Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Right Mail Helps Local Firms Compete for Sales

Direct mail is a great way for local businesses to draw traffic and compete for sales--if it is crafted to win attention. A recent Target Marketing magazine piece by Paul Bobnak, director of Who's Mailing What!, offers real-life examples of seven basic direct mail tactics that work to woo local customers. 1) Start by selling the benefits rather than the features of a product or service, and put a personal face to the company with names and photos while you're at it. 2) If you are a competitive local service (plumbing, painting or HVAC, for example), make sure you show the range of tasks you can do to set your business apart from other service professionals. 3) Deliver essential information to alert custumers to their potential need, such as the water heater sticker with emergency shutdown instructions and troubleshooting checklist sent by a plumbing contractor. 4) Generate trust and show expertise by educating consumers, like the eight-page, soft-sell brochure on replacing a heater or air conditioner from a home services provider, which leveraged credibility to then promote the company. 5) Make smart use of the calendar to tie into holidays and seasons, such as Mother's Day retail specials or Halloween "scary furnace" checkups. 6) Make it easy to order and then retain contact info, such as a pizzaria's mailed menu sized to post on a refigerator door. 7) Create innovative and personalized call-to-action devices. Going beyond coupons, a local nursery mailed a personalized gift card that snapped out of a postcard, for example. To see real mailing examples:

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