Direct mail has been bashed by many and they claim survey results prove their position. And most that claim direct mail doesn't work are trying to convert your direct response marketing budget to all on-line and email efforts because that is all they do. Don't listen to the nay Sayers because direct mail can be as effective as it was 15 years ago when it is done correctly.
Many complaints are because the person receiving the mail has no interest in the product of service. Other facts are the piece was poorly design, poorly executed and the message was off target. People get frustrated sorting through the mounds of mail they get. Teased into opening envelopes that appear to be official, from their bank, or state final notice. When they open the envelope that directs "See inside for an important message regarding your service," it is a competing mortgage company or offer from a bank affiliate. Just a waste of time.
Poorly written and designed mail has created the bad reputation. But you can have the worst mail piece and still get a decent response because you had a great list of people that were highly motivated to buy what you are selling. Effective direct response advertising has an emotional hook that grabs the target audience. That is done through visuals and copy. The rules of direct response is not limited to mail campaigns. Recruitment advertising depends on the direct response mechanisms that are created around your audience triggers. Today's coaches call them pain points, yet you can also play on the pleasure triggers of being happy, enjoyment of where you live to name a few.
Every piece of mail is seen.
What other marketing medium can make that claim? None! Your magazine ad can easily be overlooked because the reader flips through only looking at the top of the page and you're on a page that doesn't interest them. They bought the magazine for the articles not the ads. A radio spot would be cost an arm and a leg to have it play every hour of every day of the week to guarantee that the "regular" listeners heard your ad once. What if I flip stations or don't listen that week?
Everyone has to flip through there mail to pull out the bills, birthday cards and important correspondence. You are assured that they recognize who the mail is from. If it isn't their credit card company they throw away the envelope (I do). If you send a self-mailer you are assured they will read something because we all scan the item to be sure it isn't important or interesting. I don't get a lot of mail because of a concerted effort to reduce the lists I was on. I used to enjoy looking at catalogs and since I rarely get one I open Valpac mailers looking for offers by local restaurants. Not everyone will but those of us who use coupons for food and services open the packs with flyers like Valpac.
I have had great success with 2 color direct mailers using an upgraded stock with a special texture and feel. Mohawk smooth has an ultra smooth, velvety feel inviting one to rub the paper because of it's super soft touch. I used a raised ridge stock for a shutter company which visually replicated the
If your direct mail campaign fails you did something wrong.
There are 3 simple elements that need to be done properly to craft a successful mail campaign.
- Quality of the mailing list
- Schedule and number of mailings to same list
- Creative execution
Know your primary buyer and get the best list possible. Mail to this same list at least 3 times and no more than 4 weeks apart. Creative motivating self mailers. I recommend having at least 2 different mailers that you alternate. Consistent branding is critical to the design for quality brand recognition.
At the end of the day your campaign should be diversified and integrate tactics that best reach your audience. If you have a mailing address use it. If you have their email use it. If you know the social platforms they visit be involved on that platform. And most importantly, have a responsive website that you keep fresh by regularly adding content. The same advise you get for investing for your retirement applies to investing in building your sales funnel - diversify your marketing and include direct mail, the cornerstone of direct response advertising.
I have greatly simplified the rules. Each of these warrant their own blog article. I could be convinced to write them if response to this article shows you have interest. So I ask you to let me know. Comment, email and share this article to let me know you want to read more. Thanks for reading. And a big thanks to everyone who shares this socially or with others.