Direct mail isn’t dead. (And neither is email while we’re on the subject.) Sending a creative, well-executed direct mailer can still generate great marketing results. Here are ten creative, surefire ways to create a great direct mail campaign and attract more clients.
- Create a stellar mailing list. Your mailing list is the single most important element in a direct marketing campaign. You should take extreme care in choosing and verifying your list. Most people do not spend nearly enough time on this activity, and simply rent a list based on geography and company size. This is a surefire way to lose money on your direct mail campaign. Make sure you start with accurate data to identify the right prospects to target in your campaign.
- Make sure your message is consistent. The offer is the second most important element in your direct mail campaign. If you don’t match your message and offer to your target market, your campaign will fail. Is your offer valuable and worth responding to? Is the audience you’re targeting going to care? Most direct mail is off-target, boring and doesn’t contain any offer, much less a solid, actionable one. If you want direct mail to work for your business, you need an irresistible offer that’s valuable to your target market.P.S. Offering something for free doesn’t guarantee a response. If you offer a “free consultation,” your offer is going in the trash. To ensure a good response, you have to prove the value of the free offer.
- Create urgency. Always have a deadline on your offer. You can also add urgency with scarcity (example: only 20 free gifts will be given away). Creating urgency will entice your prospects to respond.
- Promote your best product. When marketing to a new list of prospects, promote your strongest, most in-demand product or service first. Once they purchase you can cross-sell other products and services. Do not lead with niche products and services that appeal only to a few unless you’re sending it to a very targeted, specific list.
- Keep it focused. Never try to promote more than one product or service in a mailing. Focus on a single, “hot” product or service and use every inch of space to sell its merits. You can cross sell other products and services once they become a client.
- Differentiate yourself. Successful direct marketing is the process of making a commodity look like a specialty. Use your marketing copy, style and personality to make it special or unique. The best way to learn how to do this is to watch infomercials or QVC selling kitchen appliances. They turn ordinary appliances that could be purchased from any store into super, whiz-bang gadgets that sell at higher prices and usually with memberships to lock in recurring revenue.
- Liven it up. Add personality and character to your mailings. An easy way to do this is to add your photo to the letter. People like to do business with people, not logos or buildings. The most successful direct mail appears to be a personal, one-on-one letter. Casual, conversational copy outperforms stiff, corporate jargon every time.
- Personalize it. Always try to make your mail look like a personal letter rather than a promotional piece. If it looks like junk mail, it will get throw out before it’s even opened. Make sure you take extra time creating the envelope and how it looks. This means no labels — they instantly scream “junk mail.”
- Keep it authentic. Homemade-looking marketing often outperforms slick, professionally designed marketing communications.
- Go big or go home. Look for ways to add more meaningful communication pieces to your mailing package rather than taking shortcuts to save time or money. Postcards are inexpensive and easy to send, but the response to them is often very low when mailing to cold prospects. A postcard is better than sending nothing, however, you will get less of a response. Cheapening your marketing will end up costing you more in lost sales than it will save you in marketing costs.
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