Sometimes we just ask too much out of our direct mail efforts. Budgets are tight. Resources (both financial and personnel) are scarce. We’re all trying to do more with less. It can be tempting to stretch those resources by trying to make their direct mail efforts “kill two (or more) birds with one stone.” Instead of sticking with a single well-designed purpose, with a compelling offer and a clear call to action, we pack a direct mail piece with too much information and multiple action options.
You’ve seen mailers that are poster children for this approach. Every square inch of the card, flier, or letter is jammed with information and graphics that compete for attention and demand action.
That’s asking too much of your direct mail piece—and of your readers. There are two areas you need to focus on if you want your efforts to succeed: Simplification and Integration.
Simplification. Keep your direct mail goals and objectives simple. Make sure you know what the goal of your mailing is. Having multiple offers in your mailing can actually supress responses. Figure out what one thing you want readers to do and then make it obvious and easy for them to do it.
One of the temptations businesses have is to overload their mailers with information. And while it’s true that potential customers need good information in order to make purchasing decisions, it has to be the right information and it has to be delivered in the right way. How do you accomplish that? You let the customer decide. Your direct mail piece lets your potential customer know that you understand his or her concern, need, or problem. And it let’s them know that you may have a solution. But it doesn’t go into detail. It allows your customer to discover that for herself. And that’s where integration comes in.
Integration. Your website has virtually unlimited capabilty to deliver content. You can use your direct mail efforts to direct potential customers to landing pages where they can request specific, detailed information. Or you can have a resource page on your site that offers helpful downloads (white papers, special reports, ebooks, etc.). And you don’t have to worry about overloading visitors with information. This is content they are selecting themselves. By integrating your direct mail with your online resources, you offer more helpful information—while allowing your potential customers to select what’s helpful to them.
In today’s market, direct mail is still a good way to capture attention and make potential customers aware that you can help them. But nobody has the budget to send out catalogs and brochures to people who haven’t requested that level of information. Driving potential customers to your online information (whether it’s your blog, your special reports, your case studies, or even your online catalog) let’s your potential clients select the amount of information that’s appropriate for them. And it costs you a lot less to get that information to them.
Don’t ask your direct mail (or your potential customers) to do to much. Simplify and integrate.