The Rules Of Direct Mail


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Some basc Rules of Direct Marketing

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The Rules Of Direct Mail

  1. 1. Direct Mail Tactics to get a Maximum Response. Presented by Laurie Beasley of Beasley Direct 7/26/00 Prepared for JWTMMG by James E. Sullivan Optic Nerve Direct Marketing 3.05.07
  2. 2. AGENDA <ul><li>Trends for Direct Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>What’s Working and what’s Not </li></ul><ul><li>The “Rules” of Direct Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Personalized Format Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Design Tips & Techniques that sell </li></ul><ul><li>Secrets of Great Copy </li></ul>
  3. 3. Trends for Direct Marketing <ul><li>All marketing will some day be ‘Direct Marketing’ </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Marketing is being made possible by increasingly more comprehensive databases of consumer profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Marketing vehicles: Mail, Web, Phone, TV, Cell Phones, even pagers! </li></ul><ul><li>Mass advertising going by the wayside </li></ul>
  4. 4. Direct Mail Formats that Work <ul><li>#10 (4 1/8 x 9 ½) is the most economical and appropriate for business to business AND it limits your panel sizes on the brochure and the lift note in case you have a big idea to get across to your prospects </li></ul><ul><li>“ 6 X 9” or appropriately smaller are also favorites. They are perfect for more promotional mailers, because they allow for a lot of space with bigger panels that Sell the Dream </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Rules of Direct Mail <ul><li>Always make a offer, strong or even a soft offer </li></ul><ul><li>Special discount off or list price </li></ul><ul><li>Special price for upgrades </li></ul><ul><li>Bundle package </li></ul><ul><li>Premiums </li></ul><ul><li>Special offers for referrals </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Rules…(continued) <ul><li>Give your Offer an Expiration Date </li></ul><ul><li>6-8 weeks from anticipated mail delivery date </li></ul><ul><li>Offer a Guarantee </li></ul><ul><li>30 days is OK </li></ul><ul><li>60 days is Good </li></ul><ul><li>90 days is Great </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Rules…(continued) <ul><li>Offer a premium </li></ul><ul><li>Choose something highly desirable to most people </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t have to be relevant to your product or service </li></ul><ul><li>Control costs (in most cases, try to stay under $5.00) </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Rules…(continued) <ul><li>We encourage You to TEST your price, offer and creative </li></ul><ul><li>How large does your Test cell need to be…. </li></ul><ul><li>Big enough to sell 100+ orders </li></ul><ul><li>Most direct marketers think 5,000 to 7,500 is the minimum cell size, no matter what the response rate has been calculated </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Rules…(continued) <ul><li>The Guiding Principles of Direct Mail Creative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer a Hope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. “A Suitcase for the Exasperated Traveler” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address a fear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. “It’s the Year 2007: Which are You, the Hunter or the Hunted?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain the benefit UP-FRONT! </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Rules…(continued) <ul><li>The Components of your Direct Mail Package…and What They Do </li></ul><ul><li>A multi-element mailing is like a play with several characters. Each piece plays an important role. They all work together to get the drama of your selling message across. </li></ul><ul><li>Outer Envelope </li></ul><ul><li>Order or response form </li></ul><ul><li>Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Brochure </li></ul><ul><li>Business Reply Form </li></ul><ul><li>Lift Note (optional) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Rules…(continued) <ul><li>You should do Multiple Efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Effort #1 mail response =X </li></ul><ul><li>Effort #2 mail response =X *.5 </li></ul><ul><li>Effort #3 mail response =X*.25 </li></ul><ul><li>Total of all three campaigns = </li></ul><ul><li>X+ (x*.25) </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Rules…(continued) <ul><li>The Guiding Principles of Direct Mail Creative </li></ul><ul><li>Offer a hope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. “A suitcase for the Exasperated Traveler” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Address a Fear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e “It’s the Year 2007: Which are you, the Hunter, or the Hunted?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain the Benefit Up-Front! </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. The Letter <ul><li>The letter is the important part of the package </li></ul><ul><li>in which you communicate personally with </li></ul><ul><li>Your recipient. It should read and feel as </li></ul><ul><li>much like you talking as you can make it. </li></ul><ul><li>Here is a checklist for your letter </li></ul><ul><li>Does it have an exciting, captivating and relevant opening? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have a “Johnson box” which reflects the promise that’s made on the envelope? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it read as though you wrote it to a friend of yours? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the sentences and paragraphs address benefits in as a concise a manner as possible? </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Letter…(continued) <ul><li>Checklist for your letter (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>Is the layout open, airy and easy to read? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there other subheads, bullet points and other elements? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it reassure the user that the product/service is easy to learn and use? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you included a P.S.? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you tell the offer right away? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you used a different color like blue for the signature, do you have a website address that the recipient can go to? </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Brochure <ul><li>Once your prospect has become interested in you and what you are offering through your letter, the brochure provides the facts and the details that he or she needs to decide to purchase your product or services . </li></ul><ul><li>Here is a checklist for your Brochure: </li></ul><ul><li>Can you tell the name of your product or services no matter what side of the brochure you see first? