5 Direct Mail Marketing Secrets You Should Know
Direct mail marketing has been around for a long time for a reason: it works. However, in order to make direct mail work, an organization must craft the right strategy and follow through with spot-on execution. Here are a few tips for creating a direct mail campaign that meets your objectives:
- List Quality
To a large degree, your direct mail campaign is only as good as your list. If you reach people to whom your offer is relevant and interesting, your cost per conversion will be relatively high; if your list is anything else, you will struggle to make your campaign productive. To keep your list strong in conversion potential, maintain it: scrub old addresses, add new customers and prospects from your house list, and only purchase lists from reputable, established firms.
- Strong Offer
Today’s consumers and business buyers are swimming in offers and information. Getting someone’s attention requires an offer with substance. Anything less is likely to get a passing glance — at best. To make your offer sufficiently strong, consider the lifetime value of a new customer, rather than the profit-loss equation of the offer in isolation. For example, offering 40 percent off an initial order is certainly appealing, but may result in a loss on the transaction. However, if the average lifetime value of a customer taking advantage of the offer is several thousand dollars, the offer will generate profit in the long run.
Anything and everything you can do to personalize your direct mailing pays dividends. A personal address with the recipient’s name is far more likely to be opened than an envelope marked “RESIDENT.” The same goes for a stamp instead of an indicia or meter mark. In the mailing itself, use the recipient’s name in the salutation and throughout the copy, while being careful not to overdo it. People love reading their own name, but too much makes the copy read like spam.
Variable data personalization capabilities allow you to take the personalization a lot further than just the name. You can leverage your customer database to make the offer more personalized based on the customer’s previous buying history, including making the images personalized to items the customer is interested in and more.
- Long versus Short Copy
The debate about long versus short copy is endless, but to a great extent, the right answer depends on the nature of your product and service. If the service is familiar — for example, dry cleaning — recipients don’t need 1,000 words of copy explaining the dry cleaning process. Conversely, if you are marketing a new digital recording technology product, recipients may need in excess of 1,000 words to understand how it works and how it benefits them to own it. Consider, too, the nature of your target prospect. If you are marketing educational products to teachers and technicians, long copy may be highly effective whether or not it is necessary. If you are marketing to busy CEOs, they may not have the time to read your long copy even if it is necessary.
Because there are so few absolutes in direct mail marketing, testing is essential for continuously improving your campaign. The aforementioned issue of long versus short copy is a perfect example. By split testing a mailing using long and short copy as the variable, your results will determine which is the better option. Frequently, what marketers expect to happen is quite different from what actually happens — but through testing, you don’t have to rely on theory or guesswork. A key to testing, however, is to limit your testing to one variable at a time. If you change more than one element, you won’t be able to tell which change produced the better or worse result.
Let’s not forget: direct mail is not only used for driving customers to your store. It is now used to drive your audience online, whether to your website, YouTube channel or social media. When used correctly, direct mail is a highly effective tool for increasing online traffic and online purchases. Direct mail marketing has been around for a long time, but it has changed with the times and remains a valuable marketing technique.