Please let me know if you want to here more. If not, no need for me to spend more time on this.
Saw another thread about postcards on here. Started writing out a lengthy response and then figured I'd just start a new thread. Was just going to include info on postcards but then decided to include direct mail in general.
In this thread I am going to share some information on using postcards and direct mail. I'll to my best to keep the BS to a minimum.
I'll also update it from time to time. I'll update this first post to make it easy for you to come back to and reference.
So let's get started.
Direct Mail broken down into the basics...
It really comes down to 3 things when using direct mail. They are...
Market - The market you are targeting your message to.
Message - The message you are sending, the copy.
Media - How you get your message out there (TV, radio, postcard, online, etc.)
(To give credit where credit is due, thank you Dan Kennedy for teaching me this)
Of those 3, what do you think is the most important and why? Seriously, ask yourself this question, come up with your answer, and then continue reading.
The answer is...
Without the right market you are dead in the water. Gary Halbert called it the starving crowd. He would ask his students this...
"If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who could sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you most like to have on your side to help you win?"
As you can imagine the answers ranged from things like...
The lowest prices
Halberts answer: A starving crowd.
Without that, no one would buy any burger. Even if it's in the best location, using the best meat, the best buns, all for the lowest price.
So how does that apply to you? Well obviously the starving crowd is your market. Your FIRST objective is to define your market and define it as specific as possible. The more specific the better.
Which brings me to...
There is a mailing list for just about anything out there. You *RENT them. Cost is usually per thousand. When you are looking at mailing lists cost, it is usually stated as $XX/m. The "m" means THOUSAND. For example: $100/m.
*Since you are renting the list, you can only mail to it once. Any additional mailings means you have to pay more money. They seed the list with fake names, so don't try to cheat.
Also, you usually have to rent at least a list of 5,000 names. Although it's worth a try to try and lower that.
To drill down your list you use "Selects". Selects are what you use to target your list by a certain criteria. Examples would be...
Zip, state, county, income, male or female, homeowner, renter, age, etc. You can drill down pretty specific.
Each select adds to the price per thousand. It's a hard pill to swallow when you see the price per thousand going up and up with every select you make. But remember, your list (market) is the most important part of this puzzle. You WANT to drill down as much as possible.
To get the point across, do you think it would be wise to just pick up the phone book and mail to people in that? Hopefully you answered "no".
Why do you think that's a bad idea?
Because your offer won't be targeted to the people you are mailing to.
I always like to use Lamborghini as an example. Let's break it down, follow along.
Let's say you want to market to people in hopes to get them into a Lamborghini dealership to purchase a new Lamborghini....cheapest one is north of $200,000.
What kind of mailing list would you choose? Would your selects be...
18-25 years old
Subscribes to "O Magazine"
Owns a Prius and Minivan
28-56 years old
$315,000 average income
$2,200,000 average net worth
Subscribes to DuPont Magazine
Looks a little better huh? You can, and probably should, drill the list down even more. But this is just an example to prove a point.
The point is, your first step to any mailing campaign is to define your target market.
When define your target market you can now speak directly to them and use the appropriate media. Which btw, the Lamborghini example, using direct mail may not even be the best media. Again, just an example.
With all that being said, the #1 thing I see people doing wrong when they are marketing is choosing a product or service first and then trying to find someone to sell it to. This is backwards. I'm guilty of this myself.
The right way is to find the "starving crowd" first and then get in front of them with some food.
That's because a poor message sent to the right market is better than a great message sent to the wrong market. Market first!
Think about it. You've probably had someone try and sell you on something you could care less about. No matter how great of a message they use, you aren't going to buy. You're just not interested.
Personal example, I'm a vegetarian. So Omaha Steaks would be wasting a great deal of money marketing to me (they do use direct mail in their marketing efforts). I don't care how many testimonials they send me, how cheap their steak is, how great it supposedly tastes, I'm not going to buy. Devil's Advocate - The ONLY way they MAY get me to buy is to persuade me to buy them as gifts for friends and family.
Ok, hopefully by now you get the point. PICK YOUR MARKET FIRST.
The ONLY job of your postcard is to get the person reading it to take some form of action. That's it. It's not to sell them anything. It's pretty damn hard to sell something on a small 4x6 postcard. Instead, you are selling the clear call to action.
Notice how I said CLEAR call to action. Most direct mail pieces don't have any call to action let alone a clear one. Look, people are lazy. So unless you tell them EXACTLY what to do and WHY to do it (benefits), they aren't going to do anything. And when people aren't being lazy and are actually busy, the same things applies. Tell them what to do and why to do it.
Why should they visit your website? What's in it for them?
Why should they call your free recorded message? What's in it for them?
Always ask yourself, "What's in it for them?"
I firmly believe you can sell just about anything with a well written sales letter sent to the right market. I'm not going to get into copywriting in this thread, as that's much too deep of a topic. But I will post some things you cannot leave out of a sales letter.
Headline - Some will say to never use a headline on a "personal" letter. While others will say to always use a headline. The only way to find out what works best is to test.
Clear Call To Action - Already touched on this above. Same thing applies when mailing letters.
I will add more, a lot more, later on. This thread is obviously taken lots of time to write, and right now I'm out of time. Until then...
Please hit the "THANKS" button if you got any value from this thread.