Direct Mail Rule of Engagement: What’s In It for ‘ME’?

I was watching a YouTube video about the new Model Y Tesla has introduced.  I have had a Model S for two years.  Tesla’s are simply amazing cars.  My curiosity about the newest model wasn’t the reason I was on YouTube, and I might be in the market for one (don’t tell my wife!), so I thought watching the video couldn’t hurt.  Boy, was I wrong.  I didn’t get the point of the video AT ALL, and even found myself wondering about half-way in if I was going to just stop it and move on with my day.

Has that ever happened to you before?  You’re reading something or watching a commercial on TV or even a YouTube video and wondering what the heck the message was supposed to be?

That general feeling is what you want to absolutely AVOID in Direct Mail postcard marketing.  I had to write about this today and give you some pointers around ‘What’s In It For Me?”.  Or WIIFM, for short.

The critical point of Direct Mail postcards is that you NAIL the message and you NAIL it in a confined space meant exactly for your reader.  Here are my Top Five Ideas to Keep the Reader Front & Center:

1.) Speak to the Prospect, not about the product – Think of this as similar to selling the benefits, not the features, right? You want to make a connection with the prospect by centering your copy on them and what you will do help them achieve their goal (whether it is becoming more efficient, or increasing their profit margins, whatever).

2.) Remember: Your Prospects are interested in Themselves – WIIFM is central to the idea that people, fundamentally, want to help themselves.  And that is in no way negative.  But if you can introduce a prospect to a product or service that will, ultimately, benefit them in a way they haven’t seen or can’t imagine, you’re one step closer to a sale.

3.) Your Product is, technically, second to addressing their need – Without the need, without the goal, there is no sale. But by ignoring the person behind the pain and the need, anything you put in front of them is useless.  “How can you help me?”  “What are you doing to do for me?”

4.) Messaging identifies their requirements – A Direct Mail postcard campaign is going to be written differently for a lawn mower service than a car repair shop than a wholesale plumbing distributor, yes? Even though they all have a need, it isn’t shared or in many cases even similar.  Using the language they understand, speak to their specific requirements, highlighting concerns they face (e.g., “What are you going to do with the 1,248 days I’m giving you back…simply by taking care of your lawn for you?”).

5.) Resist the ‘Generic Copy Urge’ – I’ve told you before to never use the ‘Or Current Resident’ addressing for your mailings. Same thing can be said for not looking your prospect in the eye when you reach out to them. ‘You’ is the best connection to make when writing great postcard copy and it does more than you think. “I’m speaking to you“…”I’m thinking about you“…”I want the best for you.”  [NOTE: I would suggest, however, staying away from the Uncle Sam imagery you might have in your head right now.]  Your prospect wants to feel like you’re speaking to and with them, even when they know you aren’t.

As I watched that Tesla video I thought, “What’s the point?  Who is the audience for this video?  I know what they’re selling, but what are they trying to accomplish?  And why aren’t they talking to me?”  What’s worse is that for as much time as I spent asking myself those questions, I missed a bunch of the presentation, and Tesla could have lost a sale.  I didn’t feel special enough to pay attention.

Give Opportunity Knocks a call.  We’ve got Success Coaches standing by.  They won’t look at you like I look at a Model S, but they are the best at helping you connect with your prospect in a meaningful, direct, and productive way.