Successful Direct Mail Campaign - a Direct Mail Letter Perfect
While contact management software keeps a business in the forefront of a prospect's mind, a well-crafted direct mail campaign can achieve the same results. Keep in mind, though, a number of critical key elements must meld together in order for a campaign to yield optimal sales outcomes. Once you have become familiar with the basics, consider researching data capture, goal setting, tracking and analysis approaches. Or, seek help from an organization that specializes in direct mail.
Direct mail campaigns are typically divided into three sections:
- A mailing list or target audience
- The offer
- The creative package
Knowing your audience intimately is critical and is the first hurdle on your direct mail obstacle course. However, if you have never implemented a mailing campaign, consider these points as you compile a list:
- Make sure you know who opens the mail. You probably understand your customer's needs from A to Z, but a clerk or assistant you never met could be the person deciding what's important to pass along.
- Search your customer database for specific attributes. You may decide to send one mailing to a specific region, for example, that would require a zip code sort. Or, perhaps your product or service has sold better among men, and you wish to increase the item's appeal to women. To this end, query your database for potential clients and pinpoint only female prospects before going any further.
- As you are put together the total package, remember that your salient points should be clear and concise. In short, don't make your incentive or offer so complicated that readers must grapple with what it means. Simply describe your product or service and explain why yours beats your competitors' version.
- Use professional copywriters and graphic designers to help you put together a package that is clever, concise and cool. A common industry statistic is that you have seven seconds to wow your target audience. In other words, once they pick up your flyer or letter, you have only seven seconds to win them over. To that end, tricks like highlighting your offer, underlying key words and using intermittent capitalization serve as focal points.
- Be specific. Give consumers a good reason to buy your product or service -- then tell them exactly how they can do that. For instance, one purchase incentive might be a free gift. Another could be a 10 percent discount. Money, after all, is a powerful motivator.
- Always create a sense of urgency in your call to action. "Buy now" is specific, but it begs the question, "Or what?" A better choice would be, "Buy before August 1 and save 10 percent."
Numerous theories surround direct mail and its efficacy. What works and what doesn't, to which audience and with what offer, is going to be more a function of trial and error. Testing multiple variables is a great way to receive feedback. For example, divide your mailing list into four parts and send:
- Offer A with Copy X to 25%
- Offer B with Copy X to 25%
- Offer A with Copy Z to 25%
- Offer B with Copy Z to 25%
Consider using promotion codes and/or coupons in your campaign efforts. They will help you quantify your success rate.