Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

but pounce on them with an offer they cannot refuse.

Direct and digital marketing is a combination of words, pictures, and ideas. A great visual tool without compelling words often goes unnoticed. Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often doom those glorious words to oblivion. Great visual images without substantive words and ideas often diminish the result.

At times, your audience may not understand a visual. Many have heard of the Pareto Principle, but after seeing in use in a post or an article, it deserves a trip to Google to answer people’s questions.

Use another pause visual to slow or stop the reader to check it out. Make sure a post or solicitation opens in another company web page so the trip back for the visitor returns to the original location. Also, this is a clever way to explain the definition of a word or phrase.

Do you know your competitors, directly or indirectly? Find out before you read their product description after seeing their product in a photo or video. You may say, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” Or, “this new product will kill us.”

Each example is important, but prospects and customers will overlook the best words and most monumental ideas unless something grabs their attention. Producing “grabbers” work well with about any communication channel today.

The grabber for direct mail is the design. It’s the proper mix of color, shape, size, illustrations, photos, and typography.

I know what you are thinking. If you said your digital and social media communications could use a design makeover, you are correct. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.

A good headline accentuated with a photo or art is “a double whammy.”

Bright colors and bold graphics set your work apart. Illustrations are easily editable to fit your brand and can even be more universal than photography. Let Vector illustrations help your next project wrap up a punch.

Focus on creating a “how-to” or “why” or a “number series” while adding value and/or supplying entertainment in the form of a photograph, vector art, or even a short video or GIF.

As we learned in Direct Mail 101, the how-to is powerful because it engages the prospect on a deeper psychological level. It’s self-centered and most of us pay more attention when we hear “how-to and whatever follows after it.”

Try using a catchy relevant headline in the email subject line and see your open rate increase. Go a step further and add visuals with copy.

How to Reach a Qualified Target Audience… and motivate them to seek you out!

Momentum is not only a powerful force; it can keep people in motion. Eventually, when focusing on a segment of your contacts, such as once-buying prospects, you will learn how to qualify them.

The copy and the photo are enough to draw the reader in to the post. The copy can appeal to a human emotion.

Ask a question in the headline.

“What marketing communication channel delivers over 700 million messages each day?”

Curiosity can draw many reasons to find an answer. A good copywriter will add more subtle information. Like, in…

Subhead. Hint. Something you do with marketing.

 The answer is 700 million of letters and parcels are delivered yearly by the United States Postal Service. When you decide to use the US Mail channel, it’s a good guess the contact will get what you sent.

Thinking of using direct mail?

When designing direct mail, many people tend to be overly concerned about the individual design elements in the piece. Such as:

  • How does the headline look?
  • Should we put a few bullet points here?
  • How about some added color here?

Stop! Always try to look at your design. Stand back from your thoughts and look at it as you would a cool piece of art.

Imagine the blocks of text, the headlines, and various color blocks and photos as design elements – squares, circles, rectangles. Look at what stands out and what doesn’t.

Summary

If you want to learn more about this communication channel, direct mail, visit our Direct2customers.com and visit the Library of Marketing. There are a variety of sample writings. If you have a specific need send an email to Mdoc@direct2customers.com.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions? Mdoc@direct2customers.com     800-251-3608 (USA only)

      

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating Effective Direct Marketing Copy is More Important Than Ever Before

Creating Effective Direct Marketing Copy is More Important Than Ever Before

The goal of writing great marketing copy is to get people into taking action. 

Like buy my product or service.

The more you address specific human elements that motivate your audience, the greater your chances of moving them into action, calling, e-mail or buying.

So, what moves people, besides a big truck?

  • People cannot resist a bargain. People seek pleasure and satisfaction. People like exclusivity. And some are even moved by greed.
  • People seek to improve themselves. They want to save time. People seek security and safety.
  • People seek power, stature, fame, flattery from others and inside information. They are often envious, revengeful and proud.
  • People want to make money, save money, save time, stay healthy, become more knowledgeable, increase their status, boost their prestige.

This is a never-ending list as we try to understand the human mind and how it relates to purchasing your products and services. You need not attempt to solve the human condition in every direct marketing copy you write. But it’s recommended to learn continuously about your customers.

What you need to do is think carefully about what you sell, to whom, and how best to make them want to act.

It’s a complicated activity and, at the same time, it is easy. Your direct marketing must lead people to consider worthy opportunities to improve their personal situations. Train your mind to react to them.

It becomes much easier when you take the time to keep learning more about your customers and provide products and services that exceed their expectations.

Some of those expectations may even be in the preceding paragraphs. It’s all about learning and doing.

Thanks for reading. Ideas or questions? Mdoc@direct2customers.com.

