Direct Mail Copywriters: Direct Marketing Consulting Rocks!

Finding really good direct mail copywriters can be very tricky and in this article I want to give you 12 points to look out for when you’re choosing a writer for your business.

Remember that a great writer can make the difference between success and failure so don’t leave this stuff to chance.

Let’s begin…

1. Your writer should be able to write for ad campaigns, TV scripts and radio promotions. You need someone that is going to cover all the basses.

2. A good direct mail copywriter can also write your business brochures and booklets.

3. You should look for someone who takes a great deal of interest in what you are trying to achieve and can create a marketing theme around your needs.

4. Look for someone who can write sales scripts for your call center and customer service staff.

5. Look for good communication skills right from the start because your first communication will always be the best because they are trying to impress you.

6. Market research needs to be covered fully.

7. You should look for someone who can consistently come up with, and add to marketing ideas and slogans. You should set a test up before you hire someone.

8. The most important thing is that the person should be able to write a good headline because this will make or break your direct marketing

9. Ask you writer to think of up-sell opportunities.

10. Good direct mail copywriters should have an idea of design and layout to work with your graphics people.

11. Look for a person who is also willing to write your email follow up as this is all part of the direct mail picture.

12. Look for someone who can create copy templates making future marketing easier and faster. This will be a great asset for your business.

Good luck in your search to find the right direct mail copywriters to help your business grow.

I hope these ideas will benefit you.

Direct Mail Postcards – Converting Mails to Huge Investment

Direct mail postcards are a versatile form of marketing, serving small ventures as well as big brands. This tool also acts to increase your sales figure without investing a lump sum. Today, the development of information and technology has taken us to a stage, where we hardly need to write and go to post-offices or any courier services for mailing special letters or postcards. A modern online solution has offered this small investment to you and promises to give better results.

Some of the advantages of direct mail postcards are stated below:

  • This type of postcard has ample space for marketing message and becomes a success on most occasions.
  • The success rate of postcards can be easily tracked and the prospect of marketing goes better than in other options. The feedback can also be used for future marketing analysis.
  • There is a thorough research with the subject matter and you can easily tally the figures of sales that you attain from your marketing venture, without wasting much effort.
  • Developing a tough marketing strategy for a small amount seems wiser that investing in other tools.
  • Last but not the least, these postcards are cheap. Sending direct mail postcards through the mail is much more reasonably priced than others.

The present day communication techniques are far more sophisticated compared to the past few decades. In recent years marketing was totally confined to individualistic approach. But at present, modern and innovative marketing tools have greatly dominated this scene. Creating good impression about your business to the clients’ is essential to survive. Direct mail postcards are one of the finest and inexpensive forms of marketing channel, where we can easily grab the attention of any business. Moreover, to spread the presence to the global clientele, this tool has been considered to be the cost effective one, especially because we can view the updates regarding the present trends in the existing as well in the past market. This can easily maximize your potential to the related areas resulting in a better capital growth.

Some of these direct mail postcards, such as jumbo postcard, standard postcard, and double postcard are dominating the business segment and giving an honest feedback to the investors and entrepreneurs. This method of marketing is becoming more popular especially when the business strategies tend to save time. We can implement various online print services where direct mailing service by means of postcard, has become the best in this segment. Moreover, the addition of add-on facilities such as educational content, direct mail designing, mailing list consulting, and many others.

There are hardly few such marketing tools rewarding you with such information. No doubt, these postcards are definitely doing well for business promotion; sometimes some drawbacks come into light. This process of mailing and further research takes a lot of time. But it has turned out to be an effective medium to access the globe and develop healthy business relations within a short time.

Branding Efforts Drive Sales When Combined With Direct Response

The term “Branding” has been in use in American marketing vernacular since the 1800s, first being used for cattle in the west to identify members of the herd belonging to a single owner, but branching out to consumer goods shortly thereafter, one of the first of which was used to identify beer served at certain pubs, with a small symbol on the door that was also used on the beer’s label.

Brands can be a symbol, a word, a name, even a graphic element (think the Nike swoosh), but each brand carries a set of characteristics that are brought to mind whenever someone sees it.

Direct marketing practices came into being shortly thereafter, when a now-defunct soap miller created a flyer posted on people’s doors that offered a free soap sample if they brought the flyer into the store, but it was only distributed to the people on the west side of town, where the rich people lived, thus the list select was wealth and geography!

