Small businesses, is all direct mail advertising just junk mail?
Quick and simple advice on keeping your investments in cash out of the trash
If you’re apprehensive about starting a direct mail campaign – don’t be. Direct mail, despite the low response rate percentage is still one of the best marketing and advertising initiatives out there—that’s why you don’t see it slowing down. When direct mail is done right, it gives you a great return on your investment—“a terrific bang for your buck.”
If that’s true, why do you suppose there are so many business owners that are opposed to using direct mail?
More often than not, business owners don’t have a firm grasp of what is necessary to have a successful direct mail campaign. Small business owners typically run just one postcard (that they designed themselves) and expect to be flooded with sales calls and new customers. It doesn’t work that way.
In order to maximize your investment in direct mail you want to keep these things in mind: test, hire a professional, be memorable, be quick, be easy to read, and make a compelling offer, oh, and check out the insider tips below:
- Offer something of value that prospects can take advantage of immediately.
- Test your direct mail first! Ask several of your best customers what they think of the postcard. Avoid asking friends and family—ask the people that buy from you!
- When you are testing, make sure you test both the title and the offer. Try different combinations of both to get the optimal mix.
- You have less than three seconds to get someone’s attention. Ask yourself , “Am I certain that my postcard can do it?” If not, hire a professional.
- Make sure you include a call to action. That’s what this is all about: you want your prospects to act. Give them an easy to follow, low-risk offer.
- Give your postcard to a child and ask them to read the postcard and then to tell you what the call to action is, i.e., what does this postcard ask you to do. If they aren’t sure, change your call to action.
- To get better results, make your offer for a limited time, add some urgency to your prospects acting. “Act now,” or, “For a Limited Time Only.”
- Offer a reward, free gift, or discount for prospects that do act quickly.
- Is your postcard bold, easy to follow, interesting and uncluttered? Remember, you’re competing for your prospect’s attention, and you’re up against of other pieces of mail. If you can’t create something compelling, hire a professional.
- Ask a fusion business partner to join in on the promotion. This is called co-operative advertising. If you both combine your mailing lists you have 2X the people. Note: Make sure it makes sense in the prospect’s mind that you are teaming up on this promotion. For example, a business coach and a business web designer.
- Keep in mind that postcards with real actual stamps get read more often than metered mail.
- Personalize the artwork as much as possible. Remember that people love it when they can relate to what you are saying.
- Remember that repetition works on people. I said, repetition works on people. In order to start seeing returns on your investment, plan on sending out at least 3-6 mail pieces.
- Think about including a postscript (PS) in your message. The PS is one, if not the most read items in a postcard or letter.
- Using bullet points and quick sentences is always a good idea. Incorporate titles and subtitles if appropriate.
- Last, make sure you are actually offering something in your postcard. Companies all too often just put information about their business. No one cares about this, you want an offer, exciting news, an idea that you’re eager to share – something other than “Here’s our company, please come in and buy”. Give people something to get excited about!
- This isn’t a comprehensive list by any stretch, but it’ll give you a head start over your competition. Track and analyze your results, but that’s for another article. Remember: test, hire a professional, be memorable, be quick, be easy to read, and make a compelling offer.