terrific product or service is absolutely essential. Otherwise,
people won't return to buy from you again.
An important direct marketing concept: the back end is more
important than the front end. In other words, getting your customers
to buy from you again is most important and you won't get them back
unless you have a terrific product or service.
If your product or service can stand on its own without a lot of
hype, you will get repeat customers.
lists you choose can make or break your mailing.
How can you possibly create a successful mailing without knowing who
you are mailing to?!? You must know their thoughts, dreams, and
goals. Know their demographics (how they are) and psychographics
(how they would like to be). And when you write copy to them, write
to them expressing the way they would like to be, not how they
Most people want more out of life than work and their paycheck.
Promise them more in your direct mail piece.
In addition, choose lists that can grow with you. Select vital lists
that can return repeaters to you and you will do so much better in
offer you use can dramatically increase your results.
Too many of us use the same offer over and over again. Good offers
to good lists are two key elements to the success of a mailing
Test your new offer even with the lists you've been using all along
and your results should go up.
creative work, copywriting skills are vital. Art attracts but COPY
Concentrate on the correct copy for the appropriate audience.
Proselytize them with the appropriate offer and then you've got a
good, strong package.
Your wording must appeal to the reader by informing, persuading,
cajoling, convincing and motivating the reader.
There are only three types of people to whom you mail. They are:
If you get argumentative in your copy, you turn off all those who will
buy from you. Concentrate on the in-between group with your copy.
Inform, persuade, motivate and inspire them.
- Those who will buy from you.
- Those who won't buy from you.
- Those who might, but they need a little push in your
design should lead the eye. It should not dominate the display.
The design does not sell -- even if you're selling Caribbean
vacations. Art attracts, explains and enhances, and good art
will let the copy make the sale.
Write the copy first. Design once you know how long the copy is,
when you know the key copy points, and once you know to whom it is
going. Design follows copy, and then design gets the reader
hooked and leads the reader to respond by using the response
In all instances, do not have your art display dominate your mailing
package. You want the reader to understand everything the first time
it is read. If the reader has to read it twice you lost him!
selection influences the reader's attention.
A self-mailer (one not mailed in an envelope) allows for fast
decisions. Your prospect may feel a self mailer is a bulletin, an
announcement or an annoyance: "Let me glance at this and throw
it away." The reader doesn't pick it up with the idea of
reading every word but rather "do I want to get rid of
this?" The reader has 17+ pieces of direct mail on his desk
each day and he needs to get rid of them. So . . .
Produce your self mailer with a powerful headline and design it in a
way that traps the reader. Then, the reader thinks: "Oh, I can
make a fast decision."
A mailer in an envelope is more complicated. The reader may think:
"there's a lot of stuff in that envelope and I don't know if I
have time for it." So it may be set aside. Then it gets piled
on and the mailing package may never be seen. An envelope mailer is
okay, but not when it says to someone, "It's going to take two
hours to read this thing!" That's how you lose readers.
timing is essential.
You need to reach prospects at a time that is convenient for them.
Mail to people at a time when they're not grossly involved - like
their busy season - and when they've got the time to read your
restrictions can severely hamper results.
Saving a few pennies per thousand may mean you create the wrong
impression on your audience. What you want to do is test with the
most powerful presentation possible. If the test is successful, then
the second time you mail, modify the expense on the new package (B)
and test against the more expensive one (A). This will help you see
if B, at the reduced cost, pulls as well as A, at the higher cost.
must take advantage of A/B split testing.
Never, ever mass mail without doing some split testing. The point is
to get information back that you can use in the next mailing.
marketing can achieve very high responses for you.
Select a segment of names from a database and mail them a given
proposition. When you are selling the same product to different
groups (clusters) it is important to use a different approach,
touting different benefits. Remember to treat each cluster
your mail to an individual prospect.
Tailored mail PULLS BEST because it talks to the reader as an
individual. When tailoring mail, you must change more than a couple
of headlines. The first few paragraphs of the letter could be
different to suit a specific reader's interest.
In addition, tailoring means the order form will be composed with
different benefits on it. The outgoing envelope or headline portion
of a self-mailer will also speak right to the reader's interests.
When you tailor your mail to the specific interests of the reader,
you will pull far better.
This includes personalized reply cards and letters which will ALWAYS
outpull non-personalized mailings. But, you have to be sure to use
personalization in a natural way. Don't personalize so that every
paragraph has a personal message. It's a turn off and makes people
think you're scamming them.
If you are personalizing, you must take very special care to talk
with your computer programmers and inform them that you are
personalizing the mail. Otherwise, mistakes are made.
put your prospects in a power position.
If you don't offer the reader options, you don't pull as well as if
you do offer options. Once you get the reader to pick up a pen to
choose an option, you've got him.
The more options you put in, the more you pre-qualify the recipient.
lifts your total response.
If the reader sets aside your mail piece for later, it will not be
read again. Give a deadline to force the reader to read it and make
the deadline as specific as possible.
For contests, sweepstakes, lotteries, or prize drawings in which the
prospect must qualify, use the time of day, along with the
day and date. The more specific the deadline, the better the pull.
relievers, such as guarantees or warranties, build confidence.
Your prospects are tired of a rip-off society. Guarantees and
warranties need to be highly specific and point out why it is
appropriate for the reader to deal with you.
Double guarantees outpull single guarantees. So, try this Gnamism:
If one works, try two. If two work, try more. It may increase your
reinforcers, such as testimonials and case histories, which state
your product or service is really the best.
If someone else says you're great, that's better than you saying