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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

More from the land of Oz

I sent out an email last week to about 9,000 people to find out whether they had any interest at all in my ramblings or just signed up in a drunken moment.

The message was not my best, and I am pleased to say that (for once) this wasn't my fault. It was my partner Al's, but since he's younger, bigger and stronger than me I can't beat him up.

Anyhow ... I got lots of nice and quite a few funny messages, including one from Harry Brelsford in Queensland, who started with a comment only meaningful to those who follow a certain sport which very occasionally we beat them at.

"From over here in Australia it looks like we may need some guidance on how to play the game of Cricket."

Harry is a printer - a hell of a tricky business - and he made me smile several times:

"I have not read all of your ideas but have them in chronological order and will print and bind them when finished. I run a small printing business on the Gold Coast and still like to read from paper.

I hoped this whole Internet thing would go away and still start ranting when I see an email signature that suggests we should consider the environment before printing that miserable little email. The same person probably bins a whole newspaper every day.

We have persevered and our little business (run by my daughter and her not always too bright dad) is holding its own. The one thing we do is send a direct mail letter to our customers every month. This is a single page A4 on our letterhead. We also distribute postcards every month to our catchment area telling prospects we do good stuff that can help them.

We also push that we can help them get a better return on their marketing material because we have been doing our own marketing in the local area for many years. We claim their printing costs the same whether it has an effective or ineffective message.

Our own measure is if we distribute our postcards every month sales go up, stop the campaign and sales go down. Scientific enough for me to keep doing it."

That made me laugh. God knows how many allegedly smart people still don't even measure what happens as a result of their marketing. You'd think a recession might teach them, but no; not a chance.

Harry made me laugh again when he said he likes my helpful ideas and "I no doubt use some of the inspiration down the track and by then probably think the idea is my own."

Hey, Harry, they certainly aren't original, believe me.

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