These two disciplines have in the past been seen as divergent in goal and practice, but current thinking would have it otherwise. Studies have shown that sales boosts can be achieved by using a combination of the two approaches, mixing the heavy rotation and creative enchantment of branding, with the mechanics of call to action, offer and response device of direct response. This extends from creative executions to media strategy to back-end mechanics and PR.

Longitudinal studies performed by a select group of high-volume consumer product marketers have shown a synergistic relationship when combining branding type creative executions with direct response mechanics and back end, to the tune of 50-75% improvement over sales of the same product using either approach singly.

The Ads Have It . . .
In most cases, marketers and ad agencies have been creating branding ads in order to raise awareness, launch brand extensions to existing products, shift perceptions of the product or announce or formulate a new use for a product. They simply presented the product, reinforced the brand visually and ideologically, and repeated the process heavily to build consciousness among the audience.

The targeting was largely done with media alone, for television using the program viewer demographics, for radio the listener demographic and stations or program format serving as differentiators.

Not much thought was given to tracking, or accountability of branding ads, as it was widely understood that few could unequivocally demonstrate a direct cause and effect relationship between the appearance of the branding ad and the increase in sales among a distinct population sector.

Sales were tracked on a regular basis, broken out many different ways on reports using a variety of analytical tools, but none could correlate a sales blip directly with the appearance of the ad, and could not use such a correlation to quantify the “dosage” or frequency, or the program selection or timing of the placement. Thus, the ad schedule could not be used as a predictor of sales activity, and conversely, the sales build up could not be used to fine-tune the ad placements to maximize their impact.

Additionally, with no response mechanism other than to buy the product at a retailer, there was no reliable way to market test one creative approach or offer against another directly as is common practice in direct response. However, even knowing this, U.S. and global companies spend billions of dollars each year on branding ads in an effort to keep in step with their competitors, build awareness and broaden their appeal to consumers in a general way.

Longitudinal studies were conducted by the Ad Council and other academic organizations in the late 70s regarding advertising’s effectiveness in general. The conclusions were contradictory, and noted that the more you advertised, the more likely it was that sales would rise, up to a point of saturation.

Far from clarifying the situation, this study muddied the waters for corporate marketers for years, until larger corporations with deep pockets and savvy media departments could develop ways to maximize the value of the dollars they were spending. Media costs have far outstripped creative and production expenses in most media including radio, TV and Print, and distribution is the largest of all the concerns for advertisers, according to a study by Ad Age Magazine circa 1990.

Direct Is The Way . . .

On a parallel path of development, direct response, the art of targeting the right audience with the right message at the right time, was having its own growing pains. Marketers realized early on that there were several major components to success in their business model and that efficiency topped the list for direct marketers. Fewer pieces mailed meant lower cost, and lower cost meant higher profit margins. But in order to mail fewer, the package had to be more effective to make up the corresponding loss in response volume.

Testing proved to be the path to optimizing effectiveness, and testing programs are a staple in any good modern direct mail program. The simple act of changing a color on an outer envelope could have notable, significant impact on response, so wide spread testing programs have become common.

Direct response is not limited to the postal system. Direct response radio and television hit a huge wave of popularity in the mid-80s, when direct response, long-form television was developing. Pioneers like Ron Popiel (of the famous Ronco company), started pitching products on TV in larger blocks than the traditional :30 and :60 spots, using product demonstrations to highlight the product’s benefits, and aggressively urging viewers to “Call now, operators are standing by to take your order,” creating urgency and driving response ever higher.

These ads were usually run in the very late evening, and early morning hours, primarily because media costs dropped disproportionately with viewer numbers, and a block of thirty minutes could be had for pennies on the dollar compared to daytime, prime time viewing hours. In the hands of skilled pitchmen, these products looked extremely powerful and valuable, painting scenarios in which ordinary people could easily envision themselves, and offering a solution for just a few dollars.

For Just $19.95 . . .

The leading price point for most of these products was $19.95, on the assumption that if you broke out of the $20 ceiling, you would lose a predictable portion of the potential buyers due to risk aversion among the late night, post-2AM audience profile, largely blue collar, often night shift workers, security guards, insomniacs and nursing mothers.

Some of these ads took on a new direction in the later 80s after many of the basic functions had been put in place and the infrastructure to support the burgeoning DRTV industry had grown more robust. With very low-price point products, the cost per unit was so low, that you could literally sell two or three of the product for the originally advertised price, and the additional volume would outweigh the additional cost. Sales soared, and clones came out of the woodwork.

