I look at a lot of direct mail pieces.* And mostly I shake my head in dismay.
Before I begin, I want to give you some idea of why what Iím about to say is relevant.
I run several very successful direct mail campaigns for a number of companies. And by successful, I mean very successful. So what you about to hear is from someone that knows what he is talking about. Yes, I know a lot of arrogance can be taken from that last comment, so let me explain.
We sent a direct mail piece (of course) to a potential client in effort to gain their business. The client was hesitant in using us due to the fact our costs were a bit more than what he was used to. After a little convincing, he agreed to do an A/B split on two mailers over a 90 day test period to test our self-mailer against his self-mailer. Our self-mailer pulled in 10% more leads than their mailer. Needless to say, we justified the cost and landed the account.
I am a firm believer that most direct mail campaigns donít work simply because all the tools used in making one successful are not utilized.
Top Ten Mistakes in Most Direct Mail.
1. You forgot AIDA. Here is a lesson in Marketing 101. Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
2. It wasnít personalized. Try using an envelope on your next direct mail piece rather than a self mailer. Our studies indicate double the return.
3. You highlighted features, not benefits. Tell the client what the benefits of the features Sure, itís What does it actually mean at a basic level to the average user? Will it save him or her time? Money?
4. You used too many buzzwords. Remember the average reader may not know your business lingo. Explain what they translate to in terms of basic benefits.
5. Not eliminating the risk. Offer a full money-back guarantee. Not confident in your product or service? Then go to work on improving your service.
6. Poor copy. Good copy is very important for any ad campaign, whether you sell products direct mail or you have a web site. After we changed some copy on one of our mailers, response increased 40%.
7. Not testing your market. Test, test and test again. Rather than running one direct mail campaign for three weeks, why not run three different campaigns for three weeks and measure which draws better?
8. Mailing infrequently.* Out of sight, out of mind.* A single direct mail piece is soon forgotten.* Wait too long between mailings and customers start to forget about you.*
Bonus tip: Customers will not be irritated by your regular mailings if each one includes a new, valuable offer.
9. Omitting a sales letter.* Always send a sales letter, It is the part of the package that gets the response.
10. You forgot the offer. No matter how enticing your product sounds, you wonít generate leads unless people want what youíre offering to send them (unless of course youíre asking them to send money).
After writing this top ten list, Iíve been thinking of more and more mistakes that are made on direct mail campaigns. Another is not maintaining an up to date customer database. Your customer list is pure gold. Rather than always working to bring new customers in the door, why not take advantage of the good will you have already built with your existing clientele?