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5 Things Every Internet Marketer Must Learn From Mail Order To Increase Their Profits Now!

Understanding that the Internet is another vehicle for

direct response marketing can potentially make you


It’s true. Not many people actually ‘get it’.

Information marketing has much in common with the ‘old

school’ mail order business. In fact, many of the

practices you see online today such as two page direct

sales mini-sites, mailing lists and unique products,

come directly from the mail order model.

Every Internet Marketer would benefit from studying

the mail order industry. The basic marketing

principles and practices employed by the industry

translate naturally to the online environment.

The five core priorities of successful mail order

companies parallel those of the online marketer. They

are: demographics, targeting, testing and tracking,

up-selling and customer follow up. If you aren’t

focused on these key areas yet, read on to discover

why should be, and what it will mean for your bottom


Direct Response Lesson #1: Demographics

Demographic information provides an in depth profile

of your potential customer. There are two ways to

acquire demographic information, and two separate

motives for each method.

You can:

o Acquire data from consumer data mining companies

such as MarketShare Online

o Acquire data from your existing customer base

The preferred source depends on your product

development process and your current resources.

Professionally gathered data allows you to survey the

market and create highly targeted products. Rather

than searching through keyword lists for potential

niches, you can use demographic data to target

specific classes of consumers based on their spending

habits and disposable income. Your marketing strategy

becomes much clearer with this data in hand. It allows

you advance insight into your customer’s interests,

pricing points and mindset. Now, you have a baseline

against which to test the effectiveness of your sales


You should also acquire as much demographic data as

possible from your existing customer base and mailing

list. Even when you possess the resources to pay for

this information you should still query your own



Quite simply, you need to compare the profile of your

existing customer base against your expected customer

base. For example, if you sell a high-priced

information product targeted towards small business

owners, yet find that 50% of your list is composed of

non-qualified tire-kickers, something is off with

either your sales copy, your targeting or both.

Direct Response Lesson #2: Targeting

Here is a rule of thumb for you to memorize: interest

and need alone are not enough to generate a sale. This

is a controversial statement, I know. Ask yourself the

following question, though: how often have you found

yourself interested in a product yet not purchased it?

How often have you needed a product, yet not been able

to afford it?

The truth is that, in either case, despite your

interest and your need, you were only marginally

targeted when the offer was presented to you.

This subtle case points to the synergy between

demographics and targeting. This is why mail order

companies go to such great effort to acquire detailed

information on the marketplace. Whether you send 100,

000 pieces of mail or pay for 100,000 visitors to your

web site, the goal is the same: put the offer in front

of the right people, at the right time. If you put the

right offer in front of the right person at the wrong

time, it’s the same as no offer at all. It is


Direct Response Lesson #3: Testing and Tracking

You absolutely must test and track everything you do.

You must track your pay-per-click campaigns, your

newsletter mailings and the paths taken by visitors to

your web site. You must test your ad copy and your

product pricing.

The testing and tracking phase of a marketing campaign

marks the proving ground between demographics and

targeting. Once you’ve acquired the data on your

potential customer’s behavior, you must track their

actual behavior to find out if it matches the expected


Until you do this, you are really only guessing at

what works. Every mail order company places a tracking

code on their post cards. This allows them to zero in

on the exact location, age, income, race and marital

status of responsive customers. When you first launch

a product online, however, you are essentially blind

to this information until you start tracking. As you

gather your data, however, you will discover which

search engines and which newsletters pull the best.

Over time, you will be able to match this up with

deeper demographic data collected from your list and

discover, at the very least, the age and income of

your customers and which search engines they prefer.

Can you imagine knowing that men between the ages of

24-34, for example, prefer Google, or that stay at

home mothers prefer Yahoo? This type of data is

priceless because it directs your targeting up front.

This is the exact goldmine which awaits you when you

devote careful attention to testing and tracking your


Direct Response Lesson #4: Create Robust Order Forms

for the Up-Sell

Your order form can pull more profit through impulse

purchases than you realize. Many internet marketers

seem to believe that one product should lead to one

simple order form. This is probably due to so many of

us being self-taught. We copy what we’ve seen.

Have you ever stopped to examine a mail-in coupon or

catalog form? Even when the offer ultimately focuses

on one major product, the form still includes an

up-sell and sometimes even a counter-offer.

For example:

“Yes! I’d like to order the Incredible Bikini Wax

System for $49.95 today! Also, please include my 14

ounce bottle of Instant Soothing Moisturizer, a

perfect complement to the Incredible Bikini Wax System

and a steal at only $9.99″ (Up-Sell)

“Yes, I’d like to subscribe to Golfing Today! Instead

of the incredible offer of 12 issues for $14.99, I’d

like to receive a full 52 issues a year for $29.95″ (


The reason for doing this, of course, is that the

customer is already interested and already in a buying

mindset. You’ve done all the hard work to lead him to

your site and you’ve enticed him with your sales

letter. He’s on the order form with credit card in

hand. Why not use this moment to make a complementary

offer? You can up-sell a related product of your own

or that of one of your joint venture partners for a

profit split.

There’s really no harm in making the offer. The

customer will either take you up on it or he won’t.

The important point here is that a robust order form,

with additional offers, helps you squeeze out extra

profit and cuts down the work of luring that customer

back in the future to make additional purchases.

Direct Response Lesson #5: Post Sale Follow Up

What happens to your customer after the sale? Take a

page from the book of mail order secrets and follow up

with that customer! If you’ve ever purchased anything

through a catalog, you know what happens. You end up

on their mailing list and continue to receive catalogs

and other offers in the mail.

In fact, you may receive so much mail from that one

company that you become irritated! While I don’t

recommend going overboard with your mailings, I do

recommend moving your customers to an announcement

list or newsletter.

You don’t want a one time shot with that individual.

Rather, you want to build a lasting relationship. Your

follow up process should be designed with several

goals in mind:

o Keeping your name and brand in front of the customer

o To build trust and credibility by sharing supporting

material that adds value to the product

o To maintain contact so that you can make additional

offers in the future

Customer follow up is so important it can’t be

stressed enough. There is a rule which states that 80%

of your sales will come from 20% of your customers. In

other words, if someone purchases from you once, they

are likely to purchase from you again provided you

take appropriate action and keep them connected to you.

Remember that your customers are human and may go

through a variety of emotions after making a purchase.

They may experience buyer’s remorse. They may feel

nervous about sharing their credit card information

with you and then never hearing from you again. They

may absolutely love you and your product and want to

reach out for more information. You must tend to each

of these variables in order to gain the customer’s

trust and appreciation, so follow up!

What will you do with the five lessons presented to

you in this article? You have before you a nearly

complete outline of a profitable business system for

online marketing. Take these principles to hear and

put them into practice. Know your market. Speak to

your market. Connect to your market. I guarantee your

profits will soar.

Copyright 2004 Jo Han Mok

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