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Direct Mail – Still One of The Most Effective New Business GeneratingTechniques

It may have been around for ages but it is still one of the best ways to generate new business.

In recent years, thanks to the rise of digital marketing, direct mail has been almost forgotten about. But the fact is that it used to work and because so much less direct mail is sent these days, its effectiveness has actually increased over the last few years.

However direct mail is only effective if done well.

The purpose of this email is to give you some guidelines on how to ensure that your direct mail gets response and delivers loads of new business and a great ROI.

Set Your Objectives

Before you send out anything, you must be clear about what response you want.

  • To generate immediate sales
  • A visit to your website
  • A telephone call or email
  • A request for more information

To have any chance to getting a response, there are three separate issues you have to get right.

  1. You must identify and communicate with the right audience for what you’re selling. No matter how good your pitch, if you’re talking to the wrong audience, you will not get a response.
  2. Your communication must contain a compelling offer, strong enough and relevant enough to make the reader to take action
  3. The letter must be written in a persuasive manner,  highlighting  all the benefits of your product, giving the reader  no option but to respond.

Accurate Targeting Is Vital

The effectiveness of your direct mail campaign will be determined by the relevance of what you’re offering to the recipients of the letter.

So you must be absolutely clear on the profile of the users of your product.

Your next challenge is to get hold of a suitable list of prospects. This can come from a variety of sources.

  1. Your Own Database.
    Hopefully this will be segmented into existing customers, lapsed customers and leads you never converted. Each of these audiences will need to be addressed differently, but assuming you make the right offer, all should give you good response levels.
  2. Bought Lists
    The quality of these lists and therefore your response rates will depend on the accuracy of your buyer profile and the quality of your list broker. But assuming that both of those are good, your results should be perfectly respectable.
  3. Joint Venture Partners
    The trick here is to find a non competing partner who serves the same audience as you do but with a different product and who has a high quality database. You will need to either agree a cost for the usage of their database or maybe agree to pay them a percentage of all sales generated.

How To Make Sure Your Audience Open Your Letter

We all know how we react when we receive an envelope that is obviously “junk mail”. That’s right – we’re likely to throw it away unopened.

So what can you do to ensure that a high percentage of your audience actually open your letter?

  1. Don’t make your direct mail look like direct mail
    Make sure you don’t have corporate logos on the envelope or have anything pre-printed on it. The secret is to make your communication look like a private letter.
  2. Use an ordinary envelope and hand write the address
    Admittedly this is very time consuming but it does look like a personal letter and will be opened. If you don’t have time for this, see if you can find a student who’s looking to earn a few pounds.
  3. Don’t frank the letter
    Again this is a dead give away that it’s a corporate communication. The answer is to use stamps.
  4. Make the envelope bulky
    If you make the envelope bulky by enclosing something in the envelope, the recipient will be curious to know what’s inside. If the item included also links thematically to the subject of the letter, then the whole piece hangs together coherently.

Make Your Audience Take Action

Making your audience take action is the single most crucial aspect of your direct mail campaign. Of course you must adhere to the basic rules of direct mail copy writing ie you’ve personalised your letter to each recipient, you’ve told your audience what action to take now and you’ve repeated the key elements of your offer in the PS, but what else can you do to stimulate a response?

  1. Include a discount voucher
    If you include a voucher which actually feels like money, whether you offer a set financial amount or a percentage, you’ll give the offer a real sense of value.
  2. Time Limit The Offer
    If the offer is open ended, your readers will feel no sense of urgency. By giving a short closing date, you compel your readers to take action quickly.
  3. Limit The Offer To The First 100 Respondents
    By introducing an element of scarcity to the offer, you will immediately make it more attractive and increase the response rate.

So when you come to your next marketing campaign, don’t forget direct mail, as when it’s done well it will still give you exceptional results.