Profit-Rich Marketing Blog

Internet Marketing and Business Growth tactics and strategies from Ford Saeks

How to use Direct Mail & Direct Response Marketing

by Ford Saeks

How to use Direct Mail to reach targeted prospects and get them to take action to buy your products and services.

I was at my desk when my new assistant brought me a stack of the day’s mail. She said, Don’t you want me sort this out for you so you don’t have to waste your time with the junk mail? I said, no thanks… I’ll like to look through it all. Why you may wonder? Because I know that new marketing ideas are found everywhere… especially in direct mail pieces. Sure, I sort my mail over the waste basket like everyone else. One stack for keepers and one for the trash, except my sorting process is a bit different. I keep the regular business correspondence & interesting mail pieces. I pay attention to the design and marketing messages of the mail pieces that catch my eye.

To me it’s not Junk Mail… It’s Idea Mail.

I like to study them for ideas. Ideas I can model to find new concepts that can be adapted to projects I might be working on. Key word– adapted–not copied. I look for interesting headlines, teaser copy, and creative designs. Companies spend millions on direct mail because it works… While a vast majority of it may end up in the trash, it’s your job to make sure that if you’re going to use direct mail, you do it effectively… otherwise you’re just killing trees and filling up landfills… and worse…wasting a lot of money.

I’ve worked with several clients and students of my marketing boot-camps that say direct mail doesn’t work. It certainly does work, but you need to follow the rules that we’re going to explore today. I use direct mail in conjunction with a multitude of other marketing methods to generate leads and sales. Recent statistics show that even with increases in postage and paper costs, marketers are continuing to spend over 70 billion, that’s billion with a B, on direct mail.

This blog posting is about making your direct mail efforts profitable.

First, a few clarifications are in order. The terms, direct marketing, direct-response and direct mail are easily confused by many people… even experienced marketers. So, to clarify, direct marketing typically refers to marketing efforts directed at the end-user when a retailer or distributor is in the middle. Direct-response advertising is any advertising method (print, broadcast or direct mail packages) that invites the recipient to contact you directly. with a specific call-to-action. Direct mail uses the mail service to deliver your sales piece directly to the mailbox of your prospect. I specialize in direct-response marketing because it allows me to solicit direct responses, hence the name, which is specific and measurable. By measuring the results, I can tweak the process until it’s profitable… thus creating a virtual lead-generating cash machine.

By the end of this show, you’ll never look at direct mail quite the same way again. You’ll be armed with the secrets of successful mailings that you can use to grow your profits. My goal is to help you increase your response rates, lower your cost per qualified lead and make you more money. If you’re using direct mail, do you know your response rates? Do you know how much you’re spending to generate a lead from the number of pieces that you’re mailing? Without measuring the costs, responses and profitability of the mailings you cannot insure your success.

Oh, one more quick clarification. Direct Mail is really categorized in two types. Internet-direct Mail (sent via EMAIL) and Traditional Direct Mail sent through the post office or shipping company.

Today, our focus is on traditional direct mail, but many of the strategies apply to both methods. Direct mail offers unique advantages over other media. You can selectively target a list of customers within your market. It can be personalized to your prospects allowing you to provide detailed information required to motivate them to take action. It can help you build a database with valuable information to help your sales efforts. It’s flexible because you can send small or large amount of marketing messages in a variety of printed formats, including letters, postcards and brochures. And as I’ve mentioned it’s measurable allowing you to quantify the results.

Think about your goals for direct mail… You may want to drive traffic into a retail store… Or generate traffic to a web site. Maybe you want to build your database, improve customer service or build relationships through special offers? Certainly you have products or services that can benefit from power of direct mail.

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