Direct Marketing Guide Part 5: Planning the Literature

You know your target customer. You are clear about the mission. Now at the heart of every Direct Mail shot is the sales letter. Whether you are emailing, faxing or posting. Whether you include coupons, reply-paid cards, brochures or leaflets, offers, gifts…it�s the sales material itself that provides the personal communication element. Although great sales letters don’t grow on trees, bad ones mostly fail through one or two simple and fundamental mistakes.

32. You can use experts to help such as Direct Marketing agencies. They can guide your design process or manage a full campaign for you. Be warned that this can be costly and time consuming.

33. A simple sales letter which you can design and/or print in house may work just as well for you. If your mailing list provider offers additional Direct Marketing services, ask them for advice and help based on their experience.

34. Going it alone? How do you make a good sales letter into a great one?

  • Simplicity – keep it clear, simple and fresh
  • Enthusiasm – like & believe in your product or service
  • Empathy- understand the person you’re talking to and have a desire to help them
  • Imagination- keep it relevant but be creative and catch their attention
  • Call to Action – let your customers know what to do next

35. Consider whether there is actually more than one target?

Your product or service may provide a technical answer for an engineer, but a financial answer for his MD. An insurance policy can mean ‘Security’ to a housewife or mother, but ‘Caring & Protection’ to a husband. Change your sales material to reflect each target group and what you can offer them. Don’t forget that Direct Mail is a cost effective way of running multiple campaigns.

36. Define the promise. Assume that people are basically uninterested in you, your company, even your product or service. What they are interested in are benefits. What can you offer them…becoming richer, happier, more successful, whatever. Ideally you should have one BIG promise, although you can support it with subsidiary promises.

37. Remember that a product or service is seen for what it DOES for the buyer, not what it IS. Work to the FAB rule. Write down the Features of your product/service. Then write the Advantages. Now focus on ommunicating simply the Benefits that arise from these in your Direct Marketing material.

38. Make your FABs relevant to the readers’ needs/wants/ambitions. Look for Exclusive or Unique aspects. Make it Worthwhile and Valuable. Support your proposition with credible evidence or testimonial.

39. Gather information that will be useful. This can include a library of testimonials or quotes, Press Releases, industry facts and figures etc.

40. Research, research, research. You don’t have to go it alone. What are your competition doing? If you received their mailshots, would they work for you? Collect and review the Direct Marketing that you receive. Learn from their mistakes as well as harvesting their best features for your own campaigns.

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