Anyone Do Direct Mailings?

Business By littlecake Updated 29 Aug 2009 , 9:50pm by indydebi

littlecake Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 6:29pm
post #1 of 16

i've been thinking of it...just to target the peeps who make over 100k a year in my area.

the list would cost a couple hundred bucks...my friend has a photography biz, and this has worked pretty well for her.

15 replies
indydebi Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 6:56pm
post #2 of 16

I actually just talked to a direct marketer two days ago. October is National Cookie Month, so I'm wanting to do a mailing to promote the cookie idea.

I think the key is a good mailing list, which is why I'm using a professional marketer, who can narrow down the mailing list to the demographics I'm looking for.

I have a caterer friend who told me she did a big mailing once and got a $100,000 catering job from it. I said, "Oh wow, you must have been so excited!" She said, "Excited enough to do a second mailing!" icon_lol.gif

littlecake Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 7:55pm
post #3 of 16

good deal!my friend gave me her source for the listing. i'm pretty excited about doing something new to bring in the higher end clientele...i'm getting tired after 8 years of doing a million cakes to make the overhead. (it seems like i keep getting more calls asking if i take food stamps...ugh).

i'm trying for a higher end look, so i ordered some pink cake boxes...they were more expensive...but i love em!...i was thinking i need something else to help me brand my lil cake place.

Etta1025 Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 2:13am
post #4 of 16

Direct mail is my life! I've been creating direct mail pieces in my day job for over 12 years. If I had a cake biz, it would be one of the first forms of marketing I would invest in. It can be well worth your while if done right. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. As Debi mentioned, a good list is key. If you're not mailing to the right people that have an affinity for your product, you're wasting your time.

2. The creative is also very important. You don't want people to take one look at the piece and throw it in the trash. The most important element is the outer envelope (or front of the postcard, front of the brochure -- whatever the customer will see first). If it doesn't raise their curiosity enough to get them inside where all the "real" info is, then it isn't doing it's job.

3. You MUST, MUST, MUST include a benefit to the customer. If you send out a generic type of flyer that just describes your business and shows some cakes... well, it may be pretty, but it probably won't get you any new customers. People have the "what's in it for me" mentality, so tell them -- right up front in BIG, BOLD letters -- exactly what's in it for them. This could be in the form of a FREE cupcake or cookie if they bing in the direct mail piece the next time they visit your shop, a 10% discount if they book an order by a certain date, a FREE, FRESH anniversary tier if you make their wedding cake, a FREE smash cake if they book their child's first birthday cake. Notice I'm saying FREE alot (always in caps)? It's considered the most powerful word in the english language, so use it!

4. Create a sense of urgency and include a call to action. "HURRY! THis offer expires on XX/XX/XX!" "Our calendar fills up quickly, so reserve your date NOW!" Anything that makes them pick-up the phone and call you soon.

5. Make sure the piece meets postal requirements, and know the costs involved. $200 to rent the list isn't bad at all, but remember, you may have to pay someone to write and design the piece (if you don't want to do it yourself), and you'll have to pay for postage. If the piece is not a standard postal size or requires special handling, it will be much more expensive. So just make sure you have it setup right from the start. It will save you headaches down the road.

Hope this helps!

indydebi Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 2:26am
post #5 of 16

Etta, you are definitely a pro! The guy I talked with said those exact same things (1 thru 4). Item 5 is why I'm using a pro instead of doing it all myself. He knows the sizes, the postage savings, all the little ins and outs. He complimented me on some of the ideas and suggestions I had, but I told him I've worked in sales & marketing but not in direct marketing, so if he promised to rely on me to make his cakes, then I'll rely on him to market my mailers to the right folks! icon_biggrin.gif

Etta1025 Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 2:40am
post #6 of 16

Oh, and one other thing... don't overwhelm the customer. You don't want to be too wordy. People lose interest fast. It's not the time or place to give them every detail of the pricing structure, the ordering process, etc. You can direct them to your website for that or go over it in the consultation. Pick out a few key points that you want to convey and focus on those.

Good luck!

panchanewjersey Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 3:02am
post #7 of 16

Wow Etta when I go pro I'll call you! I hope you can help. It'll be awhile before I call though (no money), hope your still in business then. lol

sweet-thing Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 3:06am
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

i've been thinking of it...just to target the peeps who make over 100k a year in my area.

the list would cost a couple hundred bucks...my friend has a photography biz, and this has worked pretty well for her.




How on earth do you know if someone makes over 100k?

indydebi Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 3:32am
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet-thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

i've been thinking of it...just to target the peeps who make over 100k a year in my area.

the list would cost a couple hundred bucks...my friend has a photography biz, and this has worked pretty well for her.



