Archive for: June, 2023

How to Operate an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Direct mail is a marketing method that has been in effect for quite some time. But it works to varying degrees of effectiveness because few people know how to operate an effective direct mail campaign. The first thing to do is to consider your audience and then direct your mailing only to those who fit your audience. You want concentrate on honest prospects that are most likely to buy your product or service. Carefully decide whom your product or service will most appeal to. Think of your audience as one person. Create a profile of that person. Then develop a plan to reach that person and persuade him or her to purchase your product or service.

Items that make an effective direct mail campaign

Effective mail marketing campaigns include three very specific items: an envelope people want to open, a message that focuses on the recipient and a clear call to action.

1. The envelope. The envelope should be attractive. A font that looks handwritten is more successful than a font that looks typed. Make sure that the envelope promises something appealing inside. A postcard can often accomplish this just as well, so long as you can effectively communicate your message in the space allotted. And a postcard has the added advantage of being easy to keep and carry.

2. The message. Your message should focus on the benefits to the recipient. Avoid expounding on how great your product is. Rather, make sure the recipient understands that he or she will receive the main benefit of the product.

3. Call to action. Know before developing the mailing what action you want the recipient to take. Then clearly articulate it. “Call today to find out how (weight loss pill) can help you melt the fat away,” is a good example. Make sure you provide the means (phone number, website postage-paid mail back card) for the recipient to follow the call to action.

Improving your direct mail campaign

An effective direct mail campaign includes improvements. Rarely will you get phenomenal results on your first attempt. Part of operating a successful campaign includes testing. You want to be able to measure your success, and you want to track your results. Follow up. Figure out what works and keep it. Get rid of or change what isn’t working. You can test opening lines, postcards v. letters, envelope designs, benefits to emphasize and even test your mailing list. Send out different versions, distinguishable to you, and see which elements test best. This can take some fine tuning, but you will find as you progress, the results improve.

Incorporate other elements into your direct mail campaign

Don’t rely solely on “snail mail.” Many of the tips for paper mail can also apply to e-mail. In today’s technologically advanced world, some audiences prefer e-mail. You can add e-mail to your direct mail campaign, supplementing. Other elements to include could be a phone call follow up and including a website on the mailing, directing the recipient to the Internet for more information. A good follow up plan that incorporates other elements can bolster the response rate from your direct mailings.

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Simple Strategies For Direct Mailings

Jun 05 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Direct mailing, to this day, remains one of the most effective ways to advertise products and services. Many successful marketers have been using their same direct sales systems to generate revenue now as they were doing 15 years ago. That is the power of a mailing list and a powerful sales message.

The right direct contact list targets folks who desire your service or product. The direct mail contact list is a main factor in a successful direct mail marketing program and a major point to think about in small company selling secrets where promoting ROI (ROI) is a key worry.

You want a list. This will be: one- a listing of existing buyers or prospects who’ve inquired due to any of your promotional efforts or two- a list which you get or in a few cases get freely. Don’t try and sell lager to the Temperance Society or property to folk who can’t justify the cost. You have to target your direct mail promotional efforts. What sorts of lists are available?

The 3 basic sorts of lists you can use are (you may use all three):

One – Your own list of prospects and shoppers. This is a list that you picked up with your own private promotional efforts. This is sometimes known as a home list.

Two – A reply list. A reply list is an inventory of folks that have truly done something. They have either acquired something from the people that put together the list or inquired responding to some offer or asked to be on the list. They’ve got some level of interest in the subject or point of the list. These folk have not formerly answered to you, but they have answered to somebody in a related area (if you have got a properly centered list) so you know they’re at least warm.

Three – A Hot list. A list of proven buyers, individuals that eat up what you are selling.

But no matter what kind of list you use or where you get it, you need to be targeted your offerings with your audience. Examples of traits used to target properly may include age, sex, location, revenue level, and so on. These are way more fixed traits than response list traits, which are behavior traits. The more targeted your leads, the more effective your mailings will be… bottom line.

Then it call comes down to your sales copy. Great marketers are great copywriters, so do not be shy about learning more about this area. Simple rewordings in sales copy can produce dramatic results, which means constant testing and adjusting is required.

