New customers and where to find them.

Written by Alan Sharpe

My business needs a steady supply of new customers. Yours does too, probably. Customers leave and go with competitors. Customers go out of business. Customers fall away without a word of explanation. So I need—you need—a regular supply of new customers to replacerepparttar ones that disappear each year.

The challenge in business-to-business direct mail is knowing where to look for new business. You need a source of potential new clients that is reliable and affordable. A source that will give yourepparttar 147052 contact information you need to send a direct mail package to prospective customers who need, want and can afford what you offer.

At a minimum, any source of names should supplyrepparttar 147053 following for each lead:

First name, last name Job title Company name Address (sometimes on two lines) City Province or state Postal code or zip code

Other details that are nice to know: SIC Code (Standard Industry Classification) Industry by name Size of company (in number of employees or sales volume) Telephone number Email address Business type (manufacturing, services, consulting) Job function (engineer, owner, purchasing, management) Purchasing authority Budget Geographic region (international region, country, state)

Where to find names of potential customers:

Associations There is an Association of Legal Administrators. There is an association for social workers who specialize in helping people with cancer (Association of Oncology Social Work). There is an association for manufacturers of fasteners inrepparttar 147054 mid-west ofrepparttar 147055 United States (The Mid-West Fastener Association).

If your target audiences is a niche market,repparttar 147056 first place to look for potential customers is trade associations. These associations (local, regional, national, international) often rent lists of names of their members

Trade publications Most industries have a trade journal. You are familiar, of course, with Frozen Food Age, Industrial Hygiene News, Eyecare Business and Waste News. These trade publications and most others also rentrepparttar 147057 names of their subscribers.

Trade directories You could look inrepparttar 147058 phone book. Or you could look inrepparttar 147059 Organic Export Directory, a compilation of contact names for companies that export organic food products. The more narrowrepparttar 147060 field,repparttar 147061 more likely it is to have its own directory of companies inrepparttar 147062 industry. Some of these directories are in print, and some are online as well.

Wondering “Where’s My Mail?” You’re Not Alone

Written by Ted D. Seward

When it comes to measuringrepparttar success and failure of traditional direct mail, nothing excites marketers more than tangible data revealingrepparttar 145479 reality of what occurred or did not. An example of this is mail tracking — hardly a new concept, but one that is gaining popularity among mailers who can accurately predict in-home arrival by aggregating delivery data. Retailers can now include direct mail advertising in connection with their local campaigns. This data is not only traceable, but actionable: by tracking your mailing campaigns, you can better measure and improve your campaigns’ effectiveness.

Traditionally, mailers have relied onrepparttar 145480 back-end process to verify their success. Mail tracking allows you to coordinate multiple-tier marketing programs, with direct mail serving asrepparttar 145481 jumping-off point. This new technology allows you to successfully implement timed triggers for direct mail response via telemarketing, or initiate additional waves to forge even stronger customer connections.

By closely monitoring campaigns, mailers can more fully determine which concepts work best and maximize their investments with better follow-through. All of this makes it entirely feasible that direct mail will maintain its position as a premier channel for coupons and daily specials, andrepparttar 145482 preferred method for one-to-one communications.

So what is mail tracking? You might be familiar with list seeding or other services that can assist in mail tracking, butrepparttar 145483 United States Postal Service’s Confirm program is more robust: directly integrated withrepparttar 145484 USPS process, it is fast achieving prominence among mailers looking for tracking resources with broad-based, real-world utility. Confirm allows mailers to identify and track individual mail by placing a PLANET Code onrepparttar 145485 mailpiece. (The PLANET Code is similar torepparttar 145486 traditional POSTNET barcode format;repparttar 145487 only difference is a reversal ofrepparttar 145488 long and short bars.)

How does it work? The PLANET Code is typically placed inrepparttar 145489 address block ofrepparttar 145490 letter, flat or periodical mailpiece. This PLANET code is scanned and logged by postal equipment at various points as it traversesrepparttar 145491 postal system. The postal equipment recordsrepparttar 145492 PLANET Code, POSTNET barcode, processing facility, sort operation code, and processing date and time.

Oncerepparttar 145493 scan is read,repparttar 145494 data is distributed electronically. This data can indicate where a particular piece is located inrepparttar 145495 system and provide reliable estimates of delivery torepparttar 145496 customer. PLANET Codes can be used on reply mail as well. The first time I mentioned this to a catalogue professional, his response was enthusiastic: “Wow — you mean I can better predict staffing levels needed to processrepparttar 145497 orders when they are received?"

Here are just a few examples of how PLANET Code tracking can work for you. Imagine tracking outbound high-value items — invoices, for example — as well asrepparttar 145498 inbound payments they generate. This system works equally well for outbound check payments, too.

(An aside: This solution would have come in handy early in my mailing career. My major-mailer employer was once accused of not processing (or worse, stealing) a customer’s check run, primarily because only portions ofrepparttar 145499 entire job were missing and other checks fromrepparttar 145500 same run were cashed after weeks of back and forth withrepparttar 145501 USPS and a major local government office,repparttar 145502 missing portion of mail was found locked in a vault atrepparttar 145503 local municipality’s processing facility. One little PLANET Code, matched back torepparttar 145504 Postnet would have indicated that two trays of “check sequenced” mail were missing not two trays of “sorted mail.” A PLANET Code on just some of these pieces would have indicated thatrepparttar 145505 mail had never been received by my company and/or delivered torepparttar 145506 Post Office — resolvingrepparttar 145507 problem weeks earlier. No blame would have been wrongly bestowed on us,repparttar 145508 processing company, andrepparttar 145509 unfortunate recipients of these checks would have received their funds much sooner.)

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