"Maximize your Direct Mail campaigns with these simple steps."
If you're doing direct mail campaigns to your own in-house mail lists or if you include you in-house mail list as part of a larger mail campaign that includes purchased lists, here are some things to consider. With data going bad at a rate of almost 2% a month (18% for business, 20% for consumer, per year), a poorly maintained list cost you big money in both production and mailing costs, not to mention a missed opportunity. Keeping your mailing list current doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. The key is to establish procedures for making daily changes to your list. Here are some easy starting points.
Commit the necessary resources to keep your lists current and correct.
Consider assigning a 'Database Administrator' to input all updates or specify relevant employees, who can make changes to data. Consider designating some computer equipment for the purpose of centralizing your data.
Send out timely requests for contact information updates.
Customers are your easiest and most reliable source for keeping a list current. Include a request for them to verify your information with every communication sent. By listing the information you currently have, they will be more likely to respond.
Consider the services offered by the USPS (www.usps.com)
Address Correction Requested, Post Office Correction Service and Return Postage Guaranteed are just some of the services offered by the post office. These can sometimes get expensive and as such, are often better suited for customer or smaller, in-house prospect lists. Also, keep in mind that the Post Office does not always make accurate changes, so an investment in their services may not always yield perfect results. Much of the success of a direct mail campaign depends upon the quality of the lists. It pays to invest in maintaining your data.
Creating Effective Post Cards Is Easier Than You Thinkl
Make them simple.
They need to get a person's attention. A mass of information is less effective. As a rule, write like every word is costing you a thousand dollars.
Make them timely.
If you have a time-sensitive message, state it prominently. Time-sensitive mailers tend to generate greater responses. Print them on both sides. The use of graphics on the front side with informative details on the other side is highly effective. Don't feel like you have to fill in all of the space. Again, keep it simple.
Make them visually appealing.
Since there are no envelopes with postcards, the use of color and visual appeal go a long way toward increasing the effectiveness. Graphics can be a powerful way of delivering your message.
Make the measurable.
By creating time-sensitive messages, adding coupons or even telling people to present or mention the postcard, you're adding a degree of measurability. This gives you a greater knowledge of what was effective and what was not.
Below are four basic goals of every postcard design:
In creating the front of a postcard, try to have either the text or the graphic be the dominant feature. Decide which elements will grab the recipient's attention. The other element should compliment it.
The text on the back should be geared to creating interest. Quick read facts and bulleted points are highly effective. Create awareness.
Focus on benefits and not features. Don't go overboard on details. List benefits with which the recipient can associate.
Include a call to action. Something that prompts a reaction such as limited time offers, special incentives that are tied directly to the recipients prompt response.
Long Story Short
Using direct mail postcards to promote your business is one of many ways to apply the principle of "do something small and keep repeating it." They are inexpensive to produce and mail and you don't need to write a lot of copy or create an amazing design layout. Plan the series once for the whole year. Select a colorful image for the first side. (And it's okay to use the same one or two images all year. Remember that our goal is repetition.) Now, what about that copy? Write about new offerings. Remind about lesser-used services. Is your business seasonal? Tell them what is happening this month. Otherwise, write down a handful of helpful ideas, such as tidbits your audience would appreciate. Use one tidbit on the address side of each card. Add your contact information and a call-to-action. You're done for the year!
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