Marketing with Direct Mail

Wednesday, August 26 at 07:15 AM
Category: Business Banking

Using direct mail as part of an overall marketing plan can produce results, but it can also be a waste of precious resources if not done properly. The keys are:

  • Knowing exactly what you want the direct mail to accomplish
  • Using effective materials to produce the desired results 
  • Having a good list 
  • Making sure the mail is processed effectively 
  • Following up, as appropriate 
Direct mail is usually thought of as a way to send large numbers of the same materials to many people as cheaply as possible. In reality it is just like sending a letter without the time consuming tasks of writing, signing, addressing and putting stamps on hundreds or thousands of letters. Direct mail has become a widely used, and in many cases very specialized, way of generating results. 

Your goals should dictate the form of the mail piece
If you consider the direct mail you get, it usually falls into one of three categories. It may try to motivate you to make an immediate purchase, offer you an easy way to get more information or keep the company top of mind. 
 
Each of these goals usually results in using a different type of written material. Using a written piece to produce an immediate sale is difficult. The offer must almost be over-whelming and the process of buying must be extremely easy. 

Direct mail pieces designed to generate leads usually indicate how the product/service being sold may solve a problem. The postcard from the local furnace repairman offering to clean your furnace may be trying to help you solve a problem you didn't know you had.

Companies that offer relationship-type services often use regular newsletters to build a favorable presence of mind with prospects so the prospect will think of that company when they are ready to make a relationship change decision. 

Have a good list
One of the apparent attractions of direct mail is that it can enable you to reach many new prospects with a purchased list. The problem is many lists are unreliable or outdated. If you are considering buying a list, investigate it thoroughly. Many list vendors offer lists that have been compiled from public information or other lists. Expect that 10- 30 percent of most lists are outdated as people move or die, or their situation changes. 

The more you know about the people most likely to be interested in your product/service, the more you will be able to find the right list or screen a larger list down to your most likely prospects. Let's assume you are trying to generate leads for your relatively high-priced product or service. You may want to consider the following list screening variables – zip codes, home values, estimated income, length of residence and age. Most of this type of information is available from quality list providers. The more specific you get, the fewer people will be on the list and the more you will pay for each name. 

Expect to pay from 10 to 50 cents for each name you buy. Remember even the best materials with an irresistible offer will not produce results if the person receiving the mail can't afford what you are offering. 

Effective mail processing
Implementing a direct mail campaign doesn't always mean hiring a "direct mail house" to do it for you. Many businesses do it themselves. The question of whether to use an outside service is usually based on volume and the internal resources you can devote to the effort. 

If you are considering thousands of multi-part pieces, a direct mail house will probably be able to do it cheaper. They have the mailing equipment and will probably be able to utilize bulk mail postage rates. But, don't let a 15 cent savings in postage (first class compared to bulk rates) be the only factor in making the decision. By the time you consider all the costs – the list, materials, processing and postage – you will probably spend over a dollar per piece on the mailing. If your targets are limited in number and you have the internal resources, handling a direct mail program internally may be the right choice. 

Follow up, follow up, follow up 
Once you send the mail, the most important work begins. 

Before beginning your next direct mail campaign, look at your goals, list and mailing process to help you make a strategic marketing move.

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
 

Arvest Bank Hires Charlotte Stratton in Harrison, Ark.

Wednesday, August 26 at 04:25 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

We're happy to have Charlotte Stratton grow her career with us in Harrison, Ark.

YELLVILLE, Ark. — Arvest Bank has hired Charlotte Stratton as a consumer and mortgage lender at the Northside branch in Harrison. Scott Tennyson, Arvest Harrison president, made the announcement today. 

In her new position, Stratton will work closely with Arvest customers to find the best financial products for their needs. Previously she was the commercial closing coordinator at Waco Title Company. 

Tennyson said, “Charlotte will be a great addition to our Harrison team. She has a stellar reputation for excellent customer service and a dedication to this community. I know that she’ll work hard to provide our customers with the services and products they need.”

Stratton, a native of Harrison, holds multiple financing and banking certifications and was a licensed mortgage broker. 

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, North Central Arkansas, Press Release
 

Friday Financial Forum Aug. 28 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tuesday, August 25 at 06:05 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We will meet at the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's East Side Branch, located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd. in Bartlesville, Okla*. 

