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So You Think Direct Mail Is Dead?

I talk to companies on a regular basis, and frequently hear “oh, we tried direct mail, that didn’t work for us, we sent out thousands of postcards and didn’t get anything.” This recession we are in has changed everything, the days that businesses had plenty of money for the “shotgun” approach are gone, big direct mailings for many businesses, ARE dead!

However, specifically targeted and messaged direct mail can be VERY effective to accomplishing your sales goals. People get dozens and more e-mail spam messages every day…do they look at more than the subject line…nope (…I know I don’t).

But direct mail givesĀ  you at least of moment, for the customer to see your main message, your logo, vivid color graphics and generate an emotional response! It does cost more, but sometimes you can’t beat it!


The address side of your postcard actually gets read FIRST!

I’m going to share a recent mailing we did for a local builder, they do an incredible job building homes and a great job on their marketing. Their director of Marketing wanted to quickly target renters around their town home community that they had 3 units left to sell. We specifically went for renters and targeted individuals in SPECIFIC apartment communities (yes, we can do that!). We then tweaked a concept postcard she had from corporate and created the below postcard.

Let’s review how this helped them increase their traffic and sell 2 of those 3 units! (The numbers refer to the image above.)

1. The Backside of the Postcard is actually more important than the front! (Because they will not even see the front if you don’t catch them on the address side.) And the top 1″ is like a billboard! Due to the fact that it sticks up over the other envelopes and mail in the stack when it’s delivered. You should use a “grabber” here that gets the reader’s attention.

By the way, do at least a 8.5″ x 5.5″ Postcard, any smaller and you lose your 1″ billboard at the top and there is not room to put stuff!

2. Use 2-4 key points to build your target’s pain or desire for your service. Don’t blah blah about features, focus on benefits!

3. Highligh your “sweeteners”, the things you’re doing to make the deal a sure win! Don’t bury your “Buy One Get One Free” in the copy, or not highlight your reduce rate financing!

4. Use the smaller text for the important details ONCE you’ve drawn them in, but don’t overdo it!

Postcard Front, …actually the second side that is looked at!

5. Make it easy to respond or to find you! We added a map and showed the contact information near the top prominently (and we also put the contact information on the front too).

6. You need space for the address, but you don’t need a ton, and though it didn’t come through on the scan, we had a color picture of the property screened in the background behind the address.

7. On the “front” we state again the mainline “grabber” to get and hold attention. There is a chance they will see this side first and we want our main message to come through!

8. Here we are building painby highlighting apartment rent vs. owning your own townhome, addressing rent, space, storage, pets, etc. It makes the apartment look horrible! Why WOULD you rent when you could own in the same range!

9. Again, make it easy to respond, we put the contact information on both sides of the card so that our prospect does not have to search for it!

In many cases direct mail makes a lot of sense and can be a valuable channel in targeting your prospects…do you honestly think that they could have generated that traffic and sales with Twitter and Facebook, sometimes you do need to “Push” your message.

Have you used direct mail successfully? Leave a comment and share your success!

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