How do you take advantage of mailing lists to expand your business? Taking advantage of buy mailing lists is one of the most effective ways to increase sales. You should be using your customer list as well as purchased mailing lists from a list broker. But even the best efforts to increase sales by using a mailing list can require very careful analysis and record keeping. In the previous article we discussed using your invoice and expenses ledgers as marketing tools to analyze your marketing efforts. In this article we will discuss the invoice ledger in more detail.

Does Your Business Keep An Invoice Ledger?

Every business should have an invoice ledger. If you have carefully kept track of the lead sources from your various marketing campaigns, then you will be able to identify the most profitable and productive sources of advertising. You can tell a great deal about the workability of your promotions and marketing by doing this very simple analysis. This example uses lead categories for repeat sales plus new sales from trade shows, direct mail, referrals, field sales, phone sales, ad sales and sales from new businesses (plus unidentified new sales). Simply prepare a spreadsheet and tabulate your sales invoices for a given period of time into the various lead categories:

Click to enlarge

Next, tabulate the sales from the same period into the number of sales invoices. The number of sales invoices will be needed to calculate the average sales for the various lead categories:

no-of-sales-summaryClick to enlarge

Next, you can summarize the data:

Trade Show New Sales34532.558
Direct Mail New Sales57414.9212
Repeat Sales66540.34131
Referral New Sales109105.2518
Field New Sales122137.6818
Phone New Sales127791.7119
Ads New Sales8534.3525
New Businesses8126.721
Unidentified New Sales5271.7222

Graph Your Results

Finally, you can graph the results. You will be able tell at a glance which promotional activities are producing the most. The following graph shows the volume of sales for repeat customers vs. new customers and how the new customers break down into the various lead categories:


Repeat Customer Sales vs. New Customer Sales

In this example only 12.33% of the total sales volume is for repeat customers. This looks like a business that constantly must go after new customers because it has to make 87.67% of its income from new customers. This is a perfect example of why the business must analyze very carefully where to put its promotion and marketing efforts because getting new customers requires a lot of advertising and marketing. This example is very typical of a business that uses a variety of advertising sources to generate sales leads. In fact, it makes about 24 cents out of every dollar from phone sales and about 23 cents out of every dollar from field sales.

Referral Sales

Notice that one of the categories is referral sales. One of the most important ways a business can make income is from referral sales. There is no better advertising than word of mouth. In this example, about one out of every five dollars of revenue comes from referral sales. This means that the business must make up the remaining revenue from contact other than from existing customers. That involves the effective use of advertising and promotions.

A Typical Business Can Benefit From Direct Mail Marketing

This example also illustrates that sales revenue from direct mail campaigns amounts to one dollar out of every ten dollars – not bad considering that this is a typical “brick and mortar” business. In other words it is not what you would call a direct mail business because it does phone calls, field calls and trade shows, but it does make a little over 10% of its income from new customers from direct mail marketing. How would you like to make another 10% in sales revenue? You should be using direct mail marketing in addition to your other promotion and advertising efforts.

Mailing Lists Direct is a full service direct mail list company where you can find consumer mailing lists, business lists and specialty lists at competitive prices. Mailing Lists Direct provides first rate customer support. No matter what your business needs in the way of an address list or managing your mailing list campaigns, Mailing Lists Direct will be able to satisfy all your needs. Call toll free at 800-741-0116.

Mike Doughty is a small business owner and entrepreneur with a background in direct mail marketing, manufacturing and distribution. During his career, he produced a mail order catalog and worked on many successful direct mail campaigns.