5 Tips on How to Manage Your Direct Mail Campaigns
Now that you have gathered some great tips on creating effective marketing materials, such as the perfect promotional flyer, you may be wondering how to print and/or mail those materials. Below are 5 tips that you can follow to manage your direct-mail campaign efficiently.
Many business owners I know typically turn to a local office supply store such as Kinko's or Office Depot to help with their printing needs. Then, they generally assemble and prepare the materials themselves. Depending upon the number of mailers you need to send, this could be a time consuming and costly process. It is often much less expensive and time consuming to have a local printer, print broker or even online printer print the materials, and then to work with a local mailing house to send the materials.
What is your hourly rate? How much is your time worth? Remember, you do not have to do it all yourself. Often, you will be better off to outsource these types of tasks rather than spending your valuable time that you could use to work with a client instead.
While we are talking about mailing marketing materials, as a side bar, how large is your current mailing list database? Have you taken the time to include everyone that you know? If not, you should. Remember, everyone you know will either become a prospect or will refer others to your business. Most, if not all, know the products/services that you offer and can easily pass this information on as they meet individuals that are in need of the products/services that you offer.
I have numerous suggestions that I can share about to printing, mailing, and all other services needed for mailing marketing materials. Below are the top 5 tips managing your direct mail campaigns efficiently.
1. Adequately plan for large mailings.
There is a big difference between a sales letter and direct mailing piece, which is generally sent to lists of at least 5,000 in one mailing. Your lists must be large since even good response rates typically fall somewhere between 2 - 4 %. If you do not have a large list, strive to meet more people. There is also another difference between the two mailings. Remember, direct-mail campaigns are built around a single goal -- an action your prospects must take in order to move further along in the sales cycle. Not surprisingly, mailings that are designed to produce leads yield higher response rates than those designed to close sales.
2. Choose the best format for your mailing.
In addition to catalogs, there are three other basic types of direct mail: postcards, letters and packages (dimensional mail). When you create your annual campaign, you can choose one or more types of mailings. Postcards, preferably oversized, are often used to grab the reader's attention. They can be an inexpensive way to alert prospects to an upcoming event.
Successful direct-mail letters, on the other hand, are complex packages. They generally consist of a teaser envelope, which promises something appealing inside, a one or two-page cover letter, various inserts expanding on the offer, and a business reply card with a return envelope. If you want to guarantee the recipient opens your mail, one technique is to place it in a box, making it a dimensional mailing piece Last year, dimensional mail averaged the highest overall response rate (5.49%) of any direct-response medium, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
3. Assembling your campaign.
Direct-mail marketing is rarely a do-it-yourself job. There are several steps, which include designing and printing the creative pieces, selecting the mailing lists, and delivering them to a mailing house for labeling and distribution. Most mailing houses are cost effective for business with that have a minimum of 1000 for addressing and postage handling. Some can also do the printing as well.
Print brokers are service providers that will find the best printing prices for your job, either locally or regionally. This could take longer to produce, but is generally less expensive. Online resources typically have a quick turn around time, but it is imperative that you test the quality of their product or by first ordering print samples.
It is best to decide exactly whom you want to contact and then obtain a mailing list and/or use your own database. It is a good approach to send multiple mailing campaigns to the same list. This approach will give you the opportunity to negotiate the cost of sending duplicate mailings upfront, which will reduce your costs.
4. Test and measure results.
Direct-mail success is measured one campaign at a time. It is essential to test various components of the campaign -- the lists, the product/service offers made and your creative approaches. This will allow you to continually improve your response rates. The key is to test one component at a time and make incremental adjustments, which can be tested further, until your campaign produces optimal results.
5. Call a Marketing Professional.
Most offer referrals and/or solutions to your direct mail campaign needs. You do not need to conduct all of the research yourself - they already have! A marketing professional can help you with the campaign itself, the message conveyed to your audience, the best time to send the materials and how to do it. In addition, they can locate the best source to print, address and mail your marketing materials based upon your time frame and your quantity.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(c) Copyright 2008 K.Sawa Marketing. Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Relationship Marketing Coach who's helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues and life. She offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching and do-it-yourself marketing planning products. Go online now to get started with her Free Report and Free Audio at http://www.jumpstartyourmarketing.com