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Three Reasons Why Your Mailer Failed

There are only three reasons why a direct mail piece fails to pull a response for your business:

  1. The piece was mailed to the incorrect prospect for the product or service. (i.e. you have an old, bad, or incorrectly targeted mailing list.)
  2. The piece that was mailed did not communicate to the reader.
  3. No follow-up or consistency of mailing.

Unlike with other methods of advertising your small business where the problems and reasons why it failed are clouded, direct mail marketing is the opposite…the fix is always simple. All three of the above reasons are within your power to handle and fix.

Direct mail is the only form of advertising that does reach 100% of the time your best prospective new customer. So if the mailing list that you’re using is good, you can rule that out and the next thing to check is the design and message of your mailer. We know that the United States Post Office delivers the mail, every day. We know that people get their mail from their mailboxes and go through their mail. What happens or doesn’t happen after they get the mailer is a failure in communicating.

The following is a checklist for debugging the failure to communicate in a direct mail piece:

  1. Did you try to advertise more than one service or product? Loading a direct mail piece or any other form of advertising with more than one product or service can cause confusion for the reader. People have short attention spans nowadays and will not read a lot of copy.
  2. Did your mailer have too much copy? You have to have photos and graphics to break up the copy. No one wants to read a textbook.
  3. Did you promote the benefits of owning the product or having the service?
  4. Did you have a headline that stated the benefit of the product or service?
  5. Did you give the reader a reason to buy? A special offer? Something to get them to respond now? Whatever it is, it has to have a perceived value.
  6. Was the special offer a good value based on what your competitors are offering?
  7. Did you give them a way to respond that is obvious? The phone number needs to be in a large bold font, that is easy to find and see. Is the email or website easy to find?
  8. Did you ask them to respond and give them an expiration date for the offer you presented in the piece?
  9. Did you avoid using industry terms that a normal person would not know the meaning of?
  10. Was the piece easy to read?
  11. Could you look at it and in 2 seconds know what it is about?

Direct mail marketing is easy. The failure to communicate is a big reason you did not get a response.

You could also have gotten a huge response and simply did not know it. You might be thinking, “Wait! That does not make any sense. How could I have not known I got a response?”

Today people will respond to your advertising in one of three ways:

  • They will call
  • They will walk into your store.
  • They will go to your website and check you and your company out.

In fact, 98% of people who are interested in your offer will go to your website long before they call or buy something from you. If your website is old or not designed to convert leads you are losing business. Having a well-designed website is vital to your business’s success today.

We offer free website analysis and can give you tips that you can use to make your website better and convert more leads. For more information, click here.

What Is The Best Way to Generate a New Lead Today?

There is no doubt that it takes more effort to generate a new lead today than it did a few years ago.

Research has shown that the average prospect will respond to advertising and marketing after 8 to 12 contacts (or touches).  My feeling is that it takes even more touches than that to get a response today. People are over-advertised nowadays and ads are everywhere. The average person is exposed to over 1800+ advertising messages in a single day.

To further complicate the process of getting a new customer, the Internet puts you right smack in the middle of a pot of competitive stew.  There are so many choices for your prospects. Who do they choose? The sheer volume of choices a person who is interested in your services has created a sort of bottleneck in your prospective new customer’s mind and complicates their decision-making process.

It use to be that you ran an ad in the local paper or sent out a mailer and you were able to tell exactly what you got for the expense. Not any more.

So what do you do? You need new customers, in fact, if you are not seeking new potential new customers for your business, more aggressive competitors will soon leave you in the dust.

So what is the best way to generate a new lead today?

The answer to that question is in three parts:

  1. You have to get noticed.
  2. You have to create interest.
  3. You have to follow-up, and follow-up, and follow-up… and follow-up some more.

funnel to generate a new lead todayWhen it comes to the “sales funnel” there are four types of potential new customers for your business:

1) A SUSPECT:  This is a group of people you think would be good prospective new customers for your business.

  • This is based on a profile you put together for who is the best buyer of your product or service.
  • It is from this “profile” that you get the mailing list or select the media that best reaches these people.
  • Suspects are at the top and wide end of your sales funnel. You want lots of them to load at the top of your company’s sales funnel.

2) A LEAD: A lead is someone who has responded to your advertising. You usually do not know much about them other than they filled out a form on your website or called in for an estimate.  They may or may not be a qualified buyer for you. You will not know until you have a conversation with them and qualify them.

  • Just because you talked to them once does not mean they will automatically open their wallets and buy. This is especially true the larger the ticket of the item you are selling. So, you follow-up & follow-up.
  • A lot of work goes into the “lead” section of your sales funnel because your company is most likely not the only one this person has reached out to. They are in the researching phase of the buying cycle.
  • The rule of thumb is the squeaky wheel when gets the grease. The grease is in this situation is your following-up with them.

3) A PROSPECT: This is a lead that you have spoken to and qualified to be a good potential new customer for your business.

A prospect is someone who has reached out to you and you have had a conversation with. You know a little about them and what they want. Maybe you sent them a proposal.

  • You have decided that this person is a good potential new customer for your business.
  • You present them and if you don’t close them, you follow up with them.
  • It may require you to send them a brochure that explains the benefits and answer typical questions.

4) A CUSTOMER: This one is obvious. The person bought something from you. This is the bottom of the funnel. The majority of the work is done to create a new customer.

  • You still want to have a marketing program the goes to your customers on a regular or semi-regular basis.

The majority of businesses today are losing hundreds of prospects because they do not know who is on their website and do not have a tool to follow up with any anonymous visitors to their website. Our Direct Mail Scout program gives small businesses the tools to identify and follow up with website traffic.

The best way to generate a new customer is by hitting your “suspects” from a variety of channels.  A channel is simply the medium you are using to advertise, i.e. direct mail, email marketing,  Facebook, Google advertising, TV, etc.

You are trying to do two things when you advertise…get ATTENTION and generate INTEREST.

For our clients, we offer a program called Direct Mail Scout where we hit the prospect in the following ways for our clients in a single program.

  • Direct mail is still the best way to get in front of the majority of people. Mailing lists have come a long way and you can precisely target who you want to reach.
  • Google ads, both geo-targeting and remarketing.
  • Facebook, both geo-targeting and remarketing.
  • Gmail ads, 65% of the population has a Gmail account and Gmail runs ads at the top of the email inbox.
  • Email sent by USPS as part of their Informed Delivery program. This program announces that your mailpiece is being delivered.
  • Youtube video The 2nd largest volume of searches on the Internet is Youtube.
  • LeadMatch. We identify prospects who went to your website and left. It is like a caller-ID for your website. With LeadMatch you can build a list of hot prospects to market to.

The biggest error most business owners and marketing people make is that they do not understand what it takes to generate a lead today. There is no shortcut way to do it and no one medium can do the job by itself. That is where we come in to coordinate and execute for you. For more information, click here.