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Five killer marketing tips for getting more from your direct mail

Tactics to get a bigger response to your mailers

Republished from Knight-Ridder by Jeff & Marc Slutsky



■   Exotic Picture Postcards --  Not only do you mail at the postcard rate if your customer gets a picture postcard from Vegas, but they're also going to read it.  When they turn it over your headline reads, "Don't Gamble When You Need ________."   With a cute headline that ties into the Vegas theme, you got their attention.  One printer did this with 400 and got 100 replies.  That's a 25% return!  Use other variations too.  How about getting some picture postcards from Disney that read, "Don't Mickey Mouse Around When You Need _______." 

■    From Trash To Treasure -- One clever direct mail campaign was a 3rd class, simple 5½ x          4¼  one color postcard from Roger Mitchell of Dooley & Company Realtors.  The backside contained Roger's photo and an offer to provide a free Home Warranty with a listing or purchase.  The postcard was nothing spectacular and got trashed as expected.   A week later a standard business envelope arrives at the same homes from Roger via first-class postage.  Inside the envelope was the same postcard that had been crumpled up and then flattened.  Attached to the "decrumpled" postcard was a handwritten note that read, "Please don't throw this away again!  Roger Mitchell.  Thanks!"  The first reaction is "how did this guy get this back.  Did he go through our trash?"  In reality, it was a planned second mailing.  It got a lot of attention including a free article in a neighborhood newspaper.  The third mailing was a letter.  Instead of getting trashed, it got read.

■     Something Borrowed, Something New -- You want to get your advertising read, send it in the form of a wedding invitation.  Tie the headline of your offer to the invitation theme: "We Invite You To Save Money" or "You're Cordially Invited To Our Sales Event."    To make full impact in your invitation mailer, use the following guidelines.  1) Print the return address on the envelope flap without the company name.  If the customer perceives that it's from a business, you lessen your chance of getting that envelope opened.   2)  Hand address the envelopes.  3)  Use a "LOVE" stamp.

■     Bogus Next Day Air --  Sheila Danzig of S.E. Ring Mailing Lists sells several 6x9 mailers that look suspiciously like the larger Next Day Air envelopes.  The difference is that this one is mailed first class for 32¢ for up to three sheets of paper without increased postage.  For a sample and prices call 305-742-9519.  Approx. 25¢ each.

■      Good Fortune -- Another mailer that is hard to ignore is custom fortune cookies from Fortunately Yours in Gahanna, Ohio just down the street from our offices.  Rhonda Lashen, the company's founder, provides companies a very unique premium to mail out to their customers.   You can ship your cookies in Chinese Food carry-out containers, which, is then placed in a white corrugated shipping box.  One such campaign for a pharmaceutical company resulted in an average response rate of 24.9%  

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