Austin, TX (PRWEB) September 06, 2012
Once a week everyone receives the not-so-worthwhile junk mail full of overlapping advertisements addressed to "Our Valued Customer." If a business wants its customer to feel valued and wants to get a good return on its money, it's important to take a few minutes and think about a few key factors that will keep direct mail efforts from becoming categorized as dreaded junk mail.
As part of the brainstorming process, one should consider some of the following tips and come up with a game plan before spending money on the next direct mailer.
Who is marketing being directed to with this mailer? Without a defined audience, one might as well be throwing money out of a moving car. The audience will determine 90% of the marketing strategy. They determine the message, purpose, design, and much more.
One always hears that it's not what is said, but how it is said. This is even more true when it comes to a direct mail campaign. Depending on design and medium, space may be limited, so its important to be concise. One can think about junk mail people receive in their mailbox. If a piece of mail has too much reading and no attention grabbing visuals, is it likely to be read? Probably not.
Before printing materials, it's crucial to proofread the draft over and over again. In the world of auto-correcting technology, it's important to pay extra close attention to the draft. Typos can ruin reputation for a business or confuse the customer. There is a difference between "Prescription Delivery for Fee" and "Prescription Delivery for Free."
3. What is trying to be accomplished?
An important part of any marketing strategy is to determine what goal one is trying to accomplish. Is this mailer for customer retention, attracting new customers, or advertising a new location?
Looking back at the audience and the message, what is going to be the most engaging way to design this mailer? Maybe there should be a theme created based on the product or service. For example: As the owner of a tanning salon, one is looking to capitalize on the upcoming spring breakers. A good idea would be theming the mailer around a trip to the beach. It will help relate the message to the customer and convince them that they need what's being offered.
5. Printed Incentives
Whether attempting to attract new customers or simply retain loyal customers, printed incentives can help make a direct mailer an effective piece of marketing. When considering incentives, one should first think about what the customer is worth. Is it affordable to give a free large pizza to 10,000 people if they all take advantage of the offer?
6. How will the follow-up go?
If a pretty penny is about to be spent on a well designed, well planned out mailerk how should one determine whether or not it was effective and worth that shiny penny? Before dropping off the postcards at the post office, it's important to have a plan for follow-up.
One way for follow up is keeping track of coupons. For example, a business owner might have offered 10% off their new service if the customer brings in the postcard that was sent out. When they bring in the coupon, the owner should keep tabs on it. At the end of the promotion, they should then tally up the results and evaluate the value of doing this promotion again.
One can also give a call to action in their mailer, including in their message phrases like, "Like us on Facebook" or "Share your thoughts on Yelp!" to see the results of the mailing efforts.
7. What's affordable?
Unfortunately, money is a large and often limiting factor in any form of marketing. It's recommended to think big first and then scale it back to fit the budget. One should brainstorm what they would like to do, given they have the money, and then make it happen with what is affordable.
8. Involve the customer
It's a good idea to use this mailer to drive increased traffic on your website, Facebook, or Twitter page. The more people that are viewing the website or Facebook page for a business, the more FREE marketing can be done. It's much more cost effective to update a Facebook status special than to send 3,000 newsletters at $0.45 a piece.
An easy way to get traffic is by placing a QR code on your mailer. QR codes are a great way to utilize space and generate customer response, and they allow the customer to connect with the business directly by using their smart phone. One unique aspect of the QR code is that it can link directly to a particular part of a website or straight to a Facebook page.
9. Timing is everything
When buying clothes, one buys them according to the season--jackets in the winter, shorts in the summer, etc. This is relevant to companies too. Selling frozen yogurt during the summer may be a walk in the park, but it may be more difficult when it's cold outside. Therefore, it would make sense for a frozen yogurt shop to develop a strong customer base through a direct mailer during the summer time and not in the winter months.
10. What are the comps doing?
To gain a competitive advantage, one should consider what their competitors are doing. A competitor may offer a similar product or service for $5 more than a different store's current price. That store should seize this opportunity to advertise its potential for saving the customer money.
Similarly, when looking to host a grand opening or new store location, one wants to make sure that their business isn't doing it so close to another competitor's grand opening. It's better to have the customers' full and undivided attention.
The layout and overall format of the direct mail is critical. This can often be determined by several factors. For example, what's affordable, how much space is needed, and what is the purpose?
A start up with a tight budget would probably be better off with a smaller publication. One, it will save money on printing, but it will also save on postage- it adds up quickly when mailing thousands of people. One can consider sending a postcard, flyer, or newsletter-Type mailer. It all depends on needs and budget.
Although there isn't a fail-safe way to guarantee that everyone will read a mailer and in turn purchase the product, it helps to consider a lot of the small details to make it as effective as possible.
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