and when the recipient tries to remove it, it damages the magnet. Secondly, if the entire postcard is sealed in plastic, the recipient may not even realize there’s a magnet attached. Removing the plastic wrap is another step in the process, and the recipient might be inclined to just toss it in the wastebasket rather than deal with it. At magnetbyMail, we exclusively produce postcards with easy peel-off magnets for these reasons.

5. Size matters

Fridges and filing cabinets have limited real estate. You need to justify your magnet’s size. If you have a lot of important information you feel your customer needs to have access to at all times, such as a calendar of events or a big reminder of a specific date, a larger magnet makes sense. If all you need your customer to remember is your name and contact information, a business card sized magnet could be the more sensible approach.

 

And those are the 5 secret ingredients to great magnet mailers. Do you have any of your own tips? Or questions? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

Urgent Care Marketing

Photo by Adam Ciesielsk

There’s a new business model that’s finding its way into almost every community: the walk-in urgent care clinic.

Today there are over 8700 urgent care centers in the US alone, according to the profession’s association.

And since urgent care clinics are usually small, local and privately owned, they are much more entrepreneurial than their big hospital counterparts.  Where a non-profit hospital might be able to get along with minimal outreach efforts, an urgent care clinic couldn’t survive if the community didn’t use its services.

For the doctors who run these centers, effective urgent care marketing can be the difference between withering or prospering.

As anyone who’s been involved with a neighborhood business knows, there’s a short list of effective ways to build awareness in a community.  But attending Rotary Club functions, co-sponsoring soccer car washes, and managing the chamber of commerce open house will only get you so far.

Sure, there’s something to be said for making an investment to assure a prominent spot in Google, under “local urgent care.”  But even the all-powerful Google Search would likely not connect with most potential patients when it was time for urgent care.

What the urgent care doctor needs is the clinic’s phone number, street address, and maybe a web address, to be posted in kitchens and workplaces throughout the community.

The clinic could really use imprinted magnets in those homes and offices.

And that’s where our postcard magnet mailers come in.

urgentcare-magnet-mailersYou see, our postcard magnet mailer is a jumbo, full-color, laminated postcard, with a magnet attached. We mail them to a mailing list you provide.

Think of it as a delivery-vehicle with a mini billboard that finds its way into the kitchen or workplace, for the cost of a postage stamp.

And done effectively, the magnet positions the urgent care clinic’s message in full view, for weeks, months or longer, for less than the price of an iced tea.

At magnetbyMail we handle the details: printing, laminating, assembling, addressing, bundling and even the postal paperwork.  We can even help with the design and the mailing list.

This leaves more time for the clinic to tend to its patients.

And even though we’re a bit biased about our love for these magnet mailers, we think you could might come to agree that it’s pretty much the vitamin C of direct mail marketing.

 

Another practical marketing idea from magnetbyMail.com,  where healthy results are what it’s all about.

USPS NCOA Requirement

Photography by Chris Woods

In return for the discount postage rates it offers for First Class Presort and Standard Mail services, the USPS requires that both of these types of mail meet its Move Update standards. This is also called the NCOA processing requirement.

USPS NCOA processingThe Postal Service maintains a sizable registry of people and organizations who have recently moved; and it compiles this info in its National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Mailings that meet the Move Update standard must be checked against the NCOA database, and updated for any address changes.

This is good for mailers, since it helps ensure that addresses are up-to-date. And it’s good for the Post Office, since it minimizes the expense of handling all those bad addresses.

The downside to the NCOA requirement is that it costs money. And for a small mailer with a small list, an NCOA processing fee can seem just plain silly.

Luckily, the USPS provides two ways to avoid the NCOA requirement: Continue reading

Improving Direct Mail

photo by Nick Bradsworth www.nbphotos.net/

OK, the secret is out: the most important factor in getting better direct mail results is improving the quality of your mailing list.

This may not seem that surprising. If you’re using really good criteria to select your mailing list, certainly you would expect improved results.

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But a quality mailing list is more than the criteria you use to create it. It is quality content in terms of accurate names and deliverable addresses.

At magnetbyMail, we see hundreds of mailing lists each year — most of them are created by our customers who send them to us. They are usually lists of alumnus, subscribers, members, prospects or clients.

And many of these lists are full of errors that would cause the Post Office all sorts of delivery problems.

Now, the good news is that we’ll do our best to make the addresses deliverable. We’ll try to normalize and validate each address provided, so that it meets US Postal standards and matches an address that really exists.