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Easy and Effective – Creating a Comprehensive Marketing Plan for Your Home Business

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Everyone knows that planning is essential to business. Yet, the average work at home professional does not have a current marketing plan. Many don’t feel they have the time or the skills to create a marketing plan, however a marketing plan can save both time and money and no special skills are required to create a marketing plan.

What can a marketing plan do for your business?

Just creating a marketing plan can benefit most businesses immediately. It gets you thinking about marketing as an ongoing investment rather than the haphazard approach that contributes to inconsistent results. Creating the plan can help clarify and distill your goals into achievable tasks. Knowing what you are going to advertise and when helps you narrow down exactly how you are going to do it far in advance. Planning in this way can pay off big for your business. It can help you stay on budget and increasing profit margins by reducing marketing costs. The resulting windfall can be used to pay off debts, re-invest for growth or put into savings for the future.

The immediate benefits can be quite astounding to those new to planning. It can put you ahead of the competition in both advertising space and in placement for events, online and off. The rules of some of these events prohibit two representatives of the same company from participating. By researching the options early, you can take the time to choose the events most likely to be profitable for you. Booking early for these events can ensure that you secure a position at some of the most popular events. Events like craft shows, bridal and baby fairs, and other events often give preferential treatment to those who book early, including reduced rates, preferential placement and any number of perks.

A marketing plan can help you budget purchases more effectively. For instance, if you plan to get a personalized item, such as pens, printed for a particular event you can price out the options in advance and begin setting aside money for the expense. If you happen to see a good sale or special in the meantime, you may decide to purchase early, possibly saving a significant amount depending on the sale. Without a plan, you may purchase these sorts of items without a solid purpose or end up leaving the decision too late and have to pay for expedited production and delivery. Since these sorts of items are often less expensive with higher quantities, planning in advance can allow you to purchase enough to last through several, if not all, the events you have planned saving both with the lower unit price and by avoiding additional set-up fees common to most print jobs.


Relax! This is quite likely not as hard as you fear it will be. There’s no need to face the process with trepidation. There is no reason to avoid it as a daunting task that you need to procrastinate your way up to.

As a small business you don’t need a fancy program or any specialized knowledge to create your own marketing plan. Your marketing plan doesn’t need to be drawn out and complicated; it simply has to meet your needs. You don’t need a marketing plan that conforms to corporate level standards. It simply needs to keep you on track and moving towards your personal business goals.

Get Set…

Before you begin, block off at least one hour of time. If you have young children at home, you may want to book two hours to allow time for interruptions. Once you’ve blocked off this time, you will want to gather up your supplies.

If you are a paper planner you will need:
A notepad
A calculator
A calendar
A pen
A pencil
Post It Notes
*Easy Access to past and present business records
Working near the computer (if you keep your records online) or filing cabinet will ensure you can keep working. If your records are all over the place, take the time to gather them in one place even if they aren’t organized. You may have to do additional calculations to make the marketing plan effective, but at least you won’t have to search the entire house to do it.

If you are a computer planner you will want programs that can allow for the simulation of the paper supplies. Most word processors can easily handle this, though you may have to download a calendar template. You may choose to use a scheduling program if you are comfortable with using one, but there’s no point to learning a new program for this task. Learning a new program while developing a marketing plan can slow down the creation process.


First read through all the steps before you begin. This is important because you may choose to do some of the steps out of order.

Step One: The Budget

Your first task is to develop a marketing budget. Small businesses often find it necessary to budget both money and time. Since money can be rather scarce, especially in the start up stages, you will have to invest time to take advantage of free and low cost alternatives and undertake much of the marketing work yourself.

How much to budget is a matter of debate. The exact amount will vary depending on the size of your business, your comfort with risk, and your long term business goals. Someone with a small business who wants business to grow big enough to support her entire family within five years will choose to spend more than the business owner who is content to fund household extras.

If you are already in business, one way of coming up with a ballpark figure for your marketing budget is to review your marketing expenses over the past year. If you haven’t been in business for a year, add up what you have spent on marketing so far, divide the amount by the number of months you’ve been in business and multiply this figure by 12. From this yearly figure, decide whether you would like to increase, decrease or maintain this budget, keeping in mind that you may be able to reduce some marketing costs through advance planning. You can add or reduce the figure using a set dollar amount or percentages. For example, if you spent $100 on marketing in the past year, you may want to increase it by a modest 10% or a more aggressive target of $1000 in an effort to expand.

