Beating the control: five do’s

Some old school stuff here in the way of direct mail. In the digital and integration age, it’s sometimes good to remind ourselves that there are a few old caveats that continue to prove themselves true over and over again.

Our campaigns across multiple channels reinforce themes and highlight key information in a channel-appropriate way. With direct mail, we keep coming back to some been-there-know-that little factoids that are worth talking about here.

So…the aforementioned Five Beat-the-Control Musts:

  1. A postcard will not outperform a conventional component kit. True, true. Attention cheapies: it may appear less costly to put a flimsy little five-by-seven piece into the mail, but in the end, it’s not. These formats produce for your dentist and vet as pesky reminders of annual maintenance work, but nothing beats a solid piece of component mail.
  2. Leads first, conversion second. A common conundrum for marketers. “It generated more leads but the conversion was a draw.” Yes, that’s how it works. When leads go up significantly, you can expect a lower conversion rate. Good news is, you’ve got a new control. Now it’s time to fix the conversion aspects. Nice problem to have.
  3. Offer/free. Basic stuff, but you’d be surprised what rudimentary musts get left out of direct mail after a long trip into cyberworld. If you can say the word “free,” do it. And there MUST be an offer—Whether it’s BOGO, a seminar, a consultation, a discount, you name it.
  4. Reply date. Open ended, no obligation invitations are just a dream. Without a reply date, your mail will sit on Lovey’s desk until the high holy days.
  5. Brand isn’t marketing strategy. We’ll likely get scorched on this one, but we believe it. Unless you’re a hot accessory brand (Kiel James Patrick comes to mind) your brand is likely not a source of minute-by-minute passionate customer engagement. So you need a smart marketing strategy that includes brand but isn’t blinded by brand.

What are your direct mail musts?

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Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn


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