Direct Mail Hits the Mark

If you’re like me, you hate wasting money.  Are your marketing dollars working hard for you?  Are you receiving the value and ROI you deserve?

Do you think direct mail marketing is a dinosaur. . .  Not so

If you think that online marketing is the only way to market, think again.

Under30CEO.com reports “Direct mail is one of the most overlooked yet one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to dramatically increase the leads to your business. … Direct mail and direct marketing are trackable, inexpensive and the results are easily measurable.”

One of financial icon, Warren Buffet’s “10 Rules to Success” is “Be willing to be different.”  Buffet did not make his fortune by following the crowd. He is reputed to have said that if everyone else is doing it, then it is no longer the best idea. If everyone else is going to all online marketing, reverse directions and be different.

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Why Use Direct Mail Marketing?

Do you want a high return on your marketing investment?  Forbes.com reports “I’ve seen a letter lift response by 1300% over the much fancier control package, another letter pacify irate customers so they don’t mind paying shipping and handling, and another apologize for a mistake and wind up selling more merchandise than if the mistake hadn’t been made in the first place.”

A simple postcard, flyer or letter is far more cost effective than an expensive online campaign.  Straight direct mail postcards and letters are working very well with young males, not teenagers, but the 30-50 group according to Lois Geller’s Forbes article.  She also said “Get a letter to click with a test audience, you’ll have found a potential silver mine that can pay off nicely.”

How do you Connect with your Target Audience?

Do Your Research 

  1. Select a mailing list which you know has accurate names, addresses and demographics for your target audience.  Your county Assessors office may sell lists of contact information of homeowners in a specific subdivision. Your local Chamber of Commerce may furnish directories of members contact information.  List vendors sell lists; be careful that the information contained in those lists is current, scrubbed for duplicates and accurate demographics for your target market.  Co-market by sharing lists with a trusted power partner.  PrintPlace.com manages your direct mail postcard and brochure campaigns efficiently from a single source.
  2. Verify that you are reaching the ideal person for your message.  If your message is targeted to the sales manager, don’t send it to the production manager or the company CEO.
  3. Know the problem you are solving.  Until you know their pain – the problem they need to solve – you do not know how to target your message to offer the ideal solution at the right time.

Write an Effective Letter

  1.  Open with an attention generating first sentence.  In speaking, the audience decides in the first 7 seconds if they like you and in the first 30 seconds if they want to hear what you have to say.  The reader may decide with the opening sentence if they read the second sentence or throw the letter in the trash.  Open with a bang, not a whimper.
  2. Detail the benefit to the reader quickly.  Give them benefits, not features.  Make a solid case for why they should respond to you.  What is in it for them?
  3. Be clear, concise and specific.  Get to the point.  Don’t bore them with mumbo jumbo and fancy terms they don’t care about reading.  Use basic language; you are not writing to impress your college professor with your vocabulary.
  4. Personalize the letter by addressing them by name.  Speak in a conversational tone.
  5. Call to action.  What do you want them to think, feel or do after reading the letter?  Give only one choice in the call to action.  Make it easy for them to respond.
  6. Include a “no-risk” offer, a deadline for responding, and a guarantee.
  7. Include a P. S.  Frequently people skim the first and the last of a letter, but not always the middle.  Your P.S. emphasizes your mail focus and increases the urgency to respond to you.
  8. Include white space.  Too much blah, blah, blah and you’re headed for the trash.  Make your letter easy to skim and pick up the key points.  One page only, please.
  9. Testimonials are a bonus.  People relate to people like themselves.
  10. Use a high quality printer such as PrintPlace.com to be certain you are conveying a personalized first class impression.

Once you have a laser focus on your target market and the problem you are solving for them, refine your mailing list, write an effective magnetic letter which draws customers to you.  Follow up with at least three subsequent mailing campaigns.  Mail at least 500 letters in each mailing campaign.  Create three different letters which each reference the previous letter.  Follow up, follow up, and follow up.  Your results will continue to flow in for months or years.

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