Value Addeds reached the point where if you could capture the personal information from a potential buyer by getting them to respond to virtually anything, then you had captured unlimited marketing use of that bit of data, and huge house lists of buyers developed based on buying a $4.99 – $9.99 product range. They were essentially giving away the product to capture the name. The key is to find a product that reveals something useful about the buyer, like selling a cleaner that works well on teak boat decks to uncover a niche of boat owners to sell sails or fittings to.

A landmark study conducted by the Communications Department of the University of Oklahoma showed that after a certain level of frequency, virtually any advertisement could be used for branding, and shown to increase recognition for the brand it carried, which translated to retail sales of the product even in a direct response situation. In short, if you sold products in retail environment that had been previously available only through DRTV, the brand carried, and it took with it extra cache for having been “seen on TV”.

Products like Ginsu Knives, the Pocket Fisherman, Juice Tiger, and others entered the popular vernacular, often synonymous with cheap or just entertaining, but nonetheless moving units in record numbers.

The net result of this is more units sold for the product manufacturers and marketers, at a minor cost of the dilution of the direct response pool of data. By this time, however, list analysis technology and consumer information and data modeling had become so prevalent, available and cost effective; the effect on direct marketers was minimal.

DRTV remains a viable channel to launch new products of any price point, thanks to the breakthrough of some high-ticket items adopting the strategy of breaking the price into credit payments.

Products such as the Bowflex exercise gear, a giant machine promising fitness benefits beyond belief, is currently available via retail, e-bay, and direct online, but started out as a DRTV staple. It sells for thousands of dollars, but the ads still cling to the Easy Payment model, at the $39.95 price point – they’ve just increased the number of payments.

Together Is Better . . .

The Oklahoma Study opened the doors to brand ads to extend their reach into the direct response realm, and conversely, for brands that didn’t have a good hold on the broad consumer market to gain a foothold through high frequency buys and shorter adapted blocks of time. 2-minute spots that both push brand and offer a phone number have increased their prevalence, and are working well for established products with solid order processing infrastructure.

Direct buying via the Internet has increased the general public’s comfort level with buying through alternate channels to retail. The rise of credit availability, and America’s accompanying indebtedness as a result, has also boosted the confidence of direct retailers and built sales dramatically for some products. All these factors delivered together have formed sort of a “perfect storm” of retail sales, allowing directly sold products to develop brands more readily, and to allow for branding ads to engage the audience more directly through the internet.

Drive to web branding ads have become commonplace, and nearly every product on the shelves today in the traditional retail environment has a web address on it somewhere, whether for customer service purposes or for more product information.

Cross-selling opportunities abound through this channel, as real estate on the Internet is relatively cheap and virtually unlimited, and a full range of products can be presented in multi-media fashion, offering both advertising and a direct marketing channel in one instance through a single website. It’s the perfect blend of branding and direct response, and it can come to full fruition now that broadband access has risen to a common level nationally and globally.

Predictions Are Worth Their Weight . . .

Based on the factors related above and a landmark study conducted by media specialists at Michigan State University that showed that retail purchasing on the web will eclipse all retail in volume by the year 2015, it appears the future could be now . . .

Clearly, the media mix is changing, differentiators between media are blurring and blending, the power of selectivity and targeting is on the increase across all media, including print, and the power of one-to-one marketing will finally become a full-scale reality, as brands drive reputation once again, and response can be measured accurately. As systems converge and centralized media monitoring becomes possible and later practical, media rates will stabilize, and a new scheme for media payments will develop, based solely on audience participation.

Product purveyors will do well to keep on the cutting-edge as this convergence develops, as the sidelines are widening and getting further from the center of relevance, and the speed of convergence is accelerating beyond the ability of large firms to catch up if they get too far behind.

Marketing Basics to Ensure a Successful Database

By definition, a database is a central repository, one likely to be used by many groups and many individuals. Each will approach the database in a different way and with a different need.

Consult the end users during all phases of database development to make sure the result meets the demand. Discuss database content, design and access. Make them part of the implementation plan.

The most vocal community within most companies is the sales department. Its voice is one of great influence and power because it emanates from individuals who generally have a lot to say about everything and who, more than anyone else, are in close contact with the company’s customers.

This combination makes their opinion significant. Therefore, even if the sales staff won’t be direct users of the database, it’s wise to make them aware of all the benefits.

Despite all things that make one firm’s database different from another’s, the process of planning the content, design, access, implementation and maintenance of the database varies little from one company to the next.

