Wow! Thank you to all our amazing contestants this past month!

    We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your ProspectsPLUS! and Opportunity Knocks experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries! We’ll choose another winner February 7th!
    Congratulations!

    Our $150 winner is Barbara Elliott who shared, “Opportunity Knocks is a great company. They are great to work with and the marketing pieces get results. We have used them for over 5 years and found the staff to be very helpful and very cutting edge.

    Thank you to everyone who entered! Ready to throw your hat in the ring? It’s easy!  Head over to share your ProspectsPLUS! experience on our Google or Facebook Page.  We’ll give away a $150 in ProspectsPLUS! credit. Next drawing is February 7th!

      Who only goes to the gym once?

      Here’s a list of things that don’t work too well if you give up after only the first try:

      – Going to the gym
      – Driving a car
      – Juggling flaming knives
      – Marketing for a small business

      With all these, if you give up early, and you just wouldn’t get results. And believe it or not, it’s the last one that we’re the most concerned with, as it’s by far the most dangerous.

      Seriously. While there are hospitals for clownish accidents, there isn’t one for businesses that can’t grow and fail.

      It is thus extremely important to stay the course and see it through. As they say, it takes seven years of hard work to become an overnight success. Are you working on yours?

      Repeat after me: Repetition, repetition, …

      Marketers who stick with it know that success is partly sticking to their plan and the other part is repetition. Repetition isn’t simply saying the same thing over and over again either, although it can be. Canny marketers know that there are three types:

      • Direct repeats
      • Repetition across channels
      • Flavored repetition

      In the first scenario, you should be sending the same postcards to the same list once every 2-3 weeks. This works well because people start to expect that it’s coming and you build a rolling awareness with them.

      It takes, on average, 7 such postcards for your brand to become cemented in such a prospect’s mind. Some will buy sooner, but that’s when things really tip in your favor.

      This outright repetition is how you land “born-again” leads who were once interested, shelved the idea of purchasing, and then make a quick buy once reminded. You want to be careful however, because according to a 1970 study on repetition in marketing, after the novelty of your marketing wears off people enter a “worn-out” phase where your repetition actually starts to hurt you.

      For an example of this just think about how in the mid 2000’s Comcast played back-to-back-to-back television spots and seriously upset consumers who sometimes saw the same ad three times in a row. Too much of a good thing can be a bad.

      Switch up your channels

      For the best approach, balance out your repeat touches by broadcasting them across many different channels too. When consumers see your ads on TV, the radio, in their mail, and in their email, you’ve activated what’s known as the availability heuristic. That’s where we assume that just because we’re seeing something a lot, that it’s important.

      Evolutionarily, this instinct has been extremely useful, but nowadays with cheap, mass digital marketing you can achieve the same effect as true news might have hundreds of years ago. Being on many channels leads people to believe that everyone is talking about you, which then leads them to wonder why they too haven’t tried your service.

      Switch up your message

      And finally, if you want to keep that repetition going across channels and over a long period of time (and you should), you’ll want to start to vary pieces of your ad to keep things fresh and interesting. For example, keep the same branding and header message on your postcard, but change the value proposition or the pictures of people.

      Allstate Insurances’ mayhem campaign does this by featuring the same actor, same suit, and same message in a variety of situations.

      mayhem

      Persistence beats resistance

      We hate to sound like a broken record, but excuse us: repetition and consistency are the true keys to marketing success! Just as you wouldn’t expect to become a bodybuilder after one trip to the gym, you shouldn’t expect your customers to remember when, where, how, and why they should buy from you after one postcard. It’s going to take many.

      That’s why you have to repeat your marketing to repeat your success!

      Ready to try it out? Send another postcard right now through our web-to-print platform and get one step closer to that next sale.

      If you need help designing a hands-free repetition marketing campaign that’ll run for months on its own, call the experts at Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109!

        Get people to pay attention

        How much time do you think each lead of yours spends with your postcard? That depends heavily on how you’ve designed it.

        A study by the USPS shows that people spend longer looking at print advertisements like postcards than they do at digital ones, and that they react more emotionally and remember what they’ve seen for longer.

