Direct mail can be a very cost effective way to market. BUT…Most people do it all wrong. I don’t know why because doing it right is really not a secret. I think that it’s because when most people hear how to do it,they just don’t believe it. I remember when I first started doing direct mail,my thinking was that what I had to offer was so good that people would jump hoops to get it! That was a $14,000 mistake! Once I learned how to do it properly (and again,this ain’t hard!) the mailings along with the internet literally changed my life. Literally!
Here’s the big secret. When you do a mailer,don’t budget for the biggest mailing (most people) you can mail to. Instead budget your mailing to be able to send your mailer to the same people 3 times within about 6 –8 weeks. That means if your budget allows for 15,000 mailers,then buy your list of 5,000 and send it to the same people a minimum of 3 times before you even consider going to a new list.
Your first mailing will yield one or two responses if you are lucky.
The second mailer to the same people who didn’t respond the first time will get you about 8 or 10 calls or “actions.”
After you hold you nose and force yourself to send it to the same list of no good,sorry,do nothing people that you’ve already mailed to twice and wasted $10,000 of your child’s college fund on…AND,because some guy you don’t know on Manta said this is the way to do it,you’re throwing away another 5 G’s on doing this a “paint me stupid”3rd blooming time…
By this time your spouse is yelling “Are You Nuts? When are you going to get through your thick skull that ENOUGH is ENOUGH?”(That would be if they are “nice”about it.)
Well,somehow you make it through all this self doubt and wonder if the guy you took this crazy advice from (who hopefully wasn’t your printer!:) really wants to steal your wife (because she can’t stand how you blew your life savings) or would like to see you ruined and bankrupt for some other reason…You pull the trigger and the 3rd mailing goes out…
Wonder of Wonders…. Your phone will ring off the hook!
Now you understand why very few people do this right. Those are the thoughts I went through when I did it the first time. And that was after making 2 previous failed mailings of $7,000 each to 2 different list. (Because when I got no response from the first mailer,I bought another list…then did it again…with the same blooming results!)
Seriously,the only reason I even tried it was because a friend of mine in the same business who I knew and trusted told me that’s how he did 4 times the business I did and he was traveling all the time. Humm. I believed and trusted him. So…doing that and coupling it with good web marketing grew my business by 5 times over the course of 3 years. I’m glad I had a friend who knew something about mail marketing. I’m also glad I listened to him. It changed my business and personal life for the better…a LOT better!
Other than that,the rules are simple. And the rules are why this works…and human nature.
1. Make the side of your mailer with the address on it one time and never change it. (Eye brand it at the trash can)
2. Timing may vary but by and large you want to send your mailing to the same people every 3-6 weeks. WHY? You don’t want them to forget what your mail piece looks like before they throw it away again! (That sounds funny,but that’s the way it works.)
Let me explain:And think about this,because I know you do it too…You get a piece of “junk mail,”you give a quick glance and throw it away. Usually you don’t bother to read it.
3 –6 weeks later you get the same piece…(wait for it…) You throw it away!
Now 3 –6 weeks later you check your mail and you get the same blooming,stupid thing again…and you think,“Hummm,there must be something to this because this guy keeps sending it…
So…they must be making money with it?…
So…that means enough people are paying attention to it…”
So…for the first time you read it…HURRAY! Zippity Doo Dah!
Don’t get all excited yet,still for most,the timing is wrong and they throw it away anyway,BUT…enough people read it that 1) if you have a pertinent offer 2) of sufficient value 3) in high enough demand to warrant sending a mailing anyway,enough of those readers will have a need at the time,and call or come by your store.
P.S. As for the others (those crazies who still threw your 3rd mail piece away),those are the ones that you have now branded your deal in their mind and they know what you (your mailer actually) looks like,they become friends even though they’ve never met you and on your 4th,5th…20th mailing,if the timing is right…BAM! You get them too!