Direct Mail Strategy: The Great Response Influencers
A strategically sound offer includes a whole package of influencers working together to push your reader over the edge of indecision. Effective offers include different combinations of elements—everything from deadlines disguised as first or fast fifty rewards and discounts positioned as temporary employee buying privileges, to free gifts, free trials, and other unique opportunities created to motivate specific audiences. Even your guarantee is an important influencer, particularly for first-time buyers who aren’t familiar with your company.
How are you communicating your message? OK, now we’re finally getting to the nitty-gritty of creative, including direct mail formats. And yes, direct mail formats are great response influencers on more than one level.
For starters, your format plays a starring role in getting your mail piece past the mail screener—at home and at the office. This is critical because if your mailing doesn’t get past the screener, your intelligent list selection, awesome offer and cool creative don’t matter. Making sure your mail piece gets delivered to the right audience is a huge responsibility for a postcard, #10 envelope or any other format.
Once the mailing has skirted the screener, the format, copy and creative work together to get your mail piece opened, read and responded to.
Your Methods Of Response
Originally, all response to direct mail was by mail. Thanks to technology, this has changed and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
First, we added the option of phone response. Then fax. Now we encourage customers to e-mail us or visit our Web site. Including mail, that’s five ways to respond. Should you offer them all? If not, which ones should you cut?
Start by finding out which response options are most used by your customers. This probably will change over time, so do the following: Track methods of response. Periodically monitor them. And when you see one dropping off, delete it. You don’t want to confuse your customers by giving them more options than they need. Too many choices can depress response.