How to use Direct Mail effectively...
My friend Jose Palomino from ValueProp.com recently did some web research and collected these dozen or so smart tips from the two resources linked below on increasing your results from your direct mail campaigns.
Consider this a direct mail crash course for small business owners, entrepreneurs and indepent professionals.
- Your letters should sound as if they were written by a human being.
- One-to-one and conversational is usually best. Forget corporatese, it’s snooze-inducing.
- Try a live stamp, even better, try two live stamps.
- Try to find common ground. One of my favorite first lines is “I don’t know how you feel about (whatever), but I …”
- Test a lot of different approaches and lengths.
- Offer something they can get only by responding to your letter.
- Ask for the order and make it easy to reply.
- Use only direct response direct mail campaigns – Direct response refers to what the name implies; all mailings should have a ‘call to action’ or request a direct response. There is nothing that sabotages a direct mail campaign more than to not give the recipient a ‘call to action’. Tell them what to do next . . . . call, write, pick up the phone, etc.
- Make Your Mail Peer-To-Peer Personal - Consider sending a personalized direct mail letter "written" by your CEO, CFO, CIO, etc. on his or her corporate stationery to his or her counterpart. Play up the commonalities both people share, the business and professional challenges they face that only someone in their position truly understands. I call it "honcho-to-honcho" marketing and it can be very effective. For example, one organization had success with a simple peer-to-peer letter bearing its CEO's name, personal telephone number and a brief description of what the company offers.
- Follow a formula when writing copy - there are a number of formulas that you can use to produce effective copy, but the easiest one out there and probably the simplest to use is the tried and true AIDA formula. AIDA is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. If you follow this formula when writing your copy, you will produce better copy.
- Test your copy – always test your mailings with a small number of mailings before sending out “the” campaign. A simple method to accomplishing a test is the A/B split test. This is where you have a small sample size of say 200. You mail 100 hundred of your target market a mailing with one headline; and the other 100 a mailing with a different headline to see which mailing will get a better response. An important note for you to remember. If you use the A/B split testing method, you can only change one element of your direct mail piece at a time so that you can determine what factor made one piece more effective than the other. The three parts of your mailing you may want to test include the headline, the call to action or the P.S.
There you have it - all you need to know to kick some serious ass with direct mail.
Is creating a series of sales letters or direct mail postcards one of your to-do items that you've been putting off for WAY too long?
p.s. Crafting some solid direct mail pieces may be one of several things you might want to get DONE during our next DO IT DAY.