Direct marketing, when well designed, expertly written, highly targeted, clear in proposition and well implemented can engage customers and transform the sales and marketing success of a business.
Too often though it is done badly. Direct mail, as most recipients view DM, is the bane of most people’s lives, and the very worst, intrusive antidote to good honest permission marketing. And email has taken this on immeasurably.
Direct marketing can and is implemented well. I receive mailers from TM Lewin about specials on shirts (incidentally they have a nifty YouTube channel) and Amazon’s ‘Recommendations’ emails based on my transactional and browsing behaviour. I’m on the Volkswagon mailing list because I bought a Polo five years ago – the last mailer was a beautiful piece in the style of a VW dashboard. And other businesses are using DM techniques to personally encourage browsers to take their abandoned baskets to checkout status, with some success.
What is clear to me as I consider this blog series on metrics in the core elements of the marketing mix, is the requirement to target a segment, understand an unmet need and deliver a compelling (and for you, profitable) proposition that entices and engages them to act.
Achieving ROI from direct marketing really is in the design and delivery. Sure, the usual rules apply in terms of activating specific landing pages, phone numbers, email addresses, voucher codes, limited time offers and social media pages to monitor response. But getting response is the objective. Here’s how to transform ‘junk mail into conversion mail’.
Take time to target
Think about your audience and get tone of voice right
Highlight the ‘call to action immediately’ and prominently – you have 3-5 seconds, even assuming the recipient is remotely interested
Don’t clutter your communication – stick to one single message
Have an equal balance between design and copy
Make the most of the senses if relevant – smell, touch, taste
Dont’s trick recipients into opening your mail – this will only damage your reputation and your brand in the long term.
Make sure you test and learn – make subtle changes in campaign creative or message and gauge response.