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What is the average contact to sales success ratio in direct brochure mailings?

We're a new startup corporation and are wondering what the most cost-effective method is to market our new products. It seems that our trade magazine marketing did very little, but our website and brochure mailings did very well. What is the best route to market a new commercial product to the delivery industry?
Pattie Simone answered May 9, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/221408
Without having specific information about your products and target markets (the kinds of companies within the delivery industry are you seeking to engage and your geographic footprint--local, regional, national and global) it's hard to make good recommendations.

That said, a general rule of thumb on direct mail return is 1-3 percent, with 1 percent being average, 2 percent good, and 3 percent really good. You can easily boost this ratio of return through coordinated campaigns and strong sales processes including phone contact and e-mail marketing in the mix. Research the most cost-effective methods: face-to-face networking, transportation marketing and web-based tools.

On the internet, use every platform out there to introduce your brand to diverse audiences. That should include a branded e-newsletter, podcasting, video, blogging, Pay per Click, PR, editorial (submitting pertinent articles to appropriate sites), YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. A more viral presence can also help boost your search engine rankings organically, which is always a good thing!

Of course, all these vehicles have to be used intelligently, with a strategy in order to achieve above average returns. There are also lots of other creative guerrilla initiatives you can use and leverage--like trade shows, contests, and costumed characters--but the key is to be in tune with the end buyer, so you can then figure out the best combination of to-do's that will reach, educate and engage them.

Good luck with all your endeavors!
Pattie Simone

As president of Pomona, N.Y.-based marketing-advantage and founder of WomenCentric, Pattie Simone empowers ambitious women, companies and entrepreneurs worldwide, sharing smart new media, client engagement, entrepreneurial and communications expertise as a techpreneur, consultant, speaker and video blogger.