        But with that said, that’s still not a ton of time. Most website visitors stay for less than 3 seconds, and 79% of people exhibit “banner blindness” and don’t even see online ads.

        So even though direct mail is by far your best option, you still have to work for it.

        You have to land a really punchy first impression!

        Design your postcard to lead your readers

        What you want to do is lead your readers up the “yes ladder.” This is the idea that you get people to commit to reading your postcard piece by piece. As they buy into each sentence and nod and agree, they then read the next. In other terms, you hook their attention more and more as they go.

        Messages that follow this format will start with broad, generally true statements that just about everyone can agree with and narrow down into a specific call to action when they reach the top of the proverbial ladder.

        Here are the 3 steps to creating a postcard “yes-ladder:”

        Step #1: Draw them in

        See our example postcard below. The first great move that this postcard makes is that it’s bright, colorful, appealing, and not over-crowded. Beautiful design is important, and postcards that have too much going on will deter readers right from the start.

        golf1

        The second excellent choice it makes is that it addresses the recipient by first name. (The same level of personalization available online also exists in postcard marketing thanks to digital printing technology) With a grasp on the reader’s attention, it then presents an appealing inquiry: wouldn’t you rather be playing golf than mowing the lawn?

        Why yes, yes I would.

        Step #2: Explain simply

        If that message landed home, the reader is now thinking, “How do I do that?” Perfect. Explain what you mean in friendly, colloquial terms that are free of industry jargon like “experts at hedging and trimming.” Keep it focused on the benefit to the reader, which is all they really care about.

        golf2

        Ahh, so now they understand that we’ll do the mowing for them. Next question.

        Step #3: Present the offer

        With two yeses under your belt, it’s time to wrap it up (are we still under 3 seconds here?) and deliver the offer. Your lead now wants your service and you should tell them how to get it. Include an offer code that’s unique for each different postcard campaign so that you can track results and optimize your marketing to improve your ROI.

        golf3

        The road to more sales is littered with “yes ladders”

        Designing your postcard properly will allow you to direct your prospects’ attention where you need it to go and lead them up the path of the “yes ladder.” This leads them right to a sale and drastically improves your postcard marketing results!

        Try it out with a pre-made postcard template designed by our experts.

        Need more help with your marketing strategy? Stop wasting money and call Opportunity Knocks marketing at 1 (866) 222-6010 and land more customers now.

          Of all the great American novels ever written, how many of them do you think were ready on their first draft? I’d be willing to bet zero. All powerful and effective writing needs editing and several drafts.

          Or, as novelist Patricia Fuller puts it:


          “Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.” 


          Sure, a postcard isn’t a novel, but it has the same impact: it needs to evoke emotion in your readers. So, when you are engaged in writing of any kind, do as the experts do, and don’t run out in your underpants!

          Good postcard offers are rarely worked up on the first try and can take four, five, perhaps even six or seven tries before they start to sound good. Today we’ll give you all the ammunition you’ll need to write your own jaw-dropping offers and boost the ROI on your postcard marketing.

          Here’s our hyper-simple 4-step method:

          Step #1 – Make it a powerful offer

          There are four guiding principles to writing truly great offers, and that’s to make them:

          • Simple
          • Front-loaded
          • Emotional
          • Calls to action

          Most people who see your marketing will only give you 3 seconds of their attention and just like any interview, you must make a powerful first impression. If your offer is overly wordy, you’ll lose them, and the entire marketing campaign could be wasted. Therefore, it’s critical to have a simple message and short sentences.

          You’ll also want to front-load key words so that they’re the first thing that people see. For example, instead of saying:

          “Make sure that you have your lawn properly cared for by our specialist who can give you peace of mind!” 

          Say

          “Gain peace of mind with our lawn care specialists!” 

          The second version gets to the point much faster.

          And make sure to pack your message full evocative, concrete, and emotional words like:

          Amazing, incredible, shocking, free, value, guaranteed, easy, effortless, discover, act now, never, new, safe, proven, effective

          And finally, don’t forget to tell people what they’re supposed to do! Leave nothing up to the imagination, if you want them to call, say “call now.” If you want them to visit, say so. This is your call to action (CTA).

