Is Direct Mail Still Effective?

I’m often asked “Which is better, email marketing or direct mail marketing?” While email is a very effective medium for communicating and selling customers – from the prospective of prospecting (finding NEW customers) – I feel direct mail is much more effective, and here’s 7 reasons why:

HIGHER RESPONSE. When searching for “new” customers, study after study proves regular mail will generate more new customers than email. A recent study by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) shows direct mail being 10 to 30 times more effective than email.

HIGHER DELIVERY RATE. A good mailing list is typically 95% deliverable. On the other hand, the great majority of email lists being advertised have a delivery rate of below 50%. Also, due to the constant onslaught by spammers, the ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc) are beginning to block unsolicited emails… and for this reason some are predicting the demise of email “prospecting.” Fantastic offer, fantastic creative, fantastic list… all this is irrelevant if the ISPs don’t deliver. With regular mail — your offer gets delivered!

HIGHER OPEN RATE. With the great majority of email “prospecting” campaigns, 95+ percent of all emails are not even opened. The email recipient will either delete or transfer to the SPAM box… without even peeking at the email… your brand name. On the other hand, postal mail is a tangible item that typically captures a glance. The receiver may not read every word, but your company name/brand will gain much more awareness with postal mail than with email.

MORE PROSPECTS. Accurate — quality email addresses are very difficult to acquire — mainly because most people do not opt-in for 3rd party offers. For this reason, virtually all email lists are missing the majority of the target. Typically a good mail list offers 80% more prospects.

LONG SHELF LIFE. The shelf-life of an email offer is measured in seconds, while an offer via regular mail can linger on a coffee table for days.

LESS COMPETITION. More than ever consumers are bombarded with digital offers that they don’t want. Email is now the cluttered option, while direct mail represents the uncluttered option. With postal mail your offer will not get lost in avalanche of competitive offers.

SAFETY. This one is a biggie! With the growing threat of identity theft, viruses, and SPAM, people are becoming more and more hesitant in responding to on-line offers… even legitimate interesting offers. Regular mail is safe… the user can visit any website on his/her own time schedule and without having to click potentially dangerous links.

So, for “prospecting” as well as putting offers in front of qualified buyers (BUYERS that are looking for your product or service) that will help grow your business quickly… “old fashion” mail is much more effective than email! Email “prospecting” is losing its power. Direct mail on the other hand has never really lost its power and is in fact gaining strength. This is the very reason that even some of the biggest Internet names (Google, Facebook, Microsoft to name just a few) are major direct mail users themselves. Bottom line – companies that use regular mail will gain a competitive edge on the competitors that skip mail.

If you want to grow your business quickly and cost effectively, NOW is the time to get started on your direct mail campaign!

Appointments – Manage Your Time Better At Home to Be Effective

What would happen to you if your home life was more organized than it is right now? Can work-life balance be achieved? What are the tools at our disposal? Could scheduling appointments and keeping them at home help us save time and prioritize?

What is the challenge we face? I sometimes find that time spent at home can be the busiest time, especially in the times we live in. Imagine someone working from home, home-schooling children, and sometimes even doing a side hustle. Imagine also the full-time home-based entrepreneur. How do they manage to do all they need to do in a day?. We are living in a time when many entrepreneurs and even company employees have adopted work- at – home culture. This comes with its challenges as the lines become blurred between home and work. These blurred lines and constraints on the limited resource called time result in over-worked, under-rested, burnt-out individuals. Whilst good time management has been encouraged and indeed, embraced in the workplace, I believe more needs to be done in changing the mindset for the elusive work-life balance to be achieved.

What are the tools at our disposal? To manage time effectively at home, there are many interventions one can employ including setting goals for the day, prioritizing wisely, setting a time limit for every task, organizing oneself, and instituting the discipline of appointments. Yes, an appointment at home! We can spend time pontificating on the pros and cons of each intervention, however, I believe we need to focus on appointments and see how this can powerfully change the course of one’s day regardless of whether it’s a workday or weekend. Life is busy as it is without any intrusions. The question is how do you handle the one who announces that they are at the gate. These can be friends, neighbors, a salesman of some product you do not even need. I am not promoting regimentation here but rather a culture of filling your day with what’s important. Everything that we succeed at is because we carefully plan and execute it. I am a firm believer that you cannot manage time if you do not manage yourself thus I implore you to incorporate planning and appointments into your repertoire. I am not talking about something I do not do. I have to achieve many things in a day therefore I set appointments with my work, others, and myself.

