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12 Profitable Tips for Direct Marketing in the Mail and on The Web

March 4th, 2021

Customers have emotional hot buttons. Successful direct marketing uses as many ways as is possible through copy, color, or graphics to trigger a response. Customers do not choose products or services rationally…direct marketing that moves people emotionally will move a product or service.

Know they customer is the #1 commandment of direct marketing the more you know about your customer the more you will sell. It’s much more than the statistics.

People do not embrace chance with open arms. There’s comfort in sameness. Radical changes in direct marketing designs, colors, merchandise, or formats, without testing is one sure way to make you P & L run red, and for you to get some unwanted face time with your boss.

The leap of faith for a customer is placing an order. Direct mail and E-marketing are impersonal businesses. There is no face to face interaction between seller and buyer. Trust…the more you reinforce it within your offer or guarantee, the more people will believe you are the real deal.

Likes attract likes. Direct marketing copy and graphics that relate and target to the specific demographic will be rewarded with a response.

It’s estimated that the majority of the people in this country have a 8th grade reading comprehension level. Talk above your customer in words that they don’t understand, and expect your response to be below expectations.

Customers today are sophisticated. They scan direct mail and E-marketing offers like a peregrine falcon on the hunt. Answer the “what’s in it for me” questions up front or face your direct mail or E-marketing effort being resigned to the circular file, or being clicked away.

Customer frustration does not lead to response. Hard to navigate web pages, or hard to follow order forms, layouts, copy or type in any direct mail offer, are roadblocks to response. Make it easy, clear, and concise.

Words sell…they seduce, they engage, and emotionally lure a customer in. Words are your “silent salesperson” that are the vital links to achieving a sale. The only function of copy is to involve the customer emotionally, in easy to understand words, so as to maximize the impact on profits.

You cannot use the word “you, your, or yourself” too much in copy. It should be written as much as is possible surrounded with words that are no more than 5 letters long. Simplicity sells! Do not write copy above your targeted demographic, or they definitely will make your bottom line run red.

“Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead”…Customers are cynics by nature and when it comes to a direct mail offer. They post a mental guard around the product and offer. The successful direct marketers know it, and do everything feasible to reinforce credibility, trust, and melt away the cynicism.

Color plays a critical role in the success or failure of direct mail or E-marketing effort. The choice of color used in a catalog or direct mail offer, or on a web page is not for the pleasure of the designer, VP, or CEO. Its only function is to evoke a feeling that translates into a response. The colors that sell, are the ones that send the right emotional message about you product, or company to the customer.

Successful direct marketing emotionally engages and moves a customer to respond. Customers are people just like you and me. Customers who feel they have a relationship with your company will buy more…guaranteed. Give your customers what they want…NOT what you think they should have.

Giving an item more space than it needs in a catalog or on the Internet does not increase sales proportionately. Increasing the selling space on a proven winner should help sales, but it can never save an item that’s a dog. Only a customer can tell you the winners and losers. What you think or like about a product…. Doesn’t mean a thing.

Today the direct marketing business is a long treacherous road filled with obstacles that in an instant can turn success into a road to financial ruin. The day of “lets fly it up the flagpole and see how it flies” is long gone. Today success is paying maniacal attention to the details and expanding new creative strategies (via testing) to build a better mousetrap.