direct mail advertising
When considering a Direct Mail Advertising Campaign, one of the factors that can really determine the success of your efforts, is to highlight what makes your product or service different and better than your competition.
We’ve developed an Intelligent Approach to Direct Mail Advertising that consists of 5 steps. The video below outlines our Step 3: CLAIM TO FAME.
It’s only about a minute long, so why not watch now?
We’ve developed an Intelligent Approach to Direct Mail Advertising that consists of 5 steps. The video below outlines our Step 2: REACH & FREQUENCY.
It’s only about a minute long, so why not watch now?
Here’s our latest training video. Sell more by selling just 1 thing. It’s a tale of 2 salesmen. See which one is more successful and why. Use the lesson learned for your next Postcard Mailing Campaign.
Over the years, we’ve developed An Intelligent Approach to Direct Mail Advertising which has dramatically increase response rates for our clients.
Watch this brief video for an overview:
Every business wants to get the most from their advertising dollars. Advertising can be expensive, especially if no one responds. So it’s natural to want to include as much information as possible on a postcard. Fill in all the “white space” and get your money’s worth. That strategy rarely works.
Let’s take a look at America’s most successful retailer: Wal-Mart. When Wal-Mart advertises, do they list every item that they sell? With literally hundreds of thousands of items that would be impossible. Well how about if they listed every department or even one department with all related products. You would still require a very big ad and few prospects would take the time to read it.
This week one Wal-Mart ad featured a 42” Toshiba LED 1080P TV for $649.98. You could say that ad was targeted at only one prospect: one that needs a new TV, has room for a 42” model, and has $650 in his wallet or available on his credit card. That’s pretty specific targeting and a whole lot of prospects will simply not be interested and ignore the ad. The good news for Wal-Mart is that there are a lot of prospects that fit the target profile, and as a result, they will probably sell a lot of those TV’s.
Do you think Wal-Mart was worried that if they advertised a specific TV model, that the rest of their inventory would not move? Hardly. In fact, they will be tickled pink if prospects just come to a store to look at the Toshiba TV on sale. Even if they don’t buy that model, perhaps they will buy a different TV or at least buy something before they leave the store. Most visitors will.
They succeeded. They generated a lead. Once they have a prospect in the store, chances are they are going to sell him something.
You can do the same thing. Think of the postcard as a way to generate a lead not a sale. Remember, leads turn into sales. Tantalize prospects with a single offer and be prepared to sell that offer or something else when they respond. Don’t be afraid to feature a low price. Most shoppers start off looking for the lowest price. Once they respond you can justify higher prices by demonstrating value.
So there you have it. Don’t try and speak to everyone when creating your postcard. Target one prospect and you will find there are many who fit the same profile. Even if you are speaking to only 5% of the prospects on your mailing list, make sure your ad is strong enough to get noticed by 95% of the 5%
ARE YOU READY? HERE IS ONE OF THE SECRETS TO DIRECT MAIL SUCCESS:
Repetition is one of the most important parts of any advertising.
Repetition is one of the most important parts of any advertising.
CAN YOU FILL IN THE BLANKS?
National firms, like companies that sell auto insurance rely on repetition to create a “top of mind awareness”. They recognize the fact that consumers may not be ready to purchase insurance the first time they see their ads. To prove the premise, fill in the blanks with the name of the auto insurance company below:
- You’re in Good Hands with ____________________
- Like a Good Neighbor ____________________ is there
- Call ____________________ , 15 Minutes Can Save You 15% On Car Insurance
Chances are you got all 3 right. It’s the result of repetitive advertising.
Studies have shown the importance of repetition. The more we see or hear something, the more likely we are to believe it and act on it. One report says that 59% of respondents will believe and remember the information they receive if they see or hear it 3 to 5 times.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO DIRECT MAIL ADVERTISING?
So how does this relate to Direct Mail Advertising? Think of it this way. If your goal is to “Grow Your Business”… for the same budget, it is better to mail to 1000 prospects 5 times, than to mail to 5000 prospects 1 time.
Here is an excerpt from an article by the National Federation of Independent Business:
“When designing and placing ads, many small business owners search for the magic bullet: an ad that is so compelling that customers will immediately pick up the phone and call to make an appointment. Remember, advertising is a process, not a one-time event. Advertising research has shown that a consumer usually needs to see an ad five to seven times before responding. This is what the ad industry calls the rule of seven.”
CREATE A TARGET MARKET, BUDGET AND MAILING SCHEDULE
We’ll help you identify your target market and create a consistent mailing schedule that will fit your budget.
Ask us about our payment options that make it possible to mail more for less money. You can save by placing a larger order and then pay as you mail.
Advertising can be expensive, when it doesn’t work well.
However, when a campaign is successful, it won’t cost you money, it will make you money!
How can we improve the results of your next postcard mailing? By generating a bigger response. Well, it’s the message (or special offer) that makes people respond, right? So consider “Kicking It Up A Notch”!
Here are two examples:
A Pizza Shop Drops a Mailing of 5000 Postcards with the Usual Coupons
- ESTIMATED RESPONSE: 3% – Or about 150 coupons redeemed
- COST PER RESPONSE: Cost of the mailing $1798 divided by 150 = $11.98
- REVENUE GENERATED: Average sale $20 x 150 responses = $3000 – not too bad
What if we ”Kick It Up A Notch” and make a really remarkable offer:
“Try Our Pizza – Get a FREE Large Cheese Pizza, No Strings Attached”!
- ESTIMATED RESPONSE: An offer like that could triple the response rate to 9% or 450 coupons
- COST PER RESPONSE: Cost of the mailing $1798 divided by 450 = $3.99 (Much Lower!)
