Direct mail marketing can be a powerful tool, but printing costs aren’t cheap and postage keeps going up—you have to be certain the money you are investing is being well spent. To get the most out of your investment in direct mail marketing, avoid these common mistakes:
Sending Mail to the Wrong People
As mentioned above, direct mail marketing is an investment—don’t let that money go to waste by sending your material to the wrong people. Instead of targeting a broad audience, do your research and send your promotional material to people who will really be interested in your products and services.
Once you’ve found the right people to target, be sure to personalize your material as much as you can. Spell the names right on the envelope and include the names in the letter. Appeal to people’s hobbies and interests. Target a specific location and use familiar, location-specific information in your material.
Sending personalized mail to a smaller target audience will be a smarter investment than sending something generic to everyone you can reach.
Using Cheap Materials
Everything you send out is a reflection of your company, your brand, and your product. Cheap envelopes, poorly designed brochures, dark images, and flimsy paper all tell your customer something about your business.
You’ve already committed to an investment in direct mail marketing—so spend enough to do it right. Sending out cheap, poorly designed material won’t just be ineffective; it could actually damage your reputation.
Hire a talented graphic designer to help with the layout of your materials, and pay a professional to provide the right paper, envelopes, and printing services.
Writing Weak Copy
How effective is your copy? Avoid these common mistakes
8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of those 10 will read the rest of your copy. If you want people to get your message, your headlines need to be strong.
Strong headlines appeal to strong emotions like fear, love and desire. Good headlines tell the reader why and how reading the rest of the copy will help them solve a problem or avoid a mistake. “How-to ____” headlines, and headlines with specific numbers like “5 ways to ______” are particularly effective because they tell the reader how they will benefit from reading the article—just make sure the copy follows through on that promise.
Typos and Grammar Mistakes
Potential customers want to invest money in a product they can trust. Typos and grammar mistakes weaken your credibility and tell readers that you don’t pay attention to details.
To avoid these easy to make errors, have someone else read your copy before you send it out. If no one is available—read it out loud—you’ll catch more errors when you hear your sentences being read.
Filler words like very, quite, really, rather, and literally take up space without conveying useful information. Unsubstantiated superlatives like most, best, excellent, and amazing can cause the same problem.
Instead of filling your copy with adjectives, fill it with specific, detailed information. Hard facts will have more say than flowery filler words.
Forgetting the Call to Action
Good copy is wasted without a call to action. If your customer takes the time to read your copy through to the end, the conclusion should tell them what to do next. Why was what they read important? How can they use that information? Make sure you have a strong call to action at the end of your copy.
Direct mail marketing is a smart investment—as long as you do it right. Remember if to send your material to the right people, use quality materials, and create strong copy. Personalized, localized, quality campaigns can be a great marketing tool.
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