What Does ‘Why’ Mean to Your Direct Mail?

“Why?” For so many reasons, it’s the best question in marketing. “Why?” gets right down to the main point.

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“Why?” For so many reasons, it’s the best question in marketing. “Why?” gets right down to the main point.

If you have children, at some point you have been confronted with the inevitable “why” questions children have such as, “Why is the sky blue?” That curiosity is natural for all of us; but many times when we are busy, we do not take the time to ask many of the whys we should be asking.

Are you asking enough why questions about your direct mail program? Why, you ask? Well, without a clearly defined “why,” there are many things that can go wrong with your mail piece. Let’s look at how “why” can help you create a great mail piece, with fabulous results.

Start planning your mail with seven whys:

  1. Why Do You Want to Send a Mail Piece? There are many marketing channels to choose from, so why mail? A clear and concise plan will make your mail campaign smoother. Does your target audience have more than one way to be reached? Can you combine your mail with other channels to increase your response rates?
  2. Why Have You Selected Your Chosen Format? There are so many to choose from: postcards, letters, self-mailers, flats and parcels. Why did you pick yours? Do the people you plan to target like this type of mailer better? Is it easier to get people to open it? Did you choose a format based on cost? The main point is to make sure you are using the best format for your audience.
  3. Why Have You Selected Your Chosen Images? Will they draw in your audience? Do they help to convey your message? Are they bold or unique enough to make people curious?
  4. Why Have You Chosen Your Messaging? Is it interesting? Does it provide a concise description of your product or service along with the benefits of purchase? Remember, you must convey what is in it for them in order to get them to purchase. Do not list features in your message, stick with benefits.
  5. Why Should People Buy From You and Not Your Competition? Here is your chance to stand out. Tell people the benefits they get by working with you. Make sure to phrase it in a way that talks about them, not you. They don’t care about you; they are in it for themselves.
  6. Why Have You Chosen Your Mail Date? Mail dates are important, so why did you select yours? Does it tie into other marketing channels? Is there a “respond by” date based on the in-home dates? Did you pick a day based on past history?
  7. Why Have You Chosen Your ‘Respond by’ Date? Have you allowed enough time for people to receive them and respond? Have you set the date too far out, so there is no sense of urgency in responding? Be careful to select a date that allows people time to review your offer and look up relevant information to make a decision. The bigger the purchase, the longer the time needed to decide.

All of these questions whittle down to the core of your objectives. Starting with a clearly defined core and building your direct mail campaign from there allows you to create better, more responsive direct mail pieces. Each step in your plan needs to be thoroughly vetted with the “why” process. When you are able to answer all the “whys,” your targeted audience receives a powerfully persuasive mailer that they can’t ignore. There is a great book that goes in-depth on how to find your “why.” Check it out here.. Are you ready to get started?

The ‘Why’ That Gets Prospects to Buy

We’re in an age where copy must work harder to be noticed and break through. The superficial message will be overlooked, and unless it speaks to the heart in a grab-by-the-collar kind of way, it’s lost. So how do you peel back the layers of resistance to deliver the deeper why?

EmotionsWe’re in an age where copy must work harder to be noticed and break through. The superficial message will be overlooked, and unless it speaks to the heart in a grab-by-the-collar kind of way, it’s lost. So how do you peel back prospects’ layers of resistance to deliver the deeper why?

In my last blog I wrote about breaking through to the big idea. Without a big idea, a headline and story become noise.

And without emotion, the big idea may not work.

That’s why copywriters and marketers must work harder to peel back the hardened layers that people add to their personas.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been on the planning team for a musical production coming this July in Las Vegas. There will be about 300 singers from two large choral groups on stage together performing before about 8,000 people.

It would be easy to stand before the audience and sing great songs. But the question we’ve pressed ourselves to answer is this: What emotion do we want the individual in the audience to feel, the moment the curtain comes down?

We’re getting closer to identifying a handful of deep emotions about the impact of singing, but one exercise we used applies to marketers and copywriters, and might be useful to help you identify the deeper emotion of a new message.

Consider the following scenario. At first glance it may seem simplistic, but look past the pure utility of whatever you’re offering to the deeper end benefit can often lead to that clarity of “why.”

A man walks into a hardware store. An employee asks him what he’s searching for.

