Direct Mail Marketing Firm
A direct mail marketing firm has been a traditional choice for most businesses up until the advent of the Internet, but though other methods of promotion may seem more befitting a high tech world, an eye catching piece of snail mail can have a strong impact on consumers. Direct mail has been defined as any piece of mail that asks a consumer to take a suggested action. Call this number or visit this website or come in and get the last three widgets on the shelf are all calls to action, and should these strong suggestions come in the form of snail mail they are defined as a direct mail marketing firm campaign. Measuring a "straight to the customer" postal campaign is probably pretty simple. How many calls did one get, how many website hits or how many people through the door to buy those dusty widgets are pretty good indications of how strong a mail campaign can be.
When a person hunts for deer, he isn't likely to see very many unless there are other hunters tramping through the underbrush or in the woods ahead or behind. Their movements will get deer up and out of their warm resting places and then there is the opportunity for that trophy buck. The same holds true for a direct mail marketing firm and its effort undertaken for a business or non-profit. Experts in the field of postal promotion remind us that unless we have made study of the targeted demographic and supply a reason for the consumer to get up and get out of the house or visit a website, there will be no worthwhile response. This is all very important because the Direct Marketing Association says that the average response to DMing is between .5 and 1% making this method very risky unless the cost of the materials and postage can be recouped through an extraordinary campaign.
Yet everyday our snail mailboxes can be filled with "straight to the consumer" promotions and advertisements. Businesses have either not done their homework, or ignored the known risks or believed strongly in their marketing skills and hold out hope that they can beat the odds by an extra percentage point. This extra point may be the difference between profit and loss on the effort. It is obvious that the business world still believes in the direct mail marketing firm and its approach and while many businesses have gone high tech completely, the method still holds promise for many small businesses. So what makes an effective direct mail marketing firm campaign hum like a beehive?
Let's do a hypothetical for a moment. Two different companies selling skateboards are having a sale. Separated by a few miles, these two companies both decide to hire a direct mail marketing firm to farm three thousand homes. Both companies are going to use the same mailing list provider, both will have the same potential customer addresses and both will mail from the same post office on the same day. The first company, Skate Boards Crack Me Up, must cut the expenses of printing and goes with a simple black and white printing. The second company, Skate Boards Hurt Me Bad, goes all out with a four color glossy flyer. Crack Me Up's presentation is pretty dull to the eyes, but it is offering a one day going out of business sale of all skateboards at up to 75% off retail while the Hurt Me Bad offers 5% off purchases for the next two weeks of more than seventy five dollars. An attractive offer will trump an attractive layout every time, but the two together present a very tempting "git'er done" challenge to the consumer.
Crack Me Up presented a twelve hour window of opportunity and with a handsome reward for purchasing that day. Hurt Me Bad offered a measly 5% and gave the customer two weeks. The success of the efforts of direct mail marketing firm is based greatly on the presented "crisis" that must accompany such a mailing, and by the way, "One Day Only!" better mean that, or credibility is shot. But there is a way that Hurt Me Bad could play some catch-up with the competition and that would be making the right move back up at the point of buying a mailing list. First of all, buying a list of any kind is the worst of the decisions. If the Hurt Me Bad Company has been in business very many years, then it should have been collecting every scrap of information it could on hundreds or thousands of customers. Without a doubt, the most valuable and fruitful mailing list a company will have for a direct mail marketing firm and its campaign is the customer's own customer base.
From every piece of evidence available, had the Hurt Me Bad Skateboard Company used their own mailing list, they might have been able to anticipate up to a three or four percent response rate. So if a company that wants to do a "straight to the customer mailing" and does not have a large customer base, then purchasing a highly targeted mailing list is the preferable option. A number of different qualifiers can be put on purchased databases such as age, household income, hobbies, occupation, geographical residence and education. These qualifiers, when combined together for the client's needs, can raise the success rate of a snail mail campaign. "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." Jesus' point here was that happiness is based on a person who is sorrowful over the sin." Happy are the sad; a true oxymoron!
Direct Response MarketingDirect response marketing can be done through the use of direct mail, infomercials on television or an email marketing campaign. A direct return on advertising allows the customer to specifically purchase a service or product from the advertiser. In other words, the customer is only calling or logging on to the website because they intend to buy something. A specific response plan must be tailor-made to target a predetermined group of people. Advertisements can be mailed to potential customers and current customers as well as past customers. When using direct postal mail or a direct email campaign it is important to understand that unsolicited "junk" mail usually ends up in the trash. In order to get a potential customer to read your advertisement, there are some hints for making a specific marketing campaign unique.
First, an address and name printed directly onto an envelope, rather than a routine mailing address label will stand out as not being junk mail. With an email, it is best to begin the email by naming the person instead of writing "to whom it may concern" or another generic opening. Second, instead of using the third class mail permit, try to purchase the stamp, so the mail looks more inviting and individualized. The idea is to get the potential customer to open the envelope read what's inside and make the call to purchase the product or service, direct response marketing . For an email, it is a good idea to hide all the other email addresses that are being sent. This will keep the potential customer from automatically assuming they were forwarded some junk email.
Avoid gaudiness, unless the service or product calls for it. Keep information short, sweet and informative. Including prices is good if the prices are standardized, for example: the cost of a toy or book rather than the cost to replace a roof. If the price of the product or service is already on the advertisement, then the customer is already aware of the price and is calling anyway to either get more information or to purchase the product or service. Nobody wants to waste their time tying up phone lines for people that just want a price quote. The entire point of an email marketing campaign utilizing direct response marketing is to expect customers to call when they want to purchase. A 3%-5% response rate from direct mail is considered good, so mailing out 100 letters whether through email or postal mail and expecting 50 calls is unrealistic. Typically the response rate is about 1%, with follow up mailings generating the biggest response. In essence, if a business sends out 1000 pieces of direct mail, they should expect between 10 and 50 responses. Hopefully some of those people will purchase the product.
A positive attribute for an email marketing campaign using the specific response method is the ease with which success can be tracked. If sending an individualized email to one type of target group is not getting a good response, the target group or the email itself can be adjusted to see what works best to solicit responses. Keeping emails and unique response pieces short is wise. People do not want to read a long winded ad for a product that they may or may not want. Sometimes a link in an email to request more information is a good idea. This solicits an intended response from the potential customer, which in turn allows the uniquely direct advertiser to send wanted information, make a follow-up phone call, or stop by for an in-home presentation. Those that ask for further information show that they are interested. Sending out an effective email response campaign for direct response marketing is one of the most successful ways to solicit business from a potential customer.
Another way to achieve a wanted response to advertising is to offer a free gift. This is seen all the time when time shares are being sold. Many time share companies offer free televisions or free vacations in exchange for committing 1 1/2 - 3 hours of the potential customer's time to hear a sales pitch on their time share product. A smaller company does not have to offer such a grand gift, but sometimes useful gifts go a long way. Many offer address labels, notepads, magnets, pens, chap stick, etc; all with the company's logo. When selecting an item to be included in an email marketing campaign, it is often a good idea to have the potential customer enter their contact information so that a product can be sent, or so a coupon can be printed. The free gift must be valuable enough that the potential customer will not disregard it. The gift must also be affordable enough that if the potential customer throws it away, it doesn't break the marketing budget. The free gift should also directly relate to the product or service being sold through the email marketing campaign. Taking all these direct response marketing ideas into consideration will ensure some level of success. " A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength." (Proverbs 24:5)