Small Office/Home Office
But, says Collins, e-mail is a great medium for businesses to send business information and marketing appeals.
"If you have the availability in both mediums, [direct mail and e-mail], you should look into testing both," says Candito. "There's certainly more availability of direct mail names for this market, but there are e-mail lists out there, too, that allow you to reach these people effectively."
Regardless of the specific target, Candito advises to test both. "It's a market just like any other," he says. "I don't think there's one trick medium that works. The rules don't change for this market."
While each day seems to bring a new piece of research on the dismal prospects for big business, their entrepreneurial little brothers have been riding high in terms of proactivity and drive for new business.
According to Dun & Bradstreet's 2002 Small Business Survey, 87 percent of small businesses were optimistic about their companies' prospects at the close of 2002. When asked the same question in 2001, 81 percent were optimistic, a sign of continued positivity among SOHOs.
"You have to really think about the individuals in this market: They want to get things done quickly and efficiently," says Candito. "It's a small office/home office, they don't have droves of assistants running around doing things for them. They are a captive audience, but you have to be pretty straight forward and make it easy for them."