Direct Mail Secrets: How to Convey Your Message Via Words and Images
September 20, 2013
In my piece entitled Why the
Pony Express and the Penny Black Still Beat Social Media I explained how, when
you use a carefully designed direct mail campaign, you can beat social media
In that first article I
explained that to work well a direct mail campaign needed to be carefully
planned and that you needed to profile your ideal recipient, get a carefully
targeted mailing list and design a compelling envelope that the recipients just
had to open. But there's more.
The example given was one
where the potential customers for the product being promoted were bats experts.
So we put a stunning image of a bat on the envelope and only sent it to people
with an expertise in bats!
OK, so you probably don't
sell to bat experts; but it is possible
to define your target audience and find an image that suits your target
The purpose of the envelope
isn't to sell anything. It is to compel
them to open the envelope in the right frame of mind and not throw your mailshot
in the bin.
Give them Buying Messages
The next stage is to present
your prospect with the right messages to ensure they eventually buy. But before that there are a few other things
you need to do. If you only focus on
selling you will miss out on some great opportunities. In the case of our bat
expert prospects we had their names and addresses but we didn't have their
email addresses so, before trying to sell to them, we took an opportunity to
obtain their email address.
To do that we had carefully
designed our call to action to move from the traditional world to the digital world and asked them to
register their interest online. This is
a monumental leap. They not only needed
to trust us enough to give us their email address, they also had to move from a
paper environment to a digital environment.
This isn't easy as it might mean putting down the letter, opening up a
laptop or turning on a PC and possibly getting distracted by email and a
hundred other things. So we had to
really convince them to do this.
The first step in convincing
them was to build a persuasive trail of breadcrumbs that led to their digital
device. In the envelope were two pieces
of paper. A letter and a leaflet.
The letter explained several
- the problem they had (current bat boxes were
made of a "Concrete" type material, were imported, unsustainable
and very heavy)
- the solution, (our bat box was environmentally
friendly, light weight and made of wood from sustainable woodlands in the
- how to get a sample of the bat box that they could
trial in the real world (in other worlds don't take our word for how good
it is, try it for yourself at our risk).
So our letter explained
their problem, a perfect solution and gave them a way to test the solution at
no financial risk (this is often called risk reversal).
Present all Messages in Two Formats
The leaflet did much the
same but presented the story in a more visual style. With a series of images in what was effectively a really easy to
understand instruction manual. So it
didn't matter if you they were visual people or preferred their information in
written format; we had both sides of the equation covered.
More than that. We carefully designed the order that the inserts
were put in the envelope so that, when opened, the leaflet came out with great
images of bats on display. There is no guarantee
on how people open envelopes but you
can load the dice in your favour!
next step is to get them to read the copy in the letter or on the leaflet and
I'll explain how that is done in the next in this series of direct mail secrets. But remember the principles I explain here are achievable by anyone if you adapt them to yopur products, service and prospects.
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