Locate your counterparts in other firms who may have trod the ground on which you about to step. They will have much valuable information to share, at no cost, about their internal successes and failures, vendors to use and to avoid and what to expect as the project moves forward.

The process of engineering and maintaining even a simple database can become an end in itself. When the project is complex, diversion of focus from the core business problem is virtually assured. Therefore, it is essential to find time every day to remind yourself of the primary mission the database is intended to serve. The need to be accommodating to other groups and objectives is important, but the database must be able to satisfy its prime directive or it will satisfy none.

Sooner or later, a detractor will take aim at the database. Prepare yourself by letting go of authorship pride and looking at the database critically a couple of times a year. Think about your database the way someone who just arrived and is fully objective would look at all the processes.

Throughout the planning, but especially after implementation, consider how to measure the effectiveness of the database. This must be done both quantitatively and qualitatively. Everyone who uses it will form an opinion about it. Find a way to gather all these opinions and use them to shape development.

Just as the birth of a child changes the way the parents live their lives, the arrival of a new database can alter the way people work. Changes to the nature and flow of a job are stressful and intimidating. Recognize this and defuse the tension it can bring. Introduce simple, familiar and fast characteristics, then build upon them.

Remaking Your Image And Time Management For Marketers

Marketing is something that all business owners need to master. Without a strong business plan, it’s becoming harder and harder to turn a profit in your business. So how much effort do you have to put into seeing your business take off? Well… a lot. This is why you have to keep marketing no matter what the economic climate is.

You need to learn how to adapt to the marketplace, and start learning how your business can change in the up coming months. Maybe new laws will come out that reflect on how you can now do business. There are all kinds of things to think about when it comes to earning more money in your business.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the things that you can do to improve upon your sales and profits, and how to cut out all the losers also. These techniques aren’t hard to do, but the first tip is something that you really need to think about when changing anything regarding your business. It’s almost like going into a niche.

But let’s started. Here’s tip number 1:

1) Change your image

You and your business must become creative and stylish if you want to get more new visitors coming into your store. All this means is that you’re taking the old ways of marketing and throwing them in the trash, and implementing a whole new way to market your business.

For example, if you used to use cold calling as a method but it didn’t seem to be profitable for you, maybe you should consider removing this tactic and replacing it with something like direct mail. Direct mail has a long history of working for those who knows what they’re doing. Here’s another tip for making your business a success.

2) Time management

You have to allocate so much of your time into time management just so you can be ahead on important meetings, luncheons, briefings, or any kind of “business get together” – that you can’t possibly afford to miss. Time management helps you to stay on top of your game so that you know what’s next to do – in a certain period of time.

Time management is something that I stress to you because time is something that could easily be forgotten about. You never want to arrive late to a meeting or to work just because your alarm clock didn’t go off. Have a backup plan and have your alarm clock ready. your cell phone alarm ready, and even your laptop ready (this is an advanced topic but I figured I’d mention it here anyway).

Both of these techniques should be used if you think that they can work well for you. In fact, re-engineering yourself and changing your image is one of the best things that you can do if you to make more money in the future. Add that with a bit of time management and you’ll have a gold mine waiting at your feet.

Good luck with using these tips to build your success today.

Direct Email Marketing – What 90% of Small Business Owners Screw Up

Direct email marketing is fast, very cost-effective and can reach thousands of prospects with the click of a button. Despite these inbuilt advantages the vast majority of business owners make the same critical mistake that destroys their chances of success.

They believe that the primary goal of email marketing is to make the sale. This is fundamentally wrong. Your focus should be on building long-term relationships. Achieve this successfully and sales will follow automatically.

I think the main reason for this error, even in highly targeted email marketing, is the technology. We forget we are talking to real people. All we see is the autoresponder software in front of us. We would never attempt to talk to a prospect or customer in person as we do with email.

How do we correct this fundamental error? It is quite straightforward. Remember that each name on your list is a real person. Speak to them as if they are people you’ve just met and want to form a friendship with. Don’t try to be too friendly straight away… it will come across as inappropriate and false.

These are the elements you must include when forging relationships with direct email:

1. Focus on helping your email list Make a list of their problems and wants. Concentrate on talking about these [rather than what you want] and you will be more interesting. Answer their problems. Give them free information… information that will help them achieve their goals.

2. Create interaction This must be a two-way conversation. Ask questions, ask for comments, opinions and feedback. Get them involved. Make sure to show your appreciation when they do.

