5 Keys To Direct Mail Success

I am going back to some good old fashioned marketing… Namely direct mail and I suggest you should too. In recent years with the rise of the internet, email, and social media many small business owners have turned their back on direct mail which has been a proven marketing methodology for a hundred plus years.

So while all of your competitors are busy sending their tenth Twitter update for the day letting all their friends know they are about to walk the dog, or they are busy inviting all of their Facebook friends to their Fan Page, there is a huge opportunity to BE DIFFERENT!

One of the most challenging things in marketing your business today is gaining and holding the ATTENTION of your target market. The key is to differentiate yourself from the rest. In order to do this it makes sense to gain visibility amongst your target market through different channels than your competitors.

That’s the reason I am making a major shift back to Direct Mail and I am recommending it to my coaching and consulting clients. (Note: I do believe there is some value in online marketing such as Facebook etc… however it is very easy to get lost amongst the many).

Direct Mail has a proven track record of success. Unlike email marketing it has close to 95% open rate. Email open rates continue to plumit as more and more people suffer from Inbox overwhelm.

Now here is the exciting news of the day… where once there was a lot of Small Business owners using Direct Mail… today there are hardly any! Large corporates still use Direct Mail but at the Small to Micro end of the business spectrum there are very few people effectively using Direct Mail.

This spells OPPORTUNITY to me. An opportunity to reach your target market in a way that your competitors are not even attempting to do.

Lets look at 5 keys to making Direct Mail work for you:

1. Quality List – This is where a lot of Direct Mail campaigns fall down. You must have a quality list of your target market. My preference is to build my own list. Now I do this online with the FREE CD giveaway that we offer. This helps capture their postal address so we can then use this for Direct Mail campaigns. So focus first on developing the right strategies to build your own quality mailing list of your target market.

2. Attention Grabber – You have about 30 seconds to grab their ATTENTION when they open your direct mail letter. So the key here is to use powerful compelling headlines focused on them. There are also other devices you can use to attach to the letter to get their attention such as attaching a $2 coin in the top right hand side with the headline… ‘Why Am I Sending You $2?’. This is a curiosity builder which draws them into the letter.

You want to give careful consideration to the headline and opening paragraph of your letter. Is it focused totally on the reader and their particular desires, wants and needs? If it is not the letter goes straight in the bin.

3. Irresistible Offer – Your sales letter then must have some sort of offer that is Irresistible combined with a call to action. What I mean by this is you should offer them what is known as a FRONT END low dollar value product. This reduces the risk of responding and lowers the barrier to entry for them becoming a client. Make it a totally irresistible offer and tell them specifically how to take up your offer. You want to build into your offer scarcity and urgency to prompt them to act.

4. Sequenced Mailing – One of the little known keys to improving the overall success of your Direct Mail campaign is to use a sequenced campaign. This means you send to the same list a sequence of three letters spaced appx. 3 weeks apart. The first letter outlines your offer, the second letter is sent as a reminder that the deadline for the offer is coming and we haven’t heard from you. The third letter is a final notice letter. Note that letters two and three must reference the previous letters. Using a sequenced mailing campaign like this can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your campaign as opposed to a one off try it and hope for the best approach.

5. Tracking & Measuring – Finally you need to track and measure the results of your Direct Mail campaigns. How well have they worked? What was the response rate? What happens when you send the same letter with a different headline.

In all marketing it is the tracking & measuring of results and then fine tuning your approach that makes the greatest leaps forward toward success.

One of the reasons that I think Direct Mail is so important to put into your marketing mix is that if you combine it with your online marketing what happens over time is your target market start to hear your name all over the place. They may not remember exactly where they keep hearing about you but they know that you keep popping up in lots of different locations. This familiarity makes you highly attractive to your target market.

In a world where most small business owners have lost the art of effective Direct Mail campaigns I highly recommend it to reach your target market in a way that your competitors will probably not even think of.