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Part 1 of 3: Your Direct Mail Basics

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Part 1 of 3: Your Direct Mail Basics

While some of you are NOT direct-mail marketers, the astute marketer would apply these strategies with all sorts of other marketing channels: online, television and more.

I am not a great fan of the United States postal service overall. There's no doubt in my mind that it is a poorly managed, inefficient, financially troubled operation, sadly in need of reform.

But in spite of all its faults, that system gives you a powerful and effective sales force at a bargain price. Using the postman as your salesman via direct mail advertising is a great bargain.

And one of the most effective marketing strategies available to most businesses, direct mail gives the marketer tremendous control over the sales process.

Properly used, direct mail and following direct mail principles can be one of the most effective and cost efficient mark strategies you'll ever find for your business.

Here are the 3 basics of any direct mail marketing process you may choose to create:

- Audiences to mail (beyond just demographics)
- How to draft your offer
- Designing for revenue

While some of you are NOT direct-mail marketers, the astute marketer would apply these strategies with all sorts of other marketing channels: online, television and more.

People should also compile their own mailing list beyond just demographical outreach.

For one thing, you should maintain an up to date mailing list of all your customers and clients. Direct mail can stimulate additional business, introduce new products and services or promote sales or special offers.

You can also build prospect lists of your own in many different ways. If people call your business for information, your staff should be trained to get the caller’s name, address, and email. If you exhibit at trade or consumer shows, you might use a free prize drawing or some similar method to obtain all the show attendees’ names and addresses.

You can also compile your own list from business directories, chamber of commerce directories, association directories, and other similar sources.

Success is found in repetition. You should think in terms of mailing offers and information to the same list 3-5 times during a 12 month period, not just once.

The list or list selection is the starting point of the direct mail marketing process. Then second comes the development of a matching offer.

The offer you make in a direct mail package needs to be carefully thought out and matched as closely as possible to the interests, needs and motivations of the list. And as a general rule of thumb, the more specifically matched the offer and list are the higher the response rate.

Here are two simple examples to help you understand this idea.

Example One: John’s Sporting Goods Store mails a brochure about his upcoming sale on skiing and hiking equipment to every resident in his store's neighborhood. His offer may be great, 25% to 50% discounts OR a free gift for everyone who comes in. But his response will still probably be very low because of a high waste factor in his mailing.

Let's say John mailed 10,000 brochures. The resident list may cost only 35 to $40 per thousand names, so approximately $350 to $400 for 10,000 names. Printing the bulk mailers would cost about 5 cents each, for a total of $500. Plus postage of $2,200, all costs would be about $3050-$3100 total.

In that mailing, as few as 15 to 25 people may come in, a response rate of only .25%. But that's deceptive, because of the 10,000 residents mailed, only a thousand of them may be interested in skiing or hiking

Example Two: John’s Sporting Goods Store mails the exact same offer, but he only mails a 1,000 brochures to a list of people in his store's neighborhood who are subscribers to skiing or hiking magazine.

We’ll assume John gets the same results as he would with the costly, less sophisticated example number one.

John's list acquisition cost will be much higher, costing $150 or even $200 for just the thousand names. And the cost of printing the brochures will go up dramatically per unit, about 20 cents each or $200 total. But with postage at the same rate, costing $220, John’s total costs are $570 to $620 for this second example.

So John saves almost $2,000 in postage by calling the waste factor out of his mailing audience, costing him $2,500 less with the sophisticated approach.

Here are the ingredients that can be used in most offers:

1. Something new: new products, new services, new prices
2. A sale or specially discounted prices
3. Bonus or premium for purchasing, or even just for coming in
4. A gift for responding
5. A time limit (urgency) on the offer to stimulate prompt response.

And the best offer includes all five of these ingredients.

The third stepping stone to direct mail success is the mailing piece itself: the design and the copy.

I want you to understand that it is not necessary or even advisable for you to engage the expensive services of graphic designers or ad agencies to create your direct mail pieces.

If you will make the format decision yourself, write the copy yourself and provide some graphic components yourself, then you have your piece prepared by a small storefront printer and his type center.

An ad agency or graphic designer may charge you several hundred to a thousand dollars just to design a simple direct mail piece. Most small and medium sized businesses do not need to incur such costs.

You then have to write the copy that will present your offer and tell your story.

I've written all of my own advertising copies since the 1970s and have never had any formal education in advertising. I'm self-taught through studying the many excellent how-to books readily available, and through practice.

This is a very valuable skill and I urge most business people and entrepreneurs to develop the ability to write good advertising copy. There are two main reasons for this first. It's very costly to have your advertising materials written by a good professional copywriter or consultant. I charge between $3000 and $5,000, and my fees are typically lower than most other well qualified consultants in this field. Second, no matter how much you pay to get the very best outside help, no one can ever have the same feel for your business and your clientele that you do.

Over the next 2 days, I’ll help you draft your copy. Watch your email closely to ensure you get each piece step-by-step.

But if you’d like all of my strategies up-front, plus thousands of dollars in other bonuses, it’s included for FREE if you’re already a NO B.S. Letter subscriber. It’s waiting for you inside the Midas Touch training in your members area, Sections 1.3 and 1.4.

If you’re not a member of the NO B.S. Letter yet, you can subscribe here (and I’ll give you the “Renegade Millionaire NO B.S. Time Management” course - a $197 value - for free). You can unlock that bonus here:

Join The NO B.S. Letter Today (And Get The ‘Most Incredible Free Gift Ever’ - Over $19,997 Of Pure Money Making Information - for FREE)

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