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a synopsis somewhere near the top of the brochure that summarizes your key products features or benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it well organized into sections so that readers can move quickly to the area of greatest interest or need? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the name, address, and the phone number of your company somewhere on the brochure? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you show the guarantee, preferably with a bordered box that visually communicates “Guarantee”? </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Order Form <ul><li>This is the one piece that your creative team should spend the most amount of time on to do it right, as well as make it attractive, colorful, easy-to-find and easy-to-understand piece in the entire package. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Order Form…(continued) <ul><li>Some important checkpoints for your order form: </li></ul><ul><li>Is it easy to find in your mail kit? </li></ul><ul><li>Are your return address, phone, fax and web numbers displayed properly and that they work? </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-populate the order form? </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed enough room for the recipient to fill in all of the information themselves? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it easy to read, understand and fill out? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Secrets of Great Direct Mail Copy that Sells….. <ul><li>The only secret to writing great direct mail copy is hard work and that’s no secret. </li></ul><ul><li>Is your copy working hard to convince the reader that he or she should buy or try to buy your product? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself- Would you Buy it? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it back up the compelling things you’ve written with testimonials? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you made it attractive for the reader to buy or try the product from copy that really pumps up a great “offer”? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I allay any fears the reader may have that the product is NOT guaranteed to work properly? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Secrets… (continued) <ul><li>Twelve Rules to follow in your direct mail copy that Sells… </li></ul><ul><li>Always remember that the person you are writing to is someone who will benefit in a definite way from your offer and your product. </li></ul><ul><li>The faster you address a specific “pain-point” or hope and/benefit, the greater the likelihood that people will read on. </li></ul><ul><li>The closer you link your means of response to your offer, the more likely your audience is to respond. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Secrets…(continued) <ul><li>Reassure people that their satisfaction is guaranteed. Emphasize it often. </li></ul><ul><li>The less you tell, the more you sell </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. A product may offer users hundreds of benefits, but they are only likely to remember 5-give them 5 good, strong details on why to buy your product or service. Giving too many details bog the product down. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t buy back the vacuum cleaner. Once you’ve pitched your features and benefits, simply tell them again the offer. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Secrets…(continued) <ul><li>Make sure that every piece in your kit provides and all-in-one summary of the product benefits, the offer and the complete instructions on how to buy or where to redeem your coupon. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: BENEFITS outsells Features </li></ul><ul><li>EVERY TIME- Even for upgrades. </li></ul><ul><li>The more you know about a topic in general, the more creativity that you can bring to a specific creative execution….. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember- its Research, Research, Research! </li></ul>
  22. 22. Secrets…(continued) <ul><li>Very Important: Copy is supported by graphics, not the other way around. It is up to the writer to assert benefits and offers in a clear and interesting way. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: </li></ul><ul><li>In Direct Mail, a picture is only worth a 1,000 words if it is accompanied by copy that convinces the reader to buy! </li></ul>
  23. 23. Secrets…(continued) <ul><li>WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! All writing is re-writing. Samuel Clemons said, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you this long one.” </li></ul><ul><li>Finally…. “You” is the most important word in Direct Mail. Make sure you use it as frequently as good taste allows. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Secrets…(continued) <ul><li>Some Envelope Secrets… </li></ul><ul><li>There are several ways to entice people to open, read and respond to your direct mail kit. </li></ul><ul><li>Simply state your offer (if its great) and you hope that it is. </li></ul><ul><li>Promise to solve a problem, or fulfill a promise or a hope. </li></ul><ul><li>Intrigue the reader with a “teaser”. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Secrets…(continued) <ul><li>“ Johnson Box”: This should always re-inforce-or payoff- the offer as and the teaser on the envelope, it should tell people how to respond. </li></ul><ul><li>First Paragraph of the letter, Use the opening paragraph to grab attention-ideally in away that helps compliment the value of your offer. </li></ul>
  26. 26. How to generate Leads <ul><li>The Most Important element of any direct mail marketing project is the LIST….ITS THE LIST… </li></ul><ul><li>Success in Direct Mail is this… </li></ul><ul><li>The Mailing List is 60% </li></ul><ul><li>The Offer is………20% </li></ul><ul><li>The Copy is ……..15% </li></ul><ul><li>The Design is……. 5% </li></ul>
  27. 27. Secrets…(continued) <ul><li>Now the fun part..Body copy: </li></ul><ul><li>There are many ways to write a letter as there are target audiences-style-tone-punctuation-frequency of offer and call to action can vary immensely. </li></ul><ul><li>Your paragraphs should be as short as possible, that the bullet points are a great way to describe a long list of features and benefits and that every word should be written with the needs of the reader in mind. Thank you. </li></ul><ul><li>James E. Sullivan </li></ul><ul><li>Optic Nerve Direct Marketing Consultant </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>415-647-9462 Telephone-415-647-1616 Fax </li></ul>