Advanced Direct Mail

Advanced direct mail campaigns - expert targeting creates awesome results

You’ve probably heard the normal response to any bulk mail out in business ranges from 0.5% to 1% -- any more is often regarded as a very good result.  You can increase the odds in your favor with savvy targeting.

You see, this low ‘normal response’ comes from a mail shot sent to a not qualified or targeted list of names or contacts.  It’s like taking a handful of seed and scattering them on the ground and hoping some will take root, before being eaten by the birds.

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Preparing The Ground

You have to ‘sow’ your seeds in prepared ground and nurture them to increase the chances of growth. The same applies to the letters you send out and the adverts you place.


Selecting the right people and businesses to write to impacts dramatically on the results you get. 

Let me give you an example; a real estate agent, wanted to offer his services to people buying apartments at a new, exclusive development.

A letter was sent to the people who had already agreed to buy one of these opulent apartments - this was a VERY SMALL AND VERY TARGETED LIST -- just 48 addresses. 

It went out the week before Christmas. He felt his prospects would possibly get bored in the long holiday between Christmas and New Year and would read the letter, even though it contained a large number of pages.

There were 2 responses between Christmas and New Year!!

A slightly shorter, follow-up, letter was sent after New Year reminding them about the first letter and giving them the essence of the offer again.

The final outcome? An amazing 44.2% responded, and a whopping 63.16% of the inquiries converted into clients.

This rate of response and conversion is highly unusual -- a percentage of 4% to 5% is normally an excellent outcome.  More often results are in the ½% to 1½% range.  But it does show how precise targeting can increase your results dramatically.

For advanced direct mail, make sure of your target audience and prepare properly, it is crucial to your success.

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Advanced Direct Mail Prepare To Target

Preparing for your advertising campaign means researching the readership of the publication you plan to use and making sure it reaches the right audience for you.

Preparing for your mailing campaign means identifying people or businesses who have already bought or expressed an interest in what you have to offer. 


Well, in the case of a letter going out, it depends upon where your prospects’ details come from in the first place.  If they are in your database, that you have spent time building from the contacts you have made over the years, then you will have made a note of what would interest them.

If you don’t have a database of contacts, you need to get people to qualify themselves by responding to an offer.

Let’s say you have rented a mailing list of 10,000 addresses.  You qualified as much as you could when you sourced the list, types of business, contacts within the business, geographical location etc.  Don’t mail to the whole list -- Instead for advanced direct mail, filter the list to discover who is more likely to buy your product or service.

Make a low priced or no charge offer to identify the people who are more likely to be interested in what you supply.

It could be a report (or white paper) on something that gives your prospect useful information and has some connection with your main product or service.

If you’re aiming to get people to attend a seminar, then inviting them to a taster session may be the right ‘carrot’ to entice your prospects to book on the seminar itself.   Or a teleconference beforehand giving them an idea of what the seminar itself is about.

The key for advanced direct mail is to get people to self-qualify themselves for your main product or service by responding to your offer.

As people respond to your offer, you can start to write to them with specific offers, knowing they are a more qualified prospect.  And incidentally, when you write to your newly qualified contact, make sure you write about the benefits you offer from their point of view.

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Mailing and Packaging Tips

This is the minimum that's proven to be really effective in a mailing package, although you must remember everything should be tested... It should contain 5 or 6 pieces:

1 - The main letter describing the offer

2 - A lift letter from a 3rd party endorsing or recommending the product or service in the offer.  This could be a satisfied customer or a professional in your industry or a business colleague recommending you to their clients.

3 - A well-designed response form.  Use the right quality of paper to match the offer being made.  Even if the offer is a 'free' report or booklet, the quality of the paper will 'position' your service or product in the recipient's mind – "Is this a valuable offer; is it worth spending my time responding?"

4 - A Business Reply Envelope / postage-paid  address/ other mechanism for an easy response – e.g. fax back number or free phone number your prospect can call.

5 - A descriptive leaflet – (optional).  Make sure it contains focused information for the reader  – not just text describing your wonderful product and company is.

6 - The envelope you send the mailer out in.

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