In direct mail marketing, it’s never a question if a campaign will fatigue and response dwindle. It’s when. So it’s vital to have new campaigns and creative waiting in the wings at all times.Read More
It’s human to fall into the FUD trap because this is how our brains are wired. And quite frankly, this nasty and negative election cycle is likely to exacerbate FUD even more, risking a decline in response rates this year.Read More
Some say direct mail is dead. Bunk. What's dead is any channel where copywriting doesn't sell and close deals. Our culture of political correctness is seeping into marketing, with too many marketers afraid to sell with hard-hitting sales copy.Read More
The bar continues to rise for creating successful direct mail. DMIQ recently asked me to present a webinar titled Direct Mail: 10 Mistakes to Avoid. It didn’t take long for that number to increase to a dozen, on a diverse range of topics including crunching numbers, flow charts, mailing lists, and perhaps most importantly, a creative and copywriting process that I use and has resulted in direct mail campaigns with significant response increases over control packages.Read More
Small businesses looking for online marketing ideas don't often don't have a large staff to identify digital alternatives. These ideas are for the organization trying to decide what to do online when direct mail response is declining, costs are increasing, and inevitably, profits are shrinking.Read More
Starting an online video series can be daunting. But break it down with direct mail copywriting formulas and it will be easier to start. From our blog at Target Marketing Magazine we share how to create a framework for video series along with direct mail formulas for your script to close the sale.
When you have a long story to tell, segment it into a framework. It makes it easier for your customer or prospect to follow you. It also engages the audience and can lead them to a decision to take action.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the direct mail copywriting formula called AIDA.
The A, in AIDA, is for Attention or Awareness, that is, to attract the Attention of the customer.
I is for Interest, to raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits.
D is for Desire: to convince customers that they will want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs, which leads to...
A for Action, where you’ve lead your customer towards taking action and purchase.
Using AIDA, ho here are three steps you can take to shape your story, followed by closing tips to bring your video viewer to purchase.
First, divide your story into pieces, or chapters, with a mission and purpose for each individual message. This becomes your framework.
Second, determine the most important aspect of each chapter. Help the viewer learn and see the information as education.
And third, your final video is your moment of truth. By the time you get to the last video in a series, use classic direct marketing closing techniques to close the sale.
Watch this video for additional tips about how to close the sale, all based on direct mail best practices.
In our blog for Target Marketing Magazine, we demonstrate how to convert a successful direct mail package into an online video. You’ll see how copy style translates and morphs from print to the spoken word, and how to integrate aspects of the original print design features in this video. Our criteria for this instructional video included these three elements: A package we had originally written and designed, multiple enclosures (letter, sales sheet, lift note, and order form) and a proven response generator. When it was first tested, this direct mail package for our client Assurity Life Insurance lifted response 35% over the control. On that strength, it became the new control and was mailed every month for three years, ultimately sent to over 21 million consumers.
This instructional video explains our process to convert this direct mail package to a short, but fully produced promotional video (under 3 minutes), scripting, voice-over persona, design elements, along with commentary about specific choices and plans we made while developing the video.
So while we’re light on words for you to read, you can digest this post in this in-depth video.
Always great to be mentioned in a blog post. Today was a repost on Copyblogger titled "How to discover your hidden remarkable benefit." The subject was on unique selling proposition importance. Specifically, it was the story of the blockbuster direct mail advertising package I had a part in creating for Collin Street Bakery a few years ago.
Much can, and deserves, to be said about research, customer interface, talking in meetings, and much more to identify a unique selling proposition for a product.
In this case, the product was fruitcake. A lot of people won't even try a fruitcake. They'll say they don't like the product even though they've never tasted it.
But for CSB, in focus groups what we found is that almost everyone liked the product. Some raved about it and were surprised a fruitcake could taste so good.
One day, over lunch, my client and I were talking about this continual problem of how to get someone to try fruitcake. Since CSB is a food marketer, we made it a practice to eat at a variety of restaurants. This particular day we were at one of my favorite spots. After lunch, I remarked how much I loved this restaurant's pecan pie. After all, fruitcake contains an abundance of pecans, and my client also makes an outstanding pecan pie.
So we ordered the pecan pie. When it was served, my client remarked how just by looking at the pecans he could see they were "commercially grown." CSB's pecans, he said in an almost snobbish tone, were "native pecans."
Interesting, I thought. So I asked him more about native pecans. Mostly, he told me, native pecans are smaller, but they are more flavorful than commerically grown pecans. Unfortunately, because native pecans are smaller, the presentation isn't so great. Over lunch, we came up with a name to test: native Texas pecan cakes.
I returned to my office and researched native pecans. I discovered they grow along rivers and streams in Texas and the south. They require certain soil, water, and climate conditions. They live as long as 150 or more years (meaning they were planted as long ago as the Civil War), and soar to amazing heights.
What a story! So with that story, we tested direct mail creative with the name "Native Texas Pecan Cakes" and response shot up 60%. We tested it again just to make sure we weren't misreading something in the results.
My package became a new control, mailed to millions and millions of consumers and businesses, later translated into German, Spanish, and Japanese.
Moral of the story: always eat dessert.
So I changed one word of the headline the Wall Street Journal (Marketplace, Oct. 6) to "Direct" from "Junk". The USPS plan of offering discounts to businesses is admirable. But if you read the online comments at wsj.com on this article, it's pretty clear that advertising mail isn't today, and never has been, something consumers like.
But direct mail often works to build business and make money for marketers.
So really, can the USPS promote direct mail as an effective business marketing strategy? On the surface, I'd say yes, but....
A huge problem that I see in my daily disappointment of mail delivery is that in fact so much of it is JUNK (with all due respect to my direct mail associates). Having been in this business for over 30 years, I think the overall quality of direct mail is about as bad as it has ever been. The overuse of postcards, I think, are the worst.
If businesses would actually hire experienced direct mail copywriters and designers who know what they're doing to generate good direct mail response rates, along with professional mailing list brokers who can recommend targeted lists, and lettershops that will run a list through an NCOA, maybe it wouldn't seem quite so much like junk to consumers.
And while it would be nice if direct mail weren't so badly viewed by consumers, the image of direct mail / junk mail isn't likely to change.
It certainly isn't the job of the USPS to help businesses with their creative and mailing list selection. But if businesses are going to use direct mail marketing, and haven't done so (or have in the past with poor results), then they need to hire someone who knows how to create direct mail. Not just use someone with a well-intentioned opinion that is going to muck it up for the rest of us.