We are proud to announce our NEW community destination. Engage with resident experts and fellow entrepreneurs, and learn everything you need to start your business. Check out the new home of StartupNation Community at startupnation.mn.co

Need advice on direct mail marketing!

victoriavictoria subscriber Posts: 4
edited June 2008 in Marketing
I own Yellow Rose Lingerie & Boutique which includes two websites.  I have Lingerie & Accessories on www.yellowroselingerie.com and Bras, Shapers, Enhancers on www.yellowroseboutique.com  They are both linked together and are ready to go except for my logo.  I am in the process of developing a logo that will brand both sites together. 
I finally put together some advertising money and want to use it wisely and that`s where I need some advice.
I plan to start by putting out business cards at the wedding dress shops within a 100 mile radius of home.  I had originally planned to use a personal mailing list I had of 1,000 women that had purchased jewelry from me when I did in-home jewelry shows for 2 years.  I was going to mail postcards with a discount announcing my internet stores.  I have since checked into purchasing a mailing list that would directly target married women ages 25-45 with incomes over $30,000.00 in a suburb of a major city.  I am leaning towards using this list for my first mailing and then implement my personal mailing list at a later date if needed.  I could always send postcards out as needed when I had extra advertising money.  Has anyone used direct mail marketing and has it actually gotten you sales?  Does anyone know the statistics of what percentage of a response you should expect on a 1,000 name list?
My other advertising I might do is a Coupon Guide that is mailed to 40,000 households.  They are running a special of $250.00 for 1/8 page ad and my ad would include a discount coupon code.  Has anyone ever tried this type of direct mail marketing campaign?
I have an extensive discount coupon code program in place that will mark all of my advertising so that I will know which one is working.  After someone purchases on my site, I also have in place discounts that are e-mailed or placed in their orders so that they can receive an additional discount on their next purchase.  There should never be any way that someone should not be able to get a 10% discount or better on either on of my sites.  I`ve also got an idea on a fundraiser program that I plan to use on my bra site.  When the fundraiser group makes a purchase, a portion of the proceeds from that sale will go to their fundraiser.   
Any advice on advertising would be greatly appreciated.  I can`t rely on the search engine to be my only advertising - it isn`t working for me.  I`ve had my site up for a few months and realize that I am going to have to advertise like it is any other brick-n-mortar business.  I guess my main question is - should I try direct mail marketing first or use that money to purchase click ads or something similar?  Which do you think gets a better response?
Need your advice!!!
Yellow Rose Lingerie & Boutique





  • DaleKingDaleKing subscriber Posts: 141
    Vicki, I`ve done quite a bit of direct mail over the years, both for myself and for my clients. Some campaigns were spectacular successes and others were miserable failures. Such is the fickle nature of direct mail marketing. My advice to you would be until you get a little bit more experience under your belt, don`t attempt to do a solo mailing. In other words, don`t attempt to mail to a list by yourself. It`s far too risky.If you want to further educate yourself on direct mail marketing, I have some excellent articles on the subject on my website.
    Here`s what I suggest: Try the coupon guide. It does work, though not for all offers. Will it work for you? There`s really no way of knowing that until you try it. But it`s definitely worth a shot and the price is right. Something similar to the coupon guide is a co-op direct mail campaign with Valpak. Another suggestion would be to place an ad in your local weekly community shopper newspaper. In some areas they`re called PennySaver, in other areas they`re called something different altogether. But whatever they`re called, they`re widely circulated and reasonably priced.
    There`s also a company called Welcome Wagonthat will literally take your promotional offer directly to your prospects home personally. You might want to check to see if there`s a Welcome Wagon in your area.
    I`ve saved the best idea for last. I think you should consider hosting lingerie parties, as well as recruiting other women to host parties featuring your products. That`s the same method Tupperware, Mary Kay, Avon and others use to sell their products. So it`s a proven concept. Personally, that`s where I think you`ll find the most success with your lingerie business.
    Regardless of which course of action you decide on, I wish you the very best of luck!
    Dale King
    DaleKing6/6/2008 9:39 AM
  • victoriavictoria subscriber Posts: 4
    Thanks for all the input so far.  I have decided to hold off on the direct mail marketing at this time.  It`s pretty pricey for the few names that I can afford to mail to on my budget.  I did find a local shopping paper that is very reasonable and I am going to advertise in that for 6 weeks and see what happens. 
    I have thought about doing lingerie parties.  I have done several of the party type businesses and was actually very successful selling jewelry for two years.  I even quit my "real" job and did it full time after my first six months with the company.  I was making as much money as my "old" job, I just got tired of going out at night all the time and leaving my family.  I am going to consider doing some of the local trade shows with my lingerie business that I used to do with the jewelry business.  Some of them are pretty inexpensive.  I just think that the cost effectiveness of coming up with some sort of catalogue, etc. would be too expensive.  The trade show route would probably be a better way to start.  All I would need are some samples to show and then give out business cards.
    As far as making my business different from the established businesses - Maybe I need to note this on my sites, but my advertising that I place on business cards, ads, etc. goes like this:
          Yellow Rose Lingerie & Boutique
          Petite to Plus-Size Intimate Apparel
          Lingerie & Accessories
          Bras, Shapers, Enhancers
          SHOP ONLINE 24/7
          Yellow Rose Lingerie & Boutique offers two great online stores for you to shop in
          the comfort of your own home for all your intimate needs!  Come shop with us!
          For a 10% discount off your first order, please use COUPON CODE:   BC2008
          at checkout!  Discount can be used at one or BOTH stores!
    I feel like my prices are decent, especially since my customers should always be able to receive a 10% discount or better every time they order.  I am trying to establish the fact that they can order from the comfort of their home and not have to run to the mall - plus it`s more private!
    Maybe I need to convey that on my websites so that is coordinates with all of my outside advertising.
    Any other suggestions?
    Thanks -
    Yellow Rose Lingerie & Boutique
  • victoriavictoria subscriber Posts: 4
    I just got a really good idea for doing lingerie parties.  Some of the other party plan companies do this.  I am going to offer website lingerie parties.  That way I don`t have to go out at night and all my customer has to do is hand out cards to her friends which invite them to order lingerie from my websites.   Each website party will have their own personal coupon code which will give the friends a discount on their purchases.  In return for passing out the invitations, my party host will receive an additional discount or free products related to the amount of sales her party earns. 
    I was really good at booking jewelry shows and I`ve already booked one of these lingerie parties.  Now, all I have to do is finalize all the details.  The only expense I am going to be out is the cost of the invitations.  However, I used to print out my own invitations on Print Shop for my jewelry shows, so that is not a problem.
    I think this is going to be a really good way to promote my websites and very inexpensive.  I can`t believe I didn`t think of it before!
    Yellow Rose Lingerie & Boutique
  • DaleKingDaleKing subscriber Posts: 141
      I`ve already booked one of these lingerie parties.  I think this is going to be a really good way to promote my websites and very inexpensive.  I can`t believe I didn`t think of it before!
    See, I told you it was a great idea! Where do I send my bill for services rendered?
    Dale King
  • rfreshrfresh subscriber Posts: 0
    I`d also recommend local newspaper advertising.
Sign In or Register to comment.