“A drill,” he replies.

The employee shows the customer to the aisle with drills. Without probing any further, the employee says, “if you need something else let me know,” and walks away.

The employee simply assumed the customer wanted a drill. But what if the employee had known that this was more than drilling a hole? What if it was learned that the customer was building an awning on the backyard of his home? And that he may have needed additional materials or tools for the project?

Or perhaps the employee would have learned that the reason the customer was buying a drill was because he was building the awning for his daughter. Then, she would have a place to sit in the shade on a sunny day, and under protection on a rainy day.

Or, maybe with more conversation, the customer would have revealed that the deeper reason for building the awning was because his daughter was disabled and confined to a wheelchair. And sitting outside was the only time for his daughter to breathe fresh air.

After peeling back the layers, you realize you’re not just selling the simple utility of a drill. You’re in the business of helping your clients and customers get to an emotional satisfaction — of helping them achieve their bigger goal that’s driven by the “why.”

The point of this thought process, and the reason to keep asking “why,” is that even something as simple as purchasing a drill may have a much deeper emotional reason behind the purchase.

When you know the deeper persona of the person you’re reaching, or can imagine their story, your message can get to the core of a deeper emotional feeling that enables the customer to make their decision in a heartbeat.

Gary Hennerberg gives you the detail of his “Seven Pathways from Head to Heart to YES!” in his book, Crack the Customer Mind Code, available from the DirectMarketingIQ Bookstore. For a free download with more detail about the seven pathways, and access to Gary’s videos where he presents them, go to CustomerMindCode.com.

Donald Trump Gets the Why Behind the Buy

Ted Cruz still doesn’t know what hit him. Neither do most of the Republican party establishment, and large segments of the non-Republican electorate. But Carolyn Goodman has a pretty good idea: “Trump really understands the why behind the buy.”

Last night, a beleaguered Ted Cruz suspended his campaign after yet another loss to Donald Trump on the Republican primary campaign trail. After another drubbing in a state that was supposed to reject Trump’s big city conservative populism, Cruz said, “It appears that path has been foreclosed.”

Ted Cruz still doesn’t know what hit him. Neither do most of the Republican party establishment, and large segments of the non-Republican electorate. But Carolyn Goodman has a pretty good idea.

“Trump really understands the why behind the buy,” said Carolyn, president and creative director of Goodman Marketing Partners, during yesterday’s webinar on optimizing lead nurturing.

Pain Point Research > Persona Research

Carolyn’s answer was in response to an audience member’s question during the webinar Q&A: “Do Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders demonstrate that emotion drives more than facts?”

And it tied into something Carolyn said earlier in the webinar: Know the why behind the buy.

What that means is, for anyone asking people to choose their brand — whether it’s at the store, in an email or on the campaign trail — understanding why customers are in the market and why they choose your brand over another is the most important factor to turning a lead into a sale.

In fact, she said doing research on the pain points that lead customers to choose you, and marketing to those pain points, is far more important to successful lead nurturing and long-term sales than marketing to personas.

In effect, what you know about why they buy is more important than what you know about their demographics, niche and theoretical wants. And Donald Trump’s campaign is a perfect example of this, according to Goodman.

Donald Trump’s Marketing Epiphany

While the rest of the Republican field developed messaging around the grooved talking points of GOP politics today, Trump identified the why behind the buy (or vote).

This time, many Republican voters are making the buy based on frustration with what they see as stifling political correctness and a coddling bureaucracy that they don’t think can protect the country from a host of threats. And the only thing they want to vote for is change, to get “bought” career politicians out of office.

That’s the why behind their buy, and Donald Trump gets that.

If Trump hears voters saying the other candidates aren’t willing to tell what they see as a “truth” about immigrants, Muslims, tariffs or any other topic, he embraces that “truth” and speaks it as often as he can. If the other candidates say something might not be achievable, or affordable, Trump tells voters it is and he’ll make sure it’s paid for.

If voters are frustrated about politicians not doing something, Trump promises to do it. If they’re frustrated that something’s not being said, he says it.

Trump’s not over-analyzing the demographics or overthinking the personas of his voters. Instead he’s just listening to his likely voters’ pain points and addressing them.

Trump gets the why behind his customers’ buys.

Do you get the why behind yours?