Direct Mail Still Works For Lead Generation

You probably wonder why when you go home to your mailbox everyday and open it up there’s dozens and dozens of postcards and other direct mail pieces sitting waiting for you everyday. If you’re like me you’re probably tired of having to weed all that junk mail out and drop it straight into the recycling bin before you even get inside the door of your house. Well the cold hard fact is that companies spend a lot of money on direct mail because it works. Direct mail is still a great way to get to specific prospects with a specific offer and this is no less true in the B to B space than it is in the B to C space.

Companies that put together compelling offers, purchase the proper lists and have a strong letter or piece of ad copy can still generate very respectable response rates from direct mail campaigns. Many companies use that as a tool in order to generate first level leads into their system that they can then nurture along through email campaigns or telemarketing; they can be qualified through telemarketing.

Other companies use direct mail in order to approach companies that they want to market to and warm them up to sales calls. You can target personalized letters to the executives that you want to reach inside your target prospect company and then following up with a direct sales phone call with the goal of selling an appointment and getting in front of a customer.

So direct mail still has it’s place in the overall marketing mix and a lot of people have become disappointed or desensitized to the power of direct mail but when it’s done right a combination of a great list, a great offer and great content direct mail can drive new leads into your companies door that will help you to accelerate sales.

Rules For Designing a Trade Show Exhibit

You must constantly bear in mind the real function of your trade show exhibit and weigh each idea to see how it contributes to reaching your goal. Look at the function of your exhibit. What is it trying to do? What are you trying to achieve through its use? It makes a difference in your design thinking whether you wish to demonstrate a machine in operation to the widest possible audience, or if you expect to limit attendance in your booth to a very few important customers. Will you be doing a hard sell to anybody who stops by?

Collect the facts!

It is a waste of time to go ahead with a design, never mind construction, of a trade show exhibit whose purpose is to obtain new dealers; to be faced with a comment by senior management that what is really needed is to identify a newly acquired product or service. The Sales Manager should realise right from the beginning what the exhibit is being planned to do.

The Exhibit and the Show Visitor:

Ideally, the design should attract every individual whom the exhibitor considers a prospect. The question can be stated as simply as this: “How do you design a trade show booth so you get the best results at various trade shows?” And here results mean telling your product story to more of the people who count in closing the sale.

Here are ten rules for designing a trade show booth:

1. It’s a trade show … so show them: A show is exactly that…a show. It is not an advertisement – it should be your product in action! The visitor becomes immediately involved with your product because he or she can see it, touch it, handle it. The exhibitor has a great opportunity to act on all five senses of the visitor. Don’t throw this opportunity away. Don’t expect the visitor to show himself, you show him!

2. Build your exhibit around your product: Some exhibitors are more interested in building pretentious displays than in showing the products that they house. Do not look upon a show as an architectural competition. This is always a mistake. Keep your focus on your products, that’s where the visitor’s interest is.

3. Make your trade show exhibit easy to understand: Show visitors want facts about your products and, they want them quickly and in convenient form. Visitors are enthusiastic about booths, which display products in orderly, logical sequence. Products should be clearly identified detailing their characteristics, specifications and applications. Don’t take your product for granted. Remember, the visitor may be seeing it for the first time.

4. Don’t confuse the visitor: The exhibitor whom uses unusual sound effects; razzle-dazzle displays or costumes often creates the impression that he is trying to conceal his product. Good lighting, decoration, booth dress is always relevant to the product.

5. Show a maximum number of products: Show a maximum number of products: Don’t just show a limited number of sizes or models. Visitors like to see the complete line. Show actual products – not just photographs of them. You can’t show too many products.

6. Demonstrate your product: Visitors find static display boring. They like dynamic displays; they like to see the product in action. Concentrate on one or two product features. A good demonstration is simply tangible proof of the claims you make for the product. A good demonstration convinces the visitor that your product is all you claim it to be.