3. Be genuinely interested in them You must put their interests first. If you only pretend to be interested whilst trying to sell to them, it will be obvious. You will make less sales and have more unsubscribes.

4. Tell stories We are all conditioned to listen to stories. They entertain us as well as teach us. Think of the point you want to make and then decide how you can illustrate that with a story that has happened to you… whether personally or in business.

5. Be honest You are going to be making long-term relationships with the people on your list. If you start to be dishonest in your email marketing, you will get caught out sometime in the future and you will lose their trust.

6. Give gifts Everyone likes to risk receive free gifts. Give something of genuine value. Something which you could sell.

7. Add personalization to your direct email messages Talk in a conversational tone. Reveal something personal about yourself. Tell them what you’ve being doing that week. Something you’ve gotten up to with family or friends. Reveal a small weakness.

As your email list gets to know you they will start to think of you more as a friend and less so as someone who is trying to sell to them. This brings down the natural cynical barriers that we all have towards advertising. This is critical to your success in direct email marketing.

8. Continue the conversation going on in their head When you’re writing emails look at what’s happening in the news recent film releases sport events the entertainment industry. Use it in your e-mail. This will get your list agreeing with you.

Start today. Change your mindset about the way you approach your direct email marketing. Make it your goal to build long term relationships with your email list…and put their needs first. The result will be a loyal list of hungry buyers. People who will trust you and respect your offers and recommendations.

Is Direct Mail An Old School And Out Of Date Marketing Method?

Without a doubt, advancements to technology have certainly opened the doors to new methods of marketing. With so many options in the way of digital marketing some of us may find ourselves asking if direct mail is an old, outdated marketing method.

The answer is no. Absolutely not!

Using good direct response marketing techniques and strategies is a tried and true way to market your business. Direct mail, if done properly, will never be out of date. After all, look how long it’s been working as an effective marketing strategy already.

Of course, you’ll run into those who say things like “but everyone’s on the internet” or “sending email is quicker and less expensive.”

Believe it or not, everyone is not on the internet.

But everyone with an address has a mailbox. A physical mailbox they walk up to on a regular basis and get things out of. Everyone has one of those!

And sure, sending an email takes about five minutes. But does it get delivered? Does it get opened? You just don’t know. It could be bouncing around in cyber space. It could be immediately deleted by the recipient. They could open it, not read it, and think they’ll come back to it later, then forget about it and never come back and read it. Everyone’s done that with email. It’s easy to do because it’s not a physical piece of mail sitting around requiring attention. And, as long as your mail piece isn’t coming back to you, you can be pretty sure that it got through.

What happens when people go to their mailboxes? Most of the time they bring the mail into the house and they sort it into piles. Pile ‘A’ is stuff they go through immediately. There’s usually a ‘B’ pile for the bills. And then there’s pile ‘C’ and pile ‘C’ is full of the advertisements, postcards and all the other marketing material that they’re pretty sure they don’t want. That pile gets set down on the counter or in a basket, but basically the person has to eventually come back to the pile. They come back to the pile to make sure nothing important got added to it and to be sure it’s garbage. What ends up happening if they didn’t open your mail the first time is your mail piece gets a second chance. They’ll pick it up one more time. This time giving it a good look over and maybe they decide at that point they should keep it.

Are you still convinced that direct mail is old school? If you’re not convinced, then you might want to look at some of the Fortune 500 companies like American Express, Hewlett Packard and so many more. Every one of them uses direct mail as part of their marketing plan and strategy.

Shouldn’t you be using direct mail too?

Technical Analysis For the Forex Market

An important part of being successful on the forex market is understanding the technical analysis. Most rich traders have significant technical analysis skills. And those skills play a major role in their success. Technical analysis is all about learning what indicators demonstrate that a price will rise or fall. Having these technical analysis skills will allow a trader to have an advantage over other traders without them.

Technical analysis is about numbers. These numbers that correspond to a currency’s impact on the market and its price. Part of the magic of technical analysis is allowing you to predict trends. Technical analysis provides a trader with the insight to recognize which chart trends will pan out to actual profits. Market research demonstrates that those who can successfully navigate market trends end up winning major profits.

Trends are generally indicative of market directions and allow traders to find the most profitable transactions. Mastering technical analysis gives traders independence from brokers, guides, or sheep-like market following. It means that a technical trader does not need experts, because they are able to do all of their own expert analysis themselves.

