Direct mail promotions have a dependable history of generating high-quality leads for entrepreneur-based businesses.
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But it doesn't take much to turn a potentially productive direct mail promotion into a total disaster. By following a few, simple guidelines, you can keep your direct mail promotion on the right track.
First, understand that direct mail marketing is all about the "hook". It is a one-shot opportunity to pitch your product to a potential customer in a very short period of time. While advertisers are often more concerned about graphics than copy (text), direct mail marketers recognize that in their business, copy is king. The trick is to design your direct mail piece in such a way that the person receiving it will actually want to read it.
How do you do that? Lots of ways. For example, have you ever gotten a letter in the mail with the words, CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE OUR MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE WINNER…. printed on the outside of the envelope? Did you open it? Chances are you did. You opened it in the off chance that you actually did win a million dollars. Your heart probably also sank a little when you opened the envelope and read the rest of the sentence: …… IF YOUR NAME IS CHOSEN AS THE WINNING NAME OF OUR SWEEPSTAKES.
But, by then it was too late. The person who designed the direct mail campaign for the sweepstakes company had already accomplished his goal by getting you to open the envelope and see the insert advertisements for magazine subscriptions. That's how direct mail works.
In designing your direct mail promotion, you need to come up with a similar "hook", a reason for your potential customers to want to stay with you for the rest of your pitch. Sometimes that means leading with a question such as, WANT TO MAKE $100,000 A YEAR WORKING FROM HOME? or something similar that will draw the reader's attention. The possibilities are virtually limitless.
After you make your pitch, don't forget to ask the reader for a response. Do want them to mail in a return postcard for information? Then ask them. Do you want them to buy your product from an 800 number? Ask them – and give them the number to call. You may have the best direct mail promotion the world has ever seen, but if you don't ask for a response you won't get one.
Finally, make sure you are mailing your promotion to the right people. Direct mailers talk about two different kinds of mailing lists. Cold lists are lists that contain the names of random people who may or may not have an interest in the types of products you are selling. Hot lists, on the other hand, are comprised of people who have demonstrated an interest in similar products.
Both kinds of lists can be purchased from companies that supply mailing lists specifically for direct mail marketers. No surprise – the hot lists are more expensive. But even so, a hot list is just what you need to give your promotion a fighting chance to succeed.