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Direct Mail - For Small Businesses
We hear a lot of talk about junk mail nowadays. Many people will tell you that they dump it straight in the trash. But why do you think so many organisations send out so called junk mail - because it works!
I dump most of my junk mail just like everyone else, but every so often I'm attracted and respond to something that comes through the mail. Whatever it is, grabs my interest just at the right time. Sometimes it's a mailing I've seen several times and I've been slightly interested; however, there comes a time when I decide to do something about it.
Research has shown that, on average, people need to see an advertisement seven times before they respond - it's the same with direct mail.
I'm not looking for a new credit card at present; however there are thousands of people who are. These people will respond to a credit card company mailing because they want a new card with a better interest rate or because their other card is at its limit or they want to transfer a balance.
It has to be said that the average response rate for direct mailing is less than 1% and as you'll appreciate, the large organisations send out millions of direct mailers. Small to medium sized businesses can have success with direct mailing by keeping it small, focussed and personal.
Target the right people - You need to have a good mailing list. The best one you can have is the one you've built yourself. You build it with all the contacts you make from your networking and all the enquiry phone calls you receive. (If anyone contacts your business you need to capture all their relevant information. Tell them you'll add them to your mailing list so that they'll receive all the up to date information)
Buy or rent a mailing list - There are many reputable suppliers (and some not so reputable) who'll supply you with a closely targeted list. If you wanted the names of Transport Managers in the food industry in your city - then they can provide it. For consumers, they can supply details of people by zip or postal code, age group, gender, special interests etc. You could probably get the details of female accountants under thirty, interested in fishing and living in a specific area of your city or country. (Not sure why you'd want that, but I'm sure you get the point)
The product or service has to be appealing - It has to have benefits or problem solving abilities for the person you're targeting
It must be clear - easy to understand and be believable
There must be a call to action - There are three things that someone will do with a piece of direct mail - 1. Scan it and throw it in the trash 2. Put it aside to make a decision later. (However later never comes or when it does, most mail will hit the trash) 3. Take action - Phone the free number or tear off the pre-paid reply coupon or complete the order form
It's vitally important that your mailing prompts action immediately.
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