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Use mail to get thousands of potential new customers to your desk at the same time
In Italy, direct marketing through postal mail is an undervalued, under-exploited and misused means. But it’s a very powerful commercial tool, which – if used correctly – can give access to hundreds or thousands of customers: each letter you send is in fact a “salesman” who talks to your customer or potential customer.
Try to do the math:
– How many daily visits does each of your sellers make?
– How much does a visit cost on average?
– How many sellers would you need if you wanted to talk to, for example, 100 customers every day?
It’s easy to see how useful direct marketing can be, of course if carried out correctly. The money you spend on a lead generation campaign based on the most classic means of direct marketing could therefore be your best investment.
Strangely enough, it’s usually small and medium sized companies that most neglect this medium. Larger companies tend to use it more, but even these don’t usually fare better.
Can you imagine that there are companies that don’t carry out direct marketing even though they have databases of thousands of customers and potential customers. Customers who often don’t hear about their supplier except when renewing a contract … this sure don’t help sales …
Why is lead generation by mail not being used?
The reasons why this classic form of direct marketing is little used in Italy are the following:
- You can’ t believe it: for some reason it has never been done before, and you’ll continue not to do so. Or it has been carried out with no results, and therefore it has been labelled as an ineffective initiative;
- companies don’t know “how to do it”: they don’t have the knowledge for adequate actions;
- it’s thought to be too expensive;
- there are no “mailing sellers” that stimulate/suggest/offer this type of service to companies;
- lack of time and staff: the logistical organisation of a mailing action takes too long: printing, enveloping, franking, shipping. With the structures increasingly reduced to the bone, it’s not possible to find the staff who can take care of them;
- Poste Italiane’s bad image: the image of Poste Italiane is not that of an organization that encourages you to use their services (even if in recent years things have improved a lot).
However, it’s not necessarily the case that a mailing gives results: you need to know “how to do” for it to work.
The mailing must be designed and executed correctly, both in its contents and for the many technical aspects that distinguish it.
Ingredients of a well-made postal mailing
The success factors of a mailing campaign are five:
- The target: it’s important to select the right target, the names of the recipients. And usually the target giving the best results are existing customers. Hence a key question for all companies: How often do you write to your customers? And what if you increase the frequency of such mailings?
When we write to new prospects, we have to be careful to select the right name list: even the best mailing, if sent to an unqualified target, will be a flop.
- Shipping method: the mailing must arrive at its destination. If you send a lot of pieces, it’s a good idea, for example, to divide them into several batches, and send the batches from different points.
- The form, the structure: your mailing should be noticed, and open. If it’s filtered by a secretary, or thrown into the bin without even being opened, the final recipient will never know what you wanted to tell him. The envelope is important, just as it’s important that there are the right “components” inside.
- The content: when the recipient finally opens and starts reading, you have to catch his or her attention. The title (headline) is the first thing that gets noticed and is often the only one that remains imprinted. The Post Scriptum also usually captures attention. Depending on the case, it may be a good idea to include a brochure, and it’s ALWAYS essential that a response mechanism is present and clearly described.
- Repetition: it’s not enough to carry on a mailing and hope that dozens of answers will come to you on their own. Each initiative must be repeated several times. A sequence of messages gives far more results than a single message.
No matter how well done a campaign may be, the fundamental policy to follow is to make tests, compare different versions, and always measure everything:
- Always do a preliminary test on a small number of recipients, or in a specific geographical area.
- Always compare two different versions of the same letter.
- And finally, measure and analyse the results carefully. The version with the best results wins, and the other version needs to be modified to beat the first one.
Only in the long run can you make the most of the power of direct mail.
How do you measure the results?
The success of a direct mail campaign is usually measured by one or more of the following parameters:
- the number of recipients who answered you: 7, 19, 123, etc.;
- or the percentage of recipients who answered, in relation to the total number of items sent: 0.5%, 1%, 2%, etc.;
- or the business that you have carried out thanks to the mailing: for example, it brought you a turnover of €47,000.
When to contact us?
We can help you if:
- Your Marketing department already has too much work to do and is committed to other activities;
- Or you don’t have people with the skills to manage a lead generation campaign based on direct mail;
- There is an urgent problem, and you need external support to complete the project faster.
What is our role as consultant or external service provider?
The tasks we can take on include:
- help you to process an effective message, and possibly write the content yourself;
- identify possible sources of information, collect data, possibly contact and interview interesting sources of information;
- identify the target names, qualify the list, if necessary, find a list to rent;
- design the campaign as a whole, and present it to you: target, form, content writing, graphic design, sending methods, etc.
- agree on a target to be achieved, and indicate the measurers of the results;
- if necessary, also take on the operational parts: printing, enveloping, mailing;
- test, measure, analyse the results;
- produce a final report with suggestions and recommendations for future submissions;
and so on for the subsequent sending of your mailing.
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