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Direct Mail Works

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Put Direct Mail Back In Your Marketing Mix!

You know I am a great advocate of multi-channel marketing. It allows you take advantage of the 5 senses of sighthearingsmelltaste, and touch. 

Outside of a good old face to face sales appointment, and that is not going to happen right now with covid, it is only through your message and your words that you can captivate the heart and mind of your prospects and customers. 

Show them you care. Tell them you care. You need to start the showing this special care in the words you use, not just expressing the feelings but also explaining how you understand the problems they are having is a great way to start. More so in a Covid world. Then if you are doing niche selling like we at Larson & Associates advocate you most likely really do understand their problems and pain points, maybe even more then they do themselves, all the good and bad of the market because of your fuller broad-based understanding.

Direct mail does not have to be dull!

Direct mail at first glance might appear to lack the glitz and glamour of digital marketing. No bells. No whistles. But with all the new innovations maybe not! Print technology like spot digital varnish or digital foil have burst onto the the scene in the last year. Are you taking advantage of those new exciting innovations along with variable data capabilities which came into use a few decades ago with the promise of fast, highly personalized campaigns? Smell you ask? Yes you can get scented pieces of mail. Really, The perfume companies have know this for a long time. Is it time for you to start stinking? Sound? Oh yes with little chips you can talk through the mail. If you have the voice for it sing out loud and strong!

As direct mail technologies have evolved, and as email in-boxes have filled with needless spam looking offers, many marketers are finding that a targeted direct mail added into the marketing mix can cut through the clutter and deliver many of the those same advantages that companies have been enjoying from online marketing. In addition, with many offices closed during the pandemic, physical mail is often reaching people when they are home as well as phone calls and this mail into their almost empty mail box might be providing a pleasant diversion from the daily routine of life.

Many of these prospects are welcoming mail as a point of contact with the world outside their homes. The good thing about mail is that you can touch it, you can feel it, you can smell it and you can see it. If you want to taste it I don't want to hear about it, lol. That alone makes a difference, particularly now, when we can't even really touch or see each other.  Although direct mail volumes are down significantly that is a good thing for you. As marketers headed off to Zoom-land from last March onward amid the contraction of the economy and marketing budges kept shrinking it opened up more space for those who kept doing what worked. As I call them, the basics of Direct mail, Email and Telemarketing using zooming in-place of face-to-face sales calls.  As we move into the start of 2021 and the new year, we are starting to see an increase in direct mail use requests putting aside the slowness because it works! And it holds up one leg of the marketing stool in a way the others can not!


Can We Help You?

Take a look or re-look at direct mail. You might be surprised but what mail is capable of doing for you.

What we have found is that when people unsubscribe from an email list, many times it's not because they don't want to have a relationship with you and your brand. Sometimes they're are just overwhelmed by the number of emails so unless yours is really good and keeps striking a special note you will not make the short list forever.

So is it time to go wide open multi-channel?

Should your company be using a strategically timed mulit-channel. multi-touch campaigns involving emails, follow-ups phone calls and postcard mailings?

You think we should talk?  The return on investment numbers say. . .  Yes.

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

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Howard Larson Whos Who In USA

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

In a covid world
Howard Larson
has been nominated to

In America 2020

Working in the covid world of 2020 has shown the business model of a virtual office that Howard Larson and Larson & Associates starting using back in in 2004, not just to lower our carbon footprint but to give the Larson & Associates staff greater job satisfaction and control has allowed us to give us a quicker response to the needs of our clients. Not that it has been easy this year. Fortunately we have been able to give clients access to things like Penetrexx, an Antimicrobial chemical made in the USA to keep surface integrity between disinfection applications. This has helped to keep client offices and factories open and as covid free as possible. We ourselves have not lost 1 day or even 1 hour or work due to covid.

Our philosophy of the Big Fish in a Little Pond and purposefully staying small, seeking out small to mid-sized companies, the majority of our clients continue to be small businesses with revenue of $500,000 to 10 Million with 3 to 12 sales people remains in tact. 

