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Will Direct Mail Work For Your Small Business?

Will direct mail work for your small business?

Darcy Lefebvre is a marketing consultant with RP Copywriting

Darcy Lefebvre is a marketing consultant with RP Copywriting

Darcy Lefebvre, RP Copywriting

Surrounded with ever-evolving online communication tools and technology, direct mail seems to have been left in the dust. That being said, there’s still room for direct mail in most small business marketing plans – if it’s done right!

 

The benefits of direct mail

The most obvious advantage of direct mail is that your message physically gets directed to a real person. Your brand is in their hands! People are much more likely to open and read a letter that comes to their mailbox than peruse an email in their inbox.

Direct mail also gives you an excuse to check back with a potential client so that those “cold calls” aren’t quite so chilly. Other benefits include being able to easily measure your campaign’s rate of success and target your market quite specifically.

Try Canada Post’s Precision Targeter to select demographics, property types and specific delivery areas.

 

How to create a direct mail campaign that works

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6 Steps To Your Best Writing Ever

6 steps to your best writing ever

People often compliment me on my writing. Sure, it’s mostly my wife and my mother-in-law, but still. The point is, great writing – however loosely you define that term – doesn’t flow from the keystrokes of enlightened scribes like so many lavender-scented rainbows from the backsides of flying unicorns.

Unlike unicorns, great writing isn’t magical; it’s actually quite ugly to watch. It’s type, delete, type type, delete, type, smash fist into keyboard, delete, type, sigh, go for more coffee. You can, however, ensure your writing is the best it can possibly be by following these six steps:

  1. Research – You can’t write what you don’t know. Before writing a single letter, find out as much as you can about your subject. Typically, the research phase makes up the majority of time our team spends on a copywriting project.
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4 Tips For Writing Money-Making Direct Mail 

4 Tips for Writing Money-Making Direct Mail 

Writing for direct mail isn’t the same as blogging, or writing the great Canadian novel.  Direct mail has a specific purpose – usually convincing the reader to hand over his or her hard-earned cash for your product or service – and there are proven techniques for making it work.

It would be impossible to explain all the intricacies of writing a winning direct mail piece, but here are a few tips to help steer you in the right direction:

  1. correspondenceBegin your writing on the envelope. A brief “teaser” on the envelope can go a long way toward persuading the reader to open it.  Because remember, zero per cent of all mailings that don’t get opened result in sales.
  2. Write about the reader, not about your company or product.  Sure, you do have to mention what it is you’re selling at some point, but do it in a way that emphasizes benefits rather thanfeatures.  For example, you’re not selling a shoe with an air-cushion sole; you’re selling relief from aching feet.
  3. Offer something for free.  “Order now and get my free report!”  “Let’s meet for coffee – on us!”  “Call now for a free trial!”
  4. Include a postscript (P.S.) where you re-state your offer.  Studies have shown that when people read letters, they read the salutation first and the postscript second.  So state your main benefit, your call to action and, if possible, some sort of guarantee.

To learn more about how you can use direct mail to turbo-charge your marketing, or if you’d like help with any of your marketing materials, click here to request a free consultation.

By the way, if you found this useful or interesting (or both), you may also want to read “How to Boost Your Profits With Direct Mail.”

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How To Write A Press Release That Gets Published

How to write a press release that gets published

MR_manKnowing how to write a press release is one of the best marketing skills a small-business owner can possess.

That’s because press releases (also called media releases or news releases) are one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business. They give you a chance at exposure in a variety of publications for a fraction of the cost of paid advertising.

The downside? Very few people know how to write a press release that will actually be used. Most media outlets, including local newspapers, receive hundreds of press releases every week. Most are awful.

Here are 10 tips to make your press release jump to the top of the pile:

1. Have something to say
If your press release doesn’t have a newsworthy angle, no editor will be interested. That your company carries 500 varieties of widgets isn’t news. That you’ve just developed 100 new varieties might be. That you developed them using a rare mineral unearthed by last month’s devastating volcano eruption definitely is.

