5 Changes to 'Junk Mail' That Will Triple Response
You know where I get the most junk mail? Mixed in with my snail mail at the office. Way too much B-to-B mail is junk mail in my opinion.
Oh, now calm down. Snail mail is not a pejorative term in my mind — postal mail is slow compared to email and many other media, just like real snails are slow. Being slow doesn't make real snails useless — they can be delicious! And snail mail remains an indispensable marketing channel when used correctly.
Junk, on the other hand, is just junk. It is neither delicious nor effective. And, too much of the B-to-B mail I get is junk. It is junk because it doesn't accomplish anything — no offer, no compelling value proposition, no reason to respond — I'm often not sure why they sent it. To me that is junk, and it could easily be made better.
A couple of examples:
A postcard from a paving company sent to me, the vice president of marketing. My title used to be President (five years ago) so it's using an old list to begin with. In all fairness, we do have a parking lot, but it looks pretty good to me. The card tells me the company is my best choice for full-service commercial paving. Yawn. Seems I can get a free quote is I send them an email.
There's even a QR Code — I'm hip, I scan QR Codes — but all it did was take me to the home page, which looked kind of puny on my iPhone. No IMB, by the way, so the paving company doesn't know if or when I got it, so I don't expect any meaningful follow-up.
This is junk mail. No offer. No compelling value proposition. No reason to respond. Junk.
Here are five changes that could triple response:
- Create some kind of offer — an August special, "10% Off!", a free parking lot analysis, "Six Things You Need to Know About Pavement" — something.
- Create a landing page with its own URL and a reason to fill it in — this may be a good place to offer those "Six Things about Pavement" fact sheets.
- Make the QR Code go to a mobile version of the landing page so there's a reason to go there, and it's formatted correctly when I get there.
- Personalize it — it looks like the card was digitally printed, so it would have been no big deal to add a personalized QR Code and PURL so you could tell that I had visited the landing page and prepopulated it for me. You could even say, "Hi Dave!"
- Track the mail — Intelligent Mail tracking is easy and you can use it to coordinate a follow-up, whether it's an email or a phone call.
Easy changes and now your junk mail is converted to direct mail. Direct mail I like.
I received another very attractive digital postcard from a local insurance agency. There's a lot of stuff on the back about insurance, I think — it seems the agency is very good at it.
The back of a postcard is a good place for an arresting image — something to catch my attention, not a lot of text about the fact that the company would like to quote our insurance. Again there is no offer, no call to action, no reason to do anything but throw it away. Junk.
Where are some no-doubt-about-it response builders? Right here:
- Please, make me an offer — call me now before rates go up, "Eight Little Known Facts About Business Insurance," free lunch with a consultation — throw me a bone!
- Again, track the piece and follow up. Get my attention with your mail piece and get the appointment with an email or phone call coordinated with it. There is just no reason not to know when your mail is delivered these days.
- Don't put your general website on the piece — create a landing page that directs me to act on the offer you included. You did make me an offer, right?
I'm guessing if you went to either of these companies to do another direct mail campaign they would tell you, "No thanks. Direct mail doesn't work for us." Wrong. Direct mail works great. Junk mail? Not so much.
Dave Lewis is the president of Snailworks, an integrated direct marketing platform from ProList, Inc. — the same team that made mail tracking easy in 2000. Snailworks increases the effectiveness of direct mail through coordinated channels. Reach him at email@example.com.