eeeIt didn’t take me more than 2 minutes to tell the General Manager to a business I consult to…

“This sales letter is crap!”

I meant to say in a polite way… “This sales letter won’t work!” but me being me didn’t quite express it so eloquently.

You see this business, one I know quite intimately, needed to steer in a different direction to make sales.

They have lived for the past 10 years on being reactionary. Now they had to start chasing sales.

So they asked me to help create a sales brochure which introduced a new service.

It covered features, benefits, who, what, where and how. It was full of emotional direct response copy. It was a brochure which had all the hallmarks of success because it followed a proven direct mail formula.

It was also 12 pages in length. Somewhat more than their normal one-page flyer they were accustomed to sending.

It took hours of negotiating with the Marketing Department to get the new style brochure approved because the brochure was against their boring, mundane, structured and robotic marketing template.

I was taking them in a new direction.

I knew the 12 page brochure would work because I have used the model to sell $450,000 worth of a similar product over the past 5 years.

The idea was to post out the brochure to a select group of clients and then follow up with a telephone campaign.

In sales language we ‘Qualified the Door To Knock On” (who gets the brochure) and then we would talk direct to each recipient to Overcome Objections and Ask for the Sale.

This procedure put simply is to Knock on the Doors Of Most Potential and then follow up with the Quality of the Knock (i.e. The sales pitch).

Now don’t get me wrong here…

Your product or service must be of a high standard and provide high value. I am not talking of selling garbage to people.

But then the unthinkable happened in this business…

The Marketing Manager decided to put her ‘corporate letter’ inside the envelope to accompany the brochure.

The business’ stock-standard boring, mundane, structured and robotic marketing template was used instead of a teaser pamphlet.

Of course this was done without the approval of anyone except the Marketing Manager. She just grabbed all the brochures and said her team would look after the mailing.

To my shock and horror I knew the first item which would be read would be the corporate sales letter which was a DUD. Nobody would read the brochure first.

People would want to know what the brochure was about.

That is why you have to be so careful adding inserts to your mailings.

To paraphrase the corporate letter read:

“We have been in business for 100 years and have a great reputation. Here is a new service we have. You should call us to buy”

Gulp!

I couldn’t believe the internal sabotage to the company.

How could a university marketing graduate get it so wrong?!

Why would they not allow the campaign to run its agreed intended course?!

Why did she need to interfere?!

There are many forces at play here but the most obvious one to me is…

“Stop Being Squeamish In Your Sales… ”

The Marketing Manager didn’t have the guts to run the campaign the way it was intended.

So the lesson I will leave you with here is…

If you have a made a decision to run a campaign… RUN IT!

Don’t allow your inner voice to pull the campaign before you test the results.

PS: The telephone follow-up conversations reveal a disarming number of recipients read the corporate letter and placed the brochure in the “I will check it out later pile”.

PPS: But you and I knew this would be the case – didn’t we.

vffWhether you are looking to do a mail out, a telemarketing campaign or wanting to reach prospects by email, direct marketing is an effective and affordable way to reach out to potential customers.

The lists you use will determine the success of your direct marketing campaign. Determining who to target the list is a crucial process and establishing your criteria will help you get the best results.

You may want to find a list of consumers or businesses who have purchased products or services similar to yours, or who fall into the demographic profile or income range you are trying to reach.

With thousands of direct marketing lists to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Evaluating list suppliers and finding the right direct marketing lists for your particular campaign can be over whelming.

A direct marketing list broker represents all available lists in the direct marketing industry. they will help you find the best list by understanding your target market. The brokers serve as your guide, providing list recommendations for your marketing efforts.

If possible, look for a list broker who has experience working with clients who target the same type of customer you’re trying to reach. If you are trying to fund raise look for a broker with experience with working with non-profit organisations, or if you are looking for to market to other businesses, look for a brokers with B2B experience.

Is the list broker accessible: Do they call you back? Do they answer your emails in a timely fashion? Do you feel they are trying to build a relationship for future business endeavors? Good brokers realize that relationship building offers other opportunities down the road.

You should ask how the data is compiled and how often it is updated. Ask to see a sample of the data. Before buying the list you should make sure how it looks like, what information is included.

Be aware that good data comes with a cost. Give your budget for the campaign up front so the broker will know if he can accommodate you and your needs.