          Got all that down? Now you’re ready to start writing.

          Step #2 – Write, re-write, and keep re-writing

          Now that you’ve got the rules down, you’ll want to move to step two, which is to write your marketing offer one sentence at a time. Because your postcard should be brief (remember, simple!) you shouldn’t have more than 3-5 sentences, so this won’t take too long.

          Write each sentence, then re-write it right below the first one, improving it slightly to incorporate the principles above. If you wrote “great marketing offer” change it to “amazing marketing offer.” If you used tons of works, write it more simply. Repeat this process 7 times.

          The final result will be a sentence that’s far more impactful!

          Here’s what it should look like:

          START:


          We’re the best pool care specialists in the region

          We’re great at pool installation and want you to know about it

          Call us today because we’re pool installation experts

          Call us today because we’ll put in a pool for you

          Call us right now and we’ll make your pool look amazing!

          Call right now to get your pool looking incredible for summer!

          Call right now for effortless pre-summer pool installation! 

          Once you do this for each of them, you’ll have edited your postcard text down to something really gripping and actionable. Now, for the next step.

          Step #3 – Have someone else proof-read it

          Authors aren’t anything without their editors, and you should have one too. Run your postcard messaging by a few other people and ask whether it’s clear and makes them want to pick up the phone. If it’s not compelling, that’s great feedback, and it’s back to the editing board. If the people around you don’t buy it, why would your customers?

          If you want some inspiration for postcards done right, look at our sample gallery.

          Step #4: You’re done. Design and send it through our web-to-print platform.

          There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? You don’t have to be Stephen King and churn out a novel a day, but if you can do one postcard, you’re well on your way to realizing your marketing ROI.

          If you need a hand, Opportunity Knocks is here for you!

          They’ve written thousands of high-performing postcards – just call their customer care experts at 1 (866) 319-7109 for instant results!

            If you don’t know what your customers want, marketing to them can be like fishing without any bait.

            To send highly targeted postcards you have to at least generally know how they think and what offers are most likely to resonate with them. How else are you going to know which offers are most likely to turn into sales?

            Remember, the key to great postcard campaigns is data, offer, and then design (the DOD method), and if you’re stuck on the offer part, don’t despair. There’s a shortcut.

            The trident marketing method can save you.

            The trident method is when you expand your marketing offer to include multiple offers (usually three). If normal postcard marketing is like fishing with a spear, this is like fishing with a three-pointed trident. With more points, you have a better chance of catching something valuable (like a customer).

            Additionally, by going broad with your messaging, you give yourself a higher chance of getting responses which allows you to learn more about your consumers and what offers prompt them to purchase so that you can be more targeted in the future.

            It makes sense to use multiple offers in these 3 scenarios:
            • You’re testing a new market
            • You’re testing new products
            • You’re testing new pricing
            Here are some examples of how you can pull it off:

            Let’s say that you’re a contractor who has always focused on building new homes, but you want to expand into pools and gazebos. You are, in effect, testing a new product in a new market, and so it makes sense to go broad with your message before you learn more about your customer and narrow it down. Place several offers on your postcard, like so to see if there’s an appetite for your new services:

             

            pc1

             

            Or, let’s say that you’re a financial planner who’s expanding their territory to a neighboring city. You want to reach out to people there, but you’re not sure if the same language and messaging will land with them. Try several calls to action:

             

            pc2

             

            Or, let’s say your landscaping business wants to start experimenting with premium maintenance services. Instead of sending out a single postcard with a newer, higher price and possibly confusing and alienating some of your current customer base, add new, higher pricing tier offers on top of your normal ones to see who will bite.

             

            pc3

             

            And that’s it! The difficult part is over. Design and send your postcard with the trident offer and when responses start to trickle in, keep careful track of which of the multiple offers were more interesting to your customers. Use that information to inform your next postcard send, and keep optimizing for a higher and higher ROI!

            Need a little help? Call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109; they can design those trident offers for you!

            Or, ready to just get your own postcard campaign out the door? Log into our web-to-print platform.