 

 

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Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

but you must mine your lists and categorize each to get the shiny gold you want!

Today’s customers, prospects, sales leads and so-called contact list of maybes can be reached using a ton of tactical marketing channels daily. 

The glaring question most people search an answer for “Which marketing channel is the best one for us to use?” The best answer may be all of them. What channels do your customers respond to? All your contacts in your databases control the marketing communication they use in their company. 

Trying to look for gold in a stream by your house or office is probably crazy. Sending a message using a marketing channel your contact does not respond to, email for example, is like waiting for a sunrise on a stormy, cloudy day. Time wasted is lost. 

Fortunately, today’s databases can process a host of data, using a variety of options to reach the right customer using their preferred channels of communication.  In addition, there are a variety of niche segments to consider, so an open mind may be your best option. 

Here is a list to help you get started and to assure your team is headed in the right direction.   

IDEA: Put a value on your corporate database so it is not viewed as an expense.   

  1. Match your products or services to customers’ and prospective customer’s wants/needs. You want your data to give you a summary of your customers’ buying patterns. Knowing customer data will help you customize offers for use in any marketing channel. If you’re looking for an increase in answers, you may find gold in these channels.
  2. Select new list purchases that fit the profiles of existing customer data. Use your Website landing pages in conjunction with an email newsletter you send regularly. 
  3. Maximize personalization in your customer channel selection communication and more than one offer. This is a proven method that increases response. Address your customer by name, title and add additional data from their last purchase date. You may want to add a discount or another offering that will pique their interest.
  4. Provide ongoing interaction with customers, especially the ones receiving your email newsletter. Out of sight is out of mind. Your goal is to stay in touch with your customers to learn their preferred communication channels. Be careful. Too much too soon could shut down the lead spigot.
  5. If there is no preferred communication channel, start the conversation using direct marketing mail. Make an offer of value on a landing page on your website. You want to gather some additional data, creating an awareness that triggers consideration and beginning to build your brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  6. Pinpoint timing and frequency of promotions. See who responds and at what time of the year. Use the results to spread offers to your customers and your prospective customers. Make sure to collect the results and add it to your data. Some large companies with a diverse customer base use a special customer event once or twice a year to help fill the sales pipeline.
  7. Measure response and be responsible for results. Direct marketing mail is measurable. More than any other medium, it can be evaluated for its impact on a specific goal. When results are not satisfactory, go back and learn what went wrong.
  8. Collected customer data will help to determine offers to share with others in your lists. If a customer makes a request about your marketing enter it into your company data fields. As you test different offers and promotions, compare the responses of each to see if some produce better results than others. Most important, listen to customer suggestions for future deals!
  9. Demonstrate that your customers are valuable assets. Check your customer data and customer service data for ideas such as having a workshop, personal presentations of new products, or a customer rewards/sales incentive program. These programs have a history of building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
  10. Show customers you care about their opinions. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey through direct marketing mail. Add an offer to increase the rate of surveys. If you hear back from inactive customers, you can tailor an event or promotion to bring them back to active status. If you have a sales team, train them to ask questions and learn what you want to know 

Always remember that a clean customer database is a quality database. Quality customer database results are valuable business tools that in turn is a quality asset for your business. When you communicate us.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate comments and ideas for future articles.

Marketingdoc      Mdoc@direct2customers.com

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Hey marketers, “did you hear the latest about Informed Delivery from the US Postal System?”

Hey marketers, “did you hear the latest about Informed Delivery from the US Postal System?”

And this service is FREE! 

Most every mailing campaign can benefit by taking advantage of this great innovation available from the US postal System. Yes, it is FREE! If you care to see examples of just how creative and effective Informed Delivery can be, read on and I’ll share as much as possible. People are really getting it, and it’s making a difference to them. 

Informed Delivery 

Informed Delivery® is a free and optional notification feature that gives residential consumers the ability to digitally preview their letter-sized mail and manage their packages scheduled to arrive soon. Informed Delivery benefits the entire household by allowing users to view what is coming to their mailbox whenever, wherever – even while traveling – on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. 

How do you get started? 

You must live in an eligible ZIP Code™ location and be able to verify your identity in order to sign up for Informed Delivery.  In rare instances, you may live in an eligible ZIP Code, but cannot sign up for the feature because your individual mailbox is not uniquely coded; this coding determines which images are provided to each Informed Delivery user and ensures that users view mail destined for their address only.   

While most addresses are uniquely coded, not all are, especially in high density areas (e.g., apartment buildings or condos). If your address is not uniquely coded, you will not be able to sign up for Informed Delivery at this time, but please check back later. USPS is working to increase the number of addresses with access to Informed Delivery. 

