How to Know if Direct Mail Will Work for Your Business
Here's a great lesson that applies to direct mail. Ready? Some people say one thing and do the opposite.
In other words ...
One shouldn't pay attention to what people say they'll do as much as what they actually DO.
For example, it seems most readers of the National Enquirer don't want to admit they read it. Just ask people, "You read that tabloid stuff?"
"No way! Not me."
Maybe they're afraid of looking silly to others? Maybe their embarrassed to admit buying a paper with headlines like, "Brad Runs To Jen As Angelina Lays Down The Law."
Perhaps they fear people will think they're too shallow? Un-sophisticated?
What matters to the National Enquirer, of course, is that millions of readers each week buy it. Whether folks admit to reading tabloids or not there are a whole lot of those papers being sold. So the old rule applies? Don't pay attention to what people SAY they do as much as what they DO.
What's this got to do with direct mail?
If anyone should LOVE direct mail it would be a magazine editor. Direct mail is used to sell millions of magazine subscriptions each year.
But check out what William Baldwin - - editor of Forbes magazine - - wrote in the July 4th 2005 issue:
"The junk mail industry, says Chana Schoenberger in the story beginning on page 90, is giving a new lease on life to Xerox. This firm sells a $500,000 color printer ideal for customized advertising circulars.
Junk is a lucrative sector of the ad business, with a $51 billion annual volume that dwarfs the outlays for magazine advertising. Lucrative, and wasteful. I don't know if the catalogs I get from Land's End cost more to make than the shirts, but surely they weigh more.
Between printing and mailing it costs at least half a buck to send a first-class pitch to someone. If 90% of the recipients chuck the envelope unopened into a wastebasket, then the pitchman is spending $5 just to get one advertisement read. Isn't there a better way of getting people's attention? ?"
Now? please ignore the fact Mr. Baldwin writes this even as he gets a Land's End catalog in the mail.
This means, of course, that either he, or his wife probably bought something from it. Which is why he continues getting a Land's End catalog in the mail regularly.
Also ignore the fact that direct mail sales letters have been used to launch prominent magazine-publishing empires over the years.
Mr. Baldwin says direct mail is lucrative (for the "junk mail industry") yet wasteful (for those using it) at the same time. Am I missing something here? Doesn't he know much advertising is "wasteful", and direct mail sellers only mail things out over and over again because it's profitable?
How many advertising dollars are spent (and wasted) targeting people who won't buy because they're not the right audience for the sales pitch? How much ad money is wasted paying for commercials on T.V. nobody watches?
Direct Mail is Targeted Marketing
There's no better? or more cost efficient way? of reaching those most interested (and most likely to buy) your product or service than direct mail. And after you reach the person most likely to buy you're able to hit all their emotional hot buttons. Give them all the reasons they should buy from you. Tell them your story. Person-to-person.
Is there any waste? Sure there is.
People live busy lives. Even if your sales pitch reaches the right person it may not reach them at the right moment in time.
They might not have time to read it today. Or this week. They might not be ready to buy again. Your pitch might end up in the trash before it even gets read.
Overall ... doesn't matter. Know why?
Because if you've mailed correctly a certain percentage of prospects are going to read your pitch. They're going to respond they way you want them to.
They're going to buy ... or call for more information ... or send for the free sample. You're going to be offering people something they want. Maybe even something that makes their life easier. Or helps them out in some way. Or lets them be more productive. Or enhances their quality of life somehow.
So how do you know if direct mail is good for you?
Well ? despite everything you may have read about response rates ? the test is simple.
First thing though ... forget about the fact everyone says they don't like getting "junk" mail. The majority of people who get lots of "junk" mail (and say they don't like it) get on mailing lists after buying something through the mail.
Determine beforehand if a mailing can make money on paper ... then do a live test mailing. If, for example, you get a 16% response rate but your overall mailing costs exceed your net profits then your mailing is a failure.
Bottom line ? if your net profits from a direct mail campaign are a lot higher than your costs to do the mailing then you've got a winner.
Some direct mail companies run successful advertising campaigns with less than a 1% response rate. They mail millions of ad pieces. But their mailing costs are low relative to their huge profits - - even with low response rates.
Response rates aren't nearly as important as actual profit margins.
Small businesses usually can't keep mailing costs extremely low. If you don't mail tens-of-thousands of pieces you won't be able to get letters and envelopes printed in bulk for pennies-a-piece. Don't let that bother you.
If the numbers work ? and your product or service is priced right ? then maybe only a few orders out of every 100 sales letters will make money.
So what are you waiting for?
Sit down. Work the numbers. Do a test mailing.
I bet if you think about it hard enough you'll be able to figure out a way to make direct mail work for you. If you need some help contact me. And don't worry about what people say. Pay attention to what they do.
Joe Farinaccio is a direct-response copywriter. Joe specializes in writing sales letters and direct mail packages for small businesses. To learn how you can do direct marketing for your business, or get help with your sales letters and direct mail packages visit his website at http://www.sales-letters-and-marketing.com
Become a Storyteller Not an Advertiser and Watch Your Traffic Increase
When you read the newspaper, do you read advertisements as closely as you read news stories? Do you believe advertising as readily as you believe news stories? I don't and neither do most people I know.
