When you decide to use direct marketing as part of your company’s advertising campaign, it’s important that you use all the tools available to you that will result in success. Since advertising is expensive and can often mean success or failure for your business, knowing all you can about direct marketing before getting started can make a huge difference. To get the most out of your direct marketing, follow these tips.
What is Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is a type of promotion where you provide information about your products and services without the use of an advertising middleman such as a television network. The most common type of direct marketing is a mailer or a flyer on your door. For local businesses, this can be a great strategy for getting people to come to your business place or call you for a quote. However, the content has to be intriguing and the person who gets the flyer or mailer needs to want your product or service for it to be effective. With that in mind, the following are some tips to help get the best results.
Give People a Reason to Respond
In today’s world, mailboxes are filled with piece after piece of junk mail. If you don’t want your direct marketing information to go straight into the trashcan or recycling bin, give people a reason to respond. This can include coupons, discounts on certain products, rebates, or other incentives. In addition to incentives, there needs to be a timeline that the customers have to act by. If the potential customer doesn’t have a deadline for the incentive, it’s likely that they will delay the decision to act and in many cases, they may just put the ad in their drawer and forget about it.
Use the Personal Touch
When you get something in the mail, you always pay more attention to it if it is speaking to you directly, rather than using the “Dear Customer” or another impersonal phrase. By using the personal touch, you not only get the recipient’s immediate attention, but you also put the thought in their mind that what you have available to them may be very relevant to their life. Ideally, you have the name of the person you are mailing to. The process of adding their name can be more expensive or time-consuming, however, it can make a big difference in the open or read rate. The more people that read your mailer or your flyer, the more possible sales you can get.
Make Your Marketing Materials Easy to Read
When most people start to read marketing materials, they only do so for a few seconds to determine if it’s anything they consider to be important. Thus, prior to sending out your materials that were printed, make sure everything is easy to read. To do so, keep your paragraphs short, choose an easy-to-read font, and make sure the colors of your lettering and background contrast. If there is a large amount of text, it is likely that it will be glossed over and the information you want to stand out will get lost in the brick of text. Instead, consider only using a few concise sentences that get the point across quickly. Remember to put the most important information first.
Use a Mailing List
Ultimately, a direct marketing campaign is aimed at customers you expect will have a strong need for whatever products or services you are providing. To reach these people effectively, always use a mailing list. For the best results, you should try to use a list you have compiled yourself, which will have the names of current and past customers. Should you not have your own list, you can purchase a list of potential customers from various direct mail companies. Even when considering a local list, you can typically narrow that down by household income or neighborhoods that you would like to target. It’s not as effective as current or past customers list but it is at least somewhat targeted. Typically, the more targeted your list is, the higher the response rate. However, if you don’t have a targeted list, then you will likely need to send out more for the same amount of responses.
One of the most challenging parts of direct marketing is the time and effort that goes into designing, printing, packaging, and actually mailing out the material. One of the first things that businesses tend to purchase to make the process faster is a folding device that takes your prints and folds them so all you have to do is stuff them in an envelope. This does increase your upfront cost but it can decrease labor costs and thus save you money in the long run. There are also companies that do mail printing services which can include printing, folding, and envelop stuffing. When trying to get the most out of your direct marketing, you may want to consider working with a company to complete the process so you can focus your labor efforts on other projects.
Like any other type of advertising, direct marketing will likely involve some trial and error on your part at the beginning. However, by keeping these tips in mind as you get started with your direct marketing efforts, you may find your ad campaign goes much better than you expected.