5 Messaging Tricks to Drive Direct Mail Response

We all need to reach ever-increasing direct mail response rate goals. This is a challenge. Although your customers and prospects really like to get mail, you need to make sure that what you send is relevant to them.

We all need to reach ever-increasing direct mail response rate goals. This is a challenge. Although your customers and prospects really like to get mail, you need to make sure that what you send is relevant to them.

Your design grabs attention, but does your mail piece drive enough response? So what can you do differently to increase your response rates? Sending your pieces to the right people is No. 1; but, your messaging is very important, too. How much time do you spend crafting your messaging?

Consider the following when crafting your message:

  • Create Your Core Idea Core messages help people to avoid bad choices by reminding them of what is really important.
  • Uncertainty Can Paralyze Decisions The more we reduce the amount of information and choices in an idea, the more it will resonate.
  • Create Analogies Analogies make it possible to understand compact messages, because they are based on concepts people already know.
  • Create Surprise Unexpected ideas resonate more, because surprise makes us stop and think.
  • Avoid Logic Common sense messaging is not remembered. Why bother? We already know it.

Beyond the ideas above, there are other areas we can focus on that drive direct mail response. Human curiosity requires us to find answers, because it is a gap in our knowledge that we must fill. To get people to be open to our messaging, we need to provide a question that they can’t answer without the information we are about to give them. What people don’t know can be used to entice them to respond to your direct mail.

In order to create interest for a more complex idea or situation, you need to use a clear structure, vivid examples, and fluid language. You should then create a sense of mystery. This will grab attentio,n because people need closure; they will have to read your mail piece to solve the mystery. Make sure to provide clues to assure people they are getting close to the answer. When you do, it compels them to finish in order to get the answer.

Keep in mind that an abstract message is hard to understand and remember. Make sure your messaging is clear and concrete. Concrete language helps people understand new concepts and appeals to the senses. It should appeal to sight, smell, touch, taste, or hearing. The best messages are full of concrete words and images. Some examples are words like tart, cold, green, coarse, or fork. They are real and can easily be seen in the mind.

To make your message even more effective, shift from a “provide information” tactic on your mail piece to a “what questions can I ask” tactic. What do we mean by this? You need to create questions that get people thinking and questioning their own knowledge. You want them to need you to help them. The choice is clear, they need you. Of course, you also need a sense of urgency to get them to respond right away and a call to action that resonates.

Are you ready to get started driving a better direct mail response rate?

Questions to Ask When Planning Direct Mail Campaigns

In order to create direct mail campaigns that ignite more response, you need to ask the right questions at the planning stage. Your ROI is dependent on the choices you make in your mail strategy. The wrong questions can lead to poor direct mail response. The right questions help us empower our team to think outside of the box and create better mail pieces.

In order to create direct mail campaigns that ignite more response, you need to ask the right questions at the planning stage. Your ROI is dependent on the choices you make in your mail strategy. The wrong questions can lead to poor direct mail response. The right questions help us empower our team to think outside of the box and create better mail pieces.

What questions should be asked when planning a direct mailing campaign?

