Seven Tips for Improving Your Marketing
Mark Hale ‐ February 10, 2014
1. Sell Things People Need and Want
The general rule of thumb is that direct mail marketing is not about creating markets but locating existing markets effectively. It’s a direct business-to-buyer means of selling that is streamlined, efficient and profitable—but only when the market wants and needs what you are offering.
Who needs and wants what you sell? The old copywriting adage that says you can’t sell refrigerators to eskimos. Meaning, eskimos don’t need a way to keep things cold they need products that heat things up.
2. Sell Solutions to Problems, Not Products
No one cares about buying your widgets. What they care about is how your widgets will help them solve a problem
Example: Bob isn’t buying a ¼ inch drill bit. He is needs a ¼ hole and the ¼ drill bit solves the problem of how to get a ¼ hole.
3. Appeal to Emotion First, Reason Second
Most business owners and managers are number crunching, logical people who deal with “bottom lines” all day. It’s easy for them to fall into a cold, left-brain, bullet-pointed, 714-reasons-why type of sales pitch. However, people, primarily your customers are going to make their buying decisions in the right side of the brain based on emotion. Then they justify that decision with logic.
To sell more, appeal to emotion first. Then, to close validate and confirm the sale using logic.
4. Use Proven Techniques
While there is no set of universal techniques for improving response in all circumstances, there are a few that are nearly universal. Here are a few things you can do to increase the effectiveness and response of your ads:
- Always have an offer. A piece with a special offer always out pulls a piece with no offer.
- An offer with a time limit usually out pulls an offer with no time limit.
- A mailer with a special offer or gift for responding within the time limit usually out pulls simple discount offers only, especially when the gift closely matches what your prospects need and want.
- An ad that combines a special discount and a gift or additional offer ALWAYS generates more response than a discount or additional gift by themselves.
- Benefit driven ads will always out pull feature-based advertising.
- You have at most 30 seconds to get the main benefit of your offer across. Make your offer clear. The offer should be the first thing you see.
- Tell them how to respond and do so repetitively. The reader should not have to look for a phone or web address.
- Envelope packages usually out pull self-mailers. This depends to a degree on who the end user is and what the product is that is being promoted.
5. Value Content Over Appearance
One of the primary reasons advertising fails is that ad creators often get caught up in a creative vision without having anything to say. An ugly ad containing the first four points above will always out perform a beautiful Madison Avenue ad that doesn’t sell anything.
6. Make Sure You’re Doing Direct Mail Marketing
Every direct mail marketing message should include three basic elements:
- An offer
- Enough information for immediate acceptance of the offer
- A mechanism for responding to the offer
Without each of these, you are not doing direct mail marketing but merely wasting your time and money.
7. Consider Two-Step Sales
There are two basic ways to make a sale in direct mail marketing:
- The single shot, where you get an immediate order, or
- The two-step, where you generate inquiries and attempt to convert those inquiries into sales.
If your product is expensive, complex, new, hard-to-understand, or requires a major commitment of some kind, two-step sales may net you more profit in the long run than single shots.
Direct mail marketing can be very effective if used properly. Even with postage increases direct mail is still cost effective. Knowing what a customer is worth to your business can help illustrate what your return on investment needs to be.
Wilson Printing USA can help you craft an effective message, decide on the most effective way to send it, help you find a targeted mailing list and finally print and mail your piece, saving you time and money.
©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved
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