I talked with an old friend a few weeks ago who, in a roundabout way, asked me for some free marketing advice for her housecleaning business. This is kind of rare for me, and I asked a lot of questions. When she told me that Facebook was just not working well enough for her, I think my next words were: “direct mail.”
Now, I like housecleaning, but I know a lot of people don’t. There’s a really good market for this kind of work. I showed her how the Cleaning Authority does a terrific job detailing its services in a very simple self-mailer.
Then I remembered my blog post on copy and design ideas for using direct mail to drive local business. I listed seven of them then, but in talking with her, I came up with a few more, thanks to mail that comes into Who’s Mailing What!.
To make a personal connection with a prospect, your direct mail should use copy (and images) that generate an emotional response. Although there are many motivators, the seven main drivers of action are: fear, greed, guilt, anger, exclusivity, salvation, and flattery.
Over the years, I’ve seen all of them used in local offers, whether mailed solo or as part of a co-op package. Salvation seems to be the most common, as in this example.
2. Ask A Question
This is an easy way to involve a prospect in your promotion. Providing the right answer helps customers to self-qualify for your services. In this case, it’s helped along by a bullet-pointed checklist that backs up the impulse to take the offer … or at least think about it.
3. Use Testimonials
The voices of satisfied clients can be quite powerful. Existing customers can talk about their own experiences, in their own words. For prospects, reading the opinions of other people that are similar to them the most, maybe even their own neighbors, can make the offer more relevant. Using a photo of a real person, an authentic story, and a specific problem or issue addressed by one or more of the selling points helps bolster a company’s claims. Add social call-outs adds even more credibility.
BONUS: Include The Magic Word
That magic word is “free.” Or even better, “FREE!” This is pretty simple. Free estimate. Free inspection. Free bonus. Free item. Free membership. Free Service. Free dessert. The possibilities are endless for offering something of value.
Direct mail is highly measurable and cost-effective, when done well. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available to help. I also pointed out to my friend that many of these tactics can be applied to the online world. When I last checked in with her, she was working with a local marketer on a direct mail plan, as well as her Facebook and the rest of her online presence. She should be turning away business in no time.