In 2020 despite covid, our year over year clients who are using the Larson & Associates 3 Legged Stool Method of Marketing have been seeing growth above 9% as well as grabbing increased market share with bold covid expansion programs. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Larson Philosophy of Marketing. Now in our 45th year it is because of you that we are still here and continue to be a success. It is your belief in us that makes us who we are. You give us the freedom to work quick, hard and fast. You are the people who let us out run, out produce and out perform the competition.

Marquis Who's Who

Marquis Who’s Who was established in 1898 and promptly began publishing biographical data in 1899. More than 120 years ago, our founder, Albert Nelson Marquis, established a standard of excellence with the first publication of Who’s Who in America.

Selection of individuals for listing in its publications "is based on reference value. Individuals become eligible for listing by virtue of their positions and/or noteworthy achievements that have proved to be of significant value to society. An individual's desire to be listed is not sufficient reason for inclusion.

Larson & Associates



We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Copyright ©2020 Larson & Associates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way     Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

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What Have You Done For Me. . .

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson


What Have You Done For Me. . . NOW!

This is my life. My customer's and I live in today, not tomorrow. 

As I sit here on Covid D-Day I wonder what will 2021 bring. This year has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs; the kind of work we have been doing, the expectations that have been placed upon myself and my staff and the limited resources given to produce results. Are we working in the office or remote? What about a coffee shop? Are they even open?

I want to start this out by saying, we don't make work. We don't twist arms. We don't trick people into buying or backing them into a corner where they will regret their decision later and not become a repeat customer. What we do is to go out and attempt to find you customers, not just for today but, tomorrow and the next day so you can actually grow your business. We present you, our clients in the best possible light through E-mail, Direct mail and Teleprospecting. Then we add in a little social media marketing, some content marketing, a touch of SEO, if the demographics are right some texting, Instagram or YouTube and we find companies that want to work with you.

The 3 Legged Stool Method

Nothing works every time but somethings work better than others. Our method, the Larson way is the 3 Legged Stool method of marketing. I have been using the Stool or in some way, shape or form for 45 years. The tools have changed but the basic idea has not. Hit people in three different ways using 3 different touch points and you are going to find a way that they respond to. The five senses are sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. If you use them right people will respond to your message

When I started out back in the 70's and 80's I would fax out all night long. Now that has evolved into email marketing. Don't laugh, email works. The right subject line, the right message, with the right product or service at the right time and with out allot of fancy arm twisting and you have a new customer. No you many get a low conversion rate but remember the rule of 27, right Fred?

Direct mail if used correctly targets the right customers at the right time. If you weave it in and out of emails and a phone you have a powerful way to find a ready and waiting audience. With direct mail becoming less common, there is less noise. THE MAIL BOX IS EMPTY! You can capture the undivided attention of your customers. Now more then ever direct mail is more likely to get read, it increases your name and company awareness. Unlike digital campaigns, direct mail has a larger appeal to every age group. Ready don't think that under 40s don't read their mail, they do, they really do.  We do outsource all our printing but with our careful control we make it actually work.

Since direct mail is a physical product, it allows room for creativity. Thus it can appeal to more senses, leaving a lasting and memorable impact on your customer. In the end, direct mail is powerful because it’s different from the digital way of doing things. I get hundreds of emails every week. But I get only a small amount marketing messages in the form of postcards or letters in my mailbox.

Finally we come to telemarketing or teleprospecting. Telemarketing is the glue that sticks it all together. No, not everyone we call is going to agree to make a purchase. 
But why would telemarketing even exist if it didn’t provide positive results? Telemarketing is a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool. 

1. It provides your company with direct feedback.
2. It connects people with other people in a low tech / high touch way.
3. It can expand your sales territory in a very personal way.
4. It provides immediate results when you use a real person making the calls like we do at Larson & Associates. Not some automated voice system

Larson & Associates

Making Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Call me at 847-991-1294 and get the full range of services you need to grow your business during this trying period in time.

