Direct Mail: Make it a Keeper

mmm cable

I find that when I research marketing strategies, I tend to come at it from a consumer point of view. I feel I’m an intelligent and discerning person, and what with being involved in the industry, I also feel that I’m immune to many of the advertising tactics used today. Wrooooong. When I analyze what has worked on me in the past, I’m often surprised at how frequently I emotionally and monetarily respond to advertising. Particularly to direct mail (yes, the Cox Communications brochure I received in my new mover mail package convinced me to purchase not only internet, but cable for my new apartment. VH1 and Hulu are my new best friends).

DM can get a bad rap but really, it’s the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. If done right, it can make a world of difference. I was trying to pinpoint what exactly it is about direct mail that works so well on me. In my online soul search, I stumbled across About.com’s article, “Brochure Marketing: 12 Tips on How to Do it Effectively” and realized that there’s one strategy on there that I think is particularly genius.

Make it a Keeper
Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage the reader to keep it, refer to it often or pass it on to other people. If you’re selling paint you can provide hints on color schemes, painting how-to information, tips from the pros etc. If you’re selling skin care products you can give your readers tips on how to combat pimples, dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles.”

From a consumer standpoint, it’s so basic and makes so much sense that I even forget that it’s an actual marketing “strategy.” But it totally works. I’m one of those people who is always looking for the clues to clear skin. Give me a list of tips and that thing is going on my nightstand for at least a week or so. Maybe even taped to my bathroom mirror. Even if I don’t buy at that time, your marketing department can put a big old check next to your “Increase Brand Awareness” goal.

Like I said, I know that this is a pretty ordinary tactic when it comes to direct mail. But in an era of social media, email blasts and living green(though people will be really impressed and heartwarmed if you print on recycled paper!), I think it’s important that people realize that direct mail is not dead. It still works. My 100+ tv channels and my medicine cabinet full of pore cleanser are proof of that.

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