Archive for the ‘Direct Mail’ Category

Getting the Most Out of Your Direct Marketing Campaigns

I have been in the marketing field for almost 20 years now.  And, this not only makes me old, but it also gives you the understanding that I have been there and done that with a lot of things…particularly when it comes to market research and direct marketing.

Recently, I was speaking with someone who was relatively new to the field of marketing…you know the one…the person who uses the word “advertising” as a synonym for marketing.  This person had no idea that how you approached marketing differed depending upon whether your marketing effort was aimed at pure brand building play or if it was focused on getting someone to take immediate actions (direct marketing).

Here’s briefly what I told the marketing novice:

  • Know what success is before you start—make it specific 
  • Give them an offer they can’t refuse—also known as target your message to your target market 
  • Give them the WIIFM—if they know what’s in it for them, they are more likely to respond 
  • Make responding easy—and don’t assume everyone wants to go to a landing page/website or email you…some of us old timers want a good old-fashioned business reply card 
  • Don’t be a one-shot wonder—you need to think campaign, not once and done (which I like to call once and none) 
  • Include your Superman copy—make sure your copy gives them your unique selling proposition (aka how you are faster than a silver bullet and leap tall buildings with a single bound 
  • Test and learn—don’t shoot the wad before you know your direct marketing strategy is going to work
  • Spend enough—think about your prospects and what will motivate them to respond and hopefully convert and spend accordingly—think lifetime value of customers you bring on board

These insights were helpful to the novice, I hope they are helpful to you as well.

Happy Marketing!

Four reasons why an integrated approach is still the best…

I read the post “Why offline still matters” by Annie Mueller  and I have to say…it was a great reminder to marketers who are jumping on the social media band wagon to stop and reflect on what really works and doesn’t work with respect to marketing.

It reminds me of what I am constantly telling people: 

  • You are not your market! 
  • Don’t be a focus group of 1! 

Just because you like to communicate and receive messages through digital and social media means, doesn’t mean that your target does as well.  That’s why an integrated (online and offline) approach works so well.

When thinking about how you are planning to market to your target audience, here are a few things you should consider:

  1. What is the demographic of those I am trying to reach?—this goes for your B2B market as well.  Just because your target is business owners doesn’t mean that all business owners are the same.  There are huge differences in how Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomer and the Silent Generation business owners need to receive information.  If you are targeting business owners that are in the age ranges found in the Baby Boomer and Silent generation, you should be thinking traditional advertising first, digital second.
  2. What industry I am trying to reach (for B2B marketing)?—some industries are much more prone to internet savvy business owners/decision-makers.  If you are targeting small, family-owned manufacturing companies, you might miss your mark entirely if you focus your marketing campaign on digital dollars rather the traditional methods (mail and print advertising).
  3. Is your product local?—companies can have greater success with local TV spots and billboard advertising if they are local rather than national (national usually equals expensive media buys).  But beware!  TV spots and billboards are great for building awareness, but not as good at getting someone to pick up the phone and ordering. 
    • Social media and a digital education campaigns are great for locally-based companies (like Tele Raack, LMT…a great local massage therapist) or a complicated message that needs to be feed through a nurturing/education campaign.
  4. What is your timing?—if timing your message is critical…say you are targeting restaurant owners…your choice of message delivery is really critical.  You can’t tell the postman when to deliver a letter, but you can tell your marketing automation system when to deliver an email and your social media manager when to start posting on Facebook and tweeting like crazy.  Oh, and one last thing with respect to restaurants…if you want to get noticed, go visit with the owners after you have eaten and spent money in the restaurant. 

 Engagement is just as critical offline as it is online.

What methods of marketing will you be using today?

Happy marketing!

5 things to think about before starting a direct marketing campaign..

With all the focus on digital and social media marketing, little is being said about how you can in fact be successful in the world of direct marketing.  Just for the record, direct marketing is not just direct mail marketing, though it has a lot to do with it.

In my video blog above, I give you several things you need to think about before you embark on a direct marketing campaign. 

Here are the highlights:

  1. Determine what your goals are for the direct marketing campaign
  2. Determine the message
  3. Determine the format
  4. Determine the response methods
  5. Determine how are you going to measure your success

Have other things you should consider before embarking on a direct marketing campaign?  Let me know in the comments section!

Happy Marketing!

4 easy steps to a better campaign…

In my last blog, I told you that you should stop marketing until you have a well-defined marketing plan.  And that is true, you need to have a plan before you execute…it only makes sense.  But, I need to tell you, you need more than just a good plan.  You also need  to put together an effective tactical campaign.

So how do you develop a successful direct mail marketing campaign?  It’s easy, here’s how:

  1. Make it openable—when developing your direct mail package, you need to pay extra special attention to the envelope. This element will make or break you.  There is no silver bullet when it comes to envelope design, but here are some things I have used that have worked:
    • Make it look like a bill—this is a plain windowed envelope; with the company logo and return address and nothing else
    • Make it look like it has to be delivered—this can be accomplished by having a small box that gives “non-delivery” instructions to the postmaster
    • Give them a compelling question—remember to keep the question on target
  2. Make it personal—you don’t need to use a professional printer to make a letter personal, you just need to use the “Insert Merge Field” to include personalization.  To accomplish the personalization, you just need to include the personalized information in your data file.  Include things like their industry and their city.
  3. Make it local—people like to do business with local companies.  If you are doing a mailing to local prospects, make sure you include information about the city/town/county/state in which you are mailing.
  4. Make it urgent—you need to make sure you give them a reason to call/email/fax/go to a landing page now…not tomorrow, and not next week.  If you don’t have a reason for them to contact you now…your overall message probably isn’t very compelling either.

There are many other things you can do to make your direct mail campaign successful.  What would you add?

Happy Marketing!

A 10% Response Rate? Who’da Thunk it?

So, you are probably thinking, okay you got me with the 10% response rate…now what gives? Did you really achieve a 10% response rate?  God’s honest truth here:  YES! For one of the main direct marketing campaigns I am running at work I am achieving a 10% response rate (or better).  How’d I do it?  Well, believe it or not…the old fashioned way.

A lot has been said lately about the effectiveness of going digital and using social media in your marketing efforts.  I agree that they can definitely be effective…for the right audience.   But…my audience for this mailing has been a little slower in adopting social media…I know this because I do a lot of research with my target markets.

So now what?  Yes, right, the old fashioned way…direct mail and telephone calls.

As I stated in my post, Direct Mail Is a Viable Option for Marketing to Small Businesses, direct mail is not effective in a vacuum.  Direct mail alone won’t do the “heavy lifting” for you.  To be effective, direct mail needs to be part of an integrated campaign. 

And, in this case, my integrated campaign includes a few things:

  • Targeted message letters
  • Outbound telemarketing
  • Email follow up with support information—opt in of course

I know that others are replicating my success with integrated marketing campaigns focusing on direct mail. 

What’s your marketing success story?

Happy marketing!

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