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Email Alone Just Won't Cut It
No businesses can rely on just one marketing mechanism. As a matter of fact the number 'one' is a pretty dangerous number in business:
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one major supplier
one vital employee
one main customer
If your business uses the Yellow Pages as its only promotional mechanism, a 'Not happy Jan!'* moment is a severe blow. The newer equivalent is reliance on high rankings in Google - one algorithm update or a decision that you are breaching the rules (the 'Google slap') can remove you from the rankings entirely.

The same is true of Facebook - all pages and information on Facebook belong to Facebook and they've been known to shut a page down with no notice whatsoever and without giving a reason.
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Similarly, email should only be one tool in the marketing arsenal. A vital tool, of course, but one that works much better in conjunction with a range of other marketing and promotion techniques.

With the current focus on online and social media, conventional marketing methods are being ignored. Direct mail for example.

Although postage and printing costs make direct mail more expensive than email marketing, here are some of the reasons it's worth including direct mail in your marketing mix:

direct mail is not subject to same strict anti spam rules as email, so you can rent a targeted list and send direct mail to it (we strongly advise against renting email lists - see below)
you can be more creative in print
designed correctly, your mailing piece has (possibly) a longer 'life' than email (people often keep mailing pieces they're interested in)
can be read anywhere
can be used to target non-computer/internet using people
The most successful companies have cracked the code of getting online and offline campaigns to work together - with direct mail driving traffic to the website and the website asking for mailing addresses from online visitors.

Several years ago, when I set up a site for fans of Italian cars, the original focus was on promoting it exclusively online, but I soon found that offline promotion worked really well to drive people to the site.
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I got some smart looking fridge magnets made and would give them away instead of business cards, often leaving them under the windscreen wipers of Italian cars I spotted (or throwing them on the seats of the open top Ferraris etc - normally when parked!). The magnets were a talking point and a simple and non-intrusive way of promoting the site.

*'Not happy Jan!' - catchcry of a business owner left out of the Yellow Pages by a forgetful employee (Jan) in the ad campaign (in Australia) for the company several years ago

**I strongly recommend against using any list of email addresses you have not collected correctly yourself, even if you have bought the list from a reputable broker

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