With all the talk about internet marketing, it is easy to forget that many forms of offline marketing are still solid strategies that can bring great success when done properly. One such strategy that still packs a marketing punch is direct mail campaigns. With this type of marketing, it is easy to think the key is putting together an attractive piece and to just keep on mailing again, again and again. But, there is a bit more to it than merely maximizing exposure. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make with direct mail.
Overlooking the Most Important Factor: The List!
This might seem a bit strange as the list is everything, but many businesses surprisingly don’t give it the attention it deserves. There is so much focus on creating punchy copy, appealing design, when to mail it or the format, all the while, the most crucial piece of the puzzle does not get the attention it deserves. The most important part of a successful direct marketing campaign is getting your business in front of the right eyes.
You need to put time and effort into selecting your lists, and then testing the responses. The best list is of the people whose information you already have because they have already bought from you, or responded to some sort of previous mailing. Before you even start designing copy or graphics, put some serious time into gathering your lists. Then, worry about all the other stuff.
There are many companies that can set you up with marketing experts to guide you in narrowing down the most effective lists, such as US Data Corporation. It is important you seek this type of guidance, rather than just purchasing lists completely on your own.
Not Having an Offer
While your ultimate goal is to get people to buy your products or services, simply sending out information about them with any specific offer for the person to act on when he reads your material will put a damper your results big time. Essentially, the direct mail piece is selling this offer, not the products and services itself. Getting someone to make a purchase based solely on a direct mail piece is not likely — there is just not enough information. But, it is enough to get someone to take advantage of an offer, like requesting a free brochure or visiting your site for a free gift.
Focusing on the Product and Not the Prospect
When putting together copy for a direct mail campaign, it is easy to fall into the trap of writing copy from the perspective of the business, forgetting about the prospect. There is a lot of focus on the company, its objectives, history, etc. However, this type of copy will not appeal to your audience because your audience wants to know what’s in it for them, how this product or service will benefit them, how it will meet their needs and solve their problems. That direct mail piece needs to clearly show them how they will benefit from buying your product or service.