Believe it or not, most people—even your best potential clients—aren’t sitting around waiting for your next direct mailing to show up in their mailbox. That’s right! Even people who should care about what you have to say may not notice your message.
In order for your direct mail to be opened and read (let alone get a response) it needs to answer three questions: Is this really for me? How will this benefit me? Can I trust this? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Is this really for me?
There are at least two ways that this question is important. First of all, the name and address on your mailer needs to be correct. Sure, that’s obvious, but it’s important. If you’re using direct mail to engage someone in a significant way (whether it’s selling, soliciting a donation, or encouraging involvement) it’s crucial to get the name and title correct. When I receive a mailing addressed to, “Our dear friend Wiz Puwell,” I know two things: I’m not really a “dear friend,” and I’m probably not going to respond. Making sure your info is accurate is really important.
It’s also important that the content really be intended for me. I don’t own a swimming pool, so I really don’t want to receive offers for swimming pool supplies. Make sure your list is really made up of the people you’re trying to reach.
How will this benefit me?
Just because you know I’m a car owner doesn’t mean I’m interested in the car-related items you’re pitching. I need to know that what you’re talking about is going to specifically benefit me—is it going to help me get better performance from my Shelby Cobra? Is it going to help me find replacement parts for my classic Corvette? Are you going to help me do something I can’t do on my own?
Can I trust this?
There are a couple of sides to this question as well. First, you need to make a good impression on me. If your mailer is poorly designed or poorly written, I’m probably not going to be inclined to do business with you. Or if you tricked me to get me to open your package, there is no chance I’m going to let you anywhere near my credit card!
Beyond that, I need to be convinced that you know what you’re talking about. If you can’t give me helpful, accurate information about what you have to offer, I’m not going to trust you to help me with whatever I need.
Before you send out your next mailing ask yourself if it answers those three questions for the person receiving it. If your mailing doesn’t speak to your audience, there’s not much chance they’ll be speaking to you anytime soon.