Direct Mail Basics
When done correctly, direct mail
is one of the most effective marketing tools available to small businesses, regardless of industry. Unfortunately, many first-time mailers (and even some experienced mailers) overlook some of the basic “rules” of creating an effective direct mail campaign. Following are some well-tested tips to consider when planning your next mailing.
The success of your campaign relies on the following:
- The accuracy of your mailing list
- The perceived quality of your offer
- The appeal of your direct mail piece
An oft-quoted rule is the 40-40-20 rule. It states that the mailing list makes up 40% of the success of a mailing, the offer makes up another 40% and the package itself (paper, design, copy) is responsible for the remaining 20%.
1. Buy a good list
- Understand who your best customers are
- Select a qualified mailing list provider
- Work with your list supplier to develop the most effective prospecting list for your needs and budget
2. Create a powerful offer that will entice people to respond
- Make sure your offer is clearly spelled out and easy to understand
- Offer something with high perceived value
- Don’t cloud your offer with restrictive “caveats” unless absolutely necessary
- Don’t underestimate the power of the word FREE
- Make it easy to respond (via website, email, telephone, mail and fax)
- Offer a money-back guarantee
- Repeat your offer, response options and guarantee as often as possible
3. Create an appealing mail piece relative to your target market
- Your mail piece should reflect your company’s positioning and sales strategy
- If you are perceived as exclusive, unique or high-end your mail piece should reflect it
- If customers buy from you primarily based on low pricing, your mailer should have a “budget” look and feel to it.
- Keep your copy simple by using clear, short and descriptive sentences.
- Write with emotion using the first-person perspective (use you, your, me, mine and our)
- Personalize the piece
- Identify with the readers needs
- Tell a story, refer to a statistic or quote a famous (or infamous) person
- Describe the problems that your product or service solves
- Use a call to action tell the reader what you want them to do
- Include a deadline