Could scheduling appointments and keeping them on the home front help us save time and prioritize? Whereas we have established that it is a normal business practice to set appointments and keep them, we need to abandon the liberal open-door policy of allowing all and sundry to have access to us as and when they please on the home front. Please understand where I am coming from. We each have greatness within us but for us to achieve it we need to culture great habits. Employing the use of appointments at home and seeing only those people you had agreed to see removes non-essential encounters especially during the most productive hours. I know this will vary with culture, geographical region, or even level of affluence, whether you live in a low density or high-density residential area, but doesn’t negate the need to be organized and effective. Controlling access determines how organized you are and how well you will work and rest when the time for scheduled rest comes.

What do we need to do differently? We need to be disciplined and diligent, learn to say no, now is not a good time, let’s make an appointment for next week. What are the benefits of this approach? You are not always fire-fighting to meet deadlines, You are not always tired because you have not taken time out to rest. You have set aside enough time to spend with your loved ones or a loved one. If you are a busy person, I am sure you appreciate what I am saying. Whether it’s time to work uninterrupted, family time, or “me-time”, it takes some kind of order to enjoy it.

I am not saying that those that come unannounced are bad people. No, not at all, they probably are people you enjoy spending time with. Nevertheless, there must be prior communication so that you can attend to your visitor(s) when it is convenient for both you and them. It can be quite disrupting and a whole day can just pass by without achieving anything that you had planned to do.

As we grow older we begin to appreciate that rest and recovery need to be scheduled. The fact that I am relaxing doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to do. One therefore cannot assume that just because you are at home you are available. Maybe you have scheduled that time to rest. That is important. You need to make an appointment with yourself, spouses need to also set aside time for each other. Parents need to schedule a time to spend with their children. When you have some sort of order in your life you determine who sees you and who you see. It also means that your relationships will be healthy and that makes you a happier person.

In conclusion, I believe that the work-life balance can be achieved. There are many tools at our disposal just like it is in the workplace.I believe we could do more and be happier if we are disciplined enough to make only the commitments we can keep.I am certain that setting appointments and keeping them at home help us save time and prioritize.

Fitzgerald Mujuru, a fusion of Business Coach, Personal Effectiveness Coach, Business Consultant, Marketing Strategist, Sales Zealot, Speaker, brand builder, with over twenty years in marketing and sales for globally known brands. He has vast commercial experience at management level in various sectors. His strengths include marketing, brand building, sales, business development, business strategy, management, and equipping leaders and teams with strategies for personal and team effectiveness. He has handled various consultancy assignments for companies in professional services, media, communications, training and development, non-profit organizations. He has released 4 books and published more than 200 articles online.

Tricky Home Improvement Projects

As homeowners, we have all gotten in over our heads and found ourselves overwhelmed by those tricky home repairs and improvement projects. Deciding we are fully capable of accomplishing a project, we often find ourselves wishing we had hired more capable hands. Contractors are skilled and experienced in their respective fields and are always on hand to provide excellent service to those in need.

Home improvement is often riddled with unforeseen problems that an inexperienced homeowner cannot anticipate. Contractors, with their abundance of experience, can often anticipate problems before they occur and find solutions to any problem that may arise. This is the difference that many homeowners do not consider before making the decision of whether or not to hire a professional.

With a great deal of problems that may arise, more complex projects such as home exterior painting should always be left to professional contractors. Sometimes, a homeowner will be skilled and experienced in a certain field, such as home painting, and in these cases, doing the work oneself may prove to be a better option. However, these skilled homeowners are few and far between, so for the majority of you homeowners, hiring a professional to do the home improvement work on your house will pay dividends in the end. Not only will the project look much better upon completion, but having a professional do the work will allow you to relax and trust that your project is in excellent hands. With so much experience and training in the field, contractors are valuable assets to any project.

