Direct mail is a powerfully personal and highly effective way of getting in touch with your target market. It can be used to contact potential customers en masse, or to introduce yourself to high-profile individuals and companies with whom you want to do business.
Of course, direct mail is about far more than simply writing a letter. Here’s how to go about creating a direct mail campaign that gets results and wins you new business.
1. Address it to the right person
It’s not a great start if you begin your letter with ‘to whom it may concern’, or ‘dear Sir/Mdm’. Just as with most forms of marketing, the most effective direct mail is that which the reader feels is talking specifically to them. They aren’t going to think much of the level of service you provide if you haven’t even bothered to find out their name. Check on the company’s website, their social media accounts and their LinkedIn. Give their head office a call and ask who is in charge of the relevant department if you’re unsure.
2. Do your research
There’s a lot more you can find out about your correspondence than just their name in order to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail. The scale of the research you can and should do will clearly depend upon the number of people you are planning to contact. If you are going to send out a letter to 1,000 recipients, your research will need to be more general: identifying the needs of your average customer, for instance.
But if you have selected, say, a dozen of your ideal prospective clients, you can and should go into much more depth with your research. Throwing in a few personal details not only shows that you’ve done your homework, and therefore take doing business with them seriously, it also helps you to connect with them on a personal level. By checking out their social media accounts, website, and blog, you may find that golden copywriting opportunity – a status, blog, or comment from them bemoaning a problem your business can solve.
3. Keep it precise
Direct mail may have great response rates, but don’t take it for granted that your letter will get opened and read. Just because somebody opens your envelope doesn’t mean you automatically have their undivided attention. And something that can reduce the chances of your letter being read is if it covers a number of pages, or if the text is minuscule so as to fit on just one or two pages.
4. Be to the point
Choose the key messages you want to convey and explain them as quickly and clearly as you can. You simply don’t have enough room to address every issue and concern in one go, so you don’t need to worry about answering all of the reader’s questions straightaway. Instead, focus on one or two key problems that your product or service can solve for your prospective customer or client.
5. Make it customisable
Research allows you to tailor your letter to its recipient, but there are some bits that are going to be the same regardless of audience. You may have found the perfect way to phrase your key sales message, for instance. And your introductory paragraph may only need changing to reflect names of companies, or the job title of the recipient.
Even if you’re writing for a large audience, you can still use mail merge software to help make your letter seem a little more intimate. Don’t start writing your letter until you know what kind of data you already have, or what you can collect, on your target market. Then write it in a way that allows you to use as much of this data as possible for a more personal touch.
Don’t go overboard, though. Only include the data if you can naturally fit it in to a sentence without it being obvious. When personal information is included in a natural way people feel that you are talking directly to them. On the other hand, a letter stuffed with irrelevant information can make the recipient feel like you have been spying on them.
6. Always have a call to action
In the same way you can’t rely on your target market to know who you are and to find your business, you can’t rely on your reader to take the action that you want them to. While your letter should be persuasive and informative, it needs to leave them wanting more. Always include at least one call to action within your letter, so that when the recipient gets to the end of it, they already know what to do next. Tell them to give you a call, send off for a brochure, or visit your website. If you are giving them a URL, try creating a customised landing page to not only ensure you maximise your chance of moving them even further down the funnel, but also to help you measure the response rate to your campaign.
If this all sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry. Marketing can be a lot of effort, but like many business tasks, there are clever ways to help you get the best results. One of those is to find somebody has the skills, time, and commitment that you simply cannot afford to devote to the task of direct mail. Not only can SW1 make doing these more convenient, our services also increase the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns by combining top-quality copywriting with crisp graphic design and optional follow-up telesales. Contact us today and ask us for more information.