Copywriting From the Recipient's Vantage Point
The best way to make your direct mail marketing more effective and discover trends is to analyze the pieces that are sent to you each day. You'll likely be amazed how much things can be improved.
People seem to forget that we are still in a recession and that all your marketing communications needs to work smarter than ever in order to get customers and prospects to buy what you are selling. It needs to sell with emotion and work twice as hard at justifying with logic to get the order. The best way to do so is to write and design your campaigns from the reader's vantage point.
When designing and writing your mail package, space ad or email, imagine you are sitting at the kitchen table of your recipient and having a conversation. It will make your correspondence more believable.
Better yet, think about what offers may compel them to buy or purchase from you again. Don't think all about you, your company or how great you are, explain what pain you can solve.
Recently I received two direct mail packages and will take this opportunity to share how each could be improved. They are available as PDF's if you care to review them (see photos).
My eldest daughter is off to Marquette University next year and I received a letter from US Bank detailing why my daughter should bank with it: convenient locations near the campus, hours, ATM's that are available, etc.
A few things I noticed immediately: The paper was akin to that old thermal fax paper (the kind that was cut off and used to roll up) and thus I did not get a personal feel from the letter. Next, it was not signed by anyone and thus I knew it had to be a "mass mailing." The letter is written to me, but the FAQ's are addressed to my daughter, the student.
But, more significantly, the letter did not address MY needs and how US Bank could help meet them. Namely, I am searching for a student loan for my daughter and perhaps this would be a great time to mention how US Bank might help with that, potentially turning my family into its customers. Yes, perhaps the bank doesn't offer student loans, but it could have provided options.
Next, a mailing from XM radio. I purchased a new car and was offered six months free and transferred my old car to the new plan. That was a painfully pathetic inbound call I made, but I digress.
The mailing thanked me for being a new customer, however, it didn't even attempt to make me an offer to upgrade to XM Radio's premium plan, of which I have been interested and, with the right offer, would have done so on the call to transfer service or the follow-up welcome letter XM sent.
Both of these mail pieces could have worked much harder at getting additional business if they would have thought about my potential needs and made them more relevant to me with compelling offers.
Direct mail does work and needs to work harder than ever. In order to ensure that, think about the recipient's needs, test offers and watch your ROMI soar.
Grant A. Johnson is the founder, Ambassador of Fun and Creative Director at Johnson Direct LLC. He can be reached at email@example.com.