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After a slowdown from a holiday season in retail or hitting a speed bump in business-to-business sales, there is an opportunity to get back to the basics in your marketing communications and promotions.
Some businesses use a slowdown to work on their business and be ready for the next growth spurt. As one company president recently told me, “I’m spending my time re-inventing our company.” By that, he meant that he is defining a new set of business goals and objectives based on where his industry may be next year or even in two years.
It’s a good idea to periodically review the marketing basics with the use of direct mail, other traditional tactics and even social media. The marketing basics are there for a reason – they work if they are properly integrated into your marketing communications. As an added bonus, they are critical to the success of your marketing and sales functions.
The following four marketing basics of direct mail can help you maintain a revenue stream in any economy and even doing a normal business slowdown.
First, never underestimate the value of the list containing your direct mail contacts for a mailing assignment. Some industry experts say the list is the most important element in your communications. Get the mailing list to us early in allowing enough time to optimize your list. The cost of today’s postage can lower the ROI of any mailing when postal regulations are not met.
Second, any successful direct mail program must be consistent. This goes for email and even some of the newer social media channels as well. Your direct mail copy and design must leave an impression in the contact’s mind. It’s an impression about your company that will be reinforced in subsequent communications. One benefit of using direct mail is to get the contact’s attention. It could be as simple as equating your brand to the fulfillment of one of their needs, thus expanding your brand’s mind share for your customer or prospect. Then you present a compelling offer that causes the recipient to respond.
Third is the marketing basic of relevancy. When you look at the design and copy of your direct mail program do you look with “relevant eyes”? For example, a direct mail piece from a tire replacement or auto repair chain that arrives in the mail box of someone who owns a new vehicle is probably a wasted mailing. Even so, if a recipient of the same mailing whose car warranty just expired, that information on tire replacement and other automobile repair is relevant.
The Fourth and final one, is frequency. Not because it’s overlooked, but because more times than not, it’s hard to maintain. Everyone knows there is a value when the frequency is maintained in a direct mail campaign. Frequency is always high on the direct mailer’s to-do list, sometimes ahead of the mailing list. However, after much effort is spent on getting the right direct mail message with the right look on the right schedule, and eventually taking more time to accomplish, frequency is forgotten. Plus, add the time to determine how your last mailing pulled and frequency gets pushed back even further.
If your analysis shows that the planned direct mail campaign adheres to the marketing basics, you will more than likely reach your goals.
Remember the advertising campaign by AOL in the 1990’s? How many disks did you receive over a period of time? Was it 20, 30 or 50 disks? Computer technology, faster modems and the new communication medium of email, made AOL the giant it was at the turn of the century.
That famous advertising campaign began to drive people to put a stop to receiving any more of the disks! AOL’s basic story, technology, and the appeal of the new email medium and the internet, were effective and appeared frequently in your mailbox. It was a highly successful advertisement that simply followed the four marketing basics of Marketing 101.
The next time you find yourself backed into a campaign dilemma, remember the Marketing 101 basics. They’ll get you back on track and back into a successful direct mail campaign. For additional information about what the four famous basics of marketing can specifically do for you, give us a call!