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

Things That Are Expected From a 24 Hour Emergency Doctor

More than the regular doctor who visits a clinic or a hospital, a 24 hour emergency doctor service is essential. Medical emergencies may crop up anytime. These situations are inevitable and irrespective of the nature of the emergency, an immediate helping hand is essential. Numerous hospitals have emergency medical services like a 24 hour emergency doctor service even after the visiting hours. Though any helping hand is welcomed at the time of adversity or an emergency, there a couple of things that are expected from a doctor, regardless the situation at hand.

• Always available: Emergency medical services comprises of two different parts. First is the pre-hospital care given to a patient and this includes the first aid measures taken. It also includes the transportation of the patient from the place of emergency to a hospital for which the ambulance services are used. The second division of the emergency service involves the transfer of the patient from one hospital to another in the case of an emergency or a need of better treatment and care.

• Transparency: A long drag speech in medical jargons and a series of tests and an illegible prescription is not what is expected of a doctor. In the case of an emergency, you need a clear picture of what is happening and not a haphazard answer. A 24 hour emergency doctor is expected to be dedicated and passionate about his work and understands the mental state of not only the patient but also the people with him. Telling what things mean, and what is to be done immediately is well appreciated.

• Respects you and your emotions: An ideal doctor must be able to listen to you actively, your problems and your worries without interrupting and intimidating you. In this busy world, rushed appointments have become a common thing, and it neither benefits the patients nor the doctor. More than respecting your time, it is essential that you are able to connect with your doctor emotionally as well. A certain level of trust and confidence is essential to make things easier for both. A clear idea of the big picture is essential before coming to conclusions and taking a decision.

• Makes decisions with you and not for you: You should always be a part of any decision that is taken for you. An ideal doctor must be able to understand that you know your body and routines better than anyone else. You have the right to ask questions regarding any tests or medicines prescribed to you, and a doctor is answerable to any of your doubts.

• Shouldn’t Keep money in mind: Doctors are one the most respected people in the society. It is a service that requires a lot of ethics, commitment and passion. A doctor cannot be successful if he just money-minded. The life-saving profession should be done as a service and not as a job.

Know the Pros and Cons of Having Aluminium Curtain Walling

Are you planning to give your premise or business a completely new sphere? Are you thinking of using aluminium as your strong base for the wall?

From Perforated roller shutters to solid shutters, there are various options that are in accordance with the need of an individual.

Aluminium curtain walling has emerged as a popular choice amongst the business houses, as not only it gives any business a new edge but a chance for people to admire its elegance.

Aluminium curtain walling is an outer structure that protects the building frame. It generally is build up of materials like glass and aluminium frames.

If you are planning to start construction of your building and are searching for the best options for protection, then down below are few advantages and disadvantages listed of curtain walls.

Weighing all advantages of Curtain walls

Lighting and elegance

The combination of aluminium frames and glass material together makes it a very classy option to use, also allows the abundance of daylight to walk in, thus leading to less use of power consumption during the daytime.

No UV rays

UV – the ultraviolet rays are very harmful to any skin, as they can cause severe disease in long run. It is necessary to opt for a material that is very friendly in terms of harmful rays. The design of the wall confirms the 99% reduction of harmful and toxic UV rays to the human bodies.

Wind resistant

The structure of the wall is very efficient in keeping away the wind and forces that are acting against the building.

Fire extinguisher

The design of the wall is very helpful in preventing the fire from spreading floor to floor.

Disadvantages of curtain walls

Great Cost and time

These walls are very ineffective in terms of cost and time management. The Huge cost is involved while shipping the material and storing them. The time taken to complete the structure is very long too.

Replacement of sealant

To keep the wind and moisture at vicinity, a sealant is applied to the perimeter of the structure. The sealant needs to be replaced after every 10 years or so.

Peculiar Cleaning

These walls require huge cleaning and maintenance on an everyday basis. As aluminium frames are generally painted or are anodized. It is necessary to make sure that the cleaning near the anodized parts is done very carefully, as cleaning supplies or detergent can clear off the coating from such frames or material.

