4 Direct Mail Ideas to Try in 2015
2. Call Out Your Competition
Comparing your product or service to someone else's is a standard practice for some marketers. Car insurance companies spar over prices, and credit card providers showcase their benefits versus those offered by others. It's done in a pretty low-key, even genteel way.
Earlier this year, though, two of the nation's biggest telecom operators broke out the big type with identical pitches. "HAS YOUR FiOS BILL GONE UP RECENTLY? Do something about it." screamed Comcast's envelope. "Has your cable bill GONE UP RECENTLY? Do something about it." shouted Verizon's outer. (See the second image in the mediaplayer)
I don't know who was first with this idea. It doesn't matter, really. Knowing your potential customers may be facing a price increase - and naming who is responsible for it - is a terrific way to appeal to anger. Then, you can move on to describe how your product or service is better, and make an offer.
3. Make Your Testimonials Real
Testimonials from satisfied customers are a staple of all marketing. Often, though, they're little more than a vague quote and customer ID. And often they're shunted off to a sidebar, a brochure, or some other insert.
In recent years, LifeLock, an identity security provider, has made testimonials the center of its sales letter. It shows three case studies of "actual victims ... people just like you." Each has a photo of a customer and their particular tale of woe, an "incident" that led them to become a LifeLock member. (See the third image in the mediaplayer)
Using a photo of a real person, an authentic (or authentic-sounding) story, and a specific problem or issue addressed by one or more of the selling points helps bolster a company's claims.
4. Be Iconic
If you look back at direct mail from even just a few years ago, the near-absence of any icons is pretty surprising. In our digital age, these symbols have become powerful ways to communicate, to create a link between a memory and a thing or action that it represents. Calls to action — to visit a URL, call a number, mail to an address, follow on Twitter — are becoming more common. However, marketers have to be careful not to go overboard on how and where they're used.