How to get your direct mail opened!!

Like most companies, you are probably trying to figure out how to get your marketing messages looked at.  While most companies are relying heavily on electronic solutions, if done right, direct mail can bring you tons of leads and is a very cost effective way to market your business.

But let’s face it, most mailings get lost in the shuffle.  They never even make it to the intended recipient and ultimately get thrown out.  Why is that? They are boring and mostly offer some kind of a deal with some date sensitivity.  You know what I’m talking about:  “Buy Right Now and Get the Best Rates in the History of the World!!”  “Quantities are Limited, Respond Today”

Yeah right.  We all know that tomorrow they will offer something similar or that they have plenty of stock to sell.  Where’s the garbage can???

Although this strategy can work beautifully when you are in a re-engagement campaign with existing or previous clients.  Coming up with a compelling offer to get them re-engaged or to buy more can indeed work.

I’ve personally received many mailings which even utilize fonts which attempt to make them look like a real person hand wrote them.  Those go in the circular file first!!  Same with those companies who try to make their correspondence look like they are from the government or other official entity.  Trying to trick people only gets your mail thrown out faster.

To get mailings read, you must give the target a reason to open the mail and then to look and spend time viewing your message.  In many companies, a letter must first get past the receptionist or administrative assistant before ever even getting onto the desk of the decision maker.  Remember that the job of a good AA is to save time for the decision maker allowing him/her to focus on the most important tasks.

One of the concepts I learned while working for a world-renowned marketing consultant is to send bulky packages rather than just plain letters.  Bulky correspondence will definitely get opened by the gatekeeper.  As we know, getting it opened and looked at is half the battle.  The other half of the battle is to make the message worth reading further.  If your mailing has something cool or unique in it, it will certainly get passed along by the dreaded gatekeeper.  I’ve even seen great mailers which have a gift for the receptionist/administrative assistant to get them to pass along the letter to the decision maker.

Offering “Great Deals” or “Best Deal of the Year” or other similar messages just makes you sound like everyone else and cuts your margins.  Get creative and tie your message to some kind of essential, helpful, interesting content and include a promotional product with your name and contact info on it so that they can easily find you.  The product  should make the mailer relevant, useful, desirable, attractive, have the ability to be used as a reference tool, and mostly to be unique.  Unique gets remembered!!!  When you follow up with a phone call it will be easy to refer to your mailing and if done right, they will remember it!!

Here at ConnectPay, we even created a really unique personalized puzzle.  We sent the first piece and border via overnight delivery, then a few days later the next, until there was only one piece left.  That last piece, which had their name on it, we hand delivered!  The recipients loved this and it got us in the door!!!

You have to earn the right for a prospect to want to do business with you.  Educate them.  Help them.  Position yourself as THE  definitive expert in your field and get them wanting to work with you.  The result is that you will get more new business and at higher margins.  Most people will pay more for an expert, so find a way to get looked at as THE expert in your market in your location.

I’ve seen so many sales executives or small business owners who just want to sell their product or service.  They don’t take a true interest in building long term relationships.  Then they wonder why they have difficulty getting in front of their prospects.  It’s important to realize that you will attract prospects in greater numbers and more quickly if you offer to teach them something of value rather than just trying to sell them something.

I remember years ago while I worked in the publishing business when we were first transitioning from loose-leaf books to CD delivery of content.  Most of the accountants and attorneys were using a computer for the first time.  I created the “Top 10 Tips for using a Desktop Computer” and I went around offering to teach my existing clients and prospects key tips on utilizing the computer.  These tips had nothing to do with my services; they were how to use MS-DOS and then Windows.  This technique got me in front of my prospects and got them looking at me as an expert and a really helpful guy.  When they needed my type of service, I was at the top of the list of publishers whom they called.  Further, my existing clients were very grateful for the information as well and it kept them loyal to me.  Many of my customers wouldn’t even speak with my competitors!

How can you do this in your business?? If you are in mortgages, offer a report teaching prospects about something related to mortgages like “The Biggest Mistakes Most Homeowners Make When Refinancing” rather than just saying that “rates have dropped, call us now”.   If you are in Real Estate, send homeowners a mailing teaching them about preparing a home for sale rather than just saying that you “have many years of experience and have helped many other homeowners to sell their homes”.   If you sell telephone systems, instead of calling and telling them that you can save them a lot of money and make them more efficient by purchasing a new phone system, how about a report on the “biggest mistakes small businesses make with their phone systems” or “top ten problems with most voice mail messages”.   Hairstylist??  Instead of offering discounts to attract new clients, how about offer a report on how to best keep the color in hair or keep those curls curled!  While rates may have dropped, you may have indeed helped many other homeowners, have saved some companies time and money on their phones; or offered a 25% discount to new client, who really cares?  It’s what all your competitors are saying as well and just makes you sound like one more of the pack.

Instead, teach them something of value and get them wanting to speak with you, the local expert.

Get creative, educate and earn!!!

Mitch Zucker
ConnectPay Payroll Services
2352 Main Street, Suite 303
Concord, Ma 01742
978-319-4104 fax
774-218-9486 mobile

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