From curtain walling to perforated roller shutters, there are various options in the market that are very responsive and advanced towards the styling and security of any venture.

Quick Home Maintenance Tips

If you have been looking for some home improvement tips that won’t take more than a few minutes from your precious time, you are on the right page. This article is for you, especially if you are a busy homeowner. Read on.

Fixing a chair

Are you trying to fix an old chair? If so, we suggest drilling pilot holes and driving screws via the rungs bottom and into the chair legs.

Vinyl Door or Window

If your vinyl doors or windows don’t open properly, the channels may have accumulated gunk. At times, even clean doors and windows may bind. You may spray dry spray lubricant on the target areas and then use a rag to wipe it off. Using oil lubricants is not a good idea as they can catch dirt damaging the vinyl.

Repairing a Shutoff Valve

If the shutoff value is faulty, you can get it replaced. But if you can’t, you should go to the nearby hardware store to buy a good replacement washer. Remove the grit from the valve and fit the new washer. This will fix the problem.

Loose Showerhead

If you want to fix a problematic showerhead or a wobbly pipe, you can use some expanding foam. With the foam, you can encase the pipe and fix it. This will remove the wobble.

Use a Smoke Detector

If you don’t have enough time or money, you may want to cover the ceiling hole with a smoke detector. You don’t need to patch the hole.

Cabinet doors

If your cabinet doors don’t stay shut, all you have to do is use a magnetic door catch. You can also go for a roller-style one.

Squeaky Floors

If you want to repair a squeaky floor, use a stud finder to find the floor joists. Next, you can drive in a screw via a pad, carpet and the subfloor to reach the floor joist. Just make sure that the upper part of the screw has no threads. Ideally, you may want to use trim screws since they have bigger heads. If this is the case, you may want to pull up the screw and then tighten it again.

Remove Water Stains

Before repainting the ceiling, you may want to try out this trick. You can use a mixture of water and bleach and then wait for a few days. If the stain is old, you can try a mold and mildew product. The stain will be gone within 24 hours. This trick may work both on textured and flat ceilings.

Wallpaper Seams

To fix a wallpaper seam, you can soak a rag in lukewarm water and then apply the paste around the seam. You may want to hold the rag for a couple of minutes and then open the seam a bit for more space for the seam sealer. Put the liquid into the gap and then push the paper against the wall using a roller. Then you can use a sponge to remove the sealer.

So, these are some quick and easy home improvement tips.

Writing For Professionals

Having a great resume is the first step to landing that ideal job. Resume writing can be the most stressful part of the job search. But it is also the most effective way to share your experience and qualifications. The purpose of your resume is to create enough interest that the employer will want to see you for a more in-depth face to face interview. Those resumes receiving the most attention are structured with the following components:

Value Proposition Statement

This section should state to the employer the immediate value you will bring to their organization. If you are a business development professional with successful experience working with companies in the medical industry you should have this listed in this section. An example of this statement would be “an experienced business development professional with established existing relationships in place with key regional medical equipment companies. These established relationships will allow me to gain immediate access to key decision makers early within the sales cycle”. The value proposition statement allows the employer to visualize you in this position and as an immediate contributor to their organization.

Keywords In Resume Writing

Effective resume writing should be done in a way that allows you to stand out from the crowd. One of the most effective ways to do this is to make sure you use the appropriate keyword (s) for the job posting. So we know that most companies are using parsing software in reviewing resumes. This software is designed to filter for keywords from the resumes they receive. This software will look through resumes for these keywords.

So simply put keywords are those words that easily describes the position you are applying for. In the example above the position is business development professional. So what words immediately come to mind with this position? Correct, business development. Therefore you will want the keywords to be the words business development. To tell your story you should use these keywords in a natural story telling manner.

Highlight Your Experience

Many professionals have a wealth of valuable relevant experience to share. The key is how much of this experience should you share on your resume? Resumes are parsed and if selected will be reviewed by the employer for about 20 seconds or less. In resume writing it is totally acceptable to construct a 2-3 page resume if you are applying for an executive level position. All other positions 1-2 pages are common. Remember most employers know that the average job seeker has three plus jobs in their career. The length of the resume is not as important as the use of keywords and highlighting your relevant experience and qualifications. The only experience you should highlight are those experiences that apply to the job. As mentioned above you should naturally tell your story using keyword and relevant job experience.

