Noted marketing consultant Dean Rieck offers seven pointers on sharpening your direct mail’s selling power:
Focus on buyers, not responses.
“If you try to sell to 100% of your list,” Rieck observes, “you will actually reduce response, because your message will be diluted in its attempt to be all-inclusive.” The most productive mailings talk boldly and directly to an imaginary ideal buyer, he advises. “If that’s just 1% of your list, then forget about the other 99%.”
Make it easy to buy.
“People want to buy things,” Rieck observes. “However, if there’s a good reason not to part with their money, they won’t.” You can’t force a sale. You can get the right offer into the right hands at the right time — and make the purchase transaction sound simple. Rieck notes that the 800 number boosted sales because it was a way to make a purchase seem easy.
Stress benefits, but describe features that sell.
Enthusiasts — avid woodworking hobbyists, serious mutual-fund investors, classic car enthusiasts, for instance — want to know in detail about the products you want them to buy.
Adopt appropriate mass-advertising techniques to your direct mail.
Rieck says, “It’s true that image doesn’t sell. Only words can do that. But people give a higher belief rating to what they see than to what they read.” “A schlocky look makes people think you’re a schlocky operation,” he observes.
Avoid slavish imitation of “successful” mailings.
Adapting mail tactics that seem to be hot stuff for other mailers is not always a good idea. A marketer with a seemingly successful mailing may be acting on an ill-constructed, sloppy test.
Trust, but verify.
Direct-mail “rules” are made by people. And people make mistakes. Rieck notes that many tests — unless designed, tallied, and interpreted properly — are wildly inaccurate. So many test results are about equally misleading purely anecdotal evidence. “So, you can’t regard any rule as more than a rule of thumb.”
Create a big selling idea.
Mass television and space advertising hinges on a “concept” that permits the advertiser over time to burn in a product or corporate image that may induce a prospective customer to buy — later. A direct mailer who wants to spark immediate action needs a single irresistible idea — not an overarching image concept —that turns his offer into a purchase.
“In the end,” Rieck concludes, “there’s no substitute for thinking for yourself.”
Direct Mail Home Page
Marketing Home Page
Click Here to Print from your Uploaded PDF
Click Here to Print from your Design Created Online