The first thing that must be done is to assess if our industry or sector is susceptible to the use of direct mailing as an aid to the generation of sales leads – so we will need a market feasibility study which will include:
Description of the Industry
Current Market Analysis
Anticipated Future Market Potential
Potential Buyers and Sources of Revenues
If the conclusion is that we should undertake a direct-mailing campaign, we will have had to face up to and overturn the following adverse arguments.
We must not expect too much and must use calculations to back up the wisdom of what we are doing. When profits result from a successful ...view middle of the document...
Even so creating a direct mail ad campaign that allows one to track its success is hard. So we must take the decision to go ahead in the full knowledge that only campaigns that are thoughtfully developed, implemented, and analyzed are worth investing in. To simply send out ads in the mail is the least cost effective way to advertise.
So why are we going ahead then? Well we have to get the message out and if we use a reliable source for mailing addresses we can target people who are more likely to be interested in our business’ products or services. For example we can purchase mailing lists to target our key customer categories in a specific geographic location or age or income bracket.
Depending upon our budget we can send postcards, letters, brochures, or even product samples. If the budget is small, post cards are cheap and cost the least to mail. Even today, not everyone owns or uses a computer. Direct mail marketing campaigns can reach populations who are less likely to use the internet to find a business. Direct mail will end up being delivered to the people chosen by using carefully constructed direct mailing lists.
Moreover in most societies the majority of people like to get mail at home: it has been calculated that 98% of them bring in their mail the day it’s delivered, and 77% sort through it immediately.
And direct mailing is essentially a call to action. The best way to achieve this is to offer coupons or discounts that require the customer to bring in the correspondence with them. Other than doing this we have virtually no way of tracking the success of the campaign. If we require customers to bring in coupons at best we will be able to see which mass mailings brought in the most customers based on the ad itself (the type of coupon or discount offered). Unless each coupon has a unique code or other way to identify a specific customer, we will not know where they live, their sex, age, or capture any other important marketing demographics.
So much for the theory. You have had your budget agreed. But, as Clausewitz remarked, no battle plan ever survives its first contact with the enemy. What can go wrong?
The biggest mistake is using the wrong mailing list. No matter how great the offer, copy is it is not going to be effective unless you reach the right targeted market. Purchasing mailing lists is not easy because many companies will sell lists that are too broad. Companies that offer to mail on one’s behalf often send ads randomly to unidentified populations. We must strive to buy or rent mailing lists only from companies where in-depth research has confirmed their professionalism and integrity.
Identifying the right market is only the first step. We need to have a presentation and copy that catches the readers' eye and attention. People do not immediately start reading the "meat". The first impression is made with visual presentation, the second comes from the main words or phrases that hit the eye. The...