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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Maybe you've heard that marketing spend related to direct mail continues to increase year over year. This isn't just the result of increasing postal costs. In fact, marketers continue to increase spend online and off. Much of this growth in use has been driven by the increasingly important role of the internet in direct marketing.

How to determine if direct marketing is right for your business.
Direct marketing can be an strong lead/revenue driver for your business if implemented as part of an integrated marketing campaign. As with any traditional marketing vehicle, you'll have to consider the four basic pillars of marketing:

1. Message. Develop a message that is unique, grabs attention, and is aligned with your overall goals and objectives. Having the right message is essential for both online marketing and off line marketing but especially important in direct mail. Just like an email message, your first order of business will be to get your prospect to "open the mail."

2. Audience. Are you targeting the right audience? For example, generation X and Y loves to get mail. If your prospects are within this group, you'll have an easier time of reaching them through the mailbox. Additionally, consider who the ideal segment is for your message, product or service. Don't spend your time targeting people who are not interested in what you have to offer.

3. Offer. What's your offer? Why should I open your piece of mail or buy from you? Carefully think about the offer you're providing to your would be customer. Strong offers produce strong results. Make your offer clear and time bound. Offers that expire drive more activity than those with no end date. Your offer should drive people online for quick purchase or ask them to call an 800# for this special offer.

4. Timing. When are your prospects most likely to buy? Perhaps your product is seasonal or maybe it would make a great gift around the holidays. Time your promotion around the buying cycle not your own agenda. Doing so can have a positive impact on conversion rates and result in significant improvements to your overall marketing effectiveness.

If you're considering direct mail, start small and do your homework. Determine your target market, acquire a list, put together a compelling offer and send. Be sure to measure your results. Once you have, try to improve conversion rates with each successive mailing. When trying to improve upon results, test one element at a time (ex: offer). Changing too many variables will not give you the information you need to improve your campaigns going forward.


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