Top 5 Reasons People Don't Trust Your Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing is considered the most trustworthy marketing by recipients, so why wouldn't they trust your direct mail? There are actually many of reasons for this. We will focus on the top five reasons, as they are the most common.
1. Superficial/Unbelievable Content
People don't want to be misled. It makes them very angry. Your message is your brand promise — it cannot be vague or open to interpretation. This also includes over promising — bait and switch tactics are very bad.
How To Fix It: People buy from companies they believe. Be direct and specific with your headlines, calls to action and copy. Be realistic with your statements and promises. Authentic and direct messaging is the best way to build trust. Do what you say and say what you do. Under promise and over deliver is your best bet.
2. Too Busy
You have included too much information for them to process. It's too hard to figure out what they need to do. It gives them a headache just to look at it. It appears that you are trying to throw information at them and may be hiding something in all that copy they don’t want to read, so they throw it away.
How To Fix it: Use less copy with bullet points for a quick scan. Be specific in your call to action on what you want them to do and why they should do it. Use fewer images and make sure that they work with not only your branding, but also with the copy and tone of your message. Clear and compelling messaging is necessary to make the right impression. You only have a few seconds before you end up in the trash.
When was the last time you updated your design? If you have been sending direct mail for years, many times the control piece ends up being the same as it was in 1995. That's not good. The impression you give with an outdated look isn't nostalgic — it's suspicious. This can be especially true of letters. Don’t be an old school form letter. You will end up in the trash.
How To Fit It: Check your copy for out of date wording. Does it flow like 2016 language or do you need to change it? Look at your competition. How does your direct mail compare to theirs? Make sure you have relevant information — these days information gets old quickly.
The fonts you use reflect on your company brand. Fonts that are hard to read or super small sizes elicit suspicion. What are you trying to hide? There is no reason to create suspicion with your fonts. All caps fonts are hard to read as well. This will end up in the trash.
How To Fix It: Use easy to read fonts. This doesn't mean you have to stick with Times Roman or Arial — get creative. Do not use all caps in your copy. While it's fine to use smaller font sizes for less important information, there is no reason to use a 6pt font size on your direct mail. Keep in mind when sending mail to older adults, they appreciate larger font sizes because it makes it easy for them to read. Be simple and straight to the point.
When your testimonials come across as fake or shady, you have a real problem. Vague wording and people from random small towns are not believable.
How To Fix It: Your testimonials should include a name, a picture and specific details about your product or service. Use only real ones— don't fabricate. Ask people to provide you with feedback you can use.
These are a few of the most common ways direct mail can be seen as untrustworthy. Gimmicks to get people to respond will backfire on you. Authentic and direct messaging is the only way to engage people and get them to trust you. People buy from people and companies they trust.
Have you seen other ways direct mail has gone bad?
A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.
Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 23 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. She is also a committee member for Visionaries in Philanthropy which benefits San Diego Meals on Wheels.