Copyright ©2020 Larson & Associates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way     Suite 201
Grayslake IL 60030

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Best Time To Reach Out

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Is there a best time to contact a prospect?

I Don't know what you think you know but
The research is wrong!

There have been numerous research studies, advice and opinions published on when is the best time to contact a prospect. And there is one thing that is the same in all the published articles: none of them agree on any thing. Time, day nothing!

There isn't a good time!

Some will tell you that it is 10.37am on a Wednesday morning (I don't know how they manage to work out that every prospect is in a wonderfully receptive mood at precisely at 10:37 but ok). Others will say that it’s a Monday afternoon. (By the way, there may be loads of prospects who are ready to take calls and e-mails on a Monday afternoon)

But you are getting the idea here: everyone is different, everyone has a different suggestion. And that is what has led me to create the definitive answer to the question “when is the best time to contact a prospect?”. If you were looking for a simple answer, be ready for crushing disappointment. Here goes:

So when is
the best time to contact a prospect?
There is no correct time!

It is simply not possible to give an answer to when is the best time to contact a prospect. Everyone is different. We need to take into account that there are different habits and cultures in each area of the country, market sector and type of company. And that’s before we talk about the fact that everyone has individual preferences and that these days people rarely have two weeks that are the same.

So how do sales people make the best use of their time? How do they create the maximum success for contacting people? Here are seven quick tips to maximise your chances of engaging a prospect:

Call when you are not supposed to:

Where much of the research about when is the best time to contact a prospect agrees is that no-one wants to speak to you on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. Really? For some reason I have made some of my best sales at those times. They might seem unproductive but yes this is when I get my best results! Perhaps it’s because nobody else is dumb enough to be calling at that time. Calling after 5.30pm works pretty well for me as well and before 7:30 also: meetings have not started or they are finished but the boss is in early or still there late.

Here is another secret: right before you leave at the end of your day, make 1 more call. Just 1 more. I don't care if it is 4:14 or 7:26, make one more call!

Mix up your calling times!

If someone is not available when you call them at 10.37am on a Wednesday don’t try contacting them again at the same time next week. Like I need to really be saying this but try a different day and a different time. Sooner or later you will find the right time for that person. But remember that probably won’t be the best time for your other prospects.

Go multi-channel!

Whenever I run one of my Teleprospecting workshops I ask the people there how many ways they contact prospects. Nearly everyone falls far short of the 14 different ways that I use. If someone ignores you when you call or e-mail, try something else. Use social media messaging, a blog, a direct mail postcard. You will usually get a response when you find a channel that resonates with them. It about them and what they want, not you.

Just remember the rule of 38. No matter what marketing channel you use, picking up the phone and making a follow up phone call will ad a 38% better response rate to what ever you are doing or getting.

Have a great message!

It doesn’t matter how good you are at getting through to people: your time is wasted if you simply give them a standard sales message that they have heard before. If you want to find out how to create a good message, again don't over think it. what do you want to achieve out of the call? What is the next step you want to take with them and ask for it. Really ask for the result you want to have happen.

Like now: I want to be doing teleprospecting and run your multichannel marketing program so call me at 847-991-1294 and calling right now would be good!

Be persistent!

So many people give up after two or three attempts to contact someone. I almost have to laugh here because the average prospect buys after 7 to 9 sales and marketing messages and they only see 1 out of 3. Do the math, That is 21 to 27 messages to get where you want to go with them. It usually takes a lot longer to get hold of a prospect and start a meaningful dialogue. Sometimes it takes me two or three years from the first engagement until the sale. But you’ll never make the sale if you give up too soon. (I should add that I qualify my prospects carefully to make sure that I am not wasting my time on people who are the wrong fit or who are not going to take the next step).

