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    #31 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2011
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
I create my own (originally in Word, now in InDesign) and have them printed and cut at OfficeMax. I use some color on my cards so I look for 'color printing' sales, which they do on a regular basis.
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    #32 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2011
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
Hi. I create my own postcards in Microsoft Publisher and then upload the file to Vistaprint.com. I just created a postcard for my transcription services -- 100 postcards for $25.00. Thought that was reasonable.



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    #33 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
I would also be interested in how other VA's are obtaining business mailing lists. I agree that the Chamber of Commerce is a great way to start. I was also wondering about local BNI (or business networking groups) although you have to be a paid member to "join". But I do see where most of the local BNI's have websites that post the businesses names and addresses. Question..... would this be "unethical" for me to go to these websites; get these business names, etc., and send them a postcard?

Thanks for responding!!
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Old 02-27-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
I use a combination of the ReferenceUSA database (see posting above) and the local newspaper for listings of new businesses from the Secretary of State's office. I DO, however, wait 9 months before mailing out to the new business listings. I track their creation date in Excel, which is how I maintain my mailing list, including who I send postcards, which version (I use 3 different ones with each potential client - approx 3-4 weeks apart), and if I got a response back. I also have a column for 'bounced' addresses, which prevents me from re-adding invalid addresses to my list.

This combination of resources has given me a fairly well-targeted list.
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    #35 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
Thanks Lily for the info! Could you share with me what type of postcard you send out in week 2-3-4? I like the idea of sending a card out every 3-4 weeks; over a 3 month period, this keeps your info in front of them; but doesn't overload them with a card a week all at once!
Thanks for sharing!!
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    #36 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
I start with a "hi - I'm introducing myself and how I can help", then the next one is a 'remember me? and how I can help" and the third one is "yep - still here and how I can help." I also include thoughts along the lines of "btw - tax time is coming up and are you ready? I can help you get ready" or "time is money and here is how I can save you some of both." I also add an 'action' to the cards - as in visit my website, contact me to discuss what I can do for you specifically. I have had a really good return rate. I send out approx 450 total cards to a mailing list of 150 each time and have gotten a handful of clients out of a handful of mailings.
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Old 02-28-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
Lily, Thanks for that advice. I have scheduled a visit to my local library on Thurs @ 10:00 am. :0)
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    #38 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
Lily I think could probably start a "side" business doing postcard direct mailing. You are the only person I know in ANY industry that has such a good return. I know I would pay you to do them. Or offering a class and showing people like me step by step what you do.

Caroline
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    #39 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
Thanks, Caroline. What I outlined above is pretty much my process. I think my success rate is due to really tightly targeting to whom I send cards out. My very first mailing was 176 cards to 176 recipients; 1 received 2 phone calls and 1 client from that first blast. Apparently, my message was timed just right! I received some invaluable help from Tess when I designed the first card. The 'definition' of office goddess and some of the text came directly from her! The first card (front and back) is below:

FRONT:


BACK:


I have since revised my business card but the message has stayed pretty similar, and I actually changed my target market from new entrepreneurs to 1-person law firms. I have a local reputation from having worked for attorneys in town, and I think that probably helps as much as anything.
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    #40 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2012
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Default Re: Do you have a direct mail marketing list?
I COMPLETELY forgot you are a bookkeeper (not that no one else can do this with the postcards) but you were able to use strategic marketing in a timely fashion to your advantage because you help business with something they absolutely need - help with their taxes. I am doing data entry, data maintenance, contact management, forms, word processing and transcription - services that most likely do not have the same sense of urgency.
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