Successful direct mail campaigns all follow rules specific to direct marketing. Postal rules determine what you can mail and certain layout requirements, but the rules which determine your success govern your content and mailing strategy, not where you seal a self-mailer. Follow these five rules of direct marketing, and you will see a return on investment that shows why direct mail services still top the list for fundraising and advertising methods.
Rule # 1 – Limit Your Mailing List
Going strictly by the numbers, you might consider mailing to the largest possible list of people; however, this method has some distinct downsides. When you mail to a large group, you do not target your customer effectively. If you offer local services, be sure to mail solely to local zip codes. If you offer catalog products, be sure to mail to those interested in your products or services. Sending out a catalog full of children’s toys to someone with no children is a waste of postage. Reduce your mailing list to highly targeted customers for a higher ROI.
Rule #2 – Honesty Really is the Best Policy
Sending direct mail services offerings gives you a few seconds to convey an offer or make a purchasing suggestion. Misrepresentations irritate consumers and deny you the continued revenue from a satisfied customer. Be clear about the product or service you offer. Avoid generalizations about your product; be specific and clear.
Rule #3 – Make Buying a No-Risk Proposition
In stores, customers have the opportunity to see products directly and discuss pros and cons with a sales person. A direct mail piece only offers a picture and product specifications. Consumers naturally have concerns when buying without personal experience with a product. Give consumers confidence in your products with a no-risk guarantee or trial period. This way they can try your products or services with confidence.
Rule #4 – Personalize with Care
Adding customer names and preferences to your mailings makes them more targeted and better able to convert to a sale. Unfortunately, a misspelling or mistaken reference can negatively impact the customer experience. Direct mail services give you a way to connect with customers, but only if you are able to ensure accuracy. Make sure that your mailing list is up-to-date and spelling corrections happen quickly to prevent repeat offenses.
Rule #5 – Make Communication Easy
As part of your mailing, be sure to include several different contact methods. Some customers prefer to call a company to discuss a purchase while others would rather visit a website. The more ways a customer can contact your company, the better. Toll-free phone numbers and intuitive website designs let your customers explore what you offer without having to make the trip to your store. Make things easy for customers and they will make sales easier for you.
If you follow these basic rules of direct mail services, you will see increasing rates of return on your mailing campaigns. Effectiveness and success starts with your mailing list, continues with the offer and ends with thoughtful design. Offer customers something special with your mailings and follow-up regularly for the best results. Direct mail services offers a top rate of return, but only when used according to industry best practices. Start pruning your existing mailing list today, and think about buying more highly targeted lists for future use.