When I talk to people about their direct marketing campaigns, the big question I always get it, “what makes a successful direct marketing campaign?” My answer…”Everything!”
There is a ton of factors that you need to think about before diving into any marketing campaign, and the same rules apply to direct marketing. We can spend all day on the nitty-gritty of a sound direct marketing campaign, but there are 3 main items that you need to focus on to be successful with your DM campaign.
- The List (L): DO NOT SEND A MARKETING MESSAGE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE SENDING IT TO. Sorry for yelling, but this is the most overlooked, yet most important aspect of the direct marketing campaign. Think about the product that you are promoting and think about who buys that product, who can’t live without that product, and who needs your product but just doesn’t know it yet. First place to turn is your own house list. Second would be to purchase a list, but I would not go this task alone, you may be penetraing your market deep enough. 9 of 10 times the house list is not up to par at all! This is a problem, but there is a solution.- Identify a few top clients that are currently buying and enjoying your product and would potentially talk great things about your product.
– Go to your list broker, marketing service provider, or printer and have them mimic the profile of your top clients in a purchased list. This will be a strong base of the type of client you would like to have more of, in your business.
You may find that this list isn’t your normal 10,000 record list, and that is OK. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend the money to buy, print, and mail to 10,000 records when I could get the some or better results with 2,000. Your time spent with your MSP at this phase should be high quality time; think about who your recipients are and what they mean to your business.
- The Offer (O): Often called the call-to-action, the offer is something that needs to tell the recipient that if they DO something and react to your DM campaign, they will get something of VALUE out of it, not just some THING. Believe it or not, people love to be educated; white papers or other industry specific information that could help the recipient make an educated purchase of your products will help you with a possible buyer’s remorse situation. Make sure that the offer is lucrative enough to make an impact and worth the time to interact with your campaign. But looking too good to be true can have an adverse affect on the campaign as well. Keep it simple and clear. If a recipient has to go the Alice’s Wonderland to get their free thing of value, they won’t bother. I’ve often said to myself, “Boy, that would be nice to have or take advantage of.” But if it’s too much work, its not going to work.
- The Creative (C): This is where people spend most of their time, ignore the other 2, and then blame their designer or agency when the campaign doesn’t work. The creative must be engaging and pleasing to the eye; it should be simple and clear, like your offer. The creative should fit the product you are selling and should be personalized to the audience in which you are sending the piece to. However, it should not be the basis of where you are spending your valuable time. If you think about the people on your list and the offer first, the message and design will come naturally. Moreover, with the technology of variable data printing, literally each mail piece can be different for each recipient.
These three elements are extremely important to carry out when developing a direct marketing campaign. Each has a degree of detail that you may be able to execute, but the concept is still the same.
L.O.C. down these tactics for a very successful campaign.