Direct Mail – have you used it?

About a year ago, I wrote an article giving tips on how to use Direct Mail as an effective marketing initiative, but I have come across a lot of cynicism recently about its place within strategies.

As I tweeted earlier this morning, I believe there is no such thing a junk mail – only mail that is badly targeted and misdirected. In my opinion, ALL mail has the opportunity to be impactful and interesting and it is your job (or the job of your marketing company) to make it so. Even to throw it in the bin requires an action from the recipient and therein lies the opportunity!

Your prospect probably receives 100lbs of unsolicited mail per year comprising of 500+ items. Ask yourself why your mailshot should be treated differently from the rest? If you send 10 items of literature to perfect strangers, two of them will be binned unopened, another two will be opened but not read. This leaves roughly six that will be looked at. MAKE YOURS STAND OUT!

Out with the ‘junk’
About one-third of mailshots are wrongly addressed. This is something that will have a serious impact on response rates. In addition, do not address your mail shot to ‘The Owner’ or ‘The House Owner.’ Try not to make your mailshot look too much like mail they haven’t asked for; consider all possibilities for personalisation – a handwritten envelope, use a Christian name, use a stamp rather than franking etc.
As we all know timing is essential. Try and avoid any seasonal influences (i.e. half terms). A lot of companies also match their finacial years to coincide with the standard financial year so avoid making offers in March; allow sufficient time to get into peoples’ diaries before budgets are set.

Language is also imperative. Use good English. No mistakes, be brief and to the point and avoid the unclear and ambiguous message. Also, if money is tight, try contra deals with someone else where 2 businesses run a campaign together (e.g web design & SEO) and make the offers interesting, relevant and original.

Statistics say that successful direct mail marketing will yield a 2% response rate. In my opinion this is rubbish. All you need to know is the profit per reply. Ask Johnnie Boden how direct mail works for his business.

Need help? Why not ask me?

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