As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, October 2006.
Direct mail should be your most profitable marketing tool.
It should give you a steady stream of friendly, prequalified and profitable customers.
Direct mail lets you have a private conversation with your prospects. Mail-merge software lets you customize every word, every example and every financial detail for each prospect. As such, direct mail can be targeted and completely customized.
If you take steps to target your audience, to use the right envelope, to improve your letter and to build trust with prospects, you can potentially double your return on investment.
The mailing list is key
An accurate, up-to-date mailing list is paramount. Out-of-date information is useless.
The key to a high response rate is to match your list to your offer. The offer in your letter must be attractive to your audience, or your letter will fail.
Your letter will use every bit of information that is known or that can be assumed about the prospects on your mailing list. This includes their name, address, credit data, current lender, estimated payments, debt, sex, ethnic origin, reader-comprehension level and more. The more you know about your prospects, the more personal and accurate you can make your letter -- and the higher response you will receive.
The envelope: Basic is better
The key is to separate your mail from junk mail, in recipients' minds.
You will want to use the plain white, No. 10 window envelope in your mailings. This is perhaps the most commonly opened envelope in the United States, as most bills and bank statements come in this kind of envelope.
The first thing on the envelope your prospects will read is their name. Print a customer-account number directly above their name. When prospects see an account number, they are more likely to open the letter.
You can also use this number to track your clients. If your marketing message instructs them to call, let them know you will ask for their customer-account number; when they call, look them up. You will make a professional first impression on the phone, and you will have their information immediately in front of you.
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