En Vogue, a singing group popular in the late ’90s, had a song called Free Your Mind. The lyrics were basically about letting go of pre-conceived notions when it came to a bunch of things. “Free your mind / And the rest will follow.”
Stick with me on this. (I feel like I’ve asked you that before when I’ve had a crazy idea or thought I want you to consider!) I promise it’ll make sense.
I need you to free your mind; to approach Direct Mail a little differently. By rethinking the ‘tools’ in your toolbox, and by moving away from what I call the ‘standard operating procedures’, you’ll uncover amazing results in the strength of your outreach and the responses you get back.
To do that, let me introduce you to something an industry icon calls the ‘Direct Mail Mindset’. It speaks to marketers “religiously following the ten fundamentals (below) because their ONLY concern is response.”
Still with me? Great!
Let’s explore those 10 Fundamentals Critical to Direct Mail:
- Write in a Direct Mail style – What in the world does that mean? Cut out the fluff and focus on making a solid sales argument. Don’t forget to use evidence and proof to hold up your claims.
- Don’t let Branding Goals Compromise Performance – You’re more than likely not Pepsi or Coke. Work harder at providing a meaningful message/offer over ensuring your branding takes off.
- Include Free Offers and Guarantees – (see #7) I’ll have an entire post about this soon, but just know people are super receptive to free stuff. Just make sure it’s something you can afford to give away! Again, the goal for your business is to MAKE money.
- Emphasize Getting a Response – We know a Direct Mail campaign works based on the response we receive from it. Whether you’re looking for sales or leads, make sure to actively ask for responses from your audience so you’ll know what’s working – and what isn’t.
- Emphasize the Offer, and Make It Prominent – Ever hear somebody say, ‘Don’t bury the lead’? That’s what you’re doing when you leave the offer as an after-thought. Make it super clear, super attractive, and super attainable!
- Test, Test, Test – Which copy reads the best? Which offer brought in more sales? What seemed to get you more leads? Small campaigns to test specific attributes of your message can be key in creating a workhorse ‘control’ whose Return on Investment knocks your socks off.
- Pinch Pennies – (see #3) I know it takes money to make money, but there’s nothing that says you can’t also be smart about it at the same time.
- Explicitly Target Direct-Response Buyers – This speaks directly to the concept of Target Marketing, right? If you’re selling a product/service, aim for those buyers who have proven to buy from previous (read: other companies) Direct Mail efforts.
- Respect the Back End – Eyes up here. What I mean by that is, always understand that existing clients are going to represent the lion’s share of your sales. Keep them happy, and keep them coming back for sale-after-sale.
- CTA Early and Often – It is only somewhat ironic that this is the last point I want to make. Call-to-Action gets your prospect moving. Ask them early to make a decision (e.g., clicking a link to download a white paper, or committing to the one-time payment of $29.95). Put it out there that you’re counting on them. ‘Let me help you’…but you’ve got to do this one thing for me first.
This isn’t an approach for a campaign announcing a Grand Opening. The Direct Mail Mindset and the fundamentals focus on ensuring your campaign is as strong as it can be, magnetically attracting targets to get back in touch with you for next steps (be it a give-away, or to make a sale).
I admit that you aren’t going to utilize ALL 10 of these fundamentals each time you put together a Direct Mail campaign. Yes, some are more important than others; some mean more depending on sales or lead generation. But they’re all key to ensuring your campaign gets off on the right foot, and lands squarely on the side of positive results.
You do not want to hear me sing. Trust and believe. But as your a Direct Marketing coach, know that I’m here to make you look great, and to make sure your Direct Mail campaigns look even better. Give us a call at Opportunity Knocks 1 (866) 319-7109 to get started!