              How a hardware store launched home installation services and saw a 10x return

              First off, there are few things more gratifying on this earth than hearing that our customers are successful. At ProspectsPLUS!, we work hard to empower small businesses to increase their sales through marketing and today we’ve got an incredible success story to share from Jason at Limeberry Lumber in Indiana. He shares how the company went through a transformation and used Opportunity Knocks Marketing, the custom campaign division of ProspectsPLUS!, to drive $35,000 with just a few campaigns!

               

              Jason sat down with Jim Schimpf here at Opportunity Knocks and here’s an excerpt from their conversation:

              Listen to the 17 minute interview:

              Q: First of all, thanks for being here Jason! How did you find out about Opportunity Knocks?

              A: I’ve used you at my own business in the past, and I used you as an employer at a previous company, for another contractor. I think we did some basic google searches and found you that way.

              Q: So what was marketing like at Limeberry before you started working with Opportunity Knocks? 

              A: [When] I came on board at Limeberry Lumber about two years ago now, this program was non-existent, so we initially reached out to you guys to get it going, get the word out. Limeberry Lumber as it stands is a sixty-year-old family owned hardware and lumber store.

              Word of mouth was huge, local newspapers, community outreach into the ball fields and other youth programs were big. I don’t know all of it, but it was on older style of tried and true kind of marketing, and some radio spots here and there.

              [At first] I had a conversation with Scott here at Limeberry about coming on board … it became pretty clear that the interest was there in having more of an outreach in the community, in servicing some of those retail customers so we started an installation division.

              Q: What prompted the owners to want to do an installation service? 

              A: Well we had walk-in customers and we kept hearing “we need a deck built, do you guys recommend anyone?” Or, “Hey we need some windows replaced, who should we call?”

              We wanted to be responsive to that rather than giving out names and phone numbers and let them walk out the door. The two different things we were doing wrong was that first, we weren’t capturing the customer. Who knew where they were going to go? Number two, we didn’t know if that contractor was going to follow through. Maybe they did call somebody on a list we gave them but then that contractor never called them and so that customer comes back in the door and says “Hey I called that contractor and they never called us back.”

              Q: Now that reflects on your reputation

              A: Exactly. There’s no other way to look at it. It did. What we wanted to do was provide a better service, more predictable service, but cheers to you Jim because we had to get that word out.

              I’ve lived in this county all my life but all Limeberry Lumber was to me was a place to grab two-by-fours on Saturday, or to grab a garden hose, but it was never more than that in my eyes, and we want to make for sure we didn’t take for granted that everybody would just know what we were doing. That’s why we reached out to you guys, to help present that new image along with the new offerings and the new services that we were ready to bring to market.

               


              “That’s why we reached out to you guys … to help present that new image along with the new offerings and the new services that we were ready to bring to market.”


               

              Q: So that’s when you connected with Andy?

              Correct. Andy had done a couple other campaigns for me before. Anyhow, we said what are you trying to do, we told him, we gave him some basic budget figures.

              I’ll tell you the way it is, I wore him out trying to find the right mix of customers at the right budget, and he’s always done a really great job for us finding the demographic and the zip code that we need at a budget that makes sense. He’s always taken a lot of time to do that for us.

              Q: Andy is un-wearable. You can’t wear him out. Did he have to do specific research? 

              He spent a lot of time, number one, helping me define that. He did research on our county and he did research on the ages and the home values and home incomes and home counts and the zip codes – he did all that. We’ve even taken some of that knowledge that he shared and adapted that into how we present newspaper advertisements, how we focus other things we do. That’s knowledge that we didn’t have.

              I don’t remember and I’m just shooting from the hip, but at some point he made a comment about the average home value in our market – how it only makes sense to market to that customer and not the higher end, because the reality of it was, [most of our buyers] couldn’t afford it. That little tweak, that helped, a lot.

              Q: How many campaigns have you done with us? 

              A: Oh, 4, 5, 6, I don’t know, but the response has been predictable, and that’s why we do it. [Your team] was doing some follow up with me and I think the last time I shared with them that we had closed about $35,000 in business and 2-3 other sales, and what’s interesting about it, is that these are proposals we had typed 6 months ago.

