(And I’ll Show You 5 Key Pointers You Need To Do Exactly That!)
The DNC (Do Not Call) regime is in place. Hooray! No more getting spammed by random SMSes and disruptive phone calls!
Most people are rejoicing at the news… but it has severely disrupted some industries that rely heavily on cold calling to get leads. (Probably forced quite a few students and retirees to seek other forms of part-time employment as well)
So if you’re a marketer who has been reliant on telemarketing, what next? What do you do? What’s the solution? I’ll get to that soon, but first of all…
Keep Calm… It’s Only DNC
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the DNC regime prevents companies from contacting any phone number registered with their registry.
And Singaporeans who’re sick and tired of being bombarded by intrusive cold calls are registering in waves. This has essentially crippled the telemarketing industry and sent many companies into panic mode.
But hey… Chill. Relax. Calm down. Because I have the solution, YOUR solution. If done right, this solution can get you a lot more leads than telemarketing ever got you… with less effort and time, plus better ROI (Return on Investment).
The truth is… I’ve never liked telemarketing, both as a consumer and marketer. It’s like a complete stranger barging into your life uninvited, and shouting frantically to get your attention. You’re more likely to be pissed off than anything else, and kick him out the door without a second thought, no matter what he’s saying.
More often than not, you’re likely to fail in making the sale, and your brand perception will also suffer. Bam! Double-whammy.
Actually, there’re many other more effective ways to get your prospects’ attention and convert them into leads or customers. Social media, landing pages (essentially mini websites) and mobile apps are all powerful direct marketing channels, provided that the messages are persuasive.
But in this article, I like to talk about a traditional, old school, tried-and-tested direct marketing technique. Let’s rewind the clock back say, 30 years ago. When there was no internet. No smart phones. No fancy technology.
How did companies reach out to their prospects, other than telemarketing? Why, DIRECT MAIL of course.
The Proven, Time-Tested Strategy To “Get Behind Enemy Lines”… And Instantly Turn Strangers To Customers!
Before I go further, I want to make something clear: Most of the direct mailers you receive in your mailbox are umm… how do I put this nicely… not that great?
So if you’re a little sceptical and wondering “Huh? Direct mail? Seriously?”, I don’t blame you. Most of the current mailers we receive are poorly done, don’t give results, and are tarnishing the good name of this potentially powerful direct marketing technique.
So don’t use them as a guide on what works and what doesn’t. I’ve studied the works of direct marketing gurus like Joe Sugarman, Gary Halbert, John Carlton etc. I’ve adapted their methods to my own, and ran direct mail campaigns that converted like crazy.
And right now, I’ll show you how you too can create a powerful direct mail campaign that could potentially skyrocket your conversion rates.
It’ll allow you to bypass your prospects’ natural resistance to sales and marketing messages. Unlike telemarketing, they’ll willingly invite you into their homes (enemy territory).
They’ll enjoy conversing with you. They’ll be hooked on every word you say. Even if they do not know you before. And they may just end up buying whatever you’re selling… happily and willingly. Because with just that one message, you transformed from a stranger to a friend…*snaps*…just like that.
So are you ready? Let’s go…
Your Potent Direct Mail Formula
First of all, the very first rule of running a kickass direct mail campaign is:
Don’t try so hard to get noticed. Just simply… GET READ
Many direct mail campaigns fail because the people executing the campaigns do not understand this simple but super effective theory.
Think back to the last time you opened your mailbox. You’re probably sifting through your mail while standing beside the dustbin, which is often strategically located just beside the mailbox.
Everything that looks like an ad gets tossed in. No mercy. No second chance. No escape.
Sounds familiar? So the very first objective of a direct mailer is: Avoid the dark abyss of the dustbin!
And since everything that looks remotely like an ad is tossed without a second glance, the simple conclusion is…
DON’T Make Your Direct Mailer Look Like An Ad!
Common sense right? Yet, everyone is still receiving so many run-of-the-mill, “adsy” looking mailers screaming for our attention.
Yes, we do notice them and they do get our attention. And what happens next?
They all get tossed without a second glance into the overfed belly of the bin. That’s them throwing your money away, mind you. Not just the printing costs, but also you losing the customer… possibly forever.
Back to my initial point (I need to re-emphasise this because it’s important): Don’t try so hard to get noticed, just GET READ. Because in the case of direct mail, getting noticed will only land you in the abyss.
Now, Let Me Tell You How You Can Get Your mail READ
Let’s think about what’s left in your hands after tossing all the ads.
If you sort your mail like I do, you’re probably left with bills and letters from people/organisations you recognise.
And what do those 2 have in common? The answer is: They’re PERSONAL.
So there’s your solution. To get read, make your direct mailers as personal as possible. Here’re some guidelines you can follow:
1) Use standard, plain-looking envelopes. Think about the kind of envelope you look forward to receiving from your penpal. (You guys remember what penpals are, right?)
2) Do not include your company logo on the envelope. Remember: most people are on high-alert when sorting out the mail. If you give them any indication that what they’re holding is an ad… into the dustbin it goes.
3) Include attention-grabbing chops like “Urgent” and “Confidential” on the envelope. This is a sneaky way of ensuring that your ad survives the initial culling.
4) Do not drop colourful, bombastic, adsy-looking mailers straight into the mailbox. Those are the typical ones that get thrown out immediately.
5) When they open your mail, grab their attention with a strong headline. Next, capture and lead their imagination educating them about your product. Don’t start selling immediately. Educate them about why they need your product, what’s so special about your product, and finally towards the end, make them an irresistible offer.
There’s more to a successful direct mail campaign of course, but these serve as important must and must-not-dos when you plan and execute your campaign.
Always keep in mind that your objective is to avoid the dustbin and get your mail read. So whatever you do, work towards these goals.
If you execute your campaign well, and if your messages are persuasive, you can definitely run a successful direct mail campaign that will give you massive conversions.
Ronald is the founder of Wordplay LLP, a highly-sought after persuasive copywriting firm. He and his team specialise in running direct response marketing campaigns. He believes that all marketing activities should lead to bottom-line business results such as leads, sales and profits. He has helped many SMEs from various industries generate explosive profits within a short time. To find out more about Ronald and Wordplay, check out Wordplay LLP on Facebook for advanced copywriting and marketing insights, or visit www.wordplay.sg.