Direct marketing programs are an attempt to create a highly targeted campaign that will yield results. Whenever you reach out to your prospects and customers it's a good idea to assure that you are covering the bases of a well thought-out program.
We work with many companies on developing their outbound marketing programs and we see three very common mistakes that will impact conversions and the sales that result from the direct marketing effort.
1. Lack of personalization: By adding personal details, the ability for the direct marketing campaign to evoke a reaction is dramatically improved. Impersonal offers barely break through the clutter unless the timing is fortunate and when the prospect has been searching for the service. Adding personalized touches creates the impression that the piece was created to serve the needs of the prospect. Utilizing databases effectively will enable the ability to cultivate multiple data points that further personalize the outreach.
2. Poor timing: In the rush to get the direct marketing campaign out the door, sometimes we see a disregard or lack of understanding for when the campaign will be received in the offices or homes of the prospect. If the offer is personal, arriving on a Saturday is fine, however most business prospects are not in their offices on Saturday. Timing for a mid-week arrival is typically best, late in the week is less effective. We also see correlation between offers and holidays - where the offer arrives shortly before or after a holiday, there is lower response than avoiding those holiday periods.
3. Lack of compelling offer: If the offer is not exciting or is presented in a manner that does not express urgency, there is less of a response. Our agency, Wilde Agency, has identified the psychological triggers that evoke reactions, and one of these is the fear of loss. If there is no deadline for the offer, there is no immediacy or urgency by the recipient. Having a finite window of opportunity to react does help inspire action.
When creating a direct marketing campaign, there are other psychological triggers that help to evoke a reaction. Do you utilize any in your campaigns and do you understand how to use them? Which triggers do you use?