Lunes, Oktubre 21, 2013

Off the wall direct mail ideas that improve your response rates

Letter Carrier Delivering Mail
Letter Carrier Delivering Mail (Photo credit: Smithsonian Institution)


When the mailbox is overflowing with non-descript junk mail and mailers from every store in a hundred mile radius, it can be hard for your direct mail piece to stick out. If you’re finding yourself struggling more and more to find some sort of “hook” to get potential customers engaged in your direct mail pieces, see if any of these ideas provide a creative spark for your next campaign:
  1. Give them something real. I work in the marketing world and a company that performs search engine link building sent me a piece of direct mail that you could tell included something solid. Inside was a small plastic “chain link” and an attached note that said “the first link’s on us”. The added bulk to the mailing certainly grabbed my interest and I not only opened the envelope, I called the company later that week.
  2. Use a sticker. Yes, something as simple as a sticker giving the recipient a call to action can greatly increase your response rate. Making a colorful, noticeable sticker that ties to some sort of requested action inside (“What rate makes you want to buy? Fill out this form on our website for information on how you can lower your rate.”) This sort of call and response marketing provides some benefit for the user to perform an action and gets them engaged.
  3. Go big. How can you intend to stick out when your mailing is the same, size, shape and color as everything else that comes in the mail? Invest in something bigger, whether it’s a manila envelope or something even larger. This will add to the perceived importance of your mailing piece, so make sure you give them your best on the inside to maintain that interest.
Looking for some more ideas or insight on direct mail? Check out these links:

Huwebes, Mayo 30, 2013

Increasing Sales Commission with Grids

Society
(Photo credit: ultrakml)


Grids? One of the ‘aha’ moments we had when developing Focus happened when we were trying to come up with a visual representation of a sales pipeline. We know that a lot of you already keep your deals in a spreadsheet (and an early version of a Focus-like tool existed on a spreadsheet, too) so we were aiming to present information in a format that wasn’t completely alien to your normal way of working. At the same time, however, we wanted to convey both a sense of moving deals through the pipeline and of how the pipeline looked from a forecast point of view at any given time (something I learned while working under Michael D'Antonio of Impatto). We wanted to make sure you could open Focus and at a glance tell where you were in relation to your sales target. The answer was….. grids.

If you take a look at the Focus screenshots you’ll see we built a screen split into unique sections. On top of that, we made sure that certain sections were colored to clearly differentiate areas of the pipeline. Not every grid is shown in the screenshots but the red sections indicate your funnel - the deals waiting to go into your pipeline; the yellow sections are top line deals over which you have little or no influence; and the green sections are the deals you can directly influence - these are the deals included in your forecast. You can read more about how to decide in which grid a deal should sit in our Buying Process guide.

What makes Focus so good is that you can simply pick up a deal from one grid and drop it in another, either because you’ve successfully moved the deal closer to winning or because you want to see what difference the change makes to your target and - more importantly - your commission.

Grids make it easy to see where you are and easy to see what needs to change to improve your position. We like our grids.

Lunes, Nobyembre 5, 2012

Oh Professors


Well folks, I’m finally finished with school and in for a break now. In the meantime, much has happened, although most of the things that have happened are insignificant…so I won’t belabor the fact.
On to the topic at hand … a few thoughts that were started by a post from Caleb, my fellow blogger over at Conservative Textbook. Caleb discussed the outrageous activities of one Prof. John Daly (actually, now newly-resigned Prof. Daly). After reading a bit about this guy, and comparing him to our very own CU professor Ward Churchill, a question came to mind: What should be done with these chaps?

I’m serious: what really should be done with these professors? Obviously, many people don’t like them. They make the news often because of their radical, crazy beliefs. Their “peers” (fellow fascists) come out and defend their unreasonable talk by throwing up the all-encompassing smoke screen of the First Amendment. In the end, sooner or later, people forget about them, and they go back to their normal lives, teaching communism and other radical anti-American ideas. This spring, when I was working as an aide for Colorado Rep. Matt Knoedler, I heard a number of comments by legislators about possibly cutting funds to CU, calling for CU to fire old Ward, etc, etc.Get the old government in there and smash a few things up. That’ll teach them to talk down the good ‘ol USA!!

While the idea of government stepping in and “fixing” the matter is plausible, especially when government school professors are the creeps in question, I think there is a different way to solve the matter. In essence, I’d like to go about another way. Here’s why: If we the people start calling for our government to fix problems, we will get ourselves more government than we really want. Let me explain. How do governing officials fix things? By writing laws. Yes, the judges don’t write laws, but they have effectively taken upon themselves to dictate what’s law or not, so that counts. Anyway, if you ask the government to step in and fix each little situation that the American people does not like, you may find life getting worse and worse for the average individual. That, and it’s virtually impossible to kick communist, islamofacist profs out of the schools when the Dems are in charge (like in Colorado, for instance).

So, what’s my solution? Well, I’ll answer that with a question: DO the American people think this is such a problem? Seriously, if America as a country held strongly to the beliefs upon which we were founded and understood the responsibilities that accompany the rights we hold, would THEY, as Americans, tolerate this kind of junk coming out of our higher education classrooms, where the supposed “future of America” is learning how to live, work, and think? I say no. I think we are deceiving ourselves. We hear about incidents with folks like Prof. Daly and Prof. Churchill, and we say, “Eeww, yuk! Why am I paying my tax money for him to spew all that nonsense?” Yet, what do we do about it? We call for the money we gave to the government to be spent some other way. Listen up, folks! It’s the government’s money now. They can do with it AS THEY PLEASE, and when politicians come down to spending the money…well, you know all about politicians and money.

