One-Two-Three Punch Marketing

Printed material is just as important today as it was before the Internet. With sp*a*m getting out of hand, it's a wise choice to rev up, update or create printed material, ads, catalogs, direct mail, press releases, letters, templates and the like.

You will notice that I didn't add brochures to this list. Brochures are not a good investment for a first piece. When someone asks for a brochure and you don't have one, this doesn't mean you ignore their request. Worse scenario, you may run wildly around using up a large portion of your year's marketing budget completing one.

If you move or update your materials frequently, it isn't wise to spend thousands of dollars on new material. Here are a few alternatives. You can use a professionally created folding business card as a main document. Another option to expensive letterhead is to print your own in a two-pass process. Use a color printer in the first pass for your logo and use a black and white pass through for the content. Use Kinko's if you don't have a color printer ( At Kinko's you can send them a file via Internet, have them print the color portion on high quality paper.

Mailing out a marketing piece weeks after your first contact is too late. When opportunity knocks, be ready. Timing is everything. If you don't, the extra time allows them to solve the issue on their own, or change its priority.

It is always preferable to have a serious phone discussion even before an in-person meeting. If they don't show up for the call, it is easier to recoup your time, and it indicates they aren't ready to buy. All you need to do is follow-up lightly to remind them to contact you when the time is right. Send them a newsletter, template letter, or flyer and not expensive material. People generally toss items they receive on the first punch. Save the best for a time when the punch is more effective. Multi-follow-ups show them that you aren't a fly-by-night going-to-fad-in-the- next-few-months provider.

Giving too much information early in the marketing process overwhelms customers and jeopardizes the sale. It makes them nervous about you. This is, of course, if you are selling services or products worth more than whatever your market considers discretionary.

Instead, create a call to action to get them to visit your web site periodically, send them an "I'm still here for you when you are ready" note, or a printed copy of your latest newsletter or ezine.

Selling a product? Send an oversized post card or direct mail piece. The direct mail piece needs to use an "I'm- following-up" language and not a "you-never-met-us-yet" dialogue.

Have template letters, Word or Act, ready to go with a few clicks. Design them so the first or second paragraphs are easy to add a personalized follow-up dialogue.

When you drive along the same route and one day you spot something that seems new, only later discover it's been there all along you are pleasantly surprised. For even when we seem fully awake, many things pass our radar. .

In marketing, it is the same experience. We don't see something that's been there until something happens and wakes us up. The seven-times rule, a proven marketing principle, is the "you have demonstrated credibility" and "I now see you" model. The seven-time rule applies whether the main marketing draw is a web site, networking, direct mail, or a combination. People who don't like to sell stop after the first or second punch.

Printed materials do indicate credibility and quality counts in most cases. If you post your brochures at your State's visitor's center, you will see that they stand next to many similar ones. What stands out are the one-half page black and white flyers or the like. In this situation, the plain black and whites get the attention of many. It is important to know how, when, and where your materials are going to be viewed and be represented.

For mailings, this doesn't mean send the best stuff first and let it do the sale for you. No, no, no. Printed material seldom makes the sale. It's just another contact point. First punches are either tossed or buried in some stack.

If your price is under $100, send them to your web site. Over, send them material for added credibility. This also depends on the target market value of your price. If your market considers $500 a drop in the bucket then credibility perception changes.

Interview past purchasers. Find out when did they first take notice and how many before they took action. Was it when they received a certain number of contacts? Always. When did the need make it a priority. Create a list of the triggers and look for those signs in future contacts. Model your follow-up program accordingly.

In several studies, 92% of the purchase makers cited that letterhead, envelopes and business cards where the major factors in how they rated creditability.

Credibility can be lost if your material includes careless mistakes or omits vital information. In the buyer's perspective, all the answers need to lead on how they can feel confident about your service or product and how it solves their need.