But (although we try) we can’t do miracles. If you manage a mailing list of any size, you should understand some things about Normalizing and Validating an address, to ensure that your list is in tip-top shape:

Normalizing an Address

The Post Office wants to see addresses in a certain, normalized way. They expect an address with at least three lines of information: 1) Recipient Line, 2) Delivery Line address and 3) Last Line. For example: Continue reading

Chiropractic Marketing

Photo by Rabi Samuel

Good Marketing Ideas Make Good Practice

It turns out that a well designed marketing plan makes good sense for chiropractors.

Simply hanging the name on the door is no longer a viable option for most chiropractors.   By incorporating the strategies designed to help market other small, local businesses, chiropractic marketing plans help chiropractors maximize revenue for the given community they serve.

Here are five chiropractic marketing ideas that could benefit most any practice:

chiropractor postcard designsReferrals —  Your patients can be your best ambassadors.   Encourage patients to refer your practice to their friends and family.   When you discover a referral has been made, reward the referrer.   Send them a thank you card, give them a romotional mug or a certificate to a local business, etc.

Community Events —  Participate and display at local events.   Be available to explain what being a chiropractor is all about.

Maintaining Presence —  Advertise all the time, but on a very local basis.   Consider the local paper, shopper papers or mail circulars.  Since you can never predict when someone will look for a chiropractor, design your ads to be easy-to-find and easy-to-identify.    Mail a refrigerator magnet to everyone in your local area using a Saturation Mailing List (more about this below) using one of our Chiropractor Postcard Magnet Mailers.

Website —  A good website is more important than ever.   It needs to be professionally designed.    Not only does the site need to provide key information about your chiropractic practice and chiropractic topics in general, it needs to establish your authority as a chiropractic professional.   Also, make sure your designer understands SEO — a Google Search on “Chiropractor Your-Town Your-State” should deliver your website in the top of search results.

In Focus: the Saturation Mailing list

Sometimes the best strategy is to blanket an entire geographic area with your marketing message.   For example, a chiropractor marketing plan usually needs to focus on a targeted geographic area.   For this task, you’ll need a Saturation Mailing list.

A saturation mailing list includes all the deliverable mailing addresses in a given area.   It’s an easy way to ensure everyone receives your message.   And it’s affordable:  a basic list of 10,000 addresses, for one-time use, can be rented for about $100.

The basic saturation list is bare bones: it is addressed to “Occupant” or “Resident” at each address in the postal database. An option is to include the name of the head of household, if that name is available.

An added benefit of a saturation list is that it is based on USPS data and extremely reliable, so you avoid wasted material and postage by mailing to a bad address.

At magnetbyMail, we handle saturation mailing list campaigns for all areas of the US.  We make it easy: we print the magnet mailers, locate the saturation mailing list for your area, inkjet an address on each mailer, and prepare and deliver the mailing to the post office. All for less than the price of a bagel.

 

Another marketing tip from magnetbyMail.com, your source for chiropractor postcard magnets.

 

 

Running for Office

[ …Without Going Broke ]

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Poster at Zazzle

Every two years, political campaigns spring to life throughout the US.  Incumbants work to keep their seats against an onslaught of indignant wannabes.

If you’re running for office, you’re focused on the issues that are important to your voters.

But what are campaign managers focused on?  The same thing, right?

Not really.

Campaign managers are focused on issues like:  fund raising, scheduling, disclosure filing, and building name recognition.

If you can picture the circus entertainer who keeps a dozen plates spinning atop a dozen poles, that’s basically what a campaign manager looks like.

The biggest challenge for a campaign manager?  Making sure the candidate’s message is reaching voters.

Even if a campaign has lots of money to spend, which it probably doesn’t, getting out the message is not that easy.  In a matter of months, voters are bombarded with thousands of messages from candidates, local and national.

For example, in just one of the days leading up to the Iowa Caucuses in February 2008,  there were nine hours of TV commercials to promote the various Presidential hopefuls.

How does a campaign get its message out through all that?  What can campaign managers use to sleep at night?

Political postcard magnet mailers.

political campaign postcard designs“Oh, sure,” I hear you saying in disbelief.  How can something so small and simple do so much?

A postcard magnet mailer is an oversized laminated postcard with a magnet attached. And because its small and simple,  it’s become a useful tactical device for political campaigns…

  • each one is sent by US mail so it bypasses spam filters, and TV clickers
  • with the right design, it contains a useful and informative magnet, which can be kept in voters’ sight — on the fridge
  • the recipient is usually appreciative, which is good for the candidate
  • a magnet mailer costs under a dollar, and in many cases under 60 cents, including postage

So while opponents spend big bucks for a 30 second TV spot, a candidate can spend less than a dollar to receive coverage all day and all night.

That’s another tip from magnetbyMail.com — making campaigning affordable for all.  Check out our political postcard magnets online.