12 Direct Mail Mandates
The bar continues to rise for creating successful direct mail. DMIQ recently asked me to present a webinar titled "Direct Mail: 10 Mistakes to Avoid" (currently available on demand). It didn't take long for that number to increase to a dozen, on a diverse range of topics including crunching numbers, flow charts, mailing lists, and perhaps most importantly, a creative and copywriting process that I use and has resulted in direct mail campaigns with significant response increases over control packages.
These 12 mandates for success are based on my experience analyzing winning direct mail from B-to-C, B-to-B and nonprofit direct mail campaigns.
1. Run the Numbers. Begin first with an assessment of the financial risk you're willing to take. Whether you're risk averse, or willing to gamble, ask yourself how much money you're will to put on the line. Then calculate Allowable Marketing Costs, so you know how much you can spend, along with a Long-Term Value model. Do this whether you're marketing to existing customers (who should return a profit to you) or prospecting for new customers (which will probably result in a loss). More on this topic on my Four-Part Series on Marketing Costs.
2. Flow Chart Every Step. As you plan direct mail, be thoughtful about how you'll follow-up with those who respond versus those who don't respond. Whether you call it a flow chart, or work flow, this is essential for thorough customer follow-up marketing. Nurture marketing, often through marketing automation software, can be game-changing in engagement and conversion to sales. Once someone is in your sales funnel, let the software automate direct mail and email deployments.
3. Mailing List Selection. An oft cited direct mail rule is that 40 percent of your success will come from your mailing list. This is a good rule-of-thumb whether you're mailing a specific segment of your customer list, or if you're using outside lists including models and response files. Make sure your mailing list selection is appropriate for your creative message (or more appropriately, make sure your creative message is geared for your audience).
Reinventing Direct is for the direct marketer seeking guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Gary Hennerberg is a mind code marketing strategist, based on the template from his new book, "Crack the Customer Mind Code." He is recognized as a leading direct marketing consultant and copywriter. He weaves in how to identify a unique selling proposition to position, or reposition, products and services using online and offline marketing approaches, and copywriting sales techniques. He is sought-after for his integration of direct mail, catalogs, email marketing, websites, content marketing, search marketing, retargeting and more. His identification of USPs and copywriting for clients has resulted in sales increases of 15 percent, 35 percent, and even as high as 60 percent. Today he integrates both online and offline media strategies, and proven copywriting techniques, to get clients results. Email him or follow Gary on LinkedIn. Co-authoring this blog is Perry Alexander of ACM Initiatives. Follow Perry on LinkedIn.