Direct mail has been the most profitable marketing tool for ages, compared to other tools such as digital marketing or traditional TV and print ads. The reason for this is simple: it increases the response rate and provides a much higher return on investment with a much lower cost compared to other advertising tools.
According to a report by Harvard Business Review, businesses experience a 25% response rate when using direct mail marketing compared to only a 23% rate for emails. Also, direct mail solutions costs much less than pay-per-click or print advertising, according to the DMA.
However, simply including direct mail in your marketing strategy is not going to make a difference. Instead, you have to utilize it correctly to make it work for you.
Wondering how to use it correctly? Then take a look at the following five ways to use it for your business.
1. Formulate a Strategy
Like every other marketing technique, the success of your direct mail marketing campaign largely depends on the strategy you formulate before the first piece is delivered.
Define the goal of your campaign, such as building awareness or winning over new customers; the target market, whether local or hyper-local; the budget; and the mailing frequency to name a few.
2. Include a Call to Action
If you don’t tell your customers what you want them to do when receiving your mail, they will hardly respond to your message and all your efforts and investments will be in vain.
Therefore, always include a direct response or call to action in all your mailings by telling your target audience what to do next and when and how to do it based on your campaign objective.
For example, if you have a retail store and you want your potential customers to come to your store, then you can ask them to visit in the next five days for larger discounts as a next step and tell them when you are open and how they can reach your store (by including a customized map).
Similarly, if you want them to visit your website to avail an offer, you can include a coupon as a call to action which can be redeemed by visiting your site.
3. Make Your Copy Attractive
To what kind of message would you prefer to respond to? A colorful, attractive and beautifully designed mail addressed specifically to you or a flat, black and white generic mail?
Of course the former, right?
The same goes for your customers. Use larger and easy-to-read fonts, have a simple, yet eye-catching design and, most importantly, write an effective copy that will drive the customers to respond.
The best way to make it is to use the “AIDA” formula. It is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. If you follow this approach, your copy is bound to stand out.
Moreover, to generate better results, you should personalize it by addressing customers with their name or even by including a handwritten thank you note and personalized URL.
4. Refine Your Target Database
The key to success of any marketing campaign depends on identifying and targeting the right type of buyers. If you send a fundraising mail to a disinterested donor, you will hardly get a response. Similarly, if your product is for women only and you send a mail to a male group, your campaign will end up damaging your brand.
So make sure you narrow your target list according to your requirements. Whether it is by industry, gender, geography or income level, the success of your direct mail marketing relies on how well you address the customers who actually have a need for your services.
5. Test, Test and Test
By now, you have got an overview of what you need to do to make direct mail marketing work for you, but the most important step is testing. You need to test your campaign to see what works and what doesn’t work so that you can tweak it accordingly.
One of the best and easiest ways to perform the testing is the A/B split test. If you need to mail to 1,000 potential customers, do not mail them all at a first go. Instead, make a small sample size of 200 and mail 100 of them with one headline and the other 100 with a different headline to find out which one works better. Similarly, you can use hand addressed envelopeshand addressed envelopes, change the font size, design, color or even the call to action to see what works best.
So how do you use direct mail marketing (womeninbusiness.about.com/od/directmailmarketing/tp/hub-pros-directmail.htm)? Do you have any points to share?
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