After munching through copious amounts of turkey, mince pies and chocolate over the festive break I managed to take a little time out to pen some do’s and don’ts when it comes to using a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign as your chosen route to market. For me, like many others at this time of year, it’s time to sit and plan how I’m going to gain more business for my company in 2013, using all mediums possible. Owning a Mailing House for the past 24 years I’ve come up with 7 top tips below which I hope clarify what’s required to make a great Direct Mailing just that. 95% of Direct Mail is opened which means it has the potential to gain more responses than you can cope with, but only if its implemented correctly.
So if it’s time for you and your company to drum up some more business then I hope the tips below helps you achieve just that. To ensure your direct mail piece gains a better response try following these tips when putting together your mailing and marketing plan for 2013.
Target the correct audience for your product
Your direct mail marketing campaign must reach the RIGHT audience, people who are interested in your products and services, as this is the first step when building brand awareness and improving response rates, which in the end generates more sales! So why waste your time contacting and speaking to someone who doesn’t want or need your product or service? This stated I strongly advice using a reputable list broker who can gain you the best data for your campaign and budget. Look at it as putting the correct fuel in your car for a good journey!
CALL TO ACTION
Companies and individuals who mail mainly concentrate on the creative side of things when designing their direct mail unit, making sure it looks pretty. Although the creative is important, it’s not the whole story. To this end I urge you to SPEND TIME on developing a great call to action. This means telling your audience what you want them to do and when by. This is proven to improve and increase the response of your campaign by compelling the recipients of the mailings to take action straight away; as if they don’t, they end up missing out.
Make your mailer stand out from your competitors
Always create an eye-catching mailer with loads of color and great graphics as that’s a great start when making sure your mailer gets noticed, not ignored. When designing and going to print please don’t go for the ‘cheapest’ quote, on the contrary, I always believe that ‘if you pay peanuts you inevitably gain monkeys.’ My advice is to gain 3 quotes, ask them what they can offer you that no other designer and printer can as you may be surprised and pleased by their response. If writing a letter, ALWAYS start with a CALL TO ACTION and good header as this grabs the reader’s attention straight away which is what your aim should be. Don’t be afraid of trying something different, something not seen in your sector before as by doing so you and your company can and will stand out from your competitors.
Benefits, Benefits & more Benefits
Your target audience does not want to know everything about you and your company, so how many machines you have and how long you’ve been in business is not important (that info should be on your website). All they really want and need to know is what you leave them with when your job is done and dusted. To this end, please don’t waste your content on telling them stuff they really don’t need to know, instead explain the benefits they gain from using your company i.e. saving them time, money and aggravation on a daily basis – wouldn’t you like to hear that as a customer? Why not add a testimonial to your mailing, that’s a great way of letting your audience know what someone else says and thinks about you and your business?
NO DTJ aka Drop The Jargon
Don’t use jargon and technical terms specific to your industry when copywriting, reason being your audience may not understand what it is your company actually does. If they don’t understand what it is you do after reading your mailer you’ve lost them forever? So why not use words or phrases that your customers are familiar with, words that they would use regularly and will easily comprehend, as that way they won’t feel alienated or confused. The best bit of advice I can give on this matter is too find yourself a fabulous copywriter as this will make or break your mailer – fact! Being in the Direct Mailing sector for over 24 years I still to this day use a copywriter when sending my companies Direct Mail out. Using a GREAT copywriter is similar to using a business coach as they very often see things you can’t in your own business, therefore can explain your processes and benefits better than you can in words, as strange as it may seem.
Chinese Water Torture. Your brand is what’s unique about you and your company, the more it’s seen the more it’s noticed. The likes of John Lewis and Google to name a few, will agree with this sentiment as they spend fortunes on making sure their brand is seen in as many places as they can on a regular basis, a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign being one of the avenues. A general rule of thumb is that a message must be seen several times before the audience will begin to do business with a new company and supplier. This means, it’s important to not send out to the recipients once, instead plan and implement a follow-up message that ties in with your initial call to action. Then, continue to communicate regularly with your audience as this way your brand and company’s name will be in the forefront of their minds for when they are ready to buy. Look at Dominos Pizza, how many times do you get their menu, it’s the same menu really, isn’t it? They just know how important it is to stay in front of their audience!
Incorporate a multi-channel marketing strategy
Every individual or audience will vary on how they respond and read your marketing messages. While one person may be extremely receptive to direct mail marketing others may be partial to email marketing, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook to name a few. Therefore it is important when sending anything out that you include all the necessary avenues for them to contact you if they need too. There is nothing worse than not being able to get in touch with someone, in the manner you want too!
I often think “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. To this end, Direct Mailing has been and will always be an extremely effective marketing tool, if utilised correctly. By using professionals who know what they are doing, whether it be a list broker, copywriter, designer, printer or a great mailing house you’ll be well on your way to gaining business through the medium of Direct Mail. So take your time at the beginning of a campaign guys and girls as I promise you, it will pay off in the end with increased response rates and conversions – Happy Mailing, and 2013!!
Got some direct mail tips to share? Let’s hear them in the comments below.