  1. What are our goals? Make a list of each goal so that everyone on the team knows them and why they are important.
  2. What are the advantages from our last mailing? List any of the good things from the last mailing. This could be results, mailing list, images, etc. Make sure to be specific.
  3. What are the disadvantages from our last mailing? List anything bad about the last mailing, and be specific.
  4. What ideas do we have to improve? List out improvement suggestions. Do not filter any out at this time, just write them all down.
  5. What do customers expect from us? Make a list of your customer’s expectations of you and your product/service. If you don’t know, you need to ask them.
  6. What is our customer’s greatest pain? In order to solve problems for your customers, you need to know what they are. List them in order of biggest to smallest.
  7. How can our product or service fix that pain? Use the list you just created to solve the problem for each one.
  8. What are the most powerful benefits our product or service creates for customers? List all your benefits in order of most significance.
  9. How certain are we about whom our customers are? Are you just making assumptions? Find out how you know information about your customers and make sure that it is true.
  10. What are the design possibilities? Now is the time to get creative, list all the fun ideas you can. During brainstorming do not scratch any off the list, just compile all the ideas to whittle down later.
  11. What are we missing? There is always something lurking that we forgot. Make sure to take the time to try and find out what that is.
  12. What are our competitors doing? It is a good idea to sign up for the mailing and email lists of your competitors. You can do that under a different family name if you wish, but keeping tabs on what they are doing can help you shape your mail strategy. You can exploit their weaknesses.
  13. What resources do we need? Many times you will not have everything you need, having a list of all resources will help to ensure you stay on top of everything in a timely manner.
  14. Do we need help from outside the organization? Most companies are not able to execute a mailing campaign without outside help. Make sure you have trusted resources that can complete items for you when you need them.

After you answer all these questions and document your strategy, it is a good idea to reach out to your mail service provider to get their input. You may need to make some changes before you print and mail. They can guide you on postal regulations, as well as what has worked well for others. The better planning you do before you mail, the better your results are going to be. Are you ready to get started?

How to Overcome Resistance With Direct Mail

The biggest challenge for marketing, no matter what the channel, is driving response. One of the best benefits of direct mail is that it has an easier time overcoming the resistance to responding. Of course, not all direct mail works. How can you get your direct mail to drive a better response? Let’s look at four tips.

The biggest challenge for marketing, no matter what the channel, is driving response. One of the best benefits of direct mail is that it has an easier time overcoming the resistance to responding. Of course, not all direct mail works. How can you get your direct mail to drive a better response? Let’s look at four tips.

4 Ways to Overcome Resistance to Your Marketing With Direct Mail

  1. Emotion: Start by addressing the emotions people have about making a purchase. They have fear about the unknown. Give them some testimonials from people like them that loved your product or service. They have some anger about having to deal with this now and the urge to procrastinate about it. Provide benefits for them to see how great it will be after the purchase and give them a deadline to respond by. Finally, you need to address the self-doubt they are having. Are they making the wrong decision? Will it work? You can help reinforce them with compliments and positive messaging.
  2. Experience: Use the direct mail piece to create and experience for your customers and prospects. There are many ways you can do this such as adding video, augmented reality, texture and so much more. Hands-on experiences are powerful. The most important part here is that the experience is relevant to your product or service and is engaging and fun.
  3. Trust: People buy from companies they trust. Your direct mail needs to be trustworthy. In order to do that you need to be clear about what they can expect from your product or service. You need to be very open and honest with your messaging while keeping your tone optimistic. This is another place where testimonials really help. People believe other people like them. Another factor is repetition. It really does take eight to 10 touches with prospects before they feel comfortable buying from you. Keep in mind that multi-channel marketing can help you here. In many studies over the years direct mail has been the top trusted marketing channel so use that to your advantage.
  4. Focus: The focus of you direct mail piece should be on converting the people who are ambivalent into buyers. They are the quickest way to increasing your response rates. They are not a full on “no,” they are a “maybe.” Find out the ways to reach them specifically to address the three ways above. When you are able to address all their concerns you can get them to act and buy from you.

Keep in mind that you are asking people to make a change when they buy from you. Many people do not like change and that is why your messaging is so important. Grab their attention with your design, but get them to buy with your message. The four ways discussed above will help you drive your response rates up, but the only way to sustain growth over time is to be driven and consistently changing what you are doing. Yes, you should be sending mail to people multiple times, but not the same thing — you need to change it up.

The real power of direct mail is targeting. When you add variable data messaging to your highly targeted list, you are tapping into a persuasive method. Make it easy for them to respond by providing them an offer that is relevant, a web address they can make a purchase from that is mobile friendly, and any other ways you want to provide a phone number they can call. The easier it is the more response you are going to get.