direct mail practices stop

6 Terrible Direct Mail Practices You Should Stop Now

Even the most marvelous marketing technique will fail if you don’t implement it smartly. If you’re using any of these direct mail practices, stop them right now.

1. Copying someone else.

Who are you promoting here? Why would you spend your hard-earned marketing dollars on direct mailers that aren’t 100% all about your business? If another business is sending direct mail you think looks great and seems motivating, you certainly can learn from that. But don’t copy it!

2. Using generic text and images.

Just as bad as copying someone else’s direct mail is using one-size-fits-all templates to produce your mailers. You need custom-designed direct mail for one simple reason: your business is unique.

You can’t establish and build your brand if you don’t have one. How can prospects relate to you if it isn’t you they see on your mailer? Your photos or distinctive graphics. Your text that tells people who you are, what you do and the benefits of choosing your business over a competitor. Postcard marketing is highly effective for so many types of local businesses because they allow you to project your individual personality.

3. Hit and run.

No matter what type of product or service you sell, you cannot expect to tell people about it once and get much response. People are busy, and we’re all surrounded with marketing messages and myriad other communications. Your direct mail will get noticed the first time someone sees it, but most of your prospects need a second or third (or fourth or fifth) look before they take action.

Marketers have known for decades that repetition is critical for success. Direct mail experts will tell you that scheduling your marketing once a month all year round works best, unless your business is highly seasonal. It takes time to create awareness and build familiarity with your brand and what you have to offer. Even direct mail that promotes a short-term campaign requires two or three mailings to generate the highest return.

4. Making a feeble offer. Or no offer at all.

Let’s be honest here. Your goal in using direct mail marketing is to increase sales. Unless you sell something that is absolutely exclusive to your business, you have to motivate people to buy from you by offering them something special – a discount or some other reward. Once you get them in the door and they can see for themselves how great your merchandise or food or lawn service or dental care is, you can keep them coming back.

Your prospects want to know what’s in it for them. That’s human nature. So make them an offer that has real value for them, give them a clear call to action so they can follow up and limit your offer in time or quantity to encourage them to act right away.  

5. Omitting contact information.

What if your recipient has questions? You want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you, not just to follow up on your great marketing offer but to learn more about you and your business. Every direct mail piece should include your phone number, address, website address, email, social media icons, etc.

6. Trying to figure it all out by yourself.

This is an all-too-common blunder small business owners make. You don’t go it alone on other key aspects of your business such as legal and accounting. Why would you not want the best advice and talent you can get for your marketing – something critical for business growth and profitability?

Direct mail is “simple” in many ways, but getting every detail right makes the difference between a mostly wasted effort and a return on investment that will have you bragging to everyone you know. Promise yourself right now you will do no more direct mail marketing without teaming up with an experienced company that can help you create Big Impact.

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