Marching Orders Using One Voice Over All Media
Whether it's a space ad, Web page or direct mail letter, remind your customers and prospects of all the ways you do business. Put your phone number, fax number, Web site, retail store location and mailing address in all your marketing and sales materials. You never know which will turn out to be the most convenient for a particular customer on any given day.
The image that you've established for your company through the use of graphic design elements and type should be consistent throughout your advertising, as well. Unless you're using inconsistency to draw special attention to an event such as a sale or new product introduction, keep it consistent. One voice, one look equals instant recognition.
Don't be afraid to test other types of media. If you've used direct mail to build your business and it makes strategic sense to try prospecting through space ads or cable TV—test it! Changing technology and emerging markets (e.g., teenagers) are reasons you should not assume anything—no matter how well (or poorly) different types of media have worked for you in the past. At the same time, don't stop doing what you've done to build your business—without testing first. For example, online shopping may tantalize some segments of your market and not others.
Be creative ... create your own media. Walter Drake did when he created the first stamp folder program selling return address labels for $1 via direct response ads printed on the inside of the stamp folders dispensed from stamp machines in hotel lobbies. Look for your own new opportunities for communicating your message to your targeted audience(s) most effectively and efficiently.
Last but not least, remember that effective direct response advertising uses the same basic elements whether it's a space ad in The Wall Street Journal, a postcard generating traffic to your store in a mall, or a 60-second TV spot. To be successful, you need to include an offer (reason to respond), response mechanism (phone number, fax number, Web site, mailing address or store locations), along with a method for tracking and measuring response (key-coded coupon, unique phone number, bar code, etc.).