If you are not yet in business and developing a marketing plan, look at your sales goals and decide on a percentage of sales (or profit) that you are willing to re-invest into marketing. At 10% a sales goal of $3000 would net a $300 marketing budget. If you are basing your budget on retail sales, you will want to make sure you can still make a reasonable profit. If you are in direct sales and receive 40% commission, this scenario would leave $900 remaining after marketing expenses. Adjust the figure up or down until you feel comfortable committing to it for at least six months no matter what your sales figures dictate.

Don’t worry too much if your marketing budget seems minuscule. There are a variety of ways to stretch a marketing budget. Look for the article on this topic (Stretching your marketing dollar) next week.

Step Two: The Methods

After the often challenging task of developing a budget, this next step will undoubtedly be a breeze for you. If you are already in business make a list of the methods and venues you are currently using and have used in the past year. This includes both free and paid marketing opportunities. Things that you might be adding include:

Article Writing
Networking Groups
Online Expos
Advertising Groups
Newsletter/Ezine Advertising
Banner Ads
Pay Per Click
Direct Mail
Flyer/Sample Exchanges
Prize Giveaways
Press Releases

After you’ve completed a comprehensive list of what you’ve done, create another column or start another page that covers what you would like to do in the coming year.

Step Three: The Calendar

The calendar will become an integral part of your marketing plan throughout the year, so choose one that has large blocks for you to write in. Resist the urge to use the same calendar as you use for all your business and family needs. You can add marketing tasks to your general calendar later if having calendars is too confusing, but the planning part should be done with a blank calendar.

First, go through each month and identify the major holidays and events. This is easy because most calendars already have them marked off. Decide which of these holidays will lend themselves well to your product or service. For instance, mother’s day won’t be an ideal holiday if you are a consultant for toys (though you could try to promote certain toys as sanity savers for moms the idea probably won’t lead to a high volume of sales).

Second, you will want to enter dates that are specific to your company. When is your spring product launch? Do you work with a company that has specific campaign start and end dates. Pencil in as much of this information into your calendar.

Now, let’s take a minute to go back over your holiday or special event promotions. If you work with a direct sales company, determine how long does it take for items to be shipped. Count back from the event and add three days just in case and write this on your calendar. You can skip adding the three days only if you are confident that your company always ships with precision and timeliness. Repeat this process until you have a date which orders must be in by for each holiday and special event. We’ll get to the actual marketing and promotion tactics a bit later.

Next you’ll want to revisit those company specific dates. Count back 8 weeks from the product launch and mark that as the date when you’ll start booking forward with hostesses. This will also be the date when you begin to call previous hostesses and customers to get them lined up for the new season.

After you’ve established the basics, you’ll want to take a look at other promotional opportunities. If you are involved in online or offline fairs, you’ll want to slot these into your calendar. General dates are okay at this point, but be sure to write these events on your notepad so you can investigate and fill in the details later.

Finally, before we put away the calendar for this exercise, book yourself one to two days a month to follow up on special events for your customers. If you haven’t been making an effort to record things like birthdays, anniversaries and other special events in your customers’ lives, you could be missing out on some wonderful sales opportunities as well as a chance to connect to your customers on a personal level.

Step Four: The Nitty Gritty

Now comes the most labor intensive part of the process, putting it all together. You want to work to align your budget, your dates and your methods together, so you can create a plan of action to take you through the year.

Let’s take February as an example for a business that sells handcrafted jewelry. In this business the owner has decided to use 10% of last year’s income to determine the marketing budget for this year. In February of last year the income was $600, giving a budget of $60 in total. However, it costs the owner a steady rate of $10 per month for hosting charges for a website and has an ongoing ad for $5/month at a shop at home website. That leaves $45 for the marketing expenses for this month.

She doesn’t feel that this is enough for this year because she really wants to increase sales for this year. She peeks ahead in her marketing calendar and sees she has no major promotion for March, and her next big promotion is a spring promotion around Easter. She takes half of March’s budget of $75 (after website and set advertising)and allots the funds February and April ($37.50 each), choosing to do as much free promotion in March as possible.

