Direct Marketing

Despite the ascent of social media, blogging, email marketing and other (arguably sexier) channels, direct mail remains one of integrated marketers’ most trusted tactics.

Just ask any small business: a well-designed mailer sent to a well-scrubbed list can be an effective way to get noticed among service-area residents—especially if you tuck in an appealing promotional item to make your mailer more inviting.

Still, the heart of any mailer is your copy—headline, benefits, offer, call to action, and all the rest. Copy that’s too short, too long, unclear or incomplete, however, can squelch response rates and shrink your return on investment.

Whether you’re writing campaigns in-house or retaining an outsourced provider, ask the following questions, condensed from a checklist, to be totally clear—to your creative team and to customers—about what you’re selling and why they should care.

  • What is the mailer’s main goal? Is it to create awareness, generate leads, educate your customers? Be clear from the start and tailor the content, voice and offer accordingly.
  • What customer need or problem does your product satisfy? Will it save time or money? Reduce worry? Protect loved ones? Increase self-esteem? Tip: The number of ‘you’ and ‘your’ copy references should always outweigh the ‘we, us and ours’.
  • Why should readers believe you? What makes your company the expert? Experience, specialized knowledge or proven expertise? Use testimonials to add credibility to your claims.
  • Why might they reject your claims or offer? What reservations or objections (rational or otherwise) could readers have about buying from you? Price? Believability? Perceived reputation? Find out and address the biggest ones in your copy.
  • What action should readers take? Do you want them to call, email, RSVP, scan a QR code, visit a website? Is there an expiration date or deadline?

Here’s a final checklist question for you: does your marketing services provider offer everything you need to design, develop and drop a successful mail campaign? If not, why not?

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MarketingTango is the leading online resource for integrated marketing. The blog covers a wide range of marketing tactics and their place in an integrated marketing strategy. Regular postings will include articles, ideas, tips, and real-world solutions to help companies of all sizes achieve their business objectives.