How to Boost Your Online Direct Marketing

Here are some hot tips to help you get the best from your direct mailing.

1. When using figures, make them as specific as possible

Use terms like "30% of all adults do not get enough iron." This sounds more believable than: "most adults aren't getting enough iron." Believability and credibility are factors that help your prospects accept and buy your products.

2. Use a negative fact to make your claims more believable

Although it's important to demonstrate the key benefits of your product, a negative element can help establish credibility. Here's how this technique works. Let's say you are selling quality cashmere sweaters at bargain prices. Many customers might doubt your ability to deliver. But if you emphasize that these sweaters are limited to only three colours which have a lot of appeal, you have used a negative fact to give reasonable proof of why you can offer such a fine deal.

3. Provide your customers with testimonials from other customers just like them

Overcome customer reluctance by demonstrating how well your product has worked for other customers with similar problems. When using text, audio or video testimonials, a complete name and company name along with the city is most convincing.

4. ALWAYS offer a guarantee

By this I mean a strong guarantee. Something that shows your prospects you have complete faith in your product. A good guarantee period is at least 90 days and a one-year guarantee is a true winner.

5. ALWAYS issue a call to action

Tell your readers clearly and precisely what you want them to do; don’t be timid. Tell them more than once. If you don't, you run the risk of them not doing anything.

6. Give your prospects an incentive to take action NOW

Offer discounts, free merchandise, time limits, or iron-clad guarantees to help ease your prospects over whatever is making them feel reluctant.

7. ALWAYS end your letter with a P.S.

The P.S. is one of the most frequently read portions of a letter even when other sections are skipped. Take advantage of this by driving home an impressive benefit, sweetening your offer, or otherwise motivating your prospects to act now.

8. Check the flow of your letter

Your letter should flow smoothly from section to section. Lose your course and you might lose your reader. Also, if you use a teaser copy on your envelope or in your email subject line, make sure your headline or first sentence picks up where the teaser left off.

9. Use an 800 number

The use of 800 numbers increases response from 10%-50%. If you can't afford your own 800 number, many companies now offer 800 number services for a fee. To find out about them, look through the ads in any direct marketing magazine such as Direct Marketing or perform an online search.

10. Use a Key in every ad or mailing you use

The beauty of direct marketing is that everything is measurable. You can easily tell precisely how many inquiries and orders are generated by each of your offerings. All you need to do is build a unique key into the order form for each of your offerings.

11. Repeat your offer and your guarantee on your order form

Focus on your offer or strongest benefit and restate your guarantee. An official looking border around the guarantee also helps.

12. Make sure your coupon is easy to use

If your coupon is too crowded or difficult to use, you'll lose business. Have a friend or employee fill out your coupon. They can tell you how easy it is to use.

13. ALWAYS use a reply card, envelope or email address

Postage-paid Business Cards or Business Reply Envelopes will boost your response. But they also boost your cost. The use of email marketing keeps your cost down and offers possible easy contact with your audience. With small orders, use a reply card or envelope that requires your customer to use a stamp. If you do not give your customer a specific way to respond, many of them won't!

14. Use a teaser on your envelope

To be effective, a good teaser must offer a strong incentive to open the envelope.

15. Use a plain white envelope

Another method of getting a high percentage of prospects to open your letter is to use a plain white envelope. Either no return address or just an address without a company name gets the best results.

16. Lift letters boost response

A small note featuring a key benefit, special offer, or president's message is a cost-effective way of "lifting" your response.

17. Think follow-up

You should constantly be thinking about related items to work into your product line for follow-up sales to your customers. Whenever you receive a new order, always send a follow-up offer 10 to 15 days later.

18. Offer multiple versions of the same product

Deluxe versions, full-featured models, basic features only models, and personalized versions are just four ways of getting extra mileage from the same basic product.

19. Use response mailing lists

List of people who have responded to a mail order offer or email offer are more profitable than compiled lists. Always find out what the customer responded to.

20. Use HOTLINE lists

If you can get a list of people who have responded to offers in the last 3 to 6 months, it's definitely worth the additional cost. Satisfied recent buyers are strong candidates to buy by mail or email again.

21. Cultivate duplicate names from different mailing lists

Most marketers run a merge/purge when buying multiple mailing lists to eliminate duplicate names. What a waste of an exceptional marketing opportunity! Buyers who show up on multiple lists have a proven buying history. Treat them like gold!

22. How to find the best mailing lists

Contact 3 or 4 mailing list brokers. Ask them to recommend 10 lists for your product or service. Then compare the results. The list to test first are those recommended by more than one broker.

23. Use high quality paper

When printing your brochures and sales letters use high quality paper. Initial impressions are crucial. Make sure your documents and emails present the image you need to succeed.

24. Use coloured stock for paper order forms

Coloured stock with black ink distinguishes your order form from the rest of your package. It draws attention and increases sales.

25. Use 2 colours of ink on paper and email order forms

Two colours of ink on white stock or white email backgrounds give you the opportunity to create an extremely professional looking order form.


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