Are you spending a lot of time working with prospects who are not qualified for what you sell? Do you want to reach better qualified prospects? Is your advertising not working as well as it once did?
If you answered yes to the two of the above to questions you will be interested in the following information.
The fact is, if you are getting unqualified prospects you more than likely have a targeting and/or message problem.
I put together a quick checklist you can use to improve the pull of your direct mail campaign. So you can get the quantity and quality of leads you need to expand your business. These principles will help you to improve the response rates or your direct mail, but they can also be used to improve the response of other forms of advertising as well.
The most targetable form of advertising is direct mail. The main benefit of direct mail marketing is that it’s highly targetable and it provides a trackable return on investment. This means you save money because you can hone in on exactly whom you want to reach. However, targeting is only part of the equation.
In a hectic overworked society, direct mail is very effective at cutting through advertising clutter and reaching the prospect. You are putting something in the prospects hands; they touch it, feel it and more importantly SEE it. But seeing is not enough, you still have to get their attention and build interest in your services. You have only 2 to 3 seconds after the person sees your postcard to get the main benefit across to the reader or your nice full color postcard ends up in the trash.
1. Who is the target? The better you know your prospect, the more effective you will be at coming up with an offer that will interest your prospect. It helps if you can survey your market first to find out what is needed and wanted, as well as lifestyle information. Nobody knows your business like you do. Your postcard will be as effective as the information you provide about the customer. All of this data would be given to the designer to craft your message.
2. Choose the correct form of direct mail for the end user: If you are mainly promoting business-to-business to a large company a postcard may not be the best form of direct mail to use. You might need a letter mailer or a handwritten note card. At a large company, there might be several people who filter the mail before it gets to the decision maker and a postcard might not get through. On the other hand, selling auto repair service using a postcard is ideal to reach this type of customer. Our marketing representatives can help you select the best form of direct mail to reach your best qualified prospects.
3. Get Professional Help. Most of you reading this blog are very good at what you do for a living and most of the time what you do doesn’t have anything to do with graphic design. I urge you to pay the few dollars extra and have one of our graphic designers help you design a direct mail piece. They know how to combine all the elements in this article, direct the eye trail through the ad, and make it look WOW.
4. Resist the urge to shot gun market. The mentality of a shot gun marketer is to put as many different offers or products on a postcard as possible, thinking that improves their chances of getting more people responding. Sounds good in theory, but in actual practice it never works. To improve your direct mail response, narrow your focus.
5. Promote a single product or service that is needed and add value. Identify a product or service you sell that is needed and wanted, price it so that it is a good deal. A dog product, or a product that is not competitively priced, will not inspire people to buy. Remember the idea is to gain a customer. The lifetime value of a customer is worth more than a one-time purchase. If you don’t know the lifetime value of your customer, use our customer calculator to figure out exactly what a customer could be worth to your business.
6. Limit the fluff and hype. Your direct mail ad needs to be believable.If you sound too much like a used car salesman you’ll end up in the garbage. Too much verbiage tends to make the postcard or message confusing.
7. Bad copywriting. Copywriting goes hand-in-hand with graphic design, but is factually a different skill set. You’ve got to know when to be clever, witty, funny, serious, etc. Know your audience.
8. Avoid clichés on your direct mail piece. Avoid using phrases like “No Gimmick,” and “Financial Freedom,” which tend to set off alarms in peoples minds. Clichés are so overused people do not pay attention anymore.
9. Headline must contain a benefit to the reader. The headline is the part of the ad that draws them in. It will not draw a prospect in if it does not contain a benefit to them.
10. Have a good reason for people to call you. This is also known as having a good offer. The offer has to be a good enough deal to get people to call you. Knowing your target market, and also your competition, helps in crafting an offer. It is also wise to test the offer with some of your customers to see how it pulls.
11. You have to have a call to action. Once you’ve got them reading your piece, you’ve got to tell them what you want them to do. The more ways they can respond, the better.
12. Have a follow-up plan. You’ve just sent out direct mail marketing to your target customers. Now what? Are you going to send a follow-up kit with samples? Often people will receive your postcard and then go online to your website to check you out. Are you directing them to a landing page on your website? Do you have a way to capture their identity when they go to your website?
13. Going cheap on the postage. The cheapest postage you can get is Every Door Direct Mail around 17 cents for a postcard. Standard presort postage averages between 25-29 cents per postcard or letter mailer. The down side is it can take up to 15 days to deliver. Sometimes it makes more sense to pay a little more to have it arrive at a certain time. First class presort postage usually averages between 33-39 cents per piece. The difference is that it is delivered in 3 to 5 business days. Is it worth more to spend more if you ultimately make more? Only you know the answer.
14. Going one and done. If you’re going to just send out one postcard mailer and then expect huge results, don’t waste your time. When you do this you are essentially trying to time the market and that is an impossible task to do. You never know how many people will be in the market for what you sell at any one moment in time. Over the course of three or four months, a lot more people on your prospect list will be in need of what you are selling. The difference now is they have received three or four postcards, checked you out on the web so they are familiar with you and are more likely to buy from you. If they get one postcard from you and are not in the market and you don’t mail to them again, they will not remember you when they ARE in the market.
15. Integrate with other forms of marketing. So many small businesses and entrepreneurs have missed out on the chance to tie in their direct mail marketing with other marketing efforts. Large retailers have become successful by tying direct mail in with email, web landing pages, television or radio ads.
16. Don’t miss the opportunity to drive traffic to your web and blog. Today people will almost always go to your website to check you out. If you are using social media marketing, like Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, when your prospect searches for you and your business this will give them an opportunity to follow you. These are all ways for you to follow-up market to prospects. It is about building relationships and becoming known. People buy from business they know first.
17. Plan your direct mail strategy with the calendar and plan out the year. I cannot stress enough the importance of NOT shooting from the hip. Above all else, have a long-term game plan in place so that your direct mail marketing can become strategic.
There is a proper way to do direct mail just like any form of advertising. The two things to consider is that a company like Wilson Printing USA can help you reach more qualified prospects for your business, but still it is a partnership. The more educated you are on direct mail the better information you can provide us to help build your campaign.
I hope this article was helpful to you. If you liked it please let me know.
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