If you’re an experienced marketer, you probably know how essential direct marketing can be for acquiring and retaining customers. On the other hand, if you’re new to marketing or a new business owner, you may be more skeptical.
“Does anyone actually respond to direct mail,” you might ask. Isn’t online marketing the only marketing these days?
Well, as a consumer, there’s a reason you continue to get direct marketing today. It still works….really well.
Direct Marketing can be an incredibly effective way to gain new customers and retain existing clients. Whether you’re a newbie or just looking for ways to improve your direct marketing efforts, here’s some direct marketing advice to help with your campaigns...
The Foundation: Identify The Purpose Of Your Direct Marketing
Your first decision is whether to send a mail campaign meant to attract new customers or to retain current clientele. Both approaches can be very effective, but the messaging for each can vary significantly.
If your goal is to retain existing customers, it’s imperative you have a list of client names and addresses. If you don’t have a meaningful contact list, then going after new customers is the better approach (what other choice do you have?). If you don’t have enough contacts to start marketing to existing customers, start capturing customer names for future use.
When targeting new clients, make sure your message is clearly aimed at explaining why your business is desirable and valuable. Who are you? What makes you different? Next, always include some type of call-to-action (Examples: “Call us now” or “Use this coupon code at oursite.com for $10 off”). Without a call-to-action, recipients will be less likely to react..
If you have a list of existing customers, your direct mail can serve to upsell customers or keep you top-of-mind. Make sure to add a more personal approach with your direct marketing message to current customers. Thank them for their loyalty, share new and exciting products or services they might enjoy, and give them reasons to re-engage with you. A punch card or frequent buyer discount may be a good strategy to encourage repeat traffic in a direct mail piece.
Direct Marketing Tips: The Basics
When you design your direct marketing piece, keep it clean and clear. Don’t put every single product or service you offer on each marketing piece – it will only confuse the reader. Instead, focus on the features that you think will resonate the most with the audience you’re targeting. To keep the messaging clear, focus your efforts on these four components:
- Bold graphics. You are competing with a large stack of (mostly) unwanted mail. To be successful, you must get the reader’s attention. Bold graphics do this well. Just be sure the graphics are consistent with your message. Be sure to use high quality files for your images. A pixelated or poorly formatted graphic will give readers a bad impression of your business.
- A strong headline. Madison Avenue and advertising legend David Ogilvy claimed that “on average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” Some might even argue that number to be conservative. A compelling headline is essential to get the reader interested enough to keep reading. A great headline either punches you in the gut or tickles the brain. Don’t obsess over copy until you’ve perfected your headline. Boring headlines are destined for failure.
- A compelling offer. Your offer is one of the main reasons people to respond to direct marketing. For new customers, give them a compelling reason to get off the couch and shop with you. Expiration dates tied to an offer help drive responses during a specific time frame and give a sense of urgency. Four weeks is appropriate for an expiration date, but leave some buffer time for your direct mail piece to reach the homes. Finally, it’s your choice to honor the offer after the expiration date. Certain big box retailers, for example, accept long-expired coupons. They do this intentionally, and you can too.
- Web address, contact info or other call-to-action. It seems obvious to put your business address, phone number or other contact information on your advertisements. But, you’d be surprised how many people forget this crucial step. Whatever call-to-action you use should align directly with the goal of your campaign. If you want people to use a coupon code, add your web address to redeem the code. If you want them to call, make your phone number large and easy to read and be sure to remember the area code! Adding multiple contact options can be helpful, but can becoming confusing. Avoid using them unless absolutely necessary.
Send Direct Mail Yourself, Or Use An Expert?
Some businesses believe they can save money by managing direct mail themselves. This includes manually compiling a marketing list, preparing and printing the direct mail piece, and delivering it to the post office for mailing. If you value your own time, you will quickly realize managing direct mail is not the best use of it. It’s far more time consuming and far less effective to manage this process if you lack the proper expertise. A reputable mailing company will procure new prospect lists, guide you on paper selection and graphic selection, and manage the actual mailing.
Contact Conquest Graphics at 800-707-9903 to get started with your printing today.
Direct Marketing Tips
With the rise of digital marketing, you have to wonder if trying to create an effective direct mail campaign is worth the effort. The short answer is “Yes!” Despite the popularity and convenience of digital marketing strategies, creating direct mail campaigns is still a viable marketing option for nearly all businesses...
By Conquest Graphics