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Direct Mail Marketing Strategies for Professionals & Small Businesses

In spite of the fact that there are so many ways to reach out to prospective customers, these days, direct mail marketing can still be an effective way to generate leads. The keys to direct mail success are the same as they've always been because human nature hasn't changed.

The first priority in using direct mail techniques to generate sales leads is to make sure that you've clearly identified your target audience and that you're mailing your sales letters or promotional postcards to that list of qualified prospects. Direct mail marketing is only cost effective if you're reaching people who would be predisposed to being interested in your offer. The ideal mailing list would be prospects who have already expressed interest in you product or service.

Once you've taken steps to make sure you have a list of qualified prospects, the next hurdle is to try to get as many people to open the envelope as possible. Two ways to accomplish that objective are to always address the envelope to a specific person, rather than "occupant", and to put some sort of 'teaser' message on the envelope that would arouse curiosity or interest. One of the advantages of sending postcards instead of letters is that the first hurdle is already eliminated (there is no envelope to open). Postcard mailings can be less expensive because of lower postage and less paper, but the disadvantage is that there's less space to put your message.

If you have an up-to-date mailing list of qualified prospects, it often pays to send them multiple mailings. Good timing, persistence, and creating recognition are three factors that can work in your favor when you're trying to win over new clients and customers

Remember... people are exposed to hundreds of sales messages during the week—sometimes thousands—so it's important for your direct mail message to stand out among all the other sales pitches.

All successful marketing messages must accomplish the following objectives:

  • Grab your prospects' attention
  • Catch their interest
  • Create a feeling of desire
  • Compel your prospect to take action
Another element of success in direct mail pieces is to make the message easy to read. In marketing letters, use headlines, bullet points, paragraphs, an occasional use of bold lettering and even a splash of color, here and there. You want to make it as easy as possible for your prospect to skim the message and pick out the important points.

Most importantly, you want your contact information to be as easy to find as possible—especially your phone number. Make sure to have a clear "call for action" in your message, in which you strongly suggest that your prospect contacts you for more information or to take advantage of you offer. You might want to refer them to your website for more details, updates, or even a money-saving coupon.

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