7. Show product applications: The visitor will ask the fundamental question: “What will your product do for me?” Show him what it has done, is doing, for others.

8. Encourage audience participation: It’s great to be able to prove your product’s superiority to your visitor. It’s even better when you can get him to prove it to himself. Don’t hesitate to let your visitor participate in your demonstration. If it’s impractical, at least let him handle your product. The visitor has five senses. Get as many of them involved in your product s possible.

9. Give him or her samples: All visitors like samples. Some visitors like souvenirs. Give them samples, if possible. Souvenirs don’t do any harm, but they usually don’t do any good. Admittedly, not all products are subject to samples, but a great many are. The difference between samples and souvenirs is that the souvenir is generally not relevant to the product. Let your visitor take your product back to the office in the form of samples.

10. Give the visitor good technical information: This subject is big enough for a booklet of its own. It’s still a matter of opinion as to whether literature should be distributed at the show or sent, after the show, to the visitor’s office.

Sometimes it’s impossible to stock a sufficient supply of literature for a multi product exhibit. But it’s always possible to have samples of available literature on hand. At least you can show the visitor what he is going to get. He wants factual literature, not advertising blurbs. Visitors want complete specifications: dimensions, materials, finishes, speeds.

One-short show flyers end up in the waste paper basket. Distribute literature with solid, factual, technical information – or – don’t give out any literature at all.

Tradeshow Exhibiting Success

When it comes to deciding if tradeshows can be an effective marketing tool for your company or business, a careful analysis of the landscape and return on investment potential is in order. To be or not to be, that is the question. Where? On the tradeshow floor of course.

If the results of your analysis prove that the benefits of investing in tradeshows are worthwhile, the first thing you want to do is decide what show you want to exhibit in and sign up for the show. The sooner you do the better your booth location could be. You know what they say about location, location, location.

Next, your focus should shift to the look and appearance of your tradeshow exhibit booth.

The most important aspect of your trade show displays is the design, look, and feel. In other words, what can you incorporate into your design to get that all-important attendee to stop in front of your booth and give you the opportunity to open up a dialogue with them? Remember that you have about three to six seconds to accomplish that. And that is the main reason that you are there.

Be creative and unique. Do you want to have a simple display with detachable eye-catching graphics that can be changed as needed? Or, do you want to have a printed fabric display that sets up in five minutes and already has your graphics image on it? Be sure your company name stands out. Think about lighting it up.

Do your products require counter space? If so, make sure that the counters or pedestals that you choose are Velcro compatible for signage purposes. You should always incorporate at least one counter or table for your lead generation machine and brochures. Consider an imprinted throw cover with a slogan or product name on it.

Maybe a person of interest, like a model or a magician would draw more traffic. How about popcorn? Everybody loves popcorn and you can smell it all over the tradeshow floor. Perhaps you can design a costume or uniform for your employees to wear to compliment your look.

Do you want to spend any money on promotional items that have your company name and or logo printed on them? If so, be wise with your selection. Lots of giveaways wind up being discarded after the show.

What are your goals for the show? Do you want to get new leads, orders from existing customers, announce a new product, just show your presence, or something else? Be clear on what your goals are and do everything you can to achieve them.

That includes making sure that everything required for your booth is accounted for, especially the show manual. After you sign up for the show, mark your calendar to remind you to look for your show manual.

Once you have your manual in hand, go through it page by page and make a checklist of what resources you need. Take advantage of early bird discounts. Especially, shipping to the advance-shipping warehouse. Get your forms in early.

O.k. So you’ve decided that tradeshows are for you and you’ve done everything from the design of your booth through submitting all of the required forms to the decorator. What’s left?

Sending the right people to the show. This can be as important as everything else that you’ve done up to this point. Why? Because if you want to get the best results possible, you need to send the best spokes person for your company. Everything depends on them and their communication skills.

In my opinion, attitude is king. Having the right personnel at your booth can be the difference between having a return on your investment or coming back empty handed without any new leads or orders.