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.
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:
- Determine what your goals are for the direct marketing campaign
- Determine the message
- Determine the format
- Determine the response methods
- 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!
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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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?