Direct Marketing Success: Tricks or Treats?

direct marketing successDon’t bother checking your calendar. The end of October is still a long way off. But for those of us engaged in marketing businesses or organizations, the question of “trick or treat?” is always relevant.

Whether we use direct mail, email, social media, or some other form of marketing to get our message out, we’re always on the lookout for something that will give us an edge—something that will help us stand out from the competition. It’s why we sign up for seminars and webinars that promise us “10 Surefire Tricks to Get Marketing Results.”

But are they the results you really want?

If you’re using direct mail, one of the surefire ways to get your mail opened is to send it in a hand-addressed, invitation-style envelope. It will almost always get opened. If you’re employing email, a really compelling subject line that promises benefit goes a long way to getting recipients to open the mail (some marketers used to rely on words like “FREE” to get people to open their emails. Now that lands a message in the Spam Filter Penitentiary).

But is getting people to open your mail or email really the result you’re after? Then what? It’s fine to have compelling offers (as a matter of fact, you’re dead in the water if you don’t). But you’ve got to back up your claims once you get someone to open your letter or your email. And tricks almost always backfire—eventually. You may get someone to open your letter or email once. But if what’s inside doesn’t live up to the promise on the outside, you won’t get them to do it again. Let’s be honest . . . “open rates” don’t mean much if you don’t make the sale.

Treats, on the other hand, can be extremely effective. We’re not talking about bribing someone with freebies or premiums. We’re talking about offering people something that’s useful—something that has genuine value.  If you offer potential clients “Three Tips That Will Save You $500” and those tips actually do what they say, you’ll have people coming back to your site the next time you make an offer. You will have established trust and credibility by delivering what you said you would. When it’s time to make a purchase, these people are much more inclined to trust you with their money—because they know you deliver value. If you trick them with your offer (like making them pay you for the three tips), you’ll never reach them again.

What “treats” can you offer your prospective customers?

5 steps that will impact your business