Outbound Marketing Isn’t Dead: Direct Mail Marketing Advice For Your Business

Advertising concept: arrow whis Mail Marketing on grunge wall ba

Direct mail has largely been abandoned over the last decade or so in favour of email marketing, but is one outbound marketing tactic that is experiencing an incredible resurgence. Sure, email marketing is cheaper and easier to track success metrics. But now our inboxes are so inundated with marketing emails that it is hard to get noticed amongst the clutter. Direct mail is just one outbound marketing tactic that will help you set yourself apart from competitors and other marketers.

As with all of your marketing tactics, it is important to start by determining what you want to accomplish with your campaign, and how you plan on executing and tracking its success (or lack thereof). Direct mail can come in a variety of forms. From traditional pieces like letters and postcards to three-dimensional objects, promotional swag and puzzles used to increase engagement and brand recall.

Direct Mail Marketing Best Practices:

  1. Coordinate and be consistent. Your message on your direct mail piece needs to coordinate with any landing pages, telemarketing scripts or any other tactics that are being integrated in the campaign. The continuity of your messaging will increase buyer recall and enforce what you are asking the audience to do.
  2. Be emotional. Buyers buy on emotion and justify with facts. Your messaging and visuals need to connect with your audience on an emotional level. This is where understanding your target buyer persona becomes helpful in crafting your message.
  3. Make yourself available. Providing multiple ways to respond to your call to action will maximize return. Provide a web address, email address and phone number at a minimum. Depending on your audience, also consider including a fax number and/or physical address with return materials. It may sound out-dated, but people do still respond to these reply channels.
  4. Track it. As with all things in marketing, make sure you are setting up systems for tracking your direct mail marketing return. Include an offer or landing page web address that is specific to the direct mail piece to help you determine that is what ultimately inspired the prospect to learn more.

These direct mail marketing best practices should help you get started with reacquainting yourself with direct mail as a viable option for your business. Have you recently run a direct mail campaign after taking some time off? What direct mail marketing advice would you share with other business owners who are reconsidering this communication channel?


Hunters versus Farmers

Organising your Salesforce by position makes a great deal of sense. Typically outside sales is handled by a “hunter” who stalks big game and makes the cold calls and initial sales. Inside sales are handled by the “farmers” of the world and their main focus is maintaining or servicing a customer, as well as growing the relationship. Each position requires a different set of behaviors to be successful, and therefore behavioral profiles are useful in the recruiting and hiring process.


Farmers returning to hunting

Many business owners today have become farmers and it is stressful for them. It is stressful because while they have adapted to it, its not doing what they truly love doing; hunting. We have have a comfort zone and for most successful entrepreneurs, it is not farming.

For millions of years man hunted and if we consider all the characteristics of the great hunter, fearless, focused, determined, innovative, agile and accomplished at outwitting his prey. Great farmers work long hours, pay attention to the detail, are diligent, care for their stock and making every little activity count to create greater output.

Today the Entrepreneurs are the Hunters and the Corporate Managers are the Farmers. Most of the business literature focus on the farmer and “how to do it better”.  Of course there are many managers running successful businesses and similarly there are many hunters in the corporate environment. However the truly successful entrepreneur is one who grows their business like a hunter.

The great Irish recession  (See the graphic alongside) has meant that business owners have had to downsize, let go key staff and do the work themselves. They have becomes farmers and many have become entrapped in that vicious cycle of doing everything themselves and not thinking strategically about their business. They are working in the business rather than on the business.  Some of them deny that the economy is improving contrary to the figures attached. Of course it is a long way from where it was in 2008. It is also an uneven recovery impacting different sectors differently, but the economy is improving and employment levels are increasing.

Farming was essential to survive the crash. It probably introduced some great disciplines into your business.  However is it not time for you to think about becoming a hunter again.©