One of the marketing methods I particularly like and which has brought me great success is direct mail.
However every time I receive my own mail, I realise who many businesses are making some fundamental direct mail mistakes which reduce the success of their campaigns.
Common Direct Mail Mistakes That Reduce Response Rates And Waste Money
These direct mail mistakes are what I've seen in today's batch of letters.
Window envelopes - it highlights that it is a commercial message since only businesses use the see through envelopes to save them time addressing and matching the envelope.
- Copy on the outside of the envelope - no I don't want another credit card thanks but due to this direct mail mistake, at least I could rip up the letter unopened.
- Letter addressed to a position - I am a one man business (with a trusty dog) working from home and anything relevant to "The Facilities Manager" has no interest to me.
- Sales letter sent to the wrong target market - following up on point three, I make sure that my information with the various databases has me down as a one person business so don't send me stuff which has no relevance.
- Envelope franked with a company name - again signals a business communication (unless someone is taking liberties with the franking machine). OK this letter was from my Professional Indemnity Insurance brokers with my latest quote so it is something I'm interested in. Many aren't.
- Huge logo in the top right hand corner of the letter extending to below the fold. You may love your business, I don't. I haven't even heard of it. You've got a second or two to catch my interest or the letter's going into the bin. (This can work if you're very special - the Royal Crest and words saying "From the Private Office of Her Majesty, The Queen" will get my attention because I'll think that it's news of my knighthood.)
- No headline or summary first paragraph. You've got to earn my time by promising me something of immediate interest. If not, you're going in the bin.
- No offer. One letter did have a benefit driven headline of interest but fizzled out as I scanned - not read - the copy. There's no reason to make contact now.
There was nothing sleazy in today's post like the controversial Chris Cardell mailing with the "newspaper article" and lift note which has caused such a fuss from people who received this deceptive direct mail piece.
In fact there was only one direct mail item I did like and that was a postcard sent to Margaret. A £6 discount for shopping online with a business who I know she has bought stuff from in the past.
It was brightly coloured - pink - and there was no way you'd miss it. The postcard is clearly part of their customer retention and repurchase program. The only slight criticism I had was that there was no expiry date on the offer so no reason to take action now or in the next 28 days.
That's a double-edged sword and it's certainly something I'd want to test - the incentive to act immediately versus the danger of it expiring before the need to buy again.
These direct mail mistakes come from today's post so I'll probably see plenty more if I look out for them. And this is without going into the copywriting in detail.
What mistakes do you see in the direct mail you get?
Please let me know by leaving a comment.
Post charges are high, and direct mail can work a treat but only if you avoid obvious blunders.
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