One of my services is printed material and web site analysis. After reviewing 294 brochures, I found 81.5% of the information dancing around solutions instead of commitment to direct and clear solutions. Non-commitment is the biggest sales destroyers. Don't send them material about X when they inquired about Y. If it doesn't answer Y, it's tossed. And you have 30 seconds to 3 minutes to complete their question. Long sales letters demonstrate commitment in receiver's minds because of the thought and care it took to create and address their challenge.

Also, don't send Y, with the "I think we need to offer this because we've received a few inquires lately even if it's off our path" feeling. If you are unable to fit in the time to write a letter explaining how and why you can provide Y, then pass it up. This may be a "good" opportunity but not be the "great" opportunity you truly want to attract.

If, on the other hand, their issue isn't clearly understood or known, then you're asking the horse to jump the fence without knowing how height. It's a wasted effort and you can lame the horse. Don't mail it with an "if it works, okay, if it doesn't oh well" energy. This gives the impression that you weren't listening. A big strike against you. Usually one too big to overcome.

For service businesses, it is best to complete your first contact verbally and follow-up with printed material once or twice, then verbally, then twice, etc. Give prospects the 1-2-3 punches if you have the answer. Be honest if you don't provide what they are seeking. Don't adjust and accommodate because sales are down for the month. This is a disservice to your customer and your business. This will diminish assets later. Share the wealth; earn a life-long customer, and new collaborator with your referral.

Catherine Franz is a Marketing & Writing Coach, niches, product development, Internet marketing, nonfiction writing and training. Additional Articles: blog:

A Look at Brochure Printing Services

A brochure can be a wonderful promotional tool for a wide range of professionals, but... Read More

Itchin For Some Nichin

The whole idea of Niche Marketing is exciting! The possibilities are endless, as there are... Read More

CRM System: Give Meaning to Your Data

A customer relationship system (CRM) system uses technologically-driven strategies to assess customer needs and buying... Read More

How to Booste Your Profit Quickly

There are so many competitions by running business. So you must do something in a... Read More

Metaphysical Marketing

The foundation of success is in your mind. You do not need to struggle, seek... Read More

To All Internet Marketers - How To Get My Business?

More and more people are realizing that the Internet offers great potential to set up... Read More

Do You Have This Important Tool in Your Marketing Arsenal?

Many business owners do not understand the authenticity and validation that a simple toll-free number... Read More

Direct Mail - Dont Assume, Just Test and Track

Where to Start:Most novice marketers have definite fixed ideas about direct mail that are way... Read More

How to Write a Fundraising Thank-you Letter for Example (Includes a Free Sample)

Thank-you letters are one of the most important letters that your non-profit mails to donors.... Read More

Supply And Demand And Marketing

According to Dough McCormick, Chariman and CEO of iVillage, Inc, "Technologists focus on supply but... Read More

Are Your Marketing Efforts Working...Or Could They Use A Little Help?

Marketing is a broad business subject that encompasses a range of activities including advertising, public... Read More

Stretching Your Marketing Dollars--7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Market on a Budget

Just because you have to stretch your marketing dollars doesn't mean their effectiveness will... Read More

Customer Lifetime Value - The Key To Maximizing Your Profits!

The greatest asset to your business is your Customer, specifically, your Customer Lifetime Value.In my... Read More

Five Most Common Mistaken Beliefs About Joint Venture Marketing

Apart from being the fastest, easiest, and most profitable strategy for attracting clients and boosting... Read More

Take My Commitment (to Your Biz) Quiz!

Starting and managing a successful small business takes time, energy, money and a HUGE commitment.... Read More

Telemarketers Dont Like Them? Heres An Idea For Ya!

Telemarketers... ooohhh... I'll bet we've all got a nice story to tell about these guys... Read More

How To Get Your Prospect To Take Action

There's really only one thing that separates Image advertising from Direct Response. Image advertising just... Read More

Target Marketing: The Bell Curve

Finally, Something You Learned In Math Class Makes Sense In Real Life.Okay, here's the day... Read More

Trade Show Promotions That Are Memorable

If you have been to expos and trade shows as an attendee like me you... Read More

Trade Shows Are Not a Waste!