Run a CRM entry for each important prospect!

When I have my buyers hat on, I will receive calls from companies trying to sell me something. Many of them called at the wrong time. I might tell them when I was next reviewing suppliers like them. But not even ten percent would call back at the right time. Yes laying out there dead in the parking lot. I often tell people to call me back the following week or month (and mean it) and they either fail to contact me or get the time wrong. So make a CRM entry to make sure that you never forget to call anyone again at their right time.

Just do it!

Sorry but research is highly over rated. If you do niche selling like I strongly suggest you do, you already know the problems and you know your answer to those problems. Yes good old pain and pleasure selling. We can spend a lot of time researching. We can also be diverted by prospect research, managing current customers or just the general busy. Sometimes we manage our time badly. And sometimes we use all these reasons as an excuse not to call new prospects because it seems too scary. The best thing that we can do is to actually start making contact with people. Pick up the phone and make the call!

Want to do it yourself?
Here’s a quick action point for you

Try and make contact with at least five people today, and the same tomorrow. Choose a channel that you are comfortable with. Try social media or writing a note card if the phone and e-mail do not appeal. The most important thing is to take action. At the end of the week you have made 25 reach outs!

If you reach out to 25 people you have a reasonably good chance of having a conversation with at least one new contact. You will be making progress with your sales and you will also be doing better than most of your competition.

Research is over-rated!

Yes, Research is highly over-rated!

Action is better.

What do you do if you don’t know what to say to new prospects? Have a weekly special. A new twist to your product of service or how you are servicing customers during covid.

Don't like to prospect?
For you there is Larson & Associates

We make good businesses great and great businesses even better!

Our focus is on working to become a part of your sales and marketing team in a seamless, invisible way to help propel your business to the next level. We will get to know you, understand you, sell you!

If you don't enjoy phone call after phone call or have a multichannel system that works call us!

WE Do!

Larson & Associates

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Direct Mail Is Part of a Succe

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Covid changes everything.

Covid changes nothing!

We are in a world where everyone and their brother is scrambling to get “data-driven” “content driven” marketing out there yet the old rules still apply. You know rules like people see or hear 1 out of 3 marketing messages you send out and it takes 9 views so it takes on average 27 marketing messages to find a new customer. I was data-driven before it was the thing to do. In the old days it use to be called “direct marketing.”

As a marketing person who started my working life as a printer, a typographer and an advertising man I have a long history of direct marketing. I’ve never understood the push to throw the print marketing under the bus when it should be kept as part of the marketing equation and not what the pure social media guys want to do in their definition of an all digital marketing attack. Both complement each other and if used correctly build upon each other.

Print is high cost, high touch, high impact.  Digital is lower cost, low impact. Add in teleprospecting and you have the glue to drive your message home in a very low tech high touch way.

What I am I saying? I like to think print brings an air of importance, a high-credibility to marketing messages. The "If it is in print it must be true mentality."

Take a look at the average response rates!

Direct mail has average response rates from 4.9% to 9%. (If the list and the message is constructed correctly). Digital channels have conversion rates ranging from 0.77% to 1.3%. But where one is weak the other is strong. Typically, print can touch a customer only a handful of times per year, but it’s a powerful touch that drives action. Meanwhile, digital can follow a person everywhere, every day, year-round, all the time, keeping mind awareness high.

If digital and print complement each other, what are the facts behind the claims of higher success? The numbers are clearly out there on the result side. Of those marketers who incorporate direct mail into their multichannel efforts, 80% reported seeing better results, sometimes dramatic. 

Simply put, print is an important and integral part of a digital marketing plan.

Then you add in teleprospecting and you get a 38% bump in your response rate! 80% becomes 110%. And what if I am wrong and your print-digital only gets you 25% response? Well do the numbers 25% with teleprospecting becomes 34.5%. Not too shabby huh?

Larson & Associates

Making Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Is it time to get your 38% bump?
Phone 847-991-1294

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