As discussed in Part I, direct mail has to be the most exciting area of marketing. With all the new programs, Co-Registration companies, PPC advertising and Social Marketing sites to help you create a mailing list, your chances of creating a winning mailing are in your favor. In fact the odds of you creating a successful business online today are greater than they were two or even five years ago.
Of course the best approach to starting a new business or a winning mailing is to prepare yourself. The key is to study and learn new techniques that apply to your situation and put them to work. Part II of this article will pick up where the first left off explaining 55 excellent techniques for making sure your mailings pull a stronger response.
26. When using figures, make them as specific as possible.
"30% of all adults do not get enough iron" sounds more believable than “most adults aren't getting enough iron. " Believability and credibility are factors that help your prospects accept and buy your products.
27. Use a negative fact to make your claims more believable.
Although it's important to demonstrate the key benefits of your product, a negative element can help establish credibility. Here's how this technique works. Let's say you're selling quality cashmere sweaters at bargain prices. Many customers might doubt your ability to deliver. But if you emphasize that these sweaters are limited to only three colors which have a lot of appeal, you've used a negative fact to give reasonable proof of why you can offer such a fine deal.
28. Provide your customers with testimonials from other customers just like them.
Overcome customer reluctance by demonstrating how well your product has worked for other customers with similar problems. When using text, audio or video testimonials, a complete name and company name along with the city is most convincing.
29. ALWAYS offer a guarantee.
By this I mean a STRONG guarantee. Something that shows your prospects you have complete faith in your product. A good guarantee period is at least 90 days and a one-year guarantee is a true winner.
30. ALWAYS issue a call to action.
Tell your readers clearly and precisely what you want them to do. Do Not be timid. Tell them more than once. If you don't, you run the risk of them not doing anything.
31. Give your prospects an incentive to take action NOW.
Offer discounts, free merchandise, time limits, or iron-clad guarantees to help ease your prospects over whatever makes them feel reluctant.
32. ALWAYS end your letter with a P. S.
The P. S. is one of the most frequently read portions of a letter even when other sections are skipped. Take advantage of this by driving home an impressive benefit, sweetening your offer, or otherwise motivating your prospects to act now.
33. Check the flow of your letter.
Your letter should flow smoothly from section to section. Lose your course and you might lose your reader. Also, if you use a teaser copy on your envelope or in your email subject line, make sure your headline or first sentence picks up where the teaser left off.
34. Use an 800 number.
The use of 800 numbers increases response from 10%-50%. If you can't afford your own 800 number, many companies now offer 800 number services for a fee. To find out about them, look through the ads in any direct marketing magazine such as Direct Marketing or perform an online search.
35. Key every ad or mailing you use-without fail.
The beauty of direct marketing is that everything is measurable. You can easily tell precisely how many inquiries and orders are generated by each of your offerings. All you need to do is build a unique key into the order form for each of your offerings.
36. Repeat your offer and your guarantee on your order form.
Focus on your offer or strongest benefit and restate your guarantee. An official looking border around the guarantee has been shown to help response also.
37. Make sure your coupon is easy to use.
If your coupon is too crowded or difficult to use, you'll lose business. Have a friend or employee fill out your coupon. They can tell you how easy it is to use.
38. ALWAYS use a reply card, envelope or email address.
Postage-paid Business Cards or Business Reply Envelopes will boost your response. But they also boost your cost. The use of email marketing keeps your cost down and offers possible easy contact with your audience. With small orders, use a reply card or envelope that requires your customer to use a stamp. If you do not give your customer a specific way to respond, many of them won't!
39. Use a teaser on your envelope.
To be effective, a good teaser must offer a strong incentive to open the envelope.
40. Use a plain white envelope.
Another method of getting a high percentage of prospects to open your letter is to use a plain white envelope. Either no return address or just an address without a company name pull the best results.
41. Lift letters boost response.
A small note featuring a key benefit, special offer, or president's message is a cost-effective way of “lifting" your response.
42. Think follow-up.
You should constantly be thinking about related items to work into your product line for follow-up sales to your customers. Whenever you receive a new order, always send a follow-up offer 10 to 15 days later.
43. Offer multiple versions of the same product.
Deluxe versions, full-featured models, basic features only models, and personalized versions are just four ways of getting extra mileage from the same basic product.
44. Use response mailing lists.
List of people who have responded to a mail order offer or email offer are more profitable than compiled lists. Always find out what the customer responded to.
45. Use HOTLINE lists.
If you can get a list of people who have responded to offers in the last 3 to 6 months, it's definitely worth the additional cost. Satisfied recent buyers are strong candidates to buy by mail or email again.
46. Cultivate duplicate names from different mailing lists.
Most marketers run a merge/purge when buying multiple mailing lists to eliminate duplicate names. What a waste of an exceptional marketing opportunity! Buyers who show up on multiple lists have a proven buying history. Treat them like gold!
47. How to find the best mailing lists.
Contact 3 or 4 mailing list brokers. Ask them to recommend 10 lists for your product or service. Then compare the results. The list to test first are those recommended by more than one broker.
48. Use high quality paper when printing your brochures and sales letters.
Initial impressions are crucial. Make sure your documents and emails present the image you need to succeed.
49. Use colored stock for paper order forms.
Colored stock with black ink distinguishes your order form from the rest of your package. It draws attention and increases sales.
50. Use 2 colors of ink on paper and email order forms.
Two colors of ink on white stock or white email backgrounds give you the opportunity to create an extremely professional looking order form.
51. Use a separate order form.
A separate order form will outpull a coupon contained within your brochure or email. Smart marketers always use all three. If a separate order form is used, another pass-along order can be made from the coupon in your brochure.
52. Use heavy stock for your paper order forms.
A substantial stock, such as card stock, always outpulls flimsier paper.
53. How to get the most mileage out of premiums.
A bulky premium that your customers can feel will get your envelope opened. If you're premium isn't bulky, a teaser along the lines of “Your FREE item is inside" is effective.
54. Cultivate “swipe" files.
Set up files and collect examples of great headlines, sales letters, emails, brochures, coupons, teaser copy, and so on. Study the examples that really make you feel like taking action.
55. Ask yourself this CRUCIAL question.
Based only on your direct mail package or email, would you buy your product or service? Be uncompromisingly honest. If your answer is “no", keep making the necessary changes until you can unequivocally answer “YES".
These two articles of the 55 marketing tips should give you enough techniques to help you have many successful marketing campaigns. Remember to pick the techniques that apply to your situation and put them to work!
You can obtain all the knowledge possible but if you do not put that knowledge to work it will mean nothing to you and you will gain nothing.
Just Do It!
Dr. Charles Baldwin is a freelance copywriter living in Ireland. He has over 30 websites and blogs and specializes in direct marketing and internet marketing.