Direct response letters, the results based marketing way
Direct mail has been around as long as we have been trying to communicate with each other. Wild West wanted posters are a classic example of early direct response marketing, for some reason the Internet fraternity fail to embrace the power of direct response letters.
Instead, the Internet marketers as a whole decided that the best course for action was to forget any marketing knowledge learnt from traditional business, and to proceed with mass mailing of untested material that ultimately in a very short period destroyed a market place of millions of potential clients and customers.
In less time than it takes a craft’s person to learn, their trade a whole world has been obliterated with bad advertising and shoddy marketing techniques.
As I have said in my previous article entitles ‘The future of network marketing, a need for change’ we are faced with a perception problem they may take years to correct.
If you were about to start a new direct mail campaign, ‘which you are probably not because they make money’ but if you were what would you say to the following suggestions.
1.) Make the envelope compelling with some kind of snag on the font ‘free give a way, you have won etc’.
2.) Keep the sales copy to one compelling page.
3.) Design a high quality sales brochure outlining the brilliant product/service; it unfolds into some sort of snazzy shape such as a phone or car.
4.) Make the mail out different; include something for the person to hold while reading or objects that help convey your idea.
5.) The reply should send the client/prospect to a web site with an integrated campaign to help strengthen your whole concept.
6.) Now send that campaign out and wait for the orders to come flooding in.
When we first started Corporate Image that would pretty much be a good recipe for success. So what has happened?
While we rave on about how the Internet has been spammed into recession, ‘including me in that raving’, the everyday snail mail market place has taken a good beating as well. We constantly go on about testing copy the same can be said for the market place, you have to constantly asses what is working and what is not.
Go to your mail stack now, if you do not have any wait until tomorrow, anyway go through your mail, now look at what you are keeping and what is already in the bin. How much glossy advertising media have you just thrown away?
How much of it has high quality graphics and print on the front, now look at what you are keeping plain isn’t it.
Now this is my new recipe for direct mail success, until I tell you otherwise.
Determine your target market carefully now more than ever we need to really look at who are sending this mail to.
Just for sake of simplicity, I am going to use a model of 10,000 mail outs. Take 10% of your list 1000 people and split them into 5 groups of 200.
You now have your test market ready to go, the next step is to create our copy.
DL envelopes take it from me are the bees knees test further packages to make sure, boxes and unusual items are great to get and hold admire and gee wiz that is good value, but at the end of the day they do not bring in the bacon and they cost a fortune to send out.
Be creative in your simplicity, try a very random colour for the envelope, and try having part of the offer on the front of the envelope.
Come up with 5 options not completely different from each other or you will have to increase your test model.
Try 2 envelopes of different colour but the same printing on them, use 2 more with variants of your best envelope copy, the final one is after you have received the results from the first 800, now look at what came back were the coloured envelopes more successful what copy words worked better.
Now combine the results into two more envelope styles and send them out to 100 2x50 to from the last 200 test cases.
Wait for the results to come back. Look at your results, look at your envelopes now turn those two envelopes into 4 envelopes and send them out to the final 100 4x25 pick the winner from the results and send it to the 9000 people left in your list. You have tested the copy as best as you can without taking it to the tenth degree.
Content information and lots of it and I do not mean pointless dribble, compelling writing that draws your reader in. You want to be aiming for at least four A4 pages of good compelling content. ‘If what your writing does not compel yourself to continue to read it will not compel anyone else to continue reading. Another trick is to be conscious of where your page breaks are, break them mid sentence, to make the reader want to continue reading. Use columns to make it easier to read, it is easier to read down then across.
Glossy brochures look good but do they bring home the goods, artistic licence on brochures can be the kiss of death, sure, they look good, but people want information not pretty pictures. Incorporate the brochure and copy letter to become one, compelling text with graphics to convey the idea with captions associated with the graphics will build a neat picture of the idea you are tying to convey across.
Remember the philosophy behind Solution Based Marketing, the client wants your product or service or they would not be responding to your add/marketing/squeeze page/refurl it is only a matter of presenting your product in a way your client understands and can see how your solution fits his/hers problem.
Ps. Also know as ‘post script’ in the writing world, this is meant to be an afterthought type of entry, this does not apply whatsoever in any sort of marketing. As we have said we as a people are far more educated than we were say 20 years ago, no matter how good your copy is no matter how much you have tested the results, you are not going to change how people react.
In today’s market we are sceptical to say the least, with that comes ‘show me what you are selling syndrome’ , open the mail and straight down to the bottom to see who this annoying person is, this is the exact reason the Ps. Is under your signature, the Ps. Should have as much thought put into it as any other part of the copy, this could be the difference between reading your offer or not.
With the art of writing in mind it is a good idea to forget allot of what you have been taught when it comes to grammar and worldliness, write more as you speak, here is a tip for you, simply write, as you would be telling somebody about your idea. After you have paginated and checked the document, rad through it and remove the words you would not use with people you have not met. Then as always give it to as many friends, family and colleges as you can, test, re test it, a good copy is never finished.
Do not be disheartened direct mail still works brilliantly we just have to keep on our toes to what people are thinking and how they are reacting to marketing in general. We have become slack as a marketing fraternity pull your socks up and put your brain into gear the rewards of intelligent well thought out copy will be bringing in the bacon for years to come.
A bright new world of marketing is opening up I hope you are their to stake your claim in the ever expanding lucrative market place that is the Internet.
About the Author: Patrick Ryall
Founder of the Teeing off Wealth Creation Program
YCWFH Affiliate Support and Wealth Creation
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