When Is EDDM Right for You?

EDDM (every door direct mail) has gained in popularity. EDDM, as defined by the USPS, is designed to help you reach every home, every address, every time. You can map out a target area, use demographic data (e.g. age, household income, and size) to select a delivery route, choose a mailing drop off date, and pay online—all from your computer. And, you can create your mailings up to 30 days before you plan to mail them. Simply enter an address, zip code or city and state for your target area to get started. Sounds great right? So how do you know if EDDM is right for you?

EDDM (every door direct mail) has gained in popularity. EDDM, as defined by the USPS, is designed to help you reach every home, every address, every time. You can map out a target area, use demographic data (e.g., age, household income, and size) to select a delivery route, choose a mailing drop off date, and pay online—all from your computer. And, you can create your mailings up to 30 days before you plan to mail them. Simply enter an address, zip code or city and state for your target area to get started. Sounds great right? So how do you know if EDDM is right for you?

EDDM is right when:

  1. Your Business can Appeal to a Large Number of People:
    In other words, since you are selecting a geographic area that has a wide variety of people in it, you will need to be offering a product or service that most of them want or need. A few examples of broad appeal are dry cleaners, restaurants, general stores, delis, lawyers and other small business in local neighborhoods.
  2. Small Business:
    The reason that this works better for small businesses is because they do not have marketing departments or people who can handle more complex direct mail campaigns, nor do they have the budgets for them. Small businesses benefit from the ease of use and low cost of postage with EDDM

So, if EDDM is right for you, you have a couple of choices. EDDM Retail is designed for the small business to do it all themselves, while EDDM for BMEU is for a commercial mail service provider to do it for the small business. The benefit of having a mail service provider is that you can mail more than 5000 pieces per day and they can help you avoid problems with design, paper stock and any other issues you encounter. If you need help finding a provider you can visit https://mymailconnection.com/ to find one.

One of the key benefits of EDDM is all the space you have on the mailer to put your compelling message, add coupons and drum up interest in your business. You only need to leave enough room to fit the Postal Customer info and the indicia. This means on an 8.5 x 11 sheet you get to use almost all of the 11 inches. Take full advantage of the space with great graphic design. Make sure that your offer is clear and concise so that it is effective. Coupons are a great way to introduce people to your business and an easy way to track your responses. Even with EDDM you need to know what is working, so finding ways to track who is responding and with what coupons is very important. The only way to continue to improve your response rates is to know what works and what does not.

EDDM can be a great way to get into direct mail for small businesses. It is not cost prohibitive, can be done by the business if they wish to without too much trouble and allows for more room to advertise. Take advantage of EDDM and find a cost effective way to market your small business to potential customers near you. If you need any help with design, copy or have questions about EDDM a mail service provider near you can help.

The 10 Rules of Social Media Marketing Engagement

As the social media landscape grows with both mainstream and specialized sites, so will the creative ways to communicate to friends, followers and fans. Although the current social network behemoths are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, other venues like Pinterest and Google+ are also carving out a niche for themselves. And MySpace still has a strong foothold amongst the younger demographic. But don’t forget that social marketing isn’t just for networks. Forums, chat rooms, message boards and blogs are the granddaddies of Web 2.0. These venues are where socializing and interacting in communities originated. Some call it old school, others an untapped resource when used correctly in your online marketing mix. However, before you starting posting away, it’s a good idea to know the “best practices” that help make up a successful social marketing program.

As the social media landscape grows with both mainstream and specialized sites, so will the creative ways to communicate to friends, followers and fans.

Although the current social network behemoths are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, other venues like Pinterest and Google+ are also carving out a niche for themselves. And MySpace still has a strong foothold amongst the younger demographic.

But don’t forget that social marketing isn’t just for networks. Forums, chat rooms, message boards and blogs are the granddaddies of Web 2.0. These venues are where socializing and interacting in communities originated. Some call it old school, others an untapped resource when used correctly in your online marketing mix.

However, before you starting posting away, it’s a good idea to know the “best practices” that help make up a successful social marketing program:

1. Be Aware. Get to know each community’s rules. Each site (network, forum, blog, chat room and bulletin board) has its own set of rules—many you have to agree to, if you read the fine print, when you sign up for membership. If a site has a specific area for promotional or marketing messages, keep posts of this nature restricted to those areas. If rules dictate what type of messages are allowed (such as no overtly self-serving, defamatory, illegal, elicit or pornographic material), follow the rules. Any deviation will prompt a warning by the site’s moderator or immediate ban from the site.

2. Be Active. Don’t be a “hit and run” marketer. In other words, don’t just go in a few times and hit members with your marketing message then forget the site for weeks or months at a time. Get involved. Participate in discussions. Interact with members. Read and respond to engaging posts with no hidden agenda. Involvement encourages interactivity and interactivity solicits followers and reinforces credibility within the community.

3. Be Relevant. Some “rules” are not imposed, but is common sense if you’re a seasoned marketer. Targeting your message to the right, relevant audience will prompt better results. Make sure the community and site itself are synergistic with your goal, target audience and message. Also, ensure you’re posting in sub areas of the site that are relevant to the topic you’re discussing. Many forums have segmented subfolders by category and interest level. This granular dissection to your target audience helps the members easily find the topics they’re interested in and keeps you from muddying the waters in unrelated areas of the site.

4. Be Genuine. Posts that are contrived, unrelated and have a hidden agenda can be seen a mile away. Let the conversations flow organically. Contribute real, thought-provoking comments that members will find interesting. Talk to your audience, not at them. Not every post has to be a marketing message.

5. Be Useful. As a social community member, your goal is to participate in intelligent, useful discussions. Make sure you’re adding value to the site in some way. Your comments should also be valuable to the readers and not random posts. Nothing gets under members’ skin more than messages that are blatant spam.

6. Be Subtle. Many marketers embed their entire message with URLs to whatever page they’re trying to drive traffic to. If a community allows links in your post, use them sparingly. Less is more here. Some sites even have rules about not allowing links in the body copy of a post, but keeping them only in the auto signature field where your username is. Links should be relevant to the post (such as a great article that you want to share with members—then enclose the link so they can read for themselves).

7. Be Balanced. Mix up your messages. Not all your posts have to be promotional (and they shouldn’t be). Hang out in the community. Read other posts. Get to know the members and the site. See which areas have topics and discussions that vibe with you. Mix up your posts. Find balance with the editorial and marketing messages. The idea is to provide value and engage.

8. Be Informative. Be aware of what’s happening in your area of interest. Be able to have intelligent discussions about different news, events and publications under your subject matter. If you see other related articles that you think members would find interesting, even material from other publishers, share the knowledge. After all, that’s ultimately what social media is about.

9. Be Personable. Develop relationships with the community on both a “friend” and an “expert” level (for your area of specialty). Let your personality and credentials shine through with the information you share. Offer free expert advice. Share funny stories. Have witty discussions. Start to truly develop a memorable presence and bond with the community members. This helps your posts stand out in a whirlwind of background noise that passes readers each day in their news feeds.

10. Be Respectful. Don’t spam your fellow members. Some social communities allow users to post their email addresses on their Profile pages. This could lead to a flurry of unsolicited emails from social marketing barracudas who use this personal information for their own self-serving purposes. Remember, just because an email is posted on a user’s profile page doesn’t mean that person opted in to receive solicitations, promotions or similar email communications. Sending unwanted and unsolicited email is spam, plain and simple. Don’t exploit community members’ personal information.