Also, ask the broker about their customer service and satisfaction policies. A good list broker will stand behind their services, should you get anything other than the list that you ordered, the broker should do whatever it takes to replace it immediately or provide a full or partial refund.

You can search for reviews of the list broker, the internet has no shortage of places to post reviews of customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer’s testimonies.

Choosing someone you can trust to do their job well will save you time and money in the long run.

wddWith the constant bombardment of tweets, Facebook posts and e-mails a piece of advertising received in the mail is a refreshing change and grabs attention. Of course a standard letter simply will not make the mark – an attention-grabbing format is a must and a good start is to choose a direct mail idea that is sent out in a chunky envelope.

Our love of a good book has not diminished with the introduction of e-readers. We are still impressed and intrigued by a glossy cover and the fact that we can pick a book up and investigate further.

This is why direct mail is not dead – just like those books a well-designed and attention-grabbing direct mail piece will work for any advertising campaign and here is why:

A chunky board envelope or mailing wrap will rise to the top of the post tray, arouse curiosity as to what is inside and beg to be opened. That is just a starting point – you also need an entertaining and effective direct mailer inside the box to keep the interest.

A pop up product is a great way to impress and get your message across. All pop up products are sent out compressed into the chunky boxes and they spring free as soon as released. This action alone gains 100% attention. Soon becoming a talking point, a pop up product is shared with co-workers and colleagues beating any digital marketing format hands down.

Add a few pen holes to your direct mailer and you have a desk-top tool as well that will continue to broadcast your company details for a long time. Comparing that to an e-mail that is deleted in a second and never seen again it makes sense to invest in good direct mail campaigns.

Good graphic design is a must too to ensure that you get the best out of your mailing campaign, a printed calendar as part of your design gives your pop up product longevity too.

If a pop up does not appeal to you then there are other ideas – extending products, moving picture products and flicker styles – all chunky in design and taking interactivity and attention-grabbing to a different dimension.

Keeping hands busy is a great way to get your message across and choosing a direct mail format that will be picked up again and again and shared with others is just like that book in the store – tempting and inviting.

Opening up a direct mail piece spreads a little happiness too – often the surprise element of a posted piece is enough to get your company noticed.

2Newsletters, postcards, brochures, flyers, business cards; there are many types of effective direct mail. In this article we are going to discuss snap pack mailers, one of the cheapest but most effective mailers used in direct mail marketing. These are the simple mail without envelopes that must be torn along the perforated edges on both sides to be read. They are not as col

Snap Pack Printing: Advantages and Specifications

orful or grand as postcards, nor include plenty of information and attachments like a newsletter. Yet they are popular and are extensively used for a wide array of applications.

Advantages of Snap Pack Mailers

Before we know more about the processes and materials employed in snap pack printing, let’s briefly understand why this simple piece of mail is preferred so extensively by all businesses.

• Cheap – The first and foremost reason to use these mailers is that they are very cheap to print and send out to customers. It is just a sheet of paper glued on both ends, doesn’t require color printing and doesn’t require an envelope either.

• High Open Rate – Though simple in its design and form, this form of mail instantly generates a sense of curiosity among the potential customers. It prompts them to tear open the ends and see what is written inside. Thus, they have the highest open rates and naturally high conversion rates too.

• Send Bulk Mail – Since they are cheap and have a high open rate, they can be used to send bulk mails like pay stubs, account statements, credit offers and billings.

Snap Pack Printing: Specifications

Below mentioned rules must be followed during snap pack printing to create effective mail pieces at cheaper prices.

• Paper – 28 LB white paper of standard letter size (8.5×11) is used to print these mailers. It is up to the client to decide if both sides must be left printable or one side of the sheet must have a blockout.

• Space – If a standard letter size (8.5×11) paper is used in snap pack printing, it must be understood that the printing space available is 7.5×10.5 inch. This is because, a certain amount of space on the paper must be reserved so that every mail piece is torn off the edges when it is to be read by the customer.

• Template – The content template must be designed so that it fits in within the available printing space and the content doesn’t get torn off along the edges. During snap pack printing, one must realize that it is possible to have information printed on both sides of the paper and if any graphics must be printed, it must be at least 300 dpi.

• Fold Options: The last stage of the snap pack printing is the way the printed paper is folded, perforated and glued along the edges. There are three folding options namely C fold, Z fold and half fold.