This week I met with a doctor who wanted to do a direct mail campaign to existing patients. It was a specialty practice so my first rule of segmentation, a special message to a particular group in your database, was met.
When it comes to developing effective direct mail, there’s a strange but true corollary: People don’t buy things; they buy opportunities! They don’t buy stuff for their hobby or paraphernalia for their wardrobe; they don’t even buy gadgets, services, or ideas.
They buy opportunities — special deals, promotions, deferred billing, get-acquainted offers, long-term financing, and easy payment terms.
In fact, you want to spend as much or more time talking about your offer than you do about your products or services. Because even the best products and services and direct mail campaigns — unless they are properly merchandised and encased in attractive offers — can fall short of their goal.
Do you want to make your direct mail piece even more powerful? The purpose of all marketing –– direct mail included –– is to motivate a prospect, patient, or customer to take action: to call, order, buy, request information, visit your practice, or whatever –– to take the next step.
In this case, the next important step for my direct mail recommendation was to set the table of motivation. In simple terms, “hey patient, here is an opportunity you were waiting for, so don’t blow it!”
In this fast-paced, highly-competitive world of ours, making this happen isn’t always as easy as it looks. The reason is that it takes a tremendous amount of planning and implementation expertise to make that response occur. In this case, the doctor and I have worked together for 15 years, so there was no need for him to think about the nitty-gritty. That is my job.
My mission is to coordinate all the elements that lead to a successful campaign: data, lists, message content, offers, visual impact, timing, frequency, postal rate efficiencies, postal automation compatibility, and on and on.
Regardless of how much you mail or how often, you’ll always want to seek the overall leadership, professional guidance, and the advice of experts to achieve the greatest possible response to your direct mail campaigns.
A lot of these best practices in direct mail can certainly be moved to some of the social or other traditional media channels. Email, for example, is a great tactic to increase the response of your buying opportunity.
It just may be the extra motivation your customer, patient, or prospects needs.