Direct Mail Tips and Tricks
(Why direct mail may be even more effective in the New Economy)
by: John S. Cohoat
In this digital age, many like to tell you that direct mail is dead. No one reads their mail and you certainly will get much more out of free email marketing or social media. They are all ignorant of what really works so don’t buy into this line of thinking. Direct mail is alive and well…. And it will never go away as a tried and true media for most businesses.
So, if direct mail is dead, why do I get 8-10 pieces of mail from all kinds of different sources every day? Just an example of some of the mail I’ve gotten recently:
• Multiple political “surveys” with a request for my opinion and my money.
• Faith based mailings telling me about events or offering books, CDs or DVDs always with an opportunity to give.
• Catalogues for classic car and truck parts.
• Postcards with plastic keys attached inviting me to take them to a local car dealer to see what I’ve won.
• Catalogues for golf equipment or repair.
• Catalogues for firearms and ammunition.
• Readers’ Digest Sweepstakes mailing
• Invitations to local business seminars.
• Invitations to financial planning luncheons or dinners.
Many of these are large national mailers who are obviously investing millions in direct mail marketing.
So, the question for you, oh master of “internet marketing”, why in the world would all these organization do this? Are they just stupid? Or, are they making money?
Oh, any by the way, if you open up some of these mailings, you will see long, long sales letters, testimonials, lift letters, order forms, pictures, etc. Sounds like the typical direct mail pieces that guys like Scott and I tell you about all the time.
So, direct mail works. And, it makes you money… more money than you will make from other media, especially if you are a small business. You can’t afford to have a real impact on radio and TV. And, the Internet… no harm in trying (other than all the time you lose and some investment in web sites, etc.), but if you want real bang for your marketing bucks, use direct mail.
Before you go off half-cocked with direct mail, investigate a little. There are great sales letter and postcard templates you can obtain. Vendors that can give you mailing sequences and mailers that will have an impact. List companies. Your own lists. (Plus, great strategic marketing consultants and copywriters who know what they’re doing.)
And, in another article I talked to you about sales copy, the kind that works. I gave you a checklist of all the critical elements of direct response sales copy. So, don’t send out some crappy postcard one time and think you will get results. It won’t work and then you will say that direct mail doesn’t work. Crappy marketing never works. Sorry, you’ve got to study a little and put some time and money into this.
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