On the outside it may appear as though direct mail campaigns cost more overall for businesses than other marketing methods. However, when you consider the long term results and impact that you can gain, that may not be the case. Technological advancements using electronic databases and graphics have literally transformed the outmoded direct mail methods of the past. Below are some tips that will help you resonate with your prospects and customers using direct mail approaches.
1. Organize the strategy
It goes without saying that a plan should be in place in order to successfully complete any promotional strategy. In the early planning stages gather the information needed to:
a. Determine which customers purchased products or services from either you or competitors.
b. Understand the frequency with which customers buy the featured products or services.
c. Ascertain the amount that customers tend or expect to spend for the products or services.
These aspects should be distilled prior to laying out the acquisition strategy. In addition, determine other factors to further define the target market such as:
a. Who the top customers are or are more likely to be
b. Location demographics
c. Specific preferences
d. Brand experience with featured products and services
2. Craft the brand product message
Emphasize the product or service benefits rather than simply the features. One effective way to do this is to understand how customers and prospects use the types of products and services the company offers. This type of information can be found through surveys carried out in-store, online and through forums.
3. Provide tangible value incentives
The goal of direct mail is to get prospects to respond to your offers. The sales relationship could start with a coupon, sample or free trial. Each presents a unique opportunity to interact with the prospect and impress them. Along with offers, considering issuing satisfaction guarantees and full refunds if possible so that prospects feel comfortable making the initial investment.
4. Design effective materials
Whether you’re sending postcards, flyers or brochures, it is important to take the time to design high-quality and unique materials that will immediately catch your recipients’ attention. Alternatively, you can also consider sending letters. Some prospects may be more likely to open a letter while they often quickly glance at and discard flyers and postcards. Sign the letter using blue ink for more impact. Include highlights and margin notes so that prospects can skim for the most essential material.
5. Follow up
To the extent possible, follow up on direct mailings by email or phone. While this may seem daunting, it can pay off in several ways. Try to assess each lead to determine which ones are appropriate for follow-up. Some experts have maintained that consumers generally need to receive at the very least three pieces each month in order to notice marketing efforts.
For instance, sort the mailing list into types of leads such as hot, medium and cool. Hot prospects are the ones most likely to quickly respond favourably to the company’s products and services. Medium prospects are suspected to be interested at some point in the near future. The last category is part of the target market but perhaps more likely to wait for one reason or another.
For a general list, consider breaking it into demographics such as by specific neighbourhood, region or age. Then devise a strategy to re-contact certain prospects on the list around a month later if it seems appropriate.
Business professionals understand that marketing and advertising is an evolving process. In today’s competitive marketplace it is essential for businesses to incorporate a variety of marketing and advertising methods into their promotion strategies. This is best accomplished by meticulously planning and developing direct mail campaigns for the greatest long-term business success.