If direct mail no longer works, why are businesses spending enormous amounts of money doing these mailings when they could send email messages for a fraction of the cost? Are the people running these companies stupid?
Or have they unlocked the secret formula to making this marketing channel a success?
Data about people and your customers is everywhere. The first step is to figure out what is ailing them, then solve their problems and improve their lives.
Direct mail marketing is like a 3-legged stool. If you break one of the legs, the stool will crash down. The 3 legs of a direct mail marketing campaign are (1) list, (2) creative and (3) messaging/offer. Screw any of these up and your direct mail campaign will fail, or at least not work as cost-effectively as you would like.
The List – The most important element of a great direct mail marketing campaign is your list. If you get this wrong, nothing else matters. Are you purchasing a list or using your in house customer or prospect database? Is the list up-to-date and has it been cleaned? Are you able to identify exactly what people on the list need?
Your Creative – If you are sending your mailing out to the right people at the right time, are they noticing and then reading what you have to say? You only have one or two seconds to get people to notice your mail. Grabbing people’s attention and getting them to read your message is critical to the success of your campaign. As we have already established, people get a lot of mail. You want it to work? Make sure it gets noticed and read!
Would great pictures or graphics help people identify with a need and make them want to know more? Would adding something inside of the envelope such as a plastic card or a magnet create bulk and get them curious about the contents inside of the envelope? Or would handwriting the address on the envelope draw people in and get them to spend time reading what you have to say? Any creative that gets people to think about your company and your message accomplishes your goal.
Messaging/Offer – If you have identified a target audience and gotten your recipients’ attention you’ve won half the battle. Now, if you get the messaging, your offer and your call-to-action right, your campaign will be a success. Suggestions to incorporate include:
One of the most effective approaches in marketing today is omnichannel marketing. Creating a campaign that utilizes multiple marketing and communication channels. And what many people do not realize is by including a strong direct mailing as part of your campaign, it can often make the difference between the success and failure.
I started this article asking why your mailbox was full of marketing messages and ended it by discussing omnichannel marketing. Defining and understanding what motivates your target market to purchase your product or service can be quite the challenge. But establishing what motivates your customers and prospects is critical to your success as a marketer or business person. The more you know, the better off you will be.
On a personal note, in my early 20’s I sold various items door-to-door. It was then that I realized how different people are, their needs, their wants and their desires. I became a student of marketing, testing ideas, learning about the importance of tracking and measuring results, and yes, I became a true believer in direct mail.
We are in a day and age where technology is changing everything. Marketing and communication channels are moving targets as people and technology evolves. One day something works. And the next day it doesn’t. But one constant that I have found, with all that our marketing team does, is that personalized messaging put in a person’s hands via direct mail is still one of the best ways to motivate them to act.
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