Direct Mail Back to Basics: 7 Tips to Boost Response in Today’s Crazy Economy

At Strategic Marketing and Mailing, we are experienced in all things related to direct mail marketing services. Our business not only involves marketing and mailing, but we love to help other people build brands through direct mail and marketing services by providing tips of the trade. Today Strategic Marketing and Mailing is offering seven direct mail marketing tips to boost response in the new economy.

Direct Mail Back to Basics: 7 Tips to Boost Response in Today’s Crazy Economy

1. Sell Things People Want 
In general, direct marketing is not about creating markets but locating existing markets. It’s a business-to-buyer avenue of selling that is streamlined, efficient and profitable—but only when a market wants what you are offering.

For example, a few decades ago only hard-core geeks would buy a computer by mail. Computers were neither understood nor wanted by the general public. Now, such purchases are common because a wide market exists.

2. Sell Solutions to Problems, Not Products 
No one cares about your widgets. What they care about are their own needs and wants. Bob doesn’t want a drill, he wants a hole. Mary doesn’t want a dress, she wants to look thin at the party this Friday. Alice doesn’t want an investment newsletter, she wants to find a great investment that will let her retire at 45. Ted doesn’t want a recipe book, he wants new ways to impress his friends at dinner parties and generate the compliments he thrives on.

3. Appeal to Emotion First, Reason Second 
Most direct marketers are number-crunching, logical people. It’s easy for us to fall into a cold, left brain, bullet-pointed, 714-reasons-why type of sales pitch. However, people make decisions in the right brain based on emotion. Then they justify that decision with logic. To set up a sale, appeal to emotion first. Then, to close and confirm the sale, use logic.

4. Use Proven Techniques 
While there is no set of universal techniques for all circumstances, there are a few that are nearly universal. According to Bob Stone , the guru of gurus in direct marketing:

  • A yes/no offer usually out-pulls offers without a no option.
  • A negative-option offer usually out-pulls a positive option offer.
  • An offer with a time limit usually out-pulls an offer with no time limit.
  • An offer with a free gift usually out-pulls discount offers, especially when the gift closely matches your prospect’s self-interest.
  • Sweepstakes usually increase order volume, especially for impulse items (though sweepstakes customers will not be loyal).
  • Benefits out-pull features.
  • The more involved you can get people, and the more they read, the greater your chance for success.
  • Envelope packages usually outpull self-mailers.

5. Value Content Over Form

One of the primary reasons advertising fails is that ad creators often get caught up in a creative vision without having anything to say.

One agency has repeatedly sent me mockups of mailers and brochures with tiny blank spaces it wants me to fill in with copy. When I ask about the purpose of the piece or point out that the design should be based on what needs to be communicated, I am gently told to just write something the right length and everything will work out fine.

This is nonsense. Don’t start with a “look,” start with content. Allow your design to develop naturally from your copy.

6. Make Sure You’re Doing Direct Marketing 
Every direct marketing message includes three basic elements:

  1. an offer;
  2. enough information for immediate acceptance of the offer; and
  3. a mechanism for responding to the offer.

Without each of these, you are not doing direct marketing but merely using a medium associated with direct marketing.

7. Consider Two-step Sales 
There are two basic ways to make a sale in direct marketing:

  1. the single shot, where you get an immediate order; or
  2. the two-step, where you generate inquiries and attempt to convert those inquiries into sales.

If your product is expensive, complex, new, hard-to-understand, or requires a major commitment of some kind, two-step sales may net you more profit in the long run than single shots.

To read the full article click here: Direct Mail Back to Basics: 7 Tips to Boost Response in Today’s Crazy Economy