In my last article I told you about the studies and statistics that show why direct mail is still an effective marketing tool in today’s society of digital media. Now, I’ll give you some tips on how to make this type of marketing work for your business.
Mail To The Right People – The most vital part of creating a direct mail campaign is the list of contacts you intend to reach. You need to get as specific as possible with this part. For example, if you identify your target market as women aged 35-60 it would be ok. However, if you identify your ideal customer as a woman aged 35-60 with an income of $50,00+ per year that goes to the grocery store once a week and lives within a 50 mile radius of your business you will have far greater success. If you can dream up your perfect customer, chances are there’s a mailing list that can target those people and help you reach your most desired and most likely potential customers.
Make It Stand Out – Your advertisement needs to catch the readers attention quickly. You want it to stand out from other pieces of mail that people receive. Colors and graphics, stimulating text, and a different size or shape than what’s normal can all help your message get noticed. Give the recipient a reason to read your direct mail and keep the piece instead of tossing it in the trash can.
Don’t Bury Your Message – Keep your message simple, clear, and interesting for the best chance of grabbing the attention of potential customers. The most successful message tells a story and appeals to the “what’s in it for me” nature. Your copy should connect with the readers of your direct mail and clearly illustrate what the benefits will be if they take your call to action. Headlines are absolutely critical to communicate your product and/or service and your offer. Because the headline is the very first thing your prospect will see, your first 15 words or so are more important than the next 100. Over 50% of people will only read your headline and nothing else, so you had better make those few words count.
Create A Sense Of Urgency – Always, always include some sort of offer or incentive with a sense of urgency for postcard recipients to take an action. Be clear and direct in your text by letting the recipient know that your offer is limited. For example, offer a deadline for them to receive a gift or special offer or make them RSVP to an upcoming special event.
What Do You Want The Customer To Do – Coupled with the offer is the “call to action” where you tell your recipients exactly what they are supposed to do after receiving your direct mail piece. Do you want them to call you, come to your business, or visit your website? Make sure your call to action is simple and clear. Don’t confuse the recipient with too many response options (phone, fax, email, web address, etc.). Give them only one primary direction for the best response.
Do It Again…And Again – Research has shown that direct mail efforts truly become effective not after the first, not after the second, but after the THIRD mailing to the same prospect list. The more times you send a postcard to a recipient, the more likely they are to take action. I recommend mailing to a smaller mailing list multiple times rather than mailing to a larger list in which your budget only allows for one mailing.
Tracking – Evaluation is one of the most important aspects of a successful direct mailing campaign. After all, how can you maximize what is working and improve what isn’t if you don’t track it? Keep track of which contacts have been mailed and their response. Update your mailing list for any mail that has been “returned to sender”. Use a call tracking system to keep track of any calls you receive from your direct mail recipients. Use separate landing pages on your website that are in alignment with your direct mail piece’s message. Direct mail is a continuous learning process; this data collection and analysis can deepen your understanding of your customers.