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (the trade association for trade shows), industry... Read More

Pre-Cleaning and Updating Addresses in Your Database

When you send a direct mail piece using the Addressed Admail reduced postage option, it... Read More

Postcards Work

What's the fastest, simplest and cheapest way to promote just about any business?The answer is... Read More

Everything Youve Ever Learned About Marketing Is Wrong

Everything you've ever learned about marketing and advertising is WRONG. Everything you've ever heard... Read More

Defining Moment

Do you know your audiences? I mean really know them. I've just been working... Read More

Marketing Operations Elevates Public Relations and Communications Professionals

Is your marketing department taking advantage of MOM and MRM? Do you have BAM... Read More

Creating And Maintaining A Mailing List

Starting to collect proper information to create a mailing list is not difficult,... Read More

Write Better Web Content

If you're reading this article, chances are that you, like most professionals these days, understand... Read More

Can Message Board Marketing Work For You?

One of the things that makes the Internet fun is all the message boards and... Read More

Flesh Eating Spiders And Other Marketing Horrors

After a friend was bitten by a spider, I decided to do some research to... Read More

Keeping Pace with Business Marketing

Today's business marketing rules are different than they were in years past. Those rules... Read More

4 Steps To Increase Your Job Sign Marketing

It's no secret that using a job site sign can be an effective way to... Read More

9 Highly Effective Marketing Tips

Here are 9 low-cost but highly effective marketing tips to help you boost your... Read More

Five Joint Venture Marketing Skills A Small Business Owner Must Have

Joint venture marketing is a lucrative way of leveraging the assets of two or... Read More

The Secrets of?

A lot of advertising and mailings promise to reveal the secrets of something. Most of... Read More

Packaging Trends You Cannot Overlook (part #1):

1) People are buying in smaller quantities. Our busy lifestyle keeps many people from eating... Read More

Top 7 Tips for New Businesses

The marketing decisions you make for your new business are the most important part... Read More

Logo Facts

What makes one logo better than another?Simplicity.A good logo works in the simplest form. It... Read More

Breaking The Voice Mail Barrier

Even if you never place a cold call, you still have to reach people by... Read More

Online Communities - A Marketers Wildest Dream and Worst Nightmare!

Online Communities are all over the Internet and attract lots of visitors which make them... Read More

Commercial Collections By Telephone

The telephone enables a credit manager to make many contacts in the shortest period of... Read More

The Importance of Business Marketing

Business marketing is one of the most important parts that your business needs to... Read More

Tradeshow Booth Cures - Living Color

Feng Shui is the Ancient Chinese practice of configuring home or work environments to promote... Read More

To Swag or Not to Swag: Tip to Brand Your Tchotchkes on a Shoestring

It's interesting to see how resourceful people become when starting their own business. Especially when... Read More

Image is Key to Your Marketing Success

In virtually any business first impressions are lasting impressions. Most people have heard this statement... Read More

Marketing Without Ego

Our ego can get in the way of marketing our business. From our need... Read More

Mortgage Marketing - Viral-Email, Referral Marketing Strategy

This is a devastatingly powerful way to extend your marketing reach. For this to... Read More

What Your Customers Want

Your customers don't know what they want. And to assume otherwise is folly. When you... Read More

How Much Is Your Popcorn Worth? Powerful Lessons In Marketing & The Psychology Of Selling - Part 4

Let's continue to discuss the various marketing principles that are involved in "popcorn ... Read More

A Jack Of All Trades Is Often The Master of None

You've heard variations of that saying your entire life. Consider: a marketer to all markets... Read More

Deciphering Marketing Lingo: Whats the Difference between a USP, Single Message and a Tagline?

Maybe you've heard these different marketing terms, maybe you haven't. Either way, let me... Read More