A moving average provides traders with an average price for a particular currency over an extended period of time. Understanding moving averages is important to recognizing large-scale patterns on the forex market. Being aware of the patterns through moving averages gives traders unique insight into what is going to happen next to a currency.

Successful traders don’t just know the basics of technical analysis; they know how to mobilize it to navigate the forex market to meet their goals. That means they make the kinds of decisions that others aren’t making because they’re not using the same techniques. Learning the nuances of technical analysis is the fastest way to become an expert forex trader.

How Do You Boost Your Online Marketing Strategies?

It comes as no surprise that there are many online marketing strategies being offered for a wide audience. From the novice marketer to the expert marketer. Marketing strategies are a universe as a topic and strategic internet marketing, although very young, is vast indeed.

It gets very expensive to sample all the strategies and test if they fit into your business plan, if you have one. In this article we will focus on taking the first steps well so that we stay on budget. For that you need to do some assessments.

The first critical assessment that is recommended is deciding what your goals are. What do you want to achieve? You need to take this step because it gives you the big picture before you go down to the nuts and bolts of building your successful business or adding to an already established one. This overview design keeps you from getting lost and ending up in another job that you hate, running your own business or a very expensive product launch.

Once you made your goals, you need your mission statement. “We are here for you…” or something similar. It defines your business and also gives you your target niche and your marketing direction.

Note: The product is not important in your marketing. Your customer is. You are concerned with marketing something that moves customers to buying, feelings. We never buy things that make us feel horrible no matter how good the product is for us.

Note: You need to keep your ego, accomplishments, YOURSELF out of all your marketing. It may hurt your feelings, tough. Customers tune into the only radio station worth their time, W.I.I.F.M. (What’s In It For Me?) You need to broadcast on that radio frequency or rather pack your bags and invest your capital in a mutual trust.

Marketing is basically a tool-set. It can be used to achieve any goal. Know the goal and you understand what to look for in the market of choice. There are many online-marketing strategies but few marketing training programs which take you through the process of selecting the appropriate tool set to use to reach your marketing goal.

The second assessment is to define your niche further and asses how best to reach them. And tell them in W.I.I.F.M. language that you brought them the answer that’s going to make them ecstatic. When you are presenting this product using your mission statement, consistent image and using W.I.I.F.M. language, customers will read, watch and listen to your message diligently.

You MUST retain consistency of your marketing, that’s why it must tie in with your mission statement. Consistency builds security and security builds trust and trusts negates product and price. Your marketing must make them happy just as they are buying and even buyer’s remorse will be low too.

Stock Market Trends – Recognize the Signals For Market Shifts

The stock market as a rule tells you how it is intending to behave beforehand, the key, alertness to the signs. The stock market will broadcast signals concerning the direction headed. Nearly all stocks actuate with the overall course of the market, referring to general ascending and descending trends. For this cause, it is crucial to stimulate an approximation of the general market trends and the indication of succeeding trends. You can acquire a dependable estimation of the market direction with but two pieces of data: Price and volume. When these two speak in concert, you get an impression that narrates the conclusion of a buyer or sellers market. Volume recites whether the market has movement and price evidences which direction.

We utilize three important indicators: the Dow, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ; to provide one of the indicants – price – to aid our decision whether the market will proceed with current trend or change by reversal. The volume indicator results from the daily sales volume. Both indicators come readily online from a variety of sources. If the market experiences a high-volume day and prices trends up, you are in all probability watching mutual funds and institutional investors in action, which signals a market trending upwards. However, a high-volume day with low pricing could signify a downward trend with large investors disengaging. Common sense, a requirement when watching these indicators, must prevail.

Mutual funds and institutional investors constitute the volume buyers and sellers that motivate the market. When they commence propelling in a direction, that is where the market extends and the reflection shows itself in price and volume numbers. A market that displays abrupt price movements in either direction absent matching volume gains is airing delusive messages that bear caution. How does this affect you? Do not drown, struggling upriver. The apparent powers of supply and demand (except when something over-the-top happens) push the market. Whenever there are more buyers (higher prices/higher volume) than sellers, the market is veering up. When there are more sellers (lower prices/higher volume) than buyers, the market is slewing downward.

Be vigilant for signs that the market is altering course; (different price and volume than the dominant trend) if you see more than a couple of these, brace yourself for a shift. Interpreting the market from one day to the next might not be facilitatory, but you can keep an eye on the general direction of the market and with some examination, discern the cautionary signs that a shift is imminent.