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Comox Valley appraisal professional named head of B.C. body

 

Steve Blacklock, of Jackson & Associates Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants, has been elected president of the B.C. Association of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

Steve Blacklock, of Jackson & Associates Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants, has been elected president of the B.C. Association of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

Local professional appraiser (P.App) Steve Blacklock, of Jackson & Associates Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants, has been named president of the provincial body that designates and governs appraisers in B.C.

In October, the British Columbia Association of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC-BC) elected Blacklock to a one-year term at the head of the organization. The move recognizes his expertise in commercial real estate appraisals and his dedication to both his community and his professional organization.

“We’re incredibly proud of Steve, although none of us is surprised he was elected president,” says Dan Wilson, owner of Jackson & Associates and himself a former president of the Appraisal Institute of Canada. “He’s sat on the board of the AIC-BC for the last six years, and over that time he’s more than proven his value to the organization. He’s a real asset and I feel fortunate to have him on our team.”

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The two newest faces of Downtown Courtenay

 

Sudeera Gangodage and his wife Manoja recently opened Ceylon Cuisine & Spices on Duncan Avenue, one of two new downtown businesses.

Sudeera Gangodage and his wife Manoja recently opened Ceylon Cuisine & Spices on Duncan Avenue, one of two new downtown businesses.

From spicing up cuisine to spicing up men’s wardrobes, two of Courtenay’s newest businesses have added to the city’s already-distinctive downtown flavour.

Walker 24 Menswear and Ceylon Cuisine & Spices have been embraced by the downtown business community and promise to draw even more customers downtown by offering their own unique products and other offerings.

“As a business owner, it’s important to surround yourself with great people and we just can’t say enough about our location and wonderful neighbours,” says Doug Walker, who recently opened Walker 24 Menswear with his son Brett. “We’re so happy to be here on Fifth Street.”

The owner of a local Mazda dealership for 20 years, Walker understands the importance of location in the success of a new business.

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Tofino Bus rolls into Courtenay and beyond

Tofino Bus Service isn’t just for Tofino-bound passengers anymore. The Island-owned company has taken over all Vancouver Island bus routes north of Nanaimo and has expanded service on established routes from Campbell River to Victoria.

Tofino Bus Service isn’t just for Tofino-bound passengers anymore. The Island-owned company has taken over all Vancouver Island bus routes north of Nanaimo and has expanded service on established routes from Campbell River to Victoria.

Don’t let the name fool you — Tofino Bus doesn’t just go to Tofino anymore.

As of October 1, Island-owned Tofino Bus Service has taken over all Vancouver Island bus routes north of Nanaimo and expanded service on established routes from Campbell River to Victoria.

With its new “All-Island Express” service, Tofino Bus now offers the largest scheduled bus service on Vancouver Island. Comox Valley residents will benefit from more frequent service – three times daily – from Courtenay to Campbell River, Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver – allowing for earlier morning and later evening departures.

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Courtenay funeral provider helps bilked Powell River family

Eric Toneff, of Toneff Funeral Services, provided a free headstone to a grieving family left in a lurch by another funeral provider.

Eric Toneff, of Toneff Funeral Services, provided a free headstone to a grieving family left in a lurch by another funeral provider.

A grieving Powell River family has received some solace after Toneff Funeral Services in Courtenay offered to provide a free grave marker after the family was left in a lurch by a now-defunct funeral provider.

Last fall, Robert Dufour paid Westcoast Funeral Services of Powell River more than $650 for a grave marker that never materialized. After dealing for months with what he calls “lies and excuses,” he says an email from Toneff Funeral Services owner Eric Toneff was a breath of fresh air.

“He reached out and basically said he didn’t like how I was treated or that someone in his industry had completely failed me,” recalls Dufour. “He said he wanted to look after our needs and agreed to supply a marker for no cost.”

“This is the kind of regrettable situation that gives our industry a bad name,” says Toneff. “So when I found out the family had paid for but never received their headstone, I made arrangements to have one supplied.”

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