              Q: How is that?

              You know how it is, your life’s busy, it kinda gets put on the shelf at home, you forget about the importance of doing that project, but then you get that reminder in the email, “Oh yeah, I forget about that, I wonder if Jason still remembers me…”

              We had a couple of those that weren’t new leads, but they were born-again opportunities. In addition to the 4-5 sales we made from the 7 or 8 fresh leads, we also had a couple that came through that received a postcard that were like “Oh yeah, we can work with you.” This last campaign we had a couple of really big ticket items, big tickets for us, you know, and after spending $2500, we brought in $25,000.

              Q: Wow, that’s incredible. What would you say has been the most helpful overall in working together? 

              A: I’ve been doing this for thirteen, fourteen years now, and I say it all the time, when I’m meeting folks, the relationship is the valuable part of what we’re doing today. And Jim, we’re in a small community, we’ve have 40,000 people in the county. Chances are when I go to the local grocery store, I’m going to see somebody that I’ve either worked with or someone that I’ve talked to about working with. What you guys are letting us do is sending a direct message to people that are realistic customers, it’s a targeted message to targeted customers, and we want to make them aware of us and it works. It works.

              Not bad results for a bit of back and forth, huh?

              Jason, thanks for taking the time to share your insight and expertise! We truly appreciate your business and this partnership and we look forward to helping Limeberry Lumber continue to grow.

              Now, curious if it’ll work for you? Only way to find out is to call Andy for yourself at 1 (866) 319-7109!

              Would you like to be a featured client spotlight? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at 1 (866) 319-7109.

                Direct mail is all about the targeting.

                While you may never know who opens your emails, visits your website, or clicks on your online ad, you can guarantee that when someone receives your postcard, they read it. It’s a brilliant hand-held billboard that they can’t help but glance at, and with USPS tracking, you know precisely when it arrives.

                But, (and it’s a big but) for them to take action on that postcard, you have to be sending the right message to the right person. That’s the role of targeting.

                In order to come up with the right message and the right recipient, you’ll need to look no further than your current or potential clients. As much as you think you know about them, you’ll find that there’s always more, and the more you know the more your business can grow.

                Kick it all off by asking the right questions.

                Existing Clients

                If you have clients, start here. Reach out to them to gain some perspective on what’s working and what needs to be changed. If they’re not thrilled with the service, it’s very likely that you’ll have trouble attracting and keeping more of them. If they are, you know exactly what you need to be advertising to the others.

                It would be wise to start with your best and longest standing customers, but make sure that they feel comfortable being honest with you. Here are the questions to ask them:

                1. In what ways do you use our product (or service)?
                2. What problem has it solved for you?
                3. What similar products have you tried, and how do we compare?
                4. What is the most useful feature of our product for your purposes?
                5. What is the least useful?
                6. In what ways would you improve our product?

                From this, you’ll better understand their use-case which informs your marketing message. You may find answers that surprise you, and can help you reach a market you may not have considered before. For example, a landscaper client of ours learned through this process that many real estate agents in his area needed help manicuring yards for sale, and began advertising to them on this basis.

                Once you understand the problems your product solves, you can start shaping your message to suit a market with those needs.

                Potential Clients

                Now that you understand how your product is used, you can start looking for new clients.  To find them, you’ll want to start reaching out to your test markets and asking:

                1. What problems do you currently need to solve?
                2. What products or services are you currently using to solve those problems?
                3. What issues do you face with your current solution?
                4. Who are the decision makers in your family or company?
                5. What budget constraints do you face?

                While collecting these answers, you will want to group your respondents by demographics, and look for trends that are specific to each group. In doing so, you will be able to understand how different demographic factors impact a clients’ needs. This will help you shape each marketing message effectively and pointedly.

                Once you’ve collected all this data, there’s nothing left to do but put it into action. You can use our web-to-print platform to design a new offer based off a tried-and-true template and target your ideal customer!

