Mistake No. 1: Ignoring the most important factor in direct mail success.
Do you know what the most important part of your direct mail campaign is? It’s not the copy. It’s not the art work. It’s not even the format or when you mail. It is the mailing list.
A great mailing package, with superior copy and scintillating design, might pull double the response of a poorly conceived mailing. But the best list can pull a response 10 times more than the worst list for the identical mailing piece.
The most common direct-mail mistake is not spending enough time and effort up-front, when you select – and then test – the right lists.
Mistake No. 2: Not testing.
Big consumer mailers test all the time. Publishers Clearinghouse tests just about everything…even (I hear) the slant of the indicia on the outer envelope.
Business-to-business marketers, on the other hand, seldom track response or test one mailing piece of list against another.
As a result, they repeat their failures and have no idea of what works in direct mail – and what doesn’t. A mistake. In direct mail, you should not assume you know what will work. You should test to find out.
Mistake No. 3: Not using a letter in your mailing package.
The sales letter – not the outer envelope, the brochure, or even the reply form – is the most important part of your direct-mail package.
A package with a letter will nearly always out pull a postcard, a self-mailer, or a brochure or ad reprint mailed without a letter.
Mistake No. 4: Features vs. Benefits.
Perhaps the oldest and most widely embraced rule for writing direct-mail copy is, “Stress benefits, not features.” But in business-to-business marketing, that doesn’t always hold true.
In certain situations, features must be given equal (if not top) billing over benefits.
Mistake No. 5: Not having an offer.
An offer is what the reader gets when he responds to your mailing.
To be successful, a direct-mail package should sell the offer, not the product itself. For example, if I mail a letter describing a new mainframe computer, my letter is not going to do the whole job of convincing people to buy my computer. But the letter iscapable of swaying some people to at least show interest by requesting a free brochure about the computer.
Make sure you have a well-thought-out offer in every mailing. If you think the offer and the way you describe it are unimportant, you are wrong.
To read the full article : 12 most common direct mail mistakes