When done correctly, direct mail can be a highly effective resource for MSPs and VARs, especially when it’s coordinated with email and social media marketing efforts. StorageCraft has developed several customizable direct mail templates as part of our Partner Marketing Toolkit to help our partners market their services to their clientele. I believe strongly that direct mail should be part of any healthy marketing strategy, so I thought it would be appropriate here to provide 10 ways to help you develop and implement effective direct mail campaigns:
- Creativity is king: In marketing, creativity is ultra-important. Think about what gives your creative juices a boost and really spend some time thinking about how to grab your customers’ attention.
- Provide a strong call to action and an easy way to respond: Once you’ve got them reading your piece, you’ve got to tell them what you want them to do, and then make it easy to do it. Make sure you are prepared on the back end. Most likely you’ll need a high-quality web landing page where your customers can go for more information and to respond to your offer. This unique landing page will also make it easier to track the overall response to your campaign.
- Refuse bad copywriting, bad grammar and no proofing: This is arguably the most important element of the entire piece. First, you’ve got to know when to be clever, witty, funny, serious, etc.—so make sure you know your target audience. Second, while the whole world may be using text message language right now, don’t allow your direct mail marketing to go this route. There is no excuse for bad grammar, misspellings or folksy acronyms that your target audience may, or may not understand. And third, make sure to have multiple people proof your direct mail piece before it goes out. There is nothing worse than looking “stupud” in front of your customers or prospective customers.
- Know your target audience: I said it before, but do you really know them? When is the last time you did a customer audit to figure out what motivates them to buy from you? This is the birth place of an effective direct mail offer.
- Use a good designer and printer: Yes, it matters. A good designer is worth their weight in gold because they will make you look like a million bucks. Then, when you get that beautiful design, DON’T PRINT IT ON YOUR OFFICE COPIER! Always use a professional printer. They can give your direct mail piece that polished, professional look, and they may even be able to save you time by handling the “letter shop” duties of sorting, labeling, and mailing as well.
- Don’t go cheap on the postage: Sometimes it makes more sense to pay a little more to ensure your direct mail piece arrives at a certain time. Is it worth more to spend more if you ultimately get a better response? You bet it is! I once sent a post card containing important calendar events to my target audience at the lowest postage rate possible. The post card arrived a week after the events had already taken place. The cost of my embarrassment and poor event attendance far surpassed what I saved in postage.
- Integrate with other marketing: So many small businesses and entrepreneurs have missed out on the chance to tie in their direct marketing with other marketing efforts. Today it’s a natural fit to use direct mail marketing to drive people to a Web site, blog, Facebook page, Twitter page, etc.
- Don’t be a “one and done” direct mail marketer: If you’re going to just send out one direct mail marketing piece and then expect huge results, don’t waste your time. All you’ll do is create more trash for your local landfill. Direct mail marketing is a commitment that pays off over time.
- Create a direct mail strategy with a calendar and plan out the year: Above all else, develop a long-term game plan so that your direct mail marketing can become a strategic part of your overall marketing effort. Direct mail marketing can be an expensive endeavor if you just shoot from the hip.
- Don’t forget to test: Direct mail marketing is the art of constant testing. You’ve got to be committed to trying different approaches from everything like design and copy to packaging and offers.
I hope you find these tips helpful, and as always, I would love to hear from you about how we can improve the direct mail templates we provide as part of our Partner Marketing Toolkit. Best wishes.