Anyway, our way of showing that we strongly disagree with these whacked-out professors is to tell our government that we want better teachers because we can’t tolerate that stuff coming out of our universities. Why not do something stronger. I believe that if the American people really acted and lived on principles and standards, they would put Ward Churchill and others OUT OF BUSINESS by not enrolling for their classes. In essence, boycott the junk. The way to kill a bad professor is to stop feeding them fat, healthy American students. And I hear people out there saying, “Well wait, Johnson!You can’t do that! The class is required for my degree!” Hah! Then DON’T GO TO THE COLLEGE. “But, but, other people will still go to the professor’s classes!” Yes, but what will they turn into? Honest, successful, law-abiding, hard-working, patriotic Americans? I doubt it. Let’s fix the problem by keeping our money and our minds away from the junk in college and really focusing on finding new ways to get our educations without polluting our minds and supporting the junkie professors.

I know this method works: why, because the most successful implementation of it is called HOME SCHOOLING. If we can do it through high-school, why not keep it up through college? Yes, I know your mom can’t teach you the high level college science and math classes, but you can use other methods. For starters, take a look at doing CLEP tests for a lot of the credit and applying to Thomas Edison State College. Thomas Edison allows you to create a hybrid degree by granting credit for everything from classes you took at your community college to your experience at a great internship. I’d recommend getting the hard stuff (science, math, etc) out of the way in a community college or something and then figuring out your religious and political beliefs on your own and testing out (CLEP, etc) of those philosophy, political science, psychology, and religion classes.

Okay, so, let’s say we get our piece of the Americans under control and holding strong, principled beliefs. Good. Now what about the rest of the nation? Well, here’s my radical idea. Agree\disagree if you like, I don’t care. I believe that America was founded on Christian principles, and that it’s laws were written for those who live by standards that are strongly based on God’s Word. John Adams said it best: 
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

So anyway, my solution is really to go out and witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Christianity) to our fellow Americans, to change their hearts. Yes, I seriously mean that. You can work all you want and try to get a good guy into office, but his job is to represent the people.If the people he is representing want a country where immorality has free reign, where God is mocked, where the rich history of our forefathers is throw to the dust, and where child sacrifice (abortion, literal rampant sacrifice of the lives of babies to the false religion of humanism) is rampant, then your candidate will probably not hold office very long, much less get elected in the first place. Just as a warning, when a society is run by sin and immorality, that society will be destroyed.
Take a look at the ancient cultures that used to be in Central America. The Mayans and the Aztecs, the Incas and others: they were amazingly advanced in science, math, and technology. As we know, their architectural skills were outstanding. Yet look at this: they turned from God (yes, the world has descended from the 8 people who got off Noah’s Ark), and created for themselves a lifestyle of wicked immorality and worship of the earth and their own gods. They built their society around sacrifices: sacrificing their children to pagan gods in the most horrific manners. And is there one Aztec or Mayan person around today? No! They were completely wiped off the face of the earth. Yes, we know from history that they were killed by the diseases brought by Europeans, but what is that but the Providence of God bringing judgment upon a wicked, wicked nation?

So there you have it: my idea for political revival in America. It’s basically spiritual revival. Whew! This has been a long post. Yeah, it probably sounded like a bunch of rambling… that’s what it was. I’ll probably have more to say later. In the meantime, I’m currently on a business trip to Florida (lucky me), so my posting may be sporadic as usual (what a surprise!). Have fun and go think about some of this stuff.

Lunes, Agosto 13, 2012

How The Internet is Changing Shopping

Gnomo online shop 2012 abajoGnomo online shop 2012 abajo (Photo credit: √°lvarozarzuela)The Internet is the greatest invention. Many people think of the internet as a place of entertainment. It is not only a source of entertainment but also a fantastic place of commerce.

When buying electrical appliances and whitegoods like LCD TVs, Plasma TVs or kitchen appliances like a refrigerator or rangehood, it’s always better to research online about the product. Not only can a prospective buyer find product reviews and ratings, it is also much simpler to compare prices of products in the comfort of their own homes without travelling. Equipped with all the research, the online shopper can be confident in making the purchase.

Shops are incredibly jam-packed during the holiday season. Parking can also be a major task, not to mention the non-cooperative weather. Snow, ice and large holiday crowds can turn a nice shopping trip into a annoying event. LCD and plasma screen TV?s are becoming rather larger and cumbersome items. When purchasing them in a store, one needs to balance his or her research as well as lift the item into the shopping cart, weave it through the store, load it into the car, and then transport it into the house. When handling with an appliance that people can’t lift alone like fridges or cooktops the task of shopping at a store becomes even more intimidating. An online shopper clicks on add to cart? and home delivery comes naturally.

Just like the brick and mortar shops, online shops have sales and promotions too, making it cheaper and easier to buy things online. Take for example gift cards: You can either go to your local store, and pick and choose between 10-30 gift cards and hope you find the perfect one for the person you're buying it for. Or, you could Google online gift cards and pick and choose between thousands of options, all of which compete against one another for your purchase decision. delivery is reduced or eliminated. Not only do online shoppers save themselves some stress and get fabulous deals, they get ?early bird specials? in the comfort of their own homes.

Hidden amongst pictures of cute cats and streaming music, the internet is a bustling world of commerce and it’s all focused around convenience.