Now, being handcrafted, it takes time to create and ship orders. While some orders can be created in advance, the owner doesn’t feel confident in her ability to gauge the most popular pieces in advance. So, she doesn’t like using supplies, if possible until the orders come in. She decides to allow 5 days for production and another 5 for shipping. That means all online orders must be in by February 4th for Valentine Delivery and February 9th for local orders. She decides to run her Valentine Promotion beginning on January 20th. Since the promotion starts in January, she decides to use a percentage of January’s marketing budget $40 (after website and standard ad) for February’s promotion as well. It’s an 11 day promotion out of a 31 day month, which is 35% of the month. This gives a dollar amount of $14.

She now was $96.50 to devote to her marketing efforts for the Valentine’s Day promotion. Now she has to decide which methods to use to promote her business.

She first considers using chocolate hearts with her business name on them and leaving them with a sign and display at the local mechanic. Unfortunately, at 25 cents a piece, the 500 minimum is too high to fit the budget. She loves the idea though, so makes a note on her notepad to reconsider the idea the following year.

She considers putting an ad in the local paper for the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. She would like to be able to afford a display ad, but knows that three ads would be more than her budget will allow for at $56.00 for a quarter-page. She makes a note to call her friend that makes candles, another who creates gift baskets and ask them if they’ll consider doing a joint ad. She assumes they will and takes $56.00 off her marketing budget.

She notes that there is an online expo that runs a “Love is in the Air” expo on February 4th. It’s cutting it tight for creation and delivery, but decides she’s willing to work extra hard if necessary to complete orders that may come in from the event. She sets aside the $10.00 vendor fee.

She then decides that she will use the remainder of her budget to directly market to the customers who bought around this time last year. She already has general postcards and will print up individual letters. She figures printing and postage will take up the last $30.50.

With her budget gone, she starts to examine free ideas for promotion. She decides to write three articles for the month, one on buying appropriate jewelry based on a woman’s personality, one on jewelry care and one on romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day. She puts the ideas onto her notepad and adds writing and distribution to her list. She also jots down several related ideas to enter into her blog. Then she thinks about the specials she will offer to her newsletter list and the ads that she’ll create for the advertising lists, networks and forums that she’s on.

The process is repeated with each month and each promotional period that she’s set throughout the calendar year.

Step Five: Making it happen

Using a PDA or a planner system, putting specific tasks and deadlines through the calendar year can help keep everything on track throughout the year. When you experience a lull or slow period in your business you can write ads or articles for future events. You could even write all your ads for the year at one go, to create a consistent feel and flow. You could create blog entries or articles for your newsletter months in advance of busy periods, when you know you’ll be too busy to concentrate on those tasks. You could also create your web pages for specials in advance.

Step Six: Measuring

Don’t leave measuring your results till the end of your marketing calendar. Assess your results after each promotional period or at minimum once a month. If a certain venue or method isn’t working for you, you’ll want to adjust your plan and re-allocate your resources so they can be put to best use.

Other Hints and Tips:

It’s important to keep in mind that marketing takes time to be effective. Don’t pull an ad after one attempt in a new venue. It takes time and repetition for prospective customers to decide to click on over to your site or give you a call.

Keep yourself out there and trying new ways to reach more customers. While it’s important to be consistent and stick with venues that work, you want to avoid reaching the point of saturation in any area. So keep seeking out new areas to expand into.

Always follow up and consider your current and past customers in your marketing approach. Repeat customers are less expensive to maintain than finding new customers to replace them.

Don’t forget to have fun! Marketing should not be all drudgery and dirty work, it should be exciting. And with a well thought out plan it should be.

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The Benefits of Direct Mail

Jun 03 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Is your email inbox bursting at the seams? Blinded by spam emails, the reality is that this communication it could be argued is now so great that many marketing messages are being lost amongst the serious fake watches, help some dead African diplomat’s daughter to get his substantial funds out of her country by using my bank account (I read that one) and purchase some blue pills email which will change my love life forever!

The point is email is filtered and selectively read. An unusual attachment could lead to a virus and untold problems. Often it is best left. The internet revolution has taken the prime position in the marketing arsenal, its quick, inexpensive and available to anyone anywhere, but to make an impact and for the internet to deliver it, is can be very hit or miss.

That’s why direct marketing is finding its position in the marketing budget again. Selective, measurable, scalable and calculative, direct mail when targeted and executed well will deliver. It might not deliver the scale the internet can potentially return, but it will offer a calculated return on investment ROI. For example, you have your own database, people and companies you have dealt with over the years, they’re definable, and you can profile them.

