I read an article recently that stated “direct marketing is a science, there’s no doubt about it; and attempts to circumvent the natural sales process are by and large rewarded with little to show”.
Think about that for a minute … if direct marketing is a science, then there are ways to do it and there are pitfalls to avoid. Here are a few that we have seen (sometimes we learn the hard way):
Marketing to everyone, but really no one – Know who your audience is. Know what they value and how you can help them solve their problems. Once you know these things, then you can make your list. The ROI on mass generic or ”blind” mailings are proven to be low. Spend more time and money on your lists, the design, and the tools you will use to track!
Failing to track – Do you know where your prospects are going after they see your direct marketing materials? Do you know where your customers come from? Do you know your return rate, your return on investment? Track it, test it, tweak it and repeat.
Thinking customers care about you – Think your customers care that you’ve been in business for 12 years, or that you’ve won a few awards? They don’t. Customers care about what you can do for them. Period. Your background can certainly be used as supporting evidence, but it does not solve your customers’ problems. Focus on solving your customers’ problems, and you’ll earn business.
Excluding URL’s and Social Media – In today’s world, a website is just as important as the physical address. But don’t stop there – include reminders in your direct mail piece for customers to find you on their favorite social media networks.
Direct marketing works, but it is not as simple as it may appear. Spend your money on research, quality lists, and quality materials. Ask the experts what size, paper, colors, and believe it or not, shape(think bulky envelopes!) provide the best ROI while promoting your professional image and brand.