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Marketing Help

Old 10-03-2007, 08:15 AM
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Default Marketing Help

I know there are some great marketing folks on here, so I am looking for some suggestions.We have always grown our business via referrals, but now we want to drive some business via marketing.
We have had a dismal time hiring sales people and getting them to drive business, it seems cold calling, in the IT business, does not work very well.
Currently we are mailing letter in handwritten envelopes, which seems to get a small response. Today we are going to launch an opt-in email campaign.

Anyone have any other thoughts on stuff to try?

Thanks
Dean
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Marketing Help

What service are you selling and who is your market?
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Marketing Help

Sheila,
We are looking to promote and sell out offsite backup option. We put a device onsite that backups locally and then sends the data of site as well.

Our target is companies with over 50 employees, and it seems that health care and manufactoring are the best fits.

Thanks,
Dean
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Marketing Help

Hand-written envelopes look amateurish. They are also a contradiction for IT (Information Technologies?) services. Kind of like a paper company sending out ads written on bark.

Look into rates for ads and stuffers for trade publications for your target market.

Good luck!

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Old 10-03-2007, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Marketing Help

Not sure that I can offer you much in the way of marketing tips. I assume that you already have a website going.

I'm a DB Admin type for a LARGE corporation - one thing I can tell you is that if I received a letter from an IT business that was hand addressed, I would right off the bat not have a very good feel that this was a company I wanted to handle backups of my business critical data.

I mean no disrespect at all by that. Just letting you know from a "potential client" perspective. What's your pitch in the letter?
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:48 AM
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Looks like Kamper and I posted the same thing at about the same time.........
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Marketing Help

Email campaigns generate less response than direct mail. Direct mail can be very effective. A lot depends on the mailing list. You will need to get a good list broker so you can hit those most intended. After that you will need to look at design and concept. This often takes some trial and error (testing) based on your targeted audience. Being that you are probably looking at business executives and/or internal IT managers you can either go with the professional business must open look or go with the flashy check this out design. A good design firm can help you with layout and writing the text. Either way, going with odd sizes so it stands out in the stack of mail increase read rates. Multiple waves also help tremendously. You can also request the list broker to give you lists that include phone numbers so that you can do follow ups via the phone.

As far as salesman go, increase comission rewards and offer low base salaries. You want the hungry man not the salesman who goes from sales job to sales job living on the draw and lucky when the commissions come in.

(I have been an account manager for a printing and direct mail company for over 10 years now-)
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:16 AM
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Default RE: Marketing Help

The funny thing is we have had the most response from the handwritten letters. Because they get opened. Eveybody sorts their mail over the trashcan, if you send something that is printed out on the envelope with metered postage people know it is a marketing piece, and most of the times throw it away with out opening it.
We have paid for a good marketing kit that is targeted toward our industry so we have good pieces, and the handwritten letters work, but we need something else.
I will know in the next 2 weeks how the email campaign goes.

As far as sales reps, I think I have finally come to the realization that I have to hire someone that has been in Charleston for a long time and has a lot of relationships, because just cold calling is not very productive in the IT business.

Dean
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: Marketing Help

bellsisland - 10/3/2007 11:16 AM

The funny thing is we have had the most response from the handwritten letters. Because they get opened. Eveybody sorts their mail over the trashcan, if you send something that is printed out on the envelope with metered postage people know it is a marketing piece, and most of the times throw it away with out opening it.

As far as sales reps, I think I have finally come to the realization that I have to hire someone that has been in Charleston for a long time and has a lot of relationships, because just cold calling is not very productive in the IT business.

Dean
Agreed, hand written letters generally get the highest response rates. It just can be costly and time consuming to do internally. (the new fonts available are good but still dont completely look personal) .Sometimes the additional cost is worth but sometimes you are better served by hitting more potential clients with mass produced items.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:57 AM
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What referral sources are you using?

I assume your primary referral source is your client base -- which might be your best since it has a built in testimonial. Might want to consider some discount/finder's fee for your referring client if a new one latches on and stays. Have to look at your cost to acquire new business and then offer a fraction of that back as an incentive to your customer. Yes it is revenue dilution to some extent, but you're paying them to be your sales force in effect.

How big a geogrpahy do you serve? If just in the Charleston metro area, have you joined a leads group? Le tip or BNI can get you in front of businesses that you'd never access through the other members.

Have you targeted other software VARs or are they competition? The CPA that spreads into Quickbooks training and then into other software endeavors might be a place to plug into a new stream of customers.

As for DM, list is really important but so is an understanding on who's your target audience in company size? You have > 50, but that's a large universe. Where's the cap if any? Who's the decision maker? An owner? A clerk? An IT pro? All of these things tie into how you target them.
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