Direct Mail: Your Secret Weapon for New Sales
Whether you are trying to reach a decision maker in a corporation or a specific type of consumer, direct mail is one of the most powerful ways to market to your target audience. Author Wendy Maynard gives 8 keys to making sure your direct mail campaign works to drive new business to your door.
Whether you are trying to reach a decision maker in a large company or stay-at-home mom, direct mail marketing is one of the most powerful ways to drive new business to your company, as well as an amazing way to generate more business from existing customers. A direct mail campaign offers many compelling benefits including cost effectiveness, measurability, and targeting.
Direct mail can be a postcard, a sales letter, a printed newsletter, catalog, or any other form of marketing that you send through the mail. Anyone in business can benefit from direct mail marketing (DMM). However there are a few key factors that you must keep in mind to succeed:
1) Target Your Audience. Your DMM should be targeted toward a specific audience for the maximum impact. Collect information about your recipients to make sure they will be interested in your offer. You can mail your campaign to your entire database of customers or a targeted subset of them. If you want to attract new customers, you will need to purchase a list of names. Find a mailing list company that specializes in providing targeted names and addresses. It's not very expensive and you'll be astounded at how specific you can get (ex: occupation, revenue, education level, marital status, zip code, etc..
2) Create an Enticing Offer. Clearly state what your reader will get. Remember, your audience needs a good reason to buy from you. They also want to feel a low amount of risk in your offer. You may try a money-back guarantee or a coupon to create incentive for your recipients to give your company a try. If this is a prospect you are trying to convert into a customer, give them a lot up front based on what they will be worth to your company over time (your customer's lifetime value).
3) Make Your Message Meaningful. You may have to work with a direct-response copywriter, but make sure that your message resonates with your potential buyers. This means that you show them that you understand their specific needs and problems. Communicate the benefits that you provide to your reader.
4) Include a Call to Action: What is the point of sending a marketing campaign if you don't ask the recipient to take an action? People are busy and don't want to take the time to think about what to do next. If they are interested in what you are offering, make it easy for them to pick up the phone, send in a self-addressed stamped envelope, or go to a website page.
5) Know Your Numbers. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the average DMM response rates are in the 2% range. However, if you are new to direct marketing you may get a lower response. Therefore, it is crucial that you set your expectations appropriately. And you must play the numbers game - send out enough pieces to get the response you desire: a 2% response from 2,000 names = 40 people.
6) Repeat your Efforts. Sending out just one direct-mail piece is a waste of time and money. Most researchers are in agreement: it takes at least six exposures to direct mail for a recipient to take action. This means you must plan your campaign in advance to have several cards or letters that are sent out every four or six weeks (Note: more often than ever 3 weeks may annoy your recipients).
7) Test, Test, Test. For those of you who aren't used to this process, it is important to realize that different headlines, different copy, and different offers can get widely varied responses. Therefore, test variations on smaller segments of your list to see which ones get the best response. Then you can take the "winner" and send it out to your entire list.
8) Track Your Efforts. The more data you track, the better your campaigns will get over time. Because every business and each list is different, tracking will help you learn what works and what doesn't work for your company. Use this data to improve, refine, and focus your future campaigns.
Start to incorporate direct mail marketing into your sales efforts. Set up systems to develop, plan, test, and track your campaigns. As you begin to implement DMM campaigns, you will convince your recipients to trust and believe in your company. Over time, more of your prospects will convert into customers and you will see the results in your bottom line.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Learn marketing techniques to attract new customers quickly in Author Wendy Maynard's free report: "Marketing Strategies to Fill Your Pipeline" at http://www.gomarketingmaven.com/free_report.html