Want a confession? 

I am obsessed with print marketing. And for good reason:

  • A 16-page mailer is what led me to copywriting over 13 years ago 
  • A simple one-page letter helped me win a bet with my cousin (and produced dozens of new patients for his dental practice)
  • My greatest success stories have come from the direct mail I’ve created

I’ve got lots of reasons to love print.

But if you’ve never sent your prospects and/or customers anything in the mail…then this is the only message I need you to get from this post: TRY IT.

The statistics heavily support using direct mail as part of our marketing strategy. For instance:

  • On average, direct mail advertising gives a business a 13 to 1 return on investment 
  • Direct mail ranks highest in authority (which is great for service-based businesses)
  • 80% of people say they can remember a direct mail piece for up to a month after receiving it

If that’s not enough to convince you, then let me share this one last thought…and then we’ll move on. We get so many online messages, it’s not even possible for us to process them. In fact, it’s amazing business owners are making any money at all with the constant barrage of messages their prospects are facing.

Direct mail, on the other hand, is less common. And rather than mass deleting letters and postcards, we’re forced to take a minute to at least look at each one.

So what’s preventing business owners from using direct mail? That’s a blog post for another day. In fact, that’s likely our next blog post.

Today, let’s focus on how to make the most of your direct mail so you can:

  • Close more sales
  • Build better relationships
  • Further establish your credibility &
  • Generate more leads

The trick is simple. But I’m not going to tell you what it is. Rather, I’m going to share some of my direct mail pieces (including one that I have yet to send) with you. 

By the time you’re done reading about my experiences, you’ll know the trick to making direct mail effective.

The Bubble Wrap Mailer

I love Bubble Wrap. I always have. So when I saw that Bubble Wrap actually has its own, national holiday, I was stoked. 

(January 27th, if you were wondering.)

And I decided to use it as the basis for my direct mail piece.

I started with a little research – typing “why we love to pop bubble wrap” into my browser. What I found was astonishing. There are actual, mental benefits to popping Bubble Wrap.

And that, to me, sounded like a perfect basis for my direct mail piece. My goal, as an entrepreneur, is to help ease the mental anguish of writing your own copy. 

I printed up a message that said this:

Did you know…a survey by Sealed Air Corporation found that one minute spent popping Bubble Wrap relieves as much stress as a 33 minute massage?

So enjoy this bubble wrap gift from us. And once you’re done popping all the bubbles, we’d like to help you relieve even more stress by inviting you to sign up for an All Access membership of Ready To Go Copy. 

It’s the absolute best way to save time and create ALL the marketing content you need. 

To get signed up (and pay just $29 a month), go to: http://bit.ly/2QQvbiR or scan the QR code. 

We’re looking forward to having you join our community. 

Stephanie Fleming

Then, I ran to the store and bought a roll of Bubble Wrap. I cut a big enough piece to spend 1 minute popping and slipped that piece (along with my letter) into an envelope. A little bit of postage, and my Bubble Wrap mailer was out the door. 

Altogether, I spent about $1.50 for each mailer. (Financial constraints forced me to send only in the U.S. But as I do more and more of this, I will be finding fulfillment houses in the UK, Australia, and Canada.) 

I timed the envelopes to arrive on Monday, January 27th. National Bubble Wrap Day. And I posted a picture about my mailer on Facebook that day. 

But here’s what you really want to know…

From that mailer, we saw an 18% purchase rate. 

More than that, one of my prospects emailed me and said she and her son fought over who got to pop the bubbles. Another prospect actually apologized for not being able to purchase right now. 

This mailing was not without it’s incidents…we did have a little one when the post office decided one of the envelopes didn’t have enough postage. But it wasn’t a big deal and we chalked this mailing up to a great success.

Valentine’s Day Candy Cards

This next example, I haven’t sent out yet. But every month, I encourage my community to send at least one direct mail piece. This is the month of February. Which means, the most logical thing to send is…a Valentine’s Day card. 

And just a few days ago, I took my kids to the store to choose Valentine’s for the students in their class. 

All of my kids chose candy cards. (Back in my day, you got the cards and then dumped candy into the envelope. Now, the candy wrapper is the Valentine’s Day card. Brilliant!) 

Anyway, I suggested to my kids that maybe simple cards would be best this year. There are all kinds of themes: superhero, Disney, dinosaurs, pop-up cards, Scratch ‘N Sniff, etc. But it didn’t work. My kids wanted to give their friends candy. And I couldn’t argue with that. I’d want candy, too. 

Which brings me back to my Valentine’s Day cards. I bought cards for my customers. (Remember, I sent Bubble Wrap to my prospects, so it was time to do something for my paying members.) 

The initial plan was to simply sign and send the cards. 

But then I got to thinking. My kids don’t care about the cards. They care about the candy. What would it take to include candy in my Valentine’s Day cards? 

Turns out, not much. I chose AirHeads. Because AirHeads are thin and light and won’t add an extra cost to mail. 

I’ve got my cards. I’ve got my candy. And I am almost as excited as my kids to send my “friends” their Valentine’s. Almost.

An Invitation to the Dentist

A few years ago, my cousin (a dentist) wanted to send out a direct mail piece to attract new patients. 

It was the first week of December. And what do we know people are doing in December? Shopping for gifts. Decorating. Sending out Christmas cards. And attending parties. In the month of December, that’s about all people have time to think about. 

I wrote a quick sales letter about the importance of taking care of your teeth around the holidays. Then, I printed the letter on green paper, folded up the paper into a tri-fold, and attached mailing labels directly to it. Anyone flipping through their mail was likely to mistake it for a Christmas party invite. 

To avoid the feeling of a bait-and-switch, I included a poem on the back side of the tri-folded paper. It was based on The Night Before Christmas, and said something like this:

Twas the night before the dentist 

And all through the house 

Every person was brushing – 

had Floss in their mouth. 

My objective was to get someone’s attention long enough that they’d be willing to read the sales letter. And it worked! This was years ago. And my cousin says that letter still has a far higher success rate than any of his other marketing efforts.

Give Them a Chance to Give You A Chance

I told you that by the time you were done reading my examples, you would know the key to a successful direct mail piece. 

So? Do you know it?

It is simply this: your direct mail piece has to catch the eye of your contacts. The only opportunity any of us have in closing more sales is to first, get our contacts attention. It is only by doing that that your contact can even decide if they’d like to learn more about you and your offering. 

The rarity of direct mail already gives you an advantage. Add something slightly more interesting to your mailing, and you’ll get your contacts to sit up and pay attention. 

Not sure what to mail your contacts? Our Monthly Featured Content includes a suggestion (along with a template) every single month. Sign up today for a Ready To Go Copy membership and make direct mail a profitable part of your marketing.

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