The best direct mail advertising is narrowly targeted toward specific buyers.The best direct mail advertising is highly contingent upon the type of business you own and your objectives. For example, coupon magazines may be your best direct mail option if you are trying to increase retail traffic and sales. Similarly, a company trying to generate sales leads may feel postcards are its best alternative. Companies take both costs and effectiveness into consideration when choosing their best direct mail options. However, there are certain characteristics common to all effective direct mail advertising campaigns.
- The best direct mail advertising is highly targeted. In other words, you should target your direct mail campaigns toward specific buying groups. For example, send offers about your diet products to people who actually buy diet products. Companies can buy mailing lists of people who have purchased their types of products. The Direct Marketing Association is one of the largest mailing list suppliers. Additionally, companies can order names of customers with specific demographic characteristics. For example, a hearing aid manufacturer may want to send direct mail pieces to people 55 and over.
Convincing Ad Copy
- The best direct mail advertising includes convincing ad copy. You cannot have a successful direct mailing unless your writing motivates consumers or businesses to buy your products or services. Direct mail pieces, like sales letters, should follow the AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) concept of advertising. Write a headline that attracts the attention of your buying audience. Include a key benefit of your product within the heading to pull your readers into the ad. Build the readers’ interest by describing what your products can do for her. Say something like, “Picture yourself basking on the white beaches of our resort.” Add additional benefits in your sales letter to increase the readers’ desire to buy your product. Offer the reader an incentive to act now. For example, say something such as, “Order within 10 days and get a second pillow absolutely free.”
- No successful advertising campaign is limited to one or two mailings. You must advertise your products and services consistently to reap the most benefits. Some people may not see your ad the first time. Others may want to make sure you are not some “fly-by-night” company that will not be around tomorrow. Some customers may even wait to see if you offer your products at a lower price, a common practice with mail order companies. Continue to purchase mailing lists and reach new customers. However, you should also mail new offers to your current customers. Therefore, maintain a database of existing customers.
Tracking and Testing
- The best direct mail advertising is tracked and tested. Direct mail allows you to test your products in the market relatively quickly, according to Entrepreneur website writer Jack Ferrari. Consider doing smaller mailings from a variety of mailing lists. Test those mailing lists to determine if they are profitable. You can then increase the quantities of your mailing. The best way to track your direct mail campaigns is by inserting codes inside the coupons or on the order form. For example, insert a “110” on the coupon you are using for a coupon magazine promotion. The “110” would indicate a mailing that went out on January 10. Keep records of all the direct mailings you do. Drop mailing lists that are unproductive or unprofitable.