- ADJUSTED COST PER RESPONSE: Add in the cost of the “FREE” Pizza at $3.50 + $3.99 = $7.49
- REVENUE GENERATED: With a FREE Pizza, the average sale will drop to about $8 X 450 = $3600
But don’t evaluate the success of the mailing by only the revenue generated from the coupons.
Let’s say of all coupons redeemed about 30% were new customers.
- NEW CUSTOMERS GENERATED with the Usual Coupon Offers: 30% of 150 = 45 New Customers
- NEW CUSTOMERS GENERATED with the FREE Pizza Offer: 30% of 450 = 135 New Customers
Consider the “Value Of A New Customer” over the next year (or longer).
- How many times will he purchase over the next year?
- How much will he spend over the next year?
- How many friends or family members will he tell about your Pizza?
Maintaining regular customers by rewarding them with special offers and at the same time generating new customers… that is how to Grow Your Business!
In both examples, enough revenue was generated to justify the cost of the mailing without even taking into consideration the potential of future business from new customers.
The usual coupons or a very special offer? You decide how aggressive you want to be.
First, the Good News…
There are plenty of customers out there, even when the economy is not doing so good.
What is the Bad News?
You probably don’t have a big enough advertising budget to reach them all.
What determines a Geographic Market?
Geographic markets for small businesses fall into three categories:
- Physical Location – Customers Come To You
Like a restaurant or dentist. Unless the business is located in a very rural area, the geographic market will usually be about a 3-mile radius. This market can have 20,000 or more prospects.
- Local Business – You Go To The Customers
Like a lawn service or home remodeling company. In this case the geographic market is larger and is usually defined by neighborhoods. This market can have 50,000 or more prospects.
- Business Without Boundaries – Customers Can Be Anywhere
Like phone, mail or an Internet order businesses. The geographic market can be huge, statewide, nationwide or even worldwide. This market can have hundreds of thousands or even millions of prospects.
Whatever type of Geographic Market your business has, chances are you won’t have a large enough budget to reach all of your prospects on a regular basis. That’s good news. It means you have a lot of room to grow your business.
When using Direct Mail – How many and how often?
If direct mail is part of your advertising plan, how many prospects should you target and how often? There are lots of theories about this problem. The reality for most small businesses is that this question will be most influenced by their advertising budget.
My recommendation is to segment a portion of your potential market (based on your budget) and then mail that segment as often as you can (again, based on your budget).
In other words, for the same budget, I would rather mail 1000 prospects 5 times than mail 5000 prospects 1 time.
There are advantages to this approach.
The targeted market segment becomes your “control group” for experimentation. By mailing to the same prospects, carefully monitoring response and fine-tuning your message, you have an opportunity to develop an acceptable and predictable response rate.
When that happens, hopefully you will see an increase in sales. More sales = a larger advertising budget and you are ready to expand your mailing area. Expand but don’t abandon the original mailing segment. Perhaps you can reduce your frequency in that area due to the increased visibility you have created, but remember, “out of sight, is out of mind” and you don’t want to risk losing the business from that segment.
Direct Mail Works.
Direct mail is one of the most effective media methods you can choose to grow your business, however, like most everything else worth doing, it takes time and money. You have to spend time planning, monitoring and improving your campaigns. Furthermore if you are starting with a modest budget, results will also be modest and more time will be needed for success. So before you start, make a commitment to stick with it and don’t quit until you reach your goal.
EVERYONE LOOKS AT THEIR MAIL, ALL OF IT, USUALLY EVERY DAY
One of the great advantages of Direct Mail Advertising is that it is one of the only media options that is guaranteed to reach the prospect. Think about it, newspapers are losing circulation, television and radio require a huge budget for real market penetration and outdoor advertising (billboards) is hit or miss. But, everyone looks at their mail, all of it, usually every day.
IS YOUR PROSPECT A MAN, A WOMAN OR EITHER ONE?
If you have decided to use Direct Mail to promote your business, the first step is to create a message that will attract the attention of your prospect. Is your prospect a man, a woman or perhaps either one? The other day someone on our team raised the question. When creating a message, should we consider who is bring in the mail? Is it the man or lady of the house? Perhaps it’s the kids. It could even be on a first come, first served basis, who ever gets home first that day.
WHO BRINGS IN THE MAIL? LET’S FIND OUT!
Interesting, I thought, let’s take a poll and gather some answers.
So we invite you to CLICK TO VOTE in our poll. Before you vote and look at the results, who do you think brings in the mail in most homes?
DOES IT REALLY MATTER?
We took a quick survey around the office and found out that the answer to, who brings in the mail, was pretty evenly divided among the four choices offered. I suspect that will be the result of our poll too. So, is this information helpful. Not very. The results are interesting, in a trivia kind of way, but they really should not affect the messaging on your direct mail piece.
SPEAK DIRECTLY TO THE PROSPECT YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH
We stand by our tried and true method of speaking directly to the target profile. It works, we do it every day. If you want to know how and why, read our Feb 6, 2011 Blog Posting “Why Speak To One Instead Of Many?”
CLICK HERE to read it.
Many of you keep thinking about launching a Direct Mail or other Advertising Campaign but for some reason keep putting it off. Could it be that you are waiting until you can find the time to fine tune your plan and make it perfect? When will you find that extra time?
“A good plan violently executed today, is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – that quote from General George S. Patton inspires me nearly every day.
In the current economy, procrastination can be a recipe for disaster. You have got to work harder than ever just to maintain market share let alone grow your business. However, smart business owners know that there are opportunities during strong or weak economic times. Advertising can help you exploit those opportunities.
What’s that old saying, “…if you keeping doing the same things over and over again, you are going to keep getting the same results!”.
Do something different this week. Advertise.