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Direct Marketing Do's And Don'ts

Tips for running effective Direct Marketing campaigns

Direct Marketing is the process of sending targeted advertisement mailings to prospects on a mailing list. Direct marketing firms have been doing this successfully for decades, and modern technology has made it cheaper and more effective than ever!

The purpose of this article is to provide some Do's and Don'ts for maximizing the profits from your Direct Marketing campaigns.

First, the Do's:

  • Do get a bulk mailing permit from the Postal Service. This will allow you to save a bundle on postage expenses (which increases your overall profits).
  • Do rent quality mailing lists that are highly targeted to the market segment (demographic) that is most likely to be interested in your offer.
  • Do make your advertising materials interesting, clear, and concise. When doing a Direct Marketing campaign, your advertisements are your "salespeople". Make them work "smart", not hard!
  • Do explain your offer in the first paragraph. The first paragraph is often the only part that gets read unless you can interest the prospect enough to continue reading!
  • Do ask for the sale. If you don't you probably won't get it!
  • Do place a bit of "teaser" copy on the outside of the envelope. Give your potential customers a compelling reason to open the envelope and read your offer.
  • Do test. And test again. Then test again. Successful Direct Marketing is all about testing! Send your mailing to a small sample of the list, say 5000 people. Then check the results.

    If the offer converts well, mail it to the remainder of the people on the list. If not, make some changes and test again.
Now, the Don'ts:
  • Don't send out any Direct Marketing advertisement package to an untargeted list or you'll simply be throwing your money away.
  • Don't roll out a mailing to the complete list until your testing has resulted in a highly profitable, "pulling" offer.
  • Don't neglect to fulfill your orders in a timely fashion. Bad press is very hard to overcome.
  • Don't forget to include an ad for at least one "follow-up" item in your customer's packages.
  • Don't attempt to use a list more than once unless the rental agreement allows it (they rarely do). Each list is "seeded" with "ringer" names that will let the owner of the list know if it's used more than once.

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