Which is Better – Direct Mail, Teleseminars or Webinars?

With every new technology, comes groups of users who immediately want to dispense with the old. Now that webinars are becoming mainstream, I’ve had a few clients ask which is better to use in their business: old-fashioned direct mail, teleseminars or webinars?

Before I answer the question, let’s first discuss the definition of each:

Direct Mail consist of postcards, flyers, mailings done to your prospects — anything they receive in their mailbox.

Teleseminars are conference calls where you can have as few as two or as many as 2,000 (and more) people on a call at the same time. There’s a moderator who runs the call and keeps things on track.

Teleseminars are great for solo-presentations as well as interviews where one person interviews another and a live audience listens in and asks questions.

Webinars are what I like to think of as “visual teleseminars”. You are listening in on the telephone (just like a teleseminar) AND you are watching your computer screen (just like television).

The moderator in this case is taking you through a presentation — similar to a live event slide show only you’re participating from the comfort of your own home. Webinars can also be online videos or a hybrid presentation/video format.

So which is best? The teleseminar or the webinar?

The answer, as you may suspect is “it depends”.

Marketing is about building a relationship with your prospects through your unique message (or Unique Selling Proposition). Tools which set you apart and make you more *real* to your prospects must be included in your business — this is especially true for those who market themselves online or virtually.

Which builds a better connection with your audience:

1. A flyer sent in the mail?

2. A teleseminar where prospects can hear your voice?

3. A webinar where prospects can hear your voice and see you moving things around the screen?

While you may be tempted to answer “number 3″ as webinars allow you to create a connection and bring your prospects into your world, the true answer is “all three”.

A webinar REQUIRES more of a commitment from your prospect as they are agreeing to be at their computer at a certain date and time while a teleseminar REQUESTS propsects to be at a telephone knowing that most business owners send out recordings after the fact.

Given the increased commitment requirement AND the fact that people learn best through different media (reading, watching, listening), the ideal mix, regardless of your business, is to include all three methods in your marketing: direct mail, teleseminars and webinars.

Teleseminars and webinars are not only for online businesses. Brick and mortar/retail businesses who use them define themselves as being FAR AHEAD of their competition.

Knowing this, how can you incorporate teleseminars and webinars into your business?

Your Coaching Challenge

Review your marketing action plan and ensure you’ve included direct mail, teleseminars AND webinars in your lead generation activities.

My challenge is that you schedule and promote either a teleseminar or webinar for your business within the next 30 days.

Direct Sellers: LinkedIn for Business

The recent years have brought about the huge growth and popularity of social and business networking sites. Though people were skeptical in the beginning that these sites would really work, nowadays, most people and businesses have realized that these networking channels have opened up opportunities that had not been available in the past.

LinkedIn is the largest business networking site online, with over 120 million users and still growing. As a direct seller, you may have set up a profile with LinkedIn, and you may occasionally visit the site to keep updated with what’s happening, but are you really using this site to the best of your advantage? Have you realized the various ways you can use LinkedIn for building your business?

Though you may think that LinkedIn is great for increasing your sales, the real power of this business networking site is that it’s a powerful tool for building and maintaining relationships. Successful companies and entrepreneurs know the importance of networking in the world of business. And as the saying goes, sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know.

Here’s a step-by-step guide in using LinkedIn for Business:

1. Craft a Compelling Profile

Before you should go ahead with networking and using other LinkedIn features for building your business, it’s important to start with creating and crafting a compelling profile. A good profile will help you attract people’s attention, increase your visibility, and help you achieve better rankings in the search engines. As a direct seller, there’s a lot of value in achieving these three things.

Some quick tips for creating a compelling profile:

• Put up a professional-looking photo

• Make sure your professional headline really sums up what you do

• Take advantage of linking to your websites

• Include your work history and education

• Write a great summary of what you do

• Add a bit of personal information

• Complete your profile as much as you can

2. Form connections and build up your personal brand

Since LinkedIn is a social networking site specifically for professionals and business owners, the real power of it comes from the connections you form within it. After you’ve created an attractive profile, it’s now time to add people you know and connect with these people. This is the best way to build up your personal brand and increase your credibility.

To be truly successful in business, one of the most important things is to build trust. The more you form healthy connections and build relationships with people, the more people trust you.

Here are some tips for using LinkedIn to form connections and build your personal brand:

• Post status updates

• Comment, like and share other people’s status updates

• Contribute to Answers

• Contribute to Groups and participate in discussions

• Show off your expertise

3. Find people who can help you achieve your goals

As a direct seller, what exactly are your business goals? Do you want to increase sales, get new customers, acquire new partners, or generate new leads? It’s a good idea to be very specific with your goals.