                Here are your targeting options:

                • Map My Mail: Draw an area on Google Maps using tax assessor data.
                • Demographic Search: Choose from hundreds of data choices and in-depth property information.
                • Psychographic Search (Powered by Nielsen PRIZM): Understand your customer at a deeper level by choosing pre-selected personas who match your ideal customer.
                • Upload your own list!

                Need marketing advice? Our agents have seen it all and would love to share what they know. Just call 1 (877) 222-6010!

                Or, if you need someone to handle it all for you, Opportunity Knocks can act as an extension of your team to attract customers. Call them at 1 (866) 319-7109 and start the conversation!

                  Wow! A big thanks to all our amazing contestants this past month!

                  We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your ProspectsPLUS! and Opportunity Knocks experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries!  We’ll choose another winner January 3rd!
                  Congratulations everyone!

                  Our $250 winner is Sylvie Farrell who shared, “Extremely helpful, extremely friendly, extremely professional. Opp Knocks is extreme! I need a lot of hand-holding as I begin my new franchise—something I NEVER thought I would undertake, and Opp Knocks are really there for me. I am so grateful I found out about this fantastic company!

                  Our $100 winner is TJ Curran who shared‎, “In my role as Branch Manager for Movement Mortgage in RI, I don’t have a bunch of time for arts and crafts.  ProspectsPLUS! allows me to create great co-marketing pieces for my agent partners that are fun and creative.  It takes that off their hands and helps me add value to my business relationships.  And ProspectsPLUS! is very user friendly, so I spend less time on arts and crafts and more time building relationships and closing loans.”

                  Our $50 winner is Jennifer Manley who shared, “Opp Knocks is a fabulous company. They are very easy to work with and are willing and ready to work with me to personalize my marketing materials to get my desired message across.

                  Thank you to everyone who entered! Ready to throw your hat in the ring? It’s easy!  Head over to share your ProspectsPLUS! experience on our Google or Facebook Page.  We’ll give away a total of $150 in ProspectsPLUS! credit. Next drawing is January 3rd!

                    Knowing your ROI is everything

                    Everyone (ourselves included) calls it “direct” mail marketing. Why is it direct?

                    Well, it’s certainly not because the postcards go directly to your customer’s doors – they all do that. Where else would they go? And it’s not “direct” because of the style of communication we prefer to use – although direct and concise is pretty much always better.

                    No, it’s called “direct” because that’s a shortened version of “direct-response.” That is to say, when someone receives a postcard, you get a direct response. And if they reply to it, you know so, and you can track which campaign it came from.

                    The response is direct and immediate.

                    What makes direct marketing like this so incredibly different? It’s that it lets you track your ROI, of course!

                    When direct marketing like this tells you what works and what doesn’t you know A, how much money you made and B, how to optimize to improve your campaigns. Eventually you reach a point where you know exactly which audience will buy, what message resonates best with them, and that for every $1 you put in, you get $3.27 back.

                    Contrast this with all other types of marketing like branding, advertising, radio spots, and billboards where you have no idea what the ROI is. Heck, you don’t even know if people heard it. You just have to trust that it reached people and that they’ll remember you the next time they need a roofer, a plumber, a dentist, or an architect. For these types of marketing, it’s a guess.

                    With direct marketing on the other hand, your expenditure is an investment.

                     

                    Here’s how our customers measure their direct mail ROI:

                    1. Run a postcard campaign

                    You can use one of our tried-and-true templates in our web-to-print tool to design the whole thing in about fifteen minutes (or re-use a past campaign) and select a target audience. You can include an offer code like “DIRECTMAIL12” which is different for each campaign. Hit “send.”

                    2. Your postcards are delivered

                    Over a period of 2-3 weeks your campaign goes out through the USPS. Every piece of mail is certified and tracked so that you can come back and check our website and see that they’ve all gone out. (Our tracking rate is 100% and our guaranteed delivery rate is always higher than 92%).

                    3. You start to hear back

                    For every postcard that people respond to, they’ll follow your call to action to visit your website, call on the phone, or walk into the store. When they make a purchase, you and your employees will ask how they found you – if they reference the “DIRECTMAIL12” offer code, you know precisely where it came from.

