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Apr 23, 2001
How To

Howard Levy Design Tests Web Directories vs. Direct Mail to Bring in New Clients

SUMMARY: If you run a small ad agency or design studio, you may be interested to hear what one NY-based studio has learned by testing online marketing versus good old-fashioned direct mail.
Howard Levy has tested listing his full-service graphic design shop in about a dozen online directories including BizBuyer, eLance, eWork, OnVia, NewMediary, BrandEra's Portfolios.com and the online version of the Yellow Pages. So far the only one that's generated any decent business enquiries has been the Yellow Pages.

Several directories, such as NewMediary and OnVia, sent RFPs to Levy; but he says these were far too generic to respond to appropriately. "They need to set up the forms to ask some explicit questions. You end up giving a generic answer and price range because you're working in the dark." He felt other services, such as Portfolios.com, mainly generated sales leads from customers shopping by price alone. "These people want to pay $100 for a logo. We're not going after low ballers."

Personal networking at local events has always worked for Levy, so last week he sent out a direct mail campaign to capitalize on the 500+ business cards of folks he's met at events over the past year. The campaign consisted of a glossy 4-color, flyer showing samples of Levy's identity, print and Web designs. Instead of mailing it in the usual white carrier, Levy used #10 (business- sized) translucent envelopes. The carriers were addressed with pressure sensitive Avery labels and posted using live first class stamps.

Did it work? Absolutely. In less than a week the phone started ringing. For your sample of this simple, yet effective campaign, contact Levy's Office Manager Robert Provenz at 212.929.2657.

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