I don’t know about you but recently I have been receiving more of the every door direct mail though the post office. How do I know? It just appears, there typically isn’t any postage on it and yet it was delivered with my mail. Now, in my mind, this is different than the weekly newspaper style circular I have been getting for years every Tuesday in my mail that includes coupons for various local businesses including the pharmacy, pet stores, grocery and restaurants.
These EDDM style pieces are typically more dramatic. Because this every door direct mail program has very flexible design requirements – unlike a more typical direct mail program. In my neighborhood it is used quite often by realtors that produce large post cards (I’m talking 15” x 18” and larger) and many times in unusual shapes.
Every Door Direct Mail can Stand Out
And you know what, because they really do stand out, I look at them!! That’s the whole point, right?
I do think every door direct is an effective way to reach customers in very specific geographic areas without having to “buy” a list. Depending on your type of business it can be a great way of targeting those customers closest to your location efficiently.
For any direct mail effort you are trying to break through all the messaging clutter and get the attention of your target audience. And that’s no easy task with all the “noise” that’s out there. You are competing with literally possibly thousands of messages a day (I’ve seen daily message count reports of 3000, 5000 and more that we get). But it doesn’t really matter the actual number because we now live in that over stimulated society that’s only getting worse.
So, being able to target close to home so to speak with a design that is out of the “envelope” can be quite effective.
Therefore, I wanted to provide some thoughts to consider when you are developing your direct mail program. When I got into the marketing business (many moons ago) one of the first mantras I was told was KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid. And I feel that is still true today. You direct mail piece should intrigue your target audience enough to respond in the way that you’ve requested. You just have to pique their interest enough for them to want to learn more, you don’t have to tell them the whole story.
Direct Mail Message Should be Compelling
I can’t tell you how many times I actually open a direct mail piece, start to read it and decide they are taking too long to get to the point and I quit reading and throw it away. I understand that you are excited and proud of your product or service and what to tell everything you can about it in a 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper, you’re paying for it so why not, right? WRONG! Open space is your friend. A simple design and a simple compelling message will go a much longer way.
I could tell you countless stories about how clients didn’t listen and insisted on packing their post card or mailing with everything about the business. And you know
what? I typically stop fighting with them and just do what they ask after a while. It’s now not my vision but there’s (and I do tell them that). And when they don’t get the response they expected I always point out that they did what they wanted, not what was recommended. So that’s another lesson. If you hire a professional it’s because you respect their experience and hopefully trust them, so let them do what they do best. I don’t think you’d stop your doctor in the middle of a procedure to tell them you think it’d be better for them to cut a different way, would you?
Now, that you’ve honed your message into a concise and compelling story and intrigued your target customer enough to respond, what’s the best way to get them to do just that? Well, that’s the beauty of today’s technology. In the not so distant past your message would say “fill out the information card below and mail it to us and we’ll send you more information”. By the time you received the information weeks later, many times you probably forgot you even requested it!! That is, if you even got the requested information at all (but that’s a story for another time).
Technology Promises Quick Interaction with Direct Mail
Today, if you receive USPS direct mail you literally have many ways to interact with your audience to provide them more information or actually get them to buy now! Think about it. You can have them visit a specific website (that takes them to a very specific page with the offer in the mailing), they could go online and actually buy from the website immediately, you could encourage them to sign up to follow you on twitter, Instagram, facebook or any of the other social media options so they get more offers, or you could direct them to download a new app and actually experience the product with a Virtual Reality experience.
Start a Conversation with Direct Mail
Think of the every door direct mail as your opportunity to meet and engage your neighbors in a conversation. That’s how most of us grow our businesses, establishing a relationship and building loyal customers. I have to admit, I don’t care how many dry cleaner’s mailings I get I’m not changing. My “guy” knows me by name. He knows I play golf. We chat when I take my laundry in. I received a mailing recently that included a $50 gift card to be used for my next dry cleaning from another company. I saved it for a while thinking, well, maybe. But they were farther away and I decided, didn’t know me.
However, their bulky unusually shaped mailing did get me to open it and consider a change. If I had been unhappy with my current dry cleaner, it would have definitely compelled me to at least try them. That’s a start for possible future growth. As a matter of fact, they did get a customer out of it because I gave the gift card to a friend and they did try them and liked them.
As you can see, It doesn’t matter the size of your business because we are all trying to make an impact on the right people so that they will buy our product or services. The USPS Every Door direct mail program is just another opportunity to try and cut through that message clutter to grow your business. Check it out.
Her corporate marketing experience included National Advertising Director for Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., and Director of Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read More
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