Many companies feel that direct mail is too expensive or a waste of time, but a carefully executed, strategic campaign can make the cash register ring, cha-ching!
Don’t send out thousands of run-of-the-mill letters or postcards before reading this.
Here are some tactics to get you started.
Be creative and calculated.
Use A Highly Targeted List
Many companies use outdated means to acquire names and addresses. They guess (and usually are wrong) at their customer demographic and psychographic, and they buy thousands of names of people or companies who don’t have the slightest need for, or care about, their product or service. Make sure you run a fresh customer demographic and psychographic profile of the top 20 percent of your clients who bring in 80 percent of your income. Then buy more of THE EXACT SAME customer profiles.
Have a Fantastic, Can’t-Refuse Offer and Don’t Let Your Ego Get In The Way
Companies send direct mail and other marketing communications that explain how great the company is, when the fact is NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR COMPANY—THEY ONLY CARE WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM. The offer should be so great they cannot put the piece down. It should have them running for the phone with their credit cards. Think carefully about your offer. Have a few people you trust review it and see if it’s as exciting as you think it is, then make sure your offer is customer-centric not company-centric. You should include company info, but that should not be the focus of the message.
Add A Guarantee
If you are mailing to a list of prospects who are not familiar with you or your company, take the risk out of trying your product or service by offering a “100% Money Back Guarantee” if they are not completely satisfied. Unless your product or service is of low quality, a small percentage of customers will take you up on the guarantee.
When writing a direct mail piece you MUST use copy that is designed to get the reader to act. There are many other things you should take into consideration, including personalization (with variable data), headlines, subheadings, image captions, post scripts, and calls to action. A professional copywriter should be sought out to ensure you are using great copy.
Use Multiple Calls To Action
Did you know that just by placing a strong call to action within the piece can increases calls? Examples of a call to action would be, “Call 732-555-1212 now and receive $20 off your purchase,” or “You must hurry as this offer is only valid for the next three days! Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!” or “Visit our website for a special offer just for you!” You get the idea. Put a call to action throughout the entire piece as some people will not read the entire message. You have to tell people what to do next
Use Creative Addressing
If you are using envelopes when sending direct mail, then I suggest you rethink how you will be addressing them. The goal of your envelope is to get it to the right person and to get them to open it. To get a better response, have your addresses handwritten. If possible, get your return address handwritten also. When is the last time you threw a handwritten envelope in the trash without opening it? I’ll bet never. There are companies we use that will hand-address an envelope; some are local charitable organizations!
Testing the Campaign
If you are not getting responses then you need to change something. Test everything! Test the envelope, the offer, the headlines, and the copy. Let’s say you have a list of ten thousand that you want to send your offer to. Create two pieces but on one of them change one thing. Send both to a thousand names. Then whatever piece gets the best response, send the rest out with the offer that pulled the best results. If you can afford it test more frequently, but do not change more than one element at a time. If you do, you will not know what worked.
Frequency, Frequency, Frequency
Many direct mail campaigns fail simply because of lack of frequency. One-shot marketing rarely works. When creating a direct mail campaign you must be in it for the long haul. You should mail at least four times a year to the same list. Research shows that advertising becomes effective after the third time. This is when awareness starts.
Now get started. Let me know if you need help.
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