                    4. Do a little simple math

                    Wait until 30 days after the campaign is over. From here, calculating your ROI is easy. Divide the number of respondents by the total number of postcards that were sent.

                    Let’s say that 1000 responded out of 10,000 postcards sent, so a 10% response rate. You can expect that this will be your rate in the future, given similar campaigns to similar targets.

                    Now, divide the revenue that you got from the campaign, let’s say $6,540 on a spend of $2,000. That’s a 327% return on investment.

                    And mind you, that’s only after 30 days. Some sales will continue to creep in overtime as people finally take action. Experts call this the long-tail ROI effect because your ROI always continues to grow. For simplicity however, we only measure after 30 days and move on to the next campaign.

                    And there you have it! Direct mail means “direct-response” which is how you measure campaigns against each other to figure out which ones deliver the greatest ROI. This is how you move your marketing from being a cost, like radio-spots and billboards, to being an investment with a guaranteed outcome.

                    Ready to test your own ROI? Log in and send a campaign today!
                    Or, if you need help, Call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 and they’ll set your campaigns up for you!

                      The best way to stay top of mind

                      It may sound greedy, but you want all of the customer attention that you can get.

                      If you think about your customers in terms of the problems that you solve for them, they spend very little actual time looking for and engaging with your products or services. If you’re a dentist, you help them clean their teeth perhaps twice a year. A handyman? You might repair appliances maybe every two years. And as a landscaper? Tree trimmings occur even less frequently.

                      In the in-between time, you basically have no business reaching out to these people.

                      And yet, the key to great marketing is to stay in touch so that when they do have that problem, you’re the one that’s top of mind. That means that you’ve got to find a way to be noticed all the time, and the best way to do that is to be helpful.

                      What sort of strategy helps you do this?

                      Let us introduce our good friend content marketing

                      Content marketing is the idea that you can participate in all parts of your customer’s life, not just the times when they most need you. You do it by creating helpful content that they enjoy and want to read – something that’s either interesting or helpful. Great examples include Home Depot, who offers basic woodworking classes in its stores, REI, which offers group outdoors trips, and not to be too self-promotional, but ProspectsPLUS, which publishes a bi-weekly SMB marketing advice blog. None of them are making any money off of these endeavors but they are building trust by being helpful.

                      This sort of strategy does generate revenue in the long run however because when folks need 2×4’s, a new sleeping bag, or more customers, they know precisely where to go.

                      How can you leverage content marketing in your own business?

                      #1 Choose a Topic

                      The best way to do this is to start defining your customer personas. Who is your typical customer? Where do they live? How much do they make? Do they have kids? Here’s an example of one:


                      Jane: age 41, Des Moines IA, employed full time in sales, married, two toddlers


                      Now, map out the things that Jane does. What could she possibly need help with?

                      • Commutes to work
                      • Manages house finances
                      • Works a time-intensive job
                      • Occasionally makes dinners
                      • Raising two kids

                      Among those things, is there something that you’re an expert at that you could help her with? Choose something that’s tangentially related to your business, and then proceed to step #2.

                      #2 Choose a Channel

                      What’s the best way to communicate that message? Your options are:

                      The best strategy of course is to mix several of these and use them to promote each other: Your newsletter should reference your blog, your postcards should reference your newsletter, and your emails should send out links to new blog posts. That being said, don’t bite off more than you can chew and start small, then build up.

                      Once you’ve selected the place that you think Jane will be most receptive to receiving your friendly help, get to work writing about topics that you think she’d want to hear! Remember to keep them focused on delivering value and not on pitching your services. If people sense that you’re doing this because you want something from them, they’ll quickly opt-out. This can happen if you fill your newsletter with updates about you rather than helpful tips for her.

                      Start sending!

                      After this, it’s all about building your base of subscribers. It’s key to constantly test messages, interview customers to see what they’d love to hear about, and optimize for the greatest possible readership.

                      Do this and you’ll have successfully created a content marketing strategy that monopolizes your customers’ attention in the most helpful way!

                      Need help with this? Call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109; they can create custom graphics and plan it all out for you!

                      Want to get a trial postcard campaign out the door? Log into our web-to-print platform and do it yourself!