How does Informed Delivery work? 

The United States Postal Service® (USPS) snaps the image of the front of a letter-sized mail while running through our automated mail sorting equipment. USPS is now using those images to provide digital notifications to users in advance of the delivery of physical mail. 

Users receive emails to the email address in their personal USPS.com® account containing grayscale images of the exterior, address side of up to 10 pieces of incoming letter-sized mail that is arriving soon. These images are also accessible on the Informed Delivery dashboard at informed delivery.USPS.com. Only the first 10 pieces of mail appear in the email currently.  

The remaining mail images can be viewed on your dashboard. This measure helps limit the size of emails being sent to users. Additionally, participating mailers can supplement their digital mail piece with a clickable and interactive color image below the grayscale image or provide an image to replace the grayscale image. 

Some mail pieces (e.g., catalogues or magazines) are not imaged by our automated equipment and will not appear in your Informed Delivery notification. If a scan is detected on these types of mail pieces, users will see a message stating, “A mail piece for which we do not currently have an image is included in today’s mail.” 

For any item with USPS Tracking®, including items such as Certified Mail® and Registered Mail®, users can view the delivery status in Informed Delivery notifications. Users can also provide USPS Delivery Instructions®, manage their notifications, and schedule redelivery from the dashboard. Users can also receive USPS Tracking updates for incoming packages via separate email or text notifications. 

The dashboard displays mail images for a seven-day period, and package information displays for 15 days after each package has been delivered. Users can opt-in to receive separate email or text notifications with status updates for incoming packages, too. 

Stay tuned for additional information. 

Thanks for reading. If you have any comments or questions, reach me at Mdoc@direct2customers.com

 

800-251-3608     

      

 

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Use essential and reliable marketing channels to reach customers…

Use essential and reliable marketing channels to reach customers…

that will lead you to better and stronger business relationships in your marketplace. 

 

The main goal for today’s direct marketing mail department is to get someone to buy your product without killing your marketing budget. Sounds simple enough, right? It’s akin to a road map. You need more than one communication channel to alert your customers and prospects that your company has the best product for their needs and wants. Thus, a direct marketing mail customer map is well worth building. Here are few ideas on channel selection to help you get started.

Direct mail map. Most, if not all direct marketing mail professionals have a very strong motivation gene in their DNA to go after the consumer tooth and nail. For instance, they need to write powerful copy. Direct marketing mail copywriters know they need to get the reader’s attention and follow up with an offer no one can refuse. Don’t neglect specific design tactics which will attract the reader by checking out your mail piece. Increase frequency of messages is why you need to select another channel. For example, like email  within your budget.  

Email map. Some see it as a competitor, but it is a rather large marketing channel you should not ignore. Why? Email is a good channel to use with direct mail. The most obvious technique is to announce your direct mail campaign a few days before it arrives. Another way to boost response is to follow up on a direct marketing mail campaign with an e-mail message. A third strategy is to run parallel campaigns. Your direct mail piece and e-mail are timed to arrive at about the same time and present a very similar offer. 

 

Landing Page map. Landing pages with CTA’s, (calltoaction) are designed to get a response, working closely in conjunction with a direct marketing mail strategy. Similar copy and design in the mailer, will help pull the reader into your message. They give readers the exact information they need to say yes and demonstrate how easy it is to place an order. Direct marketing mail can make a buying experience more enjoyable for your customers and you can measure the effectiveness of different advertisements on landing pages. Working in a B2B company, landing pages are a necessity even when using them with email. 

A digital mailbox map. In a rather innovative way, any direct marketing mailing list you purchase, may offer you to match mailing addresses to arrive at an IP address. Once the business IP address is determined, every time someone goes online, a very similar looking and appealing banner ad pops up on their screen. Even the US post office is jumping on a marketing innovation. They recently released Informed Delivery and get this, its free.  An article that offers more information on this unique tool is found on an a recent post.

Don’t forget, the more channels of communication you use, the more impressions your message makes, increases the likeliness of reaching your contact or even making a sale. 

As people search the internet, visit discussion groups or other social media channels looking for resources, there are many answers you need to contemplate. When customers enter such a sea of solutions, looking for other channels to add to direct marketing mailthere are many different types you may encounter.

 

Learning more about your customers adds to better response. Strategically, a customer–centric marketing strategy offers you a different perspective about your customer purchases, which is a use-able tactic in future marketing campaigns. Yes, it is time-consuming, but extremely rewarding. Your customers will tell you a lot about themselves when they make their purchases. Record this data and use it in future marketing campaigns to determine it’s worth.   

Thanks for reading. If you have a question or comment you would like me to answer send your email to Mdoc@direct2customers.com.

800-251-3608

 

 

 

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