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Monday, July 31, 2006

Networking or Direct Mail Postcards?

Direct mail postcards are used often to market a computer consulting business, but networking is one of the most effective ways. The following list provides a comparison of direct mail postcards and marketing and can help you decide what method works best for your specific business:

1. Leads obtained through direct mail postcards are less high quality than those obtained through networking. Postcards give no opportunity for a personal connection.

2. Networking can be challenging time-wise because often you may have to make several calls and many contacts to build trust and credibility. Direct mail postcards take much less time.

3. Direct mail postcards present the opportunity to make a focused offer with a deadline. Networking can be less focused because you have to just put yourself on the line and see if your contacts respond.

4. Direct mail postcards can eventually be automated, whereas networking is a constant effort over time.

5. Networking can take a big chunk of time out of your schedule. You may spend 35-40 hours per year going to networking functions for every organization you join. That coupled with maintaining relationships you build can take a lot of time. Direct mail postcards are done once you have designed the copy and printed them.

6. The response rate of direct mail postcards is entirely based on how targeted you make the mailing. You may only get a 1% response rate, even if you send out 10,000 direct mail postcards, and it is more likely to be closer to ½ of a percent. Networking yields better results.

7. The cost per lead with direct mail postcards can be high -- $2,000 to $5,000. Networking might cost $1,000 per organization annually.

There are trade-offs whether you choose direct mail postcards or networking as your marketing technique. You can only find the technique that works best for you by trying both and tracking results over time.

Blogged by: Computer Consulting 101 Professional Kit