A lot of consumers (and this would include many of your potential customers) make no distinction between “direct mail” and “junk mail.” That’s unfortunate, because well-done direct mail can be an effective part of your overall integrated marketing strategy.
It’s not surprising, because there has been a lot of junky direct mail produced over the years. Let’s look at three basic reasons why people who receive it consider it junk. And let’s also talk about what you can do to ensure that mailings your send aren’t perceived this way.
Some businesses simply can’t come to grips with the fact that not everyone is their potential customer. The result is that they send their messages to the wrong people. Let’s say you sell swimming pool supplies. If you send your message to people who don’t have pools, they aren’t going to respond. Your message has no value to them. Something that has no value is junk. Not only are you irritating these people, but you’re also wasting your money trying to talk to someone who is not interested in what you have to say. And selecting your list purely on the basis of household income doesn’t help. Just because someone can afford a pool doesn’t mean they have one. You need to be more specific in your list selection.
Even if you manage to select the correct audience, it doesn’t mean your message has value. The content of your direct mail piece needs to speak to the needs, wants, and desires of the people receiving it. If all you’re interested in is selling your product or service, that doesn’t give your mailing value. And without value it’s junk. What gives it value? When you answer a question the recipient has, or when you solve a problem he or she is facing. If your direct mail is about you, it has no value. If it’s about them it does. Make sure your content delivers value to your recipient.
Just because you’ve correctly identified your audience and given them good, helpful information doesn’t make your mailing valuable. You still need to give readers a clear, simple, easy way to do something about their problem. You’ve got to provide a clear call to action. What do you want the recipient to do? Don’t just send them to the home page of your website and make them wander around looking for more information. Take them to a landing page where they can request more information or place an order.
We’d like to think of ourselves as your “Direct Mail Friend.” But friends don’t let friends do junk mail. Following the three simple steps above can help you deliver direct mail that has value. Then you can use direct mail more effectively as part of your overall integrated marketing approach.