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Valuable Tips For Direct Mail Success

Oct 24, 2007
Direct mail continues to be one of the most effective forms of advertising in existence. You only need to look as far as your mail slot to see all the companies participating in this form of marketing. But don't be fooled with the simplicity of these little advertisements. There's a science behind direct mail and millions of dollars are spent each year trying to find ways of getting a better response from direct mail efforts.

The most important thing to keep in mind is the rule of 7. The rule of 7 basically says that until a recipient has seen your marketing message at least 7 times, they won't even realize you exist. That sounds harsh and certainly there will be some exceptions to this rule but the basic premise is true. Most people will not even realize you exist before they've seen your marketing at least 7 times.

Indeed, repetition is the most important ingredient in direct mail success. If you want to give it a try, don't even bother unless you have enough money to send your marketing piece to the same audience at least 7 times. If not, you're absolutely wasting your money. And it's worth noting that the quality of the marketing piece is still easily trumped by repetition. A poor quality marketing piece sent out consistently will deliver far better results than a great marketing piece sent out only once or twice.

The best way to budget for a direct mail campaign is to consider the cost of the first 7 mailings a cost of doing business. Don't even try to recoup that money through sales. You'll never pull it off. If you get any sales at all, you should be happy. Consider the first 7 mailings a sunk cost and then strive to achieve breakeven or better from the 8th mailing onward.

Another thing to consider is the format of your mailer. Are you sending out a postcard? An envelope? If you're sending an envelope, you should know that a window envelope gets opened more than a regular envelope. You should also know that an envelope with a real stamp gets opened more than one with metered postage. Large envelopes get opened more, as do greeting card envelopes. Of course, postcards don't need to be opened at all and that's a significant motivator on its own. Choosing the optimal delivery method can make a major impact on the profitability of your campaign.

There's another choice to be made. The message you're trying to communicate on the marketing piece can generally take one of two forms. Either you can craft a clever slogan and tag line; a combination you barrage your audience with again and again, hoping to draw a mental connection inside the recipients' minds. Or you can provide value on your piece by including valuable information the recipient can use.

The second strategy attempts to build trust with the audience while the first simply tries to build name recognition. Indeed, the first has dominated marketing campaigns for decades but the second is quickly gaining ground. Today's consumers want to sample your expertise before they buy. They want proof you know what you're talking about and including valuable information right on your marketing piece can contribute to that objective.

Direct mail can be a profitable marketing strategy but you have to devote some time and energy to the process. Every little detail contributes to the inevitable success or failure of the campaign and I hope this article has shed some light on a few of the details. Please visit the Tactical Execution website for more detailed information on using direct mail successfully.
About the Author
Tactical Execution with Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a strategic company focused on growth marketing and program implementation across business markets. Visit the website for more specific tips to start generating revenue today.
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