You can test your own direct mail on your database, and say you mail to 100 addresses and get 3 sales you could calculate that profile of client will return an average of 3%. Scale it up 3 in 100, 30 in 1000, 300 in 10,000 and so on. It would be easy to calculate the ROI and easy to see how direct mail can be an effective marketing tool.

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Membership Marketing — It’s More than Magazines

Jun 02 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Membership marketing is not new. The American Medical Association was founded in 1847, while the Marine Corps Association was formed in 1913, to cite a few examples. But membership marketing seems to be gaining traction in today’s marketplace.

The world’s largest circulation magazine

Yes, it’s AARP, The Magazine, which arrives at 24 million households each month. According to Lin MacMaster, Director of Membership Development for AARP, the magazine is a tangible benefit, but it plays a supporting role in providing information to help individuals age with grace and dignity and lead purposeful lives. MacMaster believes people are joining for the full array of benefits.

She states that the main benefits of membership include being part of a force of over 36 million Americans who are attempting to remain healthy and live life the way they want to live it, navigating the waters as life changes. Founded in 1958, AARP is a huge advocacy organization on both the federal and state levels, says MacMaster.

The organization has three divisions – a foundation, a non-profit and AARP Services, a for-profit division where AARP partners with insurance companies and other providers, delivering unique benefits to members. Membership costs $12.50 annually; two and three year memberships are also available. According to MacMaster, the AARP card has a high perceived value and is frequently used to obtain discounts.

AARP The Magazine is not available by subscription, but does have some distribution in doctors’ offices. Associate members (those under 50) can get the magazine as well. While the magazine offers feature articles, news is covered in the AARP Bulletin, a full-color newspaper. Both accept advertising. AARP also offers members free e-newsletters on an array of topics, including caregiving, health, wellness and financial well-being.

Segmenting the Market

Currently, AARP is moving away from a mass approach to acquisition to a segmented approach. They are mailing their control packages less – a standard package and a snap pack – and testing packages to specific groups. Rather than what MacMaster refers to as the pu pu platter approach (something for everyone) AARP has been testing topics that resonate with the 50-59 year-old segment including caregiving, financial security and health and wellness.

They are also tweaking language and offers, testing formats and messaging, and experimenting with information offers and premiums and freemiums tied to their value proposition (Tips for financial well-being, Tips for Turning 50, pedometers). Over the last two years AARP has also done a lot of channel testing utilizing the web, AdvoSystems, FSIs, radio and TV that is showing promise.

Getting Promotional

As for renewals, AARP uses a 7-effort series. They are testing shorter and longer versions as well as different messages to different audiences (first time renewal versus longstanding member) and trying more promotionally based offers tied to longer terms. On their website, I noticed a “Win-Win Membership Sweepstakes” for a 16-day expedition and cruise to Antarctica. Renewals are also handled via their customer care calls for those who call in. AARP is looking to the web and all member touch points for additional renewal opportunities.

MCA – Membership with a Mission since 1913

The Marine Corps Association is the professional organization for all Marines–active duty, Reserve, retired, and Marine veterans. Annual membership costs $21 for enlisted and $32 for officers, and will be going up in April. MCA publishes not one but two monthly magazines – Leatherneck – Magazine of the Marines and Marine Corps Gazette. Both accept advertising. Bill Hughs, Director of Marketing, indicates Leatherneck offers more general interest/news while the Gazette is a professional journal, covering issues that face Marines every day. Members get a choice of magazines, and some take both. The magazines are available to non-members with 1775 current non-member subscribers.

MCA puts out 4,400 issues as single copies at base exchanges, MCA bookstores and kiosk stands inside some commissaries. The magazines are also available at the Quantico Amtrak station and other newsstands near bases. MCA currently does catalog marketing and finds 67% of their retail sales are from members, who enjoy a 10% discount on catalog products.

An Association in Flux

Almost 90,000 members strong, the association is currently reorganizing, evaluating whether the magazines are their main raison d’etre. Hughs states that members perceive the magazines are the main benefit. E-newsletters are also sent out to members. The membership card does not have a high perceived value, he says, as the association has not adequately promoted the other benefits which include retail discounts and travel, to name a few.

