B-to-B Insights: Hit the Hot Buttons
Marketers today are doing as much demand generation and lead nurturing activity as possible via e-mail and online channels. And who can blame you? After all, online is much sexier than “snail mail,” and much less expensive.
But despite its old school persona, postal mail offers benefits that simply aren’t available online. Not only can it deliver different prospects from those generated electronically, but it also provides you with the space and creative flexibility to initiate—or nurture—the brand experience. And if you get your strategy right, the lead quality couldn’t be higher.
All of which means that, sooner or later, you’re going postal. So you’d better know how to maximize mail’s performance—especially through the offer and the creative positioning. You can’t afford not to.
“Eat your peas” vs. “What’s in it for me?”
A wise and thoughtful man named Bob Hacker, founder and former president of Seattle-based direct marketing agency The Hacker Group, once told me that direct marketers actually are psychologists whose job it is to manipulate readers into responding—preferably without getting caught in the act.
What Hacker was saying is that the structure of your offer—how you present its benefits—is what separates a good package from a great one. It’s essential that readers be oblivious to the fact they are being lured or seduced into responding. To ensure that obliviousness, your copywriter must present your offer in such a way that readers feel so smart, lucky or opportunistic they stop whatever they’re doing and respond.
Direct marketing is an irrational, impulsive medium. You have no way of knowing precisely when people are in the market for your product or service, nor do you know precisely what is going to make them react. What you do know is that emotions drive behavior. The more emotionally appealing you make your offer—supporting it with rational arguments—the better your packages will perform.