What you can expect at the event:
  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford, Rep. Earl Sears & Rep. Travis Dunlap) 
  • News: "The Scoop" - all about business and community happenings in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank) 
  • Stock Report & Economic Update: Josh Randolph**, Arvest Asset Management 
  • Hilarious Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

Each week is different with a few surprises! Come join us for cookies and coffee and hear about what’s going on!

If you have any questions or would like to add someone to the email invitation list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!

**Josh Randolph - Oklahoma Insurance License #122041

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma
 

Saving for College: Ways to Minimize the Sticker Shock

Monday, August 24 at 10:45 AM
Category: Personal Finance

There's no doubt a college education can be costly, but according to U.S. Census Bureau data, someone with a college degree can earn, on average, 60 percent more than a person with only a high school diploma. As states tighten their belts and higher-education budgets are squeezed, people are looking for ways to save for college.

Start planning and saving for college as early as possible. "Small, steady savings — ideally starting as soon as possible after a child is born — can help parents manage the sticker shock of a college education," said Luke W. Reynolds, chief of the FDIC’s Community Outreach Section.

Estimate how much you need to save to meet college expenses. Several online calculators can help project the total cost of college and how much you should save each month.

Research your savings options. Some come with substantial tax benefits or other incentives. In each case, carefully consider the potential risks, costs and limitations before investing any money. Examples include:
  • Section 529 college savings plans. These programs, which are mostly offered by individual state governments, carry many of the same federal tax benefits as Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). There are two basic kinds of 529 plans: pre-paid tuition programs that allow savers to lock in today's prices for future tuition payments at designated universities, and traditional savings plans that allow families to contribute money into investments or FDIC-insured deposit accounts. Under the FDIC's rules, in most cases, deposits that a 529-plan administrator places at a bank on behalf of different individuals are federally insured up to $250,000 for each participant.
  • U.S. Savings Bonds. "One of the great things about savings bonds is that parents can purchase them through regular, recurring deductions from their salary or a bank account," said Elna Johns, an FDIC financial educator. Savings bonds are backed by the government, but one tradeoff for the safety is a moderate rate of return. For qualifying taxpayers, the interest earned is exempt from state or local income tax, and the bonds may be exempt from federal income tax when they are used for education expenses. Learn more at Treasury Direct.*   
  • Credit card rebates and incentives. Some programs allow parents to receive rebates and other incentives for purchases made with a credit card or for shopping at particular merchants, with the rewards deposited into a college savings account. Be careful, though, not to let these relatively small rewards induce you to make purchases outside of your budget. 
  • Special savings programs that may be offered in your area. For example, an increasing number of state and local government programs, often with assistance from nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, are providing incentives to help low-income families save for college. These initiatives typically involve grants or matching funds that go into a child's college savings account. "Children's savings accounts can be a way of encouraging early saving habits while accumulating needed financing for education," said Sherrie Rhine, a senior economist at the FDIC who specializes in consumer finance issues.
For more information about saving and paying for college from the FDIC, the Department of Education and other government agencies, start at MyMoney.gov.

Information courtesy of FDIC Consumer News.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.
 
Tags: Credit Cards, Financial Education, Savings
 

Accepting Applications for Student Leadership Program in Rogers, Ark.

Friday, August 21 at 07:35 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Applications are now being accepted for the Arvest First Leadership Program through the Rogers-Lowell (Ark.) Chamber of Commerce.* 

Arvest First Leadership provides high school students with the opportunity to learn more about their community through a variety of sessions focused on different aspects of leadership and community engagement. 

Sophomores and juniors who reside within the Rogers School District or attend school at Rogers High School, Heritage High School and New Technology High School are eligible to apply. Students must also have a minimum grade point average of 2.5, display leadership potential, maintain passing grades throughout the Arvest First Leadership Program, be able to attend all Arvest First Leadership sessions, and have a desire to be involved in their community. 

To get an application please contact mfittro@arvest.com or the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce.* Applications are being accepted through Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, and can be returned to the school's main office or to mfittro@arvest.com. Along with the application, two letters of reference must be submitted in order to be considered for the program. For more information about the program, please contact the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce.*  

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.  

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest Benton County, Community Support

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