After you’ve defined your business goals, you can now use LinkedIn to find people who can help you achieve these goals. The power of LinkedIn lies in the network you have.

When you think about it, the real value of LinkedIn actually comes from your 2nd and 3rd degree connections, not your 1stdegree ones. Your 1st degree connections are people you already know and interact with, but if you really want to take your business further, you need to network with people whom you don’t know but may be able to help you achieve your goals. And because LinkedIn easily shows the connections you have, you can ask the person you know to introduce you to the person they know who can help you. This is the best way to get their attention – through a mutual friend or acquaintance.

4. Harness the power of LinkedIn Groups

Perhaps the greatest value of using LinkedIn for your business is its Groups feature. Because here is where discussions happen, where people exchange ideas and information, and where relationships and connections really form.

Through LinkedIn Groups, you can ask questions and get valuable answers from the members. You can also answer questions to help you gain visibility and build credibility. Don’t try to do a sales pitch – this is not the platform for that. By providing really useful information, you increase people’s trust in you, which is more valuable.

Also, when you’re a member of a group, you can actually contact other members directly, even those not within your first, second, or third degree network. This can prove invaluable in business, since it’s all about forming connections and building relationships.

Truly, there’s a lot of value that LinkedIn can provide for your business. Once you really understand how to use this excellent platform, you can really take your direct selling business to new heights it has yet to reach. So if you haven’t gotten started, the right time to do so is now.

Loan Modification Leads – How to Use Direct Mail Successfully and Effectively

Direct Mail has traditionally been one of the most effective ways to direct market. Obviously some industries perform better than others but in general it is actually a very cost effective way to reach your target audience with an effective message

Targeting your Audience for Loan Modification

80% of the effectiveness of your Direct Mail campaign will be WHO you are mailing to. You might have the most creative and best looking mail piece in the world but if you aren’t mailing it to the right people that message will be lost on deaf ears. For loan modification direct mail you want to target one, if not both, of the following audiences:

1. Mortgage Lates or Delinquent Homeowners: One of the main criteria for helping put people in a Loan Modification is that they are having trouble making their current mortgage payment. Make sure you find and use a database of homeowners who are late on their mortgage.

2. Exotic Loans – ARM and Option ARMS: Unfortunately, many homeowners were put into loans with very low teaser rates, or just didn’t fully understand the loan they were getting into. Many banks are now modifying these loans before the rates reset making them a great target for Loan Modification companies.

The Right Message

Of course, targeting the right and qualified homeowner cant be stressed enough. But now you have got to grab their attention and give them a reason to act. So the second step in this process is coming up with the right vehicle (be it postcard, letter, snap pack) and the right message.

Loan Modification Direct Mail Creative

Because of the nature of this type of mailing, the postcard is not an effective method of reaching trouble homeowners. These people have typically fallen behind on the mortgage which can be rather embarrassing and stressful. So the best type of mail piece to use for Loan Modification Direct Mail is something the homeowner will have to open. The best and most recommended option is a letter in an envelope. It is more personal and private. Homeowners will appreciate the fact you haven’t sent them a postcard talking about Loan Modification so everyone including their mailman knows they are having trouble paying their mortgage.

Loan Modification Direct Mail Message

Direct Mail is an effective if you have the right message and can deliver it quickly. There is a difference between “junk mail’ and sending an important letter offering help to a distressed homeowner. It is important to deliver your message quickly and effectively in the first couple sentences.

1. Personalize your letters – using what is called Variable Printing. You can now send the same letter to thousands of people while still personalizing the letter. Variable printing will allow you to just change the salutation and/or name on each letter. So the letter doesn’t just read “Dear Homeowner” but instead “Dear Mr. Johnson”

2. Convey your message early and often. Make sure you empathize with the situation they are in and quickly tell them how you can help.

3. Give them a reason to call. A “call to action”. Call today for a free consultation. It might sound over used but these people are in need of your help and if you can offer them a free consultation as to what to do, people will jump into action. Your main goal is to just get them to move off the couch and call you!

4. Make it easy for them to contact you. Toll free numbers are crucial here. One number big and bold.

Loan Modification Direct Mail on a cost per call basis can be one of the most effective ways of putting you in touch with troubled homeowners. Remember the two aspects of direct mail, who you are mailing to and what you are mailing them. Get this right and you will have yourself a very effective campaign.