We all get it from time to time, unsolicited mail at home and at work, however it doesn’t just stop there. Sales calls and promotional emails all make our lives that little bit more difficult, so is it any wonder that most of it gets binned or deleted? However direct marketing – that one to one relationship that companies want to build with you, can produce results in terms of raised awareness, sales leads and enquiries, if done properly.

The golden rules or steps of direct marketing are relatively straight forward:

  1. Database – it’s all in the detail! According to Royal Mail data erodes by about 20% for each 3 months that goes by. To put it another way, if your database is 6 months old then potentially 40% of your money is being wasted on ‘gone aways’ and ‘deads’. So make sure the database is up to date and that you have removed those registered with Telephone Preference Screening, and Mail Preference Screening
  2. Do you know who the decision maker is? Too often mail is sent out to ‘Office manager’ or ‘Managing Director’. If you can’t be bothered to find out who is responsible for purchasing your products or services, then don’t expect your mail shot or email to be opened. So find out who is responsible and inform them that you will be writing them a letter introducing your company. This is important in that it gets your company name known to them, and you have found out already if they buy such services or products similar to yours
  3. Keep any letter or email short to the point and benefit oriented. You need to ensure that you write it from the customer’s viewpoint, as all too often mailers go on and on about how big, great, wonderful your company/product/service is – and usually customers don’t care, all they want to know is how you are going to solve their problem/need
  4. Call to action – Direct marketing is often criticised but it’s not the tool that’s at fault. More often than not it’s because there is no call to action, you need to give them a telephone number or email address at the very least
  5. Follow up – how many times do you get an email or mail shot and never get a follow up phone call? Always call the list you have mailed to. It’s a courtesy call to see if they are interested, they can only say ‘No’ they might say ‘Yes’ but it keeps the dialogue going
  6. Test and repeat – measure the response rate, test different messages, refine and repeat the campaign
  7. Consider a multi layered approach to direct marketing. It often works far better with each component supporting and reinforcing the campaign messages.

For more information on Opening Doors and their services visit www.openingdoors.co.uk or call 01260 285 815.