How To Create A Profitable Direct Mail Campaign

I was reading Deliver Magazine the other day, a marketing magazine created by the US Post Office. Did you know:

  • 28 percent of all Americans 25 and older have at least a bachelor’s degree
  • 68 percent of college educated Americans are married
  • 51 percent of college educated Americans are women
  • 12 percent look to direct mail for finding bargains
  • College graduates are more likely to be employed, and have more discretionary income

While this article was touting the benefits of direct mail, the same can hold true to the Internet as well. College educated, affluent consumers are more likely to head online to do research, and to make purchases. And with smart technology clearly on the increase, the ability to do research anywhere, at any time will only increase in the coming months as well.

So when you put the two together, the benefits of direct mail and online marketing can be the solution to your slow days.

Creating A Profitable Campaign

Step One Create Your Offer

Great offers don’t just happen, they take time to develop. One of the best books I have on my desk is Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful by Bill Glazer. Get a copy. Bill goes through campaign after campaign that he used to build a multi-million dollar company. He gives you photos and copy for letters and postcards, and has an amazing amount of ideas that will get you going in the right direction.

Think about whom you are targeting and design specifically for them. “A college educated woman 30-50 who has kids in certain elementary schools” would be a great target market for a family portrait offer. When you know the specific people you are targeting, it makes it easier to create your marketing piece.

Step Two Create Your Direct Mail Piece

Most direct mail pieces have two problems.

1. They aren’t specific.

2. They don’t make the reader take action.

A direct mail piece needs to have one focus in mind – what outcome are you looking for? If you are booking fall portraits, the entire piece should be about the benefits of a fall portrait. If you are an event photographer, you should be promoting one aspect of your business that directly relates to the person you are sending to – taking advantage of a special summer offer for corporate picnics.

Then add a call to action in your mailing. What do you want them to do? Visit your website to sign up? Bring in a coupon by a certain date? Make sure you state what you want them to do, and give them a deadline. An offer without an expiration date is as good as dead.

Step Three Create Your Landing Page

Mailings can be very expensive, especially if you spend a lot on the mailing itself. Which is why I always use my mailings to direct people to my website. Not just my home page, but a specific page on my site built for them.

I’ve used special reports, coupons, even videos that explain my offer in more detail. The key is to get them excited to visit the site with your mailer, and give them what you’ve promised on the landing page.

Then when they get there, have them sign up with an email address to view more details. When people give their email addresses, you now have the ability to email them “forever” at one low price – the price of your email system. I use a third party software, aWeber, for all of my email campaigns. I’ve used them for years, and can’t imagine running my business without them.

Step Four Start Booking Clients

Once you have your mailings going out, and people coming to your landing page to find out more information, its time to convert them into clients.

Don’t forget to add all of your contact information to every piece of your campaign. Some people like email, some like picking up the phone and calling. Just because you want them to move from one step to the next doesn’t mean that’s what they prefer to do. Always give them choices along the way.

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