15 Tips How to Generate Leads and Build Sales from Direct Mail
One of the really cool things about Direct Marketing is its measurability. Run a space ad in a local paper, buy a radio spot, local cable TV...you need to look at the big picture to determine if it is working. Not so with Direct Marketing, and Direct Mail in particular. The results of a winning mailing can be exhilarating. Few things can compare with opening your mailbox-or Inbox if you're driving traffic/orders online-to find a bunch of emails or envelopes filled with orders! Imagine if you could "move the needle" and increase the response to your offer? Do so and a marginal mailing becomes a winner, and a winner a world champion!
So How do I "move the needle?"
Following are 15 Tips to consider when developing your next direct mail campaign. There are more...to be revealed in a subsequent post...So here are 15 excellent techniques to enable your mailings to pull a stronger response. (Lame disclaimer) Not all of these techniques will work for every mailing you create. Review the techniques whenever you're planning a mailing and incorporate the ones that apply to your situation.
1. Carefully target your audience.
Sale dollars can be directly connected to your ability to accurately identify your most likely customers. You might consider creating different versions of your package tailored to each specifically targeted audience.
2. Buy Mail Lists
Many experts I have read and listened to over the years assign the greatest importance to the actual mailing list chosen. Anywhere from 40% to 60% of the overall success rate of a direct mailing depends upon the quality of your business mailing list or consumer mailing list.
3. Focus on your Customer's Needs (and Solve their most irritating issue), not your product.
Customers have limited interest in your product or company. But they have unlimited interest in their needs, solutions to their problems, and making their lives better. Concentrate on fulfilling their needs through the use of your product or service. Remember, most customers don't buy products, but they do buy solutions to problems that plague them. If your product solves a critical problem, pull out all stops to let your customers know.
4. Always stress Benefits.
Always concentrate on how your product will benefit your customers-both logically and emotionally. Repeat your key benefits (3 seems to be the magic number for me...unless it's my wife telling me to take out the garbage...lol) in the beginning, middle, and end of your email, letter or brochure. Tell your readers once, tell them again, and then tell them one more time. Remember, people buy benefits, not products.
5. Immediately Seize the reader's attention! Use an Impactful headline or first sentence.
Some letters benefit from a headline. Either the headline or first sentence must be very powerful in order to convince your prospects that your letter is worth reading. Don't waste space building up to your blockbuster points. Start with them. You have only a few sentences to convince your prospects to keep reading your letter. Give them what they need to make sure they continue.
6. Never end a sentence at the bottom of a page in a sales letter.
Always use a broken sentence to carry your reader forward onto the next page of your letter. Kind if tricky, but it works.
7. Share some "inside" information.
Direct mail affords a perfect opportunity to appeal to a person's vanity-a need to feel special. An ideal way to do this is to share some exclusive information. Make it clear that this offer is being made only to them.
8. Feature the offer.
Everyone loves a good deal. Make it a key focal point of your letter. A strong offer can often be the extra incentive that will convert your "maybes" to buyers.
9. Give something away for FREE or Run a contest.
Free samples, trials, demonstrations, consultations, or information are all super ways of getting customers to give your product or service a hands-on try. Sometimes that is all it takes to close the sale. Give away a free enrollment in your seminar, a free subscription to your newsletter, or anything else that appeals to your buyers.
10. Use a special "before the price increases" offer.
If you plan to raise your prices, make your regular customers a special offer at the old price for a limited time.
11. Make a time-limited offer.
Offer a special deal for a limited period of time. And do just that-legally you can't continue a time-limited offer indefinitely.
12. Base your offer on a limited supply.
A close-out of your inventory can create strong demand. A limited supply offer can be used to designate exclusivity and prestige.
13. Offer a special deal to the first 100 people who order.
The key is to keep it to a meaningful limit as an incentive for customers to act quickly.
14. Make a "last chance" offer.
Last chance at this price, inventory close-outs, and last chance before a model change can all be used to successfully win more orders.
15. "Buy 1 get 1 FREE" always out pulls "2 for the price of 1."
Although the savings are precisely the same, the first format sounds like the customer is getting a better bargain.
As mentioned in the beginning, not all of these techniques will work for every mailing you create. The key is to review the techniques whenever you're planning a mailing. Pick the ones that best apply to your situation and put them to work. Always remember the most important three words in direct marketing...test, test, and test!