The Core Elements of Direct Mail

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Two factors are clear solid foundations to success. First, you must be clear about who your promotion addresses and what, precisely, the objectives are doing so. Clarity at this stage serves to direct all the other preparation necessary and keep it aimed in the right direction. Because direct mail is so affected by the detail of the exact for it takes, a lack of clarity here can misalign what is done and dilute the responses it prompts.

A Clear Intention
The first step, before any mailshot or campaign can be put together, is for you to decide the objectives: What are you looking to prompt? You may say that the answer to this is obvious: you want to sell the firm and its product/services and you want people to buy them. But this may prove too simplistic a view to enable the construction of an effective mailshot. Promotion may be designed to sell a product, but it is just as likely to be designed to be produce. Enquiries (in whatever form: a telephone call, logging onto your website)
request for information
something that will receive a personal sales follow-up

Combinations of these intions and more are possible.To prompt specific action you must be clear exactly what the product/service is. It is difficult to move from a general description ‘We provide market research services ‘ to truly descriptive copy, much less persuasive copy. You must be able to see your company from the customers point of view.

Knowing how and why customers view you as they do is a requisite to putting any promotional material together,especially material for direct mail, which may be distributed widely and contain elements that are retained by recipients or used regularly for some time, as with an accompanying brochure. Taking a view of what a prospect may knoe or see elsewhere about you, you message may well aim to build on and extend that knowledge.

Having clear objectives for promotion includes having a clear idea of what responses you look for as a result of receipt of the ‘shot’. Put simply, what do you want resipients to do if they are interested?

Of course, one possible action for smaller-scale mailings is telephone follow-up. It is often very effective to say on your letter, ‘I will telephone you in a few days’ and then take the initiative (perhaps especially when a meeting is the next stage).

Otherwise, the need is to offer other options of response which will appeal – and appeal sufficiently to prompt the recipient to take the initiative. The temptation is perhaps to go for simplicity (‘You ring us’), or for what you want most (‘Come and see us for a discussion’). The more persuasive you feel your message is, the stronger this temptation may be.

Yet the core principle of wmpathy must be applied. The response, or responses, – many direct mailshots provide a choice – must be made attractive in customers terms. Will they want to send for more information? If so, how much information should we give them now (without solving the problem) and in what form? Will they want to meet you? If so, whom? Where (your offices, theirs or a neutral venue? Alone? With others (their colleagues, or others who are interested?

Would they expect or like to attend an event? Even minor details are important. For example, they may be more likely to phone you if you offer a freephone number or to return a card on which the postage is prepaid.

I see so that’s your Target Market. Dis they fill the reply paid coupon.?
Next, even if you plan only small business this may be worth targeting – ‘I will send ten letters every week, day or month’). You must create an appropriate message.

Reference: Direct marketing in One Weeek:Patrick Forsynth

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