Predictions for 2010
2005 puts us at the mid-point of the first decade of the new millenium. What will things look like at the end of the 1st decade of the new millenium in the world of advertising? I thought I'd project where the ad industry is headed and what 2010 (or sooner) might look like. This two-part article will take those discussions a few steps further. First, we'll look at a scenario that is likely to be common by 2010 when the heretofore separate worlds of TV advertising, search marketing, behavioral targeting and inventory yield management blend together. If you buy some of this scenario, it's interesting to look at the implications for ad agencies. In part two, I'll speculate on the likelihood of Google being the biggest "ad agency" in world. If you look through the prism I lay out, it will cause you to think differently about where the industry is headed whether or not you agree with some of the specifics.
Offline Advertising Secrets: Using Offline Advertising to Get the Most from Your Name Squeeze Page
Many people online are not using one of the best advertising methods around. I'm talking about offline print advertising. I've been using it since 1998, and I have a secret to share with you. Over 60% of my online business comes from offline print advertising. I know that 60% sounds very high, but it's because I use offline print advertising as my main advertising method.
Yellow Page Advertisers: Your Calls are Going to Decrease - Heres the Remedy
Response rates to Yellow Page advertising are declining
See How to Advertise and Gain More Money to Blast Another Project
We have a Great News that we think that may interest you as a Business owner. It is about a Advertising Agency that are preparing to launch and incredible system to help business to earn constant cashflow.
Why Your Ads Aren?t Working
The president of a manufacturing company recently asked me, "Why isn't my advertising working?" Have you ever been asked this question? Have you ever asked it yourself?
Printing - How Do I Buy It?
Why should I care where I get my printed material from, I'll just go for tenders and go with the low bidder. If you do this probably you won't be in business for long or you'll never really run a successful business. My company, Solutions Ink started from the premise that I don't just sell printed products but rather I help businesses grow and prosper. Being in the business for over 20 years I've seen how the industry and the market have changed. Gone are the days you could charge what you want and deliver any quality good's. With global competition so great, the product must be perfect and your price must be competitive just for you to survive. That being said what should I look for in a printing company. First you should explain what you do and how you do it,to your printer. It is his job with his expertise to decide what product he should offer you. Today there are offset presses, digital presses, web presses and each one is appropriate for a different type of job.
Placemat Ad Advertising
Starting a placemat ad business can create more business for you; free advertising and income all while helping other local small businesses advertise their business all at a reasonable price.
For All Those People Who Struggle With Benefits and Features
For Everyone Who Has Ever Struggled Sorting Out Benefits From Features - "SWAT Them!"
Offline Advertising Tips
Since most of us are always online and our business is online, we often forget the importance of advertising our business offline. Print advertising can be one of the best forms of advertising for your buck. Why? Well, with print advertising it's in the form of hard copy and is always in view of your potential customers. Thats just one small example. Think about your daily newspaper...try hiding that in your email box! The following are just a few hints and ideas for you to consider before you place an offline advertising campaign.
Do I Need Raised Letter or Full Color Business Cards?
If you've been searching around for business cards that will best represent the image you want to portray for your business, then you've no doubt encountered many options. The Big Two, as I like to think of them, are "Raised Letter" and "Full Color."
Write Attention Getting Advertisements
The most important aspect of any business is selling the product or service. Without sales, you aren't generating any income and your business will die. All sales begin with advertisments. To build sales the ad must get the buyer to act. The ad writer must know what he or she wants the buyer to do.
Is Your Advertising... Sexy?
Ever hear the term 'sexy' advertising? It's not necessarily what you think. Sure, some people's idea of sexy advertising is hot babes in bikinis spraying beer all over each other, but that's overtly sexual and not what we're about to discuss here.
Where To Call For Free Advertising And Free Business Advice
Believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to get your written materials free of charge, for free advertising space, and free business advice.
The Truth in Advertising
Most of us have seen at least a dozen different toothpaste commercials that claim, "Three out of four dentists recommend...." You may have wondered, as I did, how each of these claims could be possibly be true. They are based on statistical evidence, so why are there such varied results? If you listen to advertising, there seems to be no clear consensus on which health-related products--aspirin, cough syrup, antihistamines--are the best.
How To Make A Fortune With FREE Advertising!
How To Gain FREE Advertising That Will Make You Rich!
9 Tips for Better Billboards
It is a given that billboard advertising "outdoor" is not a "quick fix". If sales are down, you can't quickly put up a few boards to boost the numbers. You must plan ahead.
How to Advertise with Flyers
When you first start out on your business venture, money is usually tight but you still need to advertise. One of the most affordable, yet very effective, ways to begin your advertising campaign is with flyers. Flyers are simply full page ads that are distributed directly to your potential customers. There are several ways in which they can be distributed.
Media Savvy - How To Lead, Persuade And Influence
The ability to lead, persuade and influence are integral skills for effective managers. The capability of telling a story that inspires, motivates and informs is an essential part of this process. In an age of convergence in the media and increased scepticism over traditional communication methods, a new breed of managers and leaders is emerging that sees the media as an opportunity and not a threat. They use the media in a pro-active way to build their organisation's image, reputation and identity.
Whats On Your Business Card?
A professional business card says more about you and your business than any other tool in your marketing arsenal. You need a card that looks good, tells what you do and makes it easy to contact you.
|home | site map|