We are all bombarded with junk mail, half of which hits the recycle bin before it’s even opened. So is direct mail marketing still an effective way to reach your target market? Absolutely! As long as it’s fun, different and memorable, you are on your way to an effective promotion. There are several things to keep in mind when putting together your next direct mail promotion. So let’s break it down.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LUMPY MAIL
Think about how you go through your own mail, whether it’s at home or the office. What piques your interest when you go to the mail box? I’m guessing that you’re not rushing to open the bills or the credit card applications. It’s the three dimensional mail (a.k.a “lumpy” mail) that catches your eye, isn’t it? It’s the package that mysteriously arrives and as you think back in your head, you’re pretty darn sure that you didn’t buy it from Amazon or eBay. What the heck is it? That’s the excitement you want to create with your next promotion.
I get a ton of requests from clients for promotional products that are one-dimensional and will fit in a standard #10 envelope. While there are endless options to fit this criteria, I think you might be selling yourself short by going this route. Reason being, the first challenge you face is getting your recipient to actually open your mail. Why not make the outside of the package as intriguing as possible? That way you can ensure that your package is in fact opened.
WATCH YOUR POSTAL RATES
Now, granted, sending “lumpy” mail will more than likely increase the cost of your promotion. You’ll have to spend more on mailers and postage, but your return on investment (ROI) should be greater when you throw three dimensionality into the mix. One thing to remember – you’ll want to remember to include estimated freight costs within your budget. My first year in this industry, I put together a huge mailing for all my clients and prospects. It included some sales flyers, a catalog, my promo pack and a small journal book. It wasn’t until I got to the post office with approximately 100 packages that I discovered it was going to cost up to $9.00 to mail each one! That was a huge blow. At that point I had spent too much money and invested too much time to bag the promotion. I learned a valuable lesson that day and I’ve done my best to give clients a heads up regarding freight issues as well.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
It doesn’t make sense to spend your time and money on a promotion unless you know your recipient. If you don’t know who you are trying to reach, why bother? Instead of addressing a label to “Sales Manager”, take the extra time to find out that person’s name, including the correct spelling. Not only will the person appreciate the fact that the package is addresses specifically to them, they will probably be more likely to open it as well.
Since we’re on the subject of mailing labels, another nice touch is to hand write the labels. Yeah, it’s high maintenance, but it shows you took the time to write out the information, so the contents must be worth opening. For that matter, if you can use regular stamps instead of metered postage, there’s one more way to stand out amongst the clutter.
HOOK, LINE & SINKER
Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, it’s time to create the hook. Give your recipient a motivation to act. Instead of sending a generic cover letter and a small token of appreciation, why not come up with a game or contest to tie everything together? Make it fun. Now if that sounds like too much effort, maybe include a special offer or coupon. Whatever you do, make your promotion specific and include a deadline date. There are so many great ideas out there. Now is your chance to get started. Good luck and keep us posted if you’ve had success with any recent direct mail promotions.