Get Schooled in Direct Mail
This month, we sadly (or gladly) say goodbye to summer days while many students say hello to the new school year. As professionals, September can feel energizing, especially as we gear up for the holiday marketing season. Major retailers have their back-to-school advertising in full swing, decked out with school supply graphics, earthy colors and the hottest fall trends. Read our quick refresher course featuring 5 back-to-DM tips to ensure your business is on the pathway to success. And in the name of Schoolhouse Rock, knowledge is power!
- Have a plan.
Don’t fly blind! What do you want to accomplish, how are you going to track the campaign, what are your expectations, etc.? These are all the important questions you should clarify and map out, before you start your campaign. Strategy first, creativity later.
- Give yourself plenty of time.
Don’t rush the job to meet a meaningless deadline. Creating an effective mail piece takes time. I normally recommend 30 days to select the list, write the messaging, create the piece, print and mail it out. Plus, give it time in the mail stream so you can use standard (bulk mail) rates to save money. If you expedite the timeline, it can end up costing you more in rush fees and is less effective, since you didn’t give adequate time to plan your campaign and get feedback on the creative.
- Select your list before you create your piece.
Don’t put the cart before the horse. Once your desired mailing list is set, your mail piece will be more relevant to your target market. Whether you are mailing to your own customer list or mailing to a prospect list, by having a better understanding of who you are marketing to, you can create a direct mail piece that resonates with your audience’s demographics and preferences.
- Create a Call-to-Action that focuses on step one.
Many marketers focus on trying to sell their products, versus the approach of urging customers to take the initial step of the transaction. This includes setting up an appointment, getting people to a website, store, seminar or event. This is often much easier than getting someone to make the big commitment of purchasing up front. If you have a high enough close rate from the first step, your profitability will increase based on the higher response rate.
- Try a free give-away.
Everyone likes something for nothing. Many companies focus almost exclusively on discounts. In acquisition, as mentioned in tip #4, it is often a good idea to get a prospect to commit to the first step in a transaction and not the ultimate purchase. Use a free offer to encourage the first step. We use $250 in free printing to attract people to our seminars. We get a much higher response rate than trying to get people to make a purchase. After we have the opportunity to educate our Direct Mail Crash Course attendees, we experience a 40% conversion rate – a higher average order value (AOV) than a normal first-time buyer. It’s been a key factor in increasing the ROI on our acquisition programs.
So, happy back-to-school and happy marketing! We hope these handy DM tips help your Q4 programs.
Call a Direct Marketing Specialist at 800.959.8365.