Open It! How To Grow Your Business With Direct Mail

How to use direct mail to speak to new customers

It’s landed in the letterbox, looks intriguing and is begging to be opened. What’s this … a four day holiday for two but only for a limited time? Sign me up!

Done well, direct mail can be one of the most targeted, cost effective and measurable ways to market your products and services. Done badly, it can be an expensive disaster. So how to ensure yours is a success?

Know what you want to achieve

Sounds obvious, but your objective for the exercise must be precise and carefully aligned with your overall marketing plan. For example, you may be facing a traditionally quiet time and want to attract new business to maintain your income stream. Your objective may be that 20 per cent of August revenue will be generated from this campaign.

Consider how to achieve it

Here are just some of the promotions your direct mail piece can deliver:

-  Introducing a new product or service 
-  Announcing a discount or special sale
-  An invitation to a special event
-  A competition or give-away 
-  A new incentive programme.
-  A compelling message

A poorly written or confusing sales letter will generally not be read. Keep your piece as brief as possible using concise paragraphs, short sentences and no jargon. The message should be simple and easy to understand. Importantly, the ‘call to action’ must be easy for your customer to understand and carry out.

Tell the right individuals

The most fabulous direct marketing piece in the world is useless if sent to an inappropriate target audience. Try selling retirement homes to teenagers! The good news is that you can identify suitable customers to target if you take the time to source a good mailing list. List brokers can provide ready-made lists to rent (one use only) or buy – and can also customise a list for you.

Maintain a customer database

Now you’ve got them, keep them. Don’t record just contact details – track which sort of offer they responded to, or which sort of product, and use the information to keep them up to date on similar offers and products in future.

Measure your results

Place a unique code on your letter and ask your customers to quote it when they respond. This is an excellent way of tracking your success and helping to refine future marketing efforts. It’s also helpful for predicting the costs and likely returns of future campaigns.

A powerful tool

Direct mail is still regarded as one of the most effective marketing tools available. While unsolicited emails often go unread people are much more likely to open a personally addressed envelope. Just remember the all important combination … a Compelling Message sent in an Enticing Manner to the Right Person … and you will be on the way to a successful direct mail campaign.

Until next week,
Mike Reddy