How on earth do you know if someone makes over 100k?




You buy a mailing list from a direct marketer who has a data base full of addresses. I met one guy who told me if I wanted to target diabetics in a particular zip code under the age of 25 who were engaged, made over $50k a year, and had one blue eye, then he could get me a mailing list for that!

THese guys are awesome.

sweet-thing Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 4:04am
post #10 of 16

That is Crazy!! My husband was just telling me that when you fill out all those little info cards like surveys and such, and they ask if your salary is between this or that, they just go and sell that. Amazing what people can find out about you and make money off of!

Etta1025 Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 4:21am
post #11 of 16

Yep, there are big companies dedicated to collecting demographic info about people. They know everything about us -- not just how much people make, but our ages, relationship status, race, things like favorite foods, what we spend the most money on, books we read, movies we see, magazines we subscribe to, hobbies, where we vacation. It goes on and on. Sounds scary, huh? Then again, that's what marketing is all about. As a cake biz owner, you can pull a list of people you live in a certain area, have gotten engaged in the last 3 mos, have a budget of $x dollars for their wedding, and are expecting X amount of guests. Definitely helps you target the right customers!

littlecake Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 4:27am
post #12 of 16

oh YAY!!!!...i'm really excited now! THANX ETTA!

i have the name of a pro designer i'm gonna use...thanks for the info...i will be using it, bring the postcard in and get 10% off your first order!

my friend targeted peeps that made over 150k a year and had elementry school kids....she got 30k worth of orders done in 1 week...(i'm in the wrong biz lol)

sweet-thing Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 4:35am
post #13 of 16

Amazing! icon_eek.gif But it is good for business! Thanks for all the info!

korkyo Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 4:54pm
post #14 of 16

Has anyone ever tried Vista print for this idea? I've thougth about that. They can target certian zip codes in my area and send those for me. I'm just not sure it's going to have too many that just go to waste.

Where do you find that kind of contact and how doyou know your not being snowed by someone feeding you a line of BS?
icon_confused.gif

cylstrial Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 9:48pm
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etta1025

Direct mail is my life! I've been creating direct mail pieces in my day job for over 12 years. If I had a cake biz, it would be one of the first forms of marketing I would invest in. It can be well worth your while if done right. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. As Debi mentioned, a good list is key. If you're not mailing to the right people that have an affinity for your product, you're wasting your time.

2. The creative is also very important. You don't want people to take one look at the piece and throw it in the trash. The most important element is the outer envelope (or front of the postcard, front of the brochure -- whatever the customer will see first). If it doesn't raise their curiosity enough to get them inside where all the "real" info is, then it isn't doing it's job.

3. You MUST, MUST, MUST include a benefit to the customer. If you send out a generic type of flyer that just describes your business and shows some cakes... well, it may be pretty, but it probably won't get you any new customers. People have the "what's in it for me" mentality, so tell them -- right up front in BIG, BOLD letters -- exactly what's in it for them. This could be in the form of a FREE cupcake or cookie if they bing in the direct mail piece the next time they visit your shop, a 10% discount if they book an order by a certain date, a FREE, FRESH anniversary tier if you make their wedding cake, a FREE smash cake if they book their child's first birthday cake. Notice I'm saying FREE alot (always in caps)? It's considered the most powerful word in the english language, so use it!

4. Create a sense of urgency and include a call to action. "HURRY! THis offer expires on XX/XX/XX!" "Our calendar fills up quickly, so reserve your date NOW!" Anything that makes them pick-up the phone and call you soon.

5. Make sure the piece meets postal requirements, and know the costs involved. $200 to rent the list isn't bad at all, but remember, you may have to pay someone to write and design the piece (if you don't want to do it yourself), and you'll have to pay for postage. If the piece is not a standard postal size or requires special handling, it will be much more expensive. So just make sure you have it setup right from the start. It will save you headaches down the road.

Hope this helps!




Wow! Thanks for all the info!

indydebi Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 9:50pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by korkyo

Has anyone ever tried Vista print for this idea? I've thougth about that. They can target certian zip codes in my area and send those for me. I'm just not sure it's going to have too many that just go to waste.

Where do you find that kind of contact and how doyou know your not being snowed by someone feeding you a line of BS?
icon_confused.gif




You know how we're always saying that word of mouth is the best advertising? It works the other way, too. I sent an email to a number of my "contacts", asking them for a referral for a direct mail marketer. I rec'd 3 names back to me and I contacted them. I knew my friends wouldn't refer me to a bad resource! thumbs_up.gif

Networking .... it's a GOOD thing! thumbs_up.gif

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