Having a great resume is easily accomplished and doesn’t require fancy words, design or layout. There are many free resume writing templates on the internet that can help you with layout etc. Because this document is so important in getting you closer to your new job we encourage you to devote the necessary time to get it right. Most importantly before you send your resume to a perspective employer you should have a trusted person review it and provide feedback. Be sure to use spellcheck and look for grammatical errors etc. Remember you only get one chance to make a great first impression.

Resume Writing Made Affordable

Many professionals choose to write their resumes and with tremendous results. But if you feel the need to use a professional service know that these companies and professionals fees range in price from $300-$1500 based on the required technical copy writing skills. In other words if you are applying for an IT or Medical position you would want a resume writer with that level of experience to write impact copy or content on your behalf.

You are now closer to securing that position that most fits your skills and qualifications. Wishing you the very best

We hope this article clarifies some of the confusion in the use of keywords and value proposition statements. Resumes are designed to gain the attention of the prospective employer. Take some time in listing your qualifications and skills. With this article you are now equipped to tell a great story about your qualifications and experiences.

Water Damage Mold

The first thing created after water damage in a house is the mold. Mold creates a number of problems for the home owner. Fungi are common in nature and serve a central role as breakdown agents for organic matter. They contain fragments, or spores, which are found in virtually every home and building. Major mold that is found in water damaged homes is called Stachybotrys chartarum (atra), more commonly known as SC. It is a greenish black fungus that grows on materials like fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. They become chronically moist or water damaged due to excessive humidity, condensation, and flooding.

SC was first noted as a disease when it contaminated cereal grains. When people ate that grain, they started feeling burning sensations in their mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and pain in their abdomen. Then it was found that if its pores are released into air, then there was more probability of developing these symptoms. Few reports of scientific literature stated that there were places where people had to leave the place due to spreading of molds like SC and other molds too. When the spores are released into air, they may be inhaled and can get into lungs causing severe airborne diseases.

To save houses and buildings from mold, some precautions need to be taken. Buildings should be inspected routinely for evidence of water damage and visible mold. Conditions causing mold such as water leaks, condensation, or flooding should be corrected. After water damage, books and papers should be immediately discarded. Water from the carpets and rugs should be immediately removed. Ceiling tiles, if damaged, should be removed and replaced. Remove the water from upholstered furniture with the help of water extraction vacuum. Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers and fans for drying.

For the removal of mold, the simplest and most expedient remediation should be used. After cleaning, try to ensure that there are no such conditions again for these hazardous materials to grow. A professional restoration company should be called to fix or repair any problems.

Atlanta Apartment Rentals

If a tenant comes to terms with what he or she really needs, it should not take more than a few days to complete the rental home search. If the needs are reasonable, like good bathrooms and bedrooms or a nice kitchen and cozy living area, there should hardly be any problem. But tenants with extravagant demands like a four-car garage or the right to keep a couple of poisonous snakes may not find the going too smooth.

Even though some policies may impose an additional charge if you rent your house, see to it that your insurance covers your house as a rental. Take care to have a look at the prevailing rental rules. There are often rules on various things like what rooms in a house may be used for renting or the number of non family members that may live together. By collecting facts on other rentals in the area, make the most of your own house rental.

One rents a house mostly because of a large, steady income. Many people purchase rental houses in areas that constantly attract tenants and rent them for much more than the cost of the mortgage. In most cases a house will rent for a lot more than an apartment. They usually offer more space and are rented by families, professionals or students whose needs are not fulfilled by acquiring smaller spaces.

You can also rent a house for part of the year and use it as a vacation home. There are many who buy shore homes and rent them except for a few weeks of the year. Remember, any tools, supplies and services you purchase for the house can reduce your tax burden.

If a property remains not rented for long, you stand to lose more money. Maintenance of a home rental is also not easy. Painting on a regular basis, taking care of the lawn, removal of snow etc. will demand your attention and cost you a lot of money.