How effective was your last direct mail campaign? Maybe you’re doing your first? Whether you’re an experienced direct marketer, or new to the game, there is always room for improvement.
How Much Do You Know About Your Direct Mail Campaign’s Audience?
Before you can manage a highly effective and very successful direct mail campaign, you have to know exactly who your audience is (or who your audiences are, if you target multiple demographics). The most successful direct marketers create a composite or “avatar” prospect for each demographic. This information usually includes related interests, income, products recently purchased, and plenty of other data.
Is your Message Focused on Benefits or Features?
Often times, many marketers or business owners focus on the specs and features and of their product. It’s a common mistake, and easy enough to do if you have a fantastic product! But you’ll be more successful if you’ll concentrate on how these features benefit your customers—instead of focusing on the features for their own sake.
Is Your Call to Action Simple and Direct?
Every direct mail campaign should have a strong and compelling call to action. The problem many marketers face here is actually over-complication. You want a call to action that motivates the consumer to take the next step, then clearly explains how to do so. This needs to be put in language that is clear, simple, and easy to understand.
Have you Tested your Offers and Mailers Sufficiently?
Testing is crucial with every direct mail campaign. In spite of this many business owners never test, or they do so infrequently. Test your offers (pricing and/or bonuses), your call to action, and of course your headlines. Even if your mailings aren’t big enough to support testing multiple variations, it’s important to at least test the three elements above.
It’s important to test these elements both with your rented lists and your house list. In addition, you can occasionally strike gold by frequently testing new or different mailing lists.
What Other Marketing Methods are you Using Along with Direct Mail?
Combining more than one marketing method and integrating all of the methods used into a single campaign can really boost the effectiveness of your efforts, and the bottom line and overall success of your business. All of the techniques that you use for advertising need t obe integrated into one comprehensive marketing plan for the best possible results.
Are you Redefining and Upgrading your Mailing Lists Continuously?
Mailing lists are an important part of any direct mail campaign, and these need to be redefined and upgraded regularly in order to be as effective as possible. If you are using outdated mailing lists, lists that have duplications, or lists that are not completely accurate you will spend more and get a lower response.
A good list provider will do more than just provide up-to-date information. They will also check lists against each other for duplicates, so that you aren’t billed twice for names that appear or more than one mailing list.
Is your Mailer Highly Personalized?
If you want to have a successful direct mail campaign, your mailers need to be personalized as much as possible. The targeted consumers are not going to respond well to a generic mailer which could be intended for anyone in the world, or even anyone at a specific address. A good direct mail printing company will easily add personalization, so that the recipient feels singled out in a good way and views you more favorably.
Are you Following Up With Your House List?
Your follow-up is one of the keys to a campaign which is incredibly successful and highly effective. If you don’t follow up, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to create more sales. We don’t just mean follow-up on leads, either: Unless your first mailing is abysmal, you should send a follow-up mailing shortly afterwards.
At least, this is true for mailings to your “house list” (customers who have bought from you before). It may or may not be practical with rented lists—but it is often worth a try.
Have You Included Enough Testimonials?
Testimonials (or the lack of them) can have a huge impact on your direct mail campaign. Testimonials from real customers are the single biggest trust-building element in your arsenal. If you have to make the choice between using them too much and using them to little—go ahead and use them too much!
As the late, great guru of direct response advertising, Gary Halbert, once said, “The first reason people don’t buy from you is because they don’t want what you’re selling. The second reason is because they don’t believe you.”
You’re already targeting people who (potentially) want what you’re selling. Give them every chance to believe you by letting them read glowing testimonials.