Two weeks ago, I hosted one of Inside Direct Mail's highest rated webinars. Entitled Winning Over Today's Tough Prospects ... with Innovative Direct Mail, and featuring two top experts, the information and presentations proved to be both highly relevant and actionable for many marketing organizations.
The presenters were multi-award winning Wayne Pick and Kim Pick, executive creative director and head of copy, respectively, at Rapp New Zealand—a direct marketing agency based in Auckland. Their work has won more than 80 major international awards in the past three years alone.
The overriding mission of their topic? To help direct marketers break free of formulaic direct mail and get truly innovative, including creating direct mail that not only doesn't intrude, but may even be welcomed by prospects that are suffering from both fiscal and time poverty.
Here are three tips (each was accompanied in the webinar by some excellent examples) that listeners picked up:
1. Be relevant
Make sure the effort resonates with its target audience, via a message or offer that demonstrates real insight into the audience and how it feels and behaves. Wayne Pick discussed a mail piece a bank sent to farmer prospects who were competitor-loyal, cynical and time-poor. The copy on the outer package read, "To get to know your business, we'll walk from one end of your farm to the other." Forty-four percent of recipients invited a bank manager to talk, and 64 percent opened an account.
2. Be entertaining
Efforts that reward with humor, or a smile in the mind, can aid any marketing message, making it more friendly and increasing the response rate. For Sky TV Wrestlemania, Rapp New Zealand used a faux-red meat package, complete with dried, fake blood, featuring the tagline, "Who's Gonna Be MINCEMEAT?" to promote a live pay-per-view event to New Zealanders, for whom the event's 7 p.m. Orlando, Fla. time was noon on Monday. Results? More than half of the 14,714 mailed paid to watch the event at lunchtime on Monday.
3. Be honest, open and transparent
You can tease, but don't mislead. The offer must be made clear, and it shouldn't try to trick prospects into responding with false hope. For Dish Magazine, the Picks designed a high-end self-mailer to resemble a menu personalized for each prospect's very own home ("Bistro on [prospect's street]"; "Chef [prospect's name]"). The Picks' effort, to a list of customers who'd twice rejected earlier subscription offers, increased response by 317 percent.