Or Better Known As “The Big List If You Need a Big Response!”
“Market unto others as you would have them market unto you.”
That’s a little broad. So let’s take a look at it piece by piece. Here are seven elements that combine to make up the one big “Golden Rule.”
Rule #1: Market only what is relevant to people who care about what you are marketing!
In other words, don’t send a solicitation for membership to the new golf course unless you know you’re mailing to golfers.
While golfers would enjoy receiving such a solicitation and might jump at the chance to play or join, not only would non-golfers most likely not be interested in receiving it, they most likely wouldn’t be taking positive action –– such as spending money!
We know that targeted direct marketing is extremely effective. But a misdirected inappropriate solicitation is wasteful and may hurt your brand.
Rule #2: Eliminate the risk of buying.
You know that when you receive a solicitation for any offer, you appreciate knowing that you can buy with complete confidence. If you’re not completely happy with your purchase –– or any aspect of the purchase –– you have recourse.
That recourse could be to receive all of your money back if you’re not completely satisfied. It could be to receive an extended service contract at no additional charge.
Just as you like to know that you can buy confidently your prospects and customers want to know the same thing. So we say,
“Bring risk reversal into your direct marketing mail and response solicitations. Make it prominent throughout your offer and your copy. Talk about it. Brag about it.”
Rule #3: Offer all appropriate response options.
Most people like to know they can go online any time, day or night, and place an order.
What’s your favorite way to take the next step and respond? If you prefer to be one of those two-in-the-morning buyers, so be it as well.
The point is that just as you prefer to have it your way, so do your prospects and customers. So give them options.
Through testing, you’ll determine the most preferred response options of your market. And then you’ll be doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Rule #4: Be honest. Maintain high integrity.
You know how you feel when you think you’re being scammed or taken advantage of.
You know how you feel when a marketing message borders on “too good to be true.”
We’ve all seen solicitations that show an amazing cleaning product, for example –– one that we’ve tried on a lesser stain. We know it doesn’t work.
Credibility goes down the drain right along with the cleaning product.
Rule #5: Use personalization carefully and wisely.
Yes, this is 2015. Personalization is so easy to use these days that many direct marketing mail and response campaigns use a tremendous amount of it. Research shows that personalization helps increase response.
However, a name spelled wrong is sometimes all it takes for an otherwise on-target campaign to wind up blowing in the wind!
When someone sends you a solicitation with your name spelled incorrectly or containing information that is too personal or incorrect, you know the feeling.
That feeling is magnified even more when that solicitation comes from someone who should know better –– such as a company that you’ve purchased from in the past.
Rule #6: Don’t Assume; Educate.
It’s dangerous to assume that your customers and prospects know what you think they know.
In reality your readers may know more than you about what you’re selling; they may know less. You just never know for sure.
It always helps to educate customers and prospects in such a way that neither talks down to them nor insults them.
A few carefully chosen paragraphs summarizing features and benefits, a link to a digital source such as a landing page, with facts and figures, and so on can provide a quick overview of your product or service.
It’s what you would want someone to do for you –– particularly if you were new to a certain technology, product, or service solution.
Rule #7: Offend no one.
It’s hard to know what might offend a customer or prospect.
While it seems impossible to “offend no one,” we need to be alert to that each and every person on your list is different. They come to the moment in time when they read your offer having a variety of life experiences.
The solution is to think carefully about the words and images you use. Get a consensus about your words and images from a cross section of people.
When you follow the golden rules of direct marketing, mail and response life gets better. You attract loyal customers who keep buying and who refer you to their friends and colleagues.
This provides you with the greatest impact and the most leverage –– guaranteed.
What would you add to our list of the Golden Rules?
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