February 24, 2017

6 Ways to Improve Your Direct Marketing – Stop being a sheep

By Charlene Plows, Head of Client Services and Robin Sumner, Managing Director

Working within the direct marketing industry, we deal day in and day out, with communications professionals. The first question we ask of them is “are you looking to improve your direct marketing?”

The second is, “have you covered the basic ways to improve your direct marketing strategy and ROI” (Return on Investment). Does your campaign have ‘Gestalt’?

Isn’t it time to stop being a sheep?

E-shot campaigns and online media are increasingly popular due to the costs and simplicity; however Direct Mail remains a key factor for many companies in retaining retention of business, along with getting a better return on investment when it sits alongside electronic media.

Organisations are pulling the wool over their eyes when considering Direct Mail because of the unknown – not knowing whether the campaign will be successful when investing time and money but there are 6 simple ways to help improve the chances of success when incorporating physical mail alongside electronic communications. We have listed a few tips below: –

1 – Data

Targeted – Use your data to understand your client’s requirements. Fully personalised packs to target the individual with offerings which will be of actual interest – don’t just blanket mail to everyone with the same message. Select the offer to the demographics of the data, and create designs that can easily have their content amended driven by that data.

Clean Data – Ensure your data is up to date by getting a free data audit to check on movers, duplicates, goneaways and deceased.

Returns – Capturing all returns to prevent upset or additional costs of re-mailing.

2 – Testing

There is no crystal ball to determine which Direct Mail campaign will be successful, which is why testing is paramount. Try different pack types such as letters, postcards, self-mailers or polythene enclosed packs, ensuring to add a campaign code to help monitor the response rates and to be able to measure the success of each campaign.

3 – Your Message Does it have Gestalt?

Is the message getting lost? Too much text or too many confusing images? The message/features must be clear. Use finishing techniques to ensure the piece is crisp and eye-catching

Three basic rules of GESTALT – “an organised whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts”.

  • Does it have IMPACT – to gain initial reaction
  • Does it COMMUNICATE the message quickly and easily
  • Is it PERSUASIVE to the reader to take action – promptly

4 – Benefits to the Recipient

We all love to reap benefits. Applying an offering to the marketing piece is always attractive to the consumer. One of the most popular ways is to offer discounts, which can be easily achieved and measured by adding simple discount codes to the pack. Other incentives could be referral offers, encouraging people to recommend your business in exchange for benefits to themselves or Seasonal offers which could peak profits in the build-up to these holidays.

5 – Call to action

No matter how wonderful the Direct Mail campaign is, if the call to action isn’t straightforward, enticing and most importantly via a media that suits the recipient, then potential customers will lose patience and will simply not bother.

6 – Proper follow-up

One of the biggest mistakes made is a poor follow-up. Once a campaign has been sent out, companies often make the mistake of not repeating the exercise or remaining in contact. Once you have mailed to your consumers, you could be using cross-media, send out an SMS or a PURL link with a reminder of the mailing piece. Improve the discount offering or the event content? If someone has ordered or booked through your company on the back of a direct mail, why not send out a cost-effective ‘Thank You’ postcard or an e-shot, linking back to your company website, requesting a review?  Research has proven, messages are more effective when repeated.

Common knowledge in marketing is that to a ‘cold’ or ‘unexposed’ audience new to your brand, they need on average a minimum number of exposures to your product or service before they transact with you. One email or a single direct mailing will not reap the rewards you want – no ‘single shot’ marketing event will, no matter what medium you use. Concerted, relevant and frequent exposure is the only way to grow a business.

Hopefully, these pieces of advice will help improve your direct marketing when putting together the strategic plan for your next marketing campaign and help bring the success that direct mail can most certainly achieve!

direct mail rocket ROI


romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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