Hughs stated that MCA is taking another look at lists, affinity partnerships, positioning, segmentation and messaging. They will do research, focus groups and talk to members. Currently, 62% of their membership is over 40, and they need to do a better job of reaching younger Marines (Generation X). Hughs believes this is because they’ve been using directive language in their messaging, and Gen X is not receptive to this approach. Hughs plans to change the creative, relaunch the magazine and review the renewal and expire programs to increase their membership base.

The Good Sam – a For-Profit Association for RVers

According to Sue Bray, The Good Sam Club offers a valuable package of benefits that promote the RV lifestyle. A membership survey reveals the campground discount is the top benefit, while the magazine, Highways, is next and their web-based trip routing service is third. Other benefits include Good Sam events and member-to-member online forums. Bray is unsure if the membership card has a high perceived value. Membership costs $25/year for the basic dues.

Highways is a monthly magazine which accepts outside advertising. The club also markets branded Good Sam products, such as the Good Sam Continued Service Plan, which protects members against paying huge repair bills should something go awry in their rig.

Reaching Boomers through Ads, Direct Mail, Point of Sale

Good Sam is in the mail about once a month, always testing new formats. Direct mail is their main source, but they also test E-mail marketing and send an E-newsletter to members. Their DM control is a #10 envelope 4-5 page letter, response device and membership decal. Bray says that people like the decal. They have also succeeded with a member get a member campaign. Good Sam Club utilizes a 9-effort renewal series and maintains the same offer throughout the series.

The association also sells memberships at campgrounds, RV shows and camping stores, as well as through Life and MotorHome magazines. As a result of their outreach efforts, the association has been growing 1-2% per year and keeping pace with the market.

“Baby boomers getting into the RV lifestyle have helped fuel this growth,” said Bray. While Good Sam is a mature organization that’s been around for 40 years, they are always trying to improve and provide an enhanced benefit package to members.

The World’s Largest Affinity Lifestyle Membership Company

Such is the claim of the North American Membership Group (NAMG) established in 1978. NAMG is a for-profit company that combines membership, publishing and merchandise marketing. The North American Hunting Club was first, followed by the North American Fishing Club, the Handyman Club, the National Home Gardening Club, the PGA Tour Partners Club, the Cooking Club of America, the National Health & Wellness Club, the Creative Home Arts Club, The History Channel Club and the National Street Machine Club. NAMG has 10 clubs in all, with 10 magazines, reaching more than 4.7 million active enthusiasts and 21.8 million readers.

The company maintains that NAMG’s magazines achieve something that newsstand publications cannot – a deeper reader relationship with unmatched interaction between writers, editors, and member readers.

Member benefits include

o Full-color magazine delivered 6 to 8 times a year

o Member-only interactive web sites with information archives, bulletin boards, event calendar, weekly polls, trivia contests

o Opportunities to test/keep products related to the club’s lifestyle

o Giveaways of products, services and travel

o Member-to-member forums and informational support

o Special information resource directories

o Exclusive product purchasing opportunities

o Member-only events, competitions and contests

o Discount opportunities on selected products and services

Cooking Club of America – A Closer Look

In addition to Cooking Pleasures magazine, members enjoy free product testing privileges, free recipe cards, cooking school discounts, menu ideas, a recipe reprint service, and more.

While bind-ins invite members to join, renew or give the gift of membership at $2.00 a month ($24 annually) with a hard offer, an online offer solicits members for a “Free No-Risk Trial Membership for 30 days.”

Those who sign up for the free trial receive a Thank You package in a #10 window envelope with a brochure extolling the benefits of membership, a letter indicating they have already received the first issue of Cooking Pleasures, and a perf-off Membership Dues Invoice for $12.00 for 12 months.

A 4-color buckslip invites prospective members to receive a free multipurpose grater (a $20.00 value) by returning the buckslip with their payment. Prospects are enticed with the possibility of winning free kitchen utensils, gourmet food, and more. The website indicates that 84% of each year’s dues is for one year of Cooking Pleasures.

Smart Marketing

Remember when a credit card was merely a plastic card issued by a bank authorizing payment for purchases? Now, many are portals to a world of benefits ranging from airline miles to merchandise points. So, too, membership marketers provide added value by offering magazines PLUS an array of services (and sometimes an entire community) that tie members more closely to their brand and promote loyalty. Now that’s smart marketing!

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