When I open my mailbox (physical..not email) I pull out the pile. Usually Tues or Wed is “Ad” day, as my neighbor Betty called it.
“Ad” day is essentially the coupon magazines from the local grocery stores and the “Ad Pages” magazine. Then, as most Americans, I either pile the mail up in the designated “mail” spot in the house (my wife does NOT approve of this evolving area) or we sort the mail over the trash can.
The famous copywriter Gary Halbert said “Most Americans sort their mail over the trash can. They put the A pile on the counter to open and the B pile is trashed without opening.”
What gets trashed?
Perhaps those crummy newspaper-style ads announcing the grocery specials, or the blatant pitches from the likes of DirecTV, SiriusXM and the like.
My favorite: The mail addressed to: “Valued Customer.” (Yes, I feel valued…you don’t even know my name…)
Why do we sort like this?
Because the retailers are doing 1 thing with direct mail…SHOUTING AT US! “BUY OUR $&#%.”
Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work well anymore. Just like cold-calling…
Because we’re in the information age. Technology’s growing so we always want more INFORMATION. You can thank Google and Facebook and others for this. It’s addicting to get more and more information. That’s why you check FB 100x a day.
HERE’S WHAT WORKS FOR DIRECT MAIL:
– Educate your customer. Not on the benefits. On WHY it makes their life easier and better.
– Answer the question going on in their head.
EXAMPLE: JCPenney is struggling now. They’re a staple of the American store dating pre-WWI.
What are people (MOMS) thinking about Sept-ish…Christmas presents!
“What do I get my children.”
Parents HATE the process of trying to figure out what their 13-year old wants (outside of video games)
Why doesn’t JCPenney send out a mailer : “Already stressing about what your kids want for Christmas? We’ll make it easy for you. ….”
They then build sites for : BOYS 3-10, GIRLS 3-10 etc. They direct Moms to these sites. When they are there, they can save what they want. GUESS WHO THEY WILL END UP BUYING IT FROM??
Because JCPenney took the time and HELPED the Moms…NOT “Buy our $%&*”
We trust the companies who help us (Amazon ships our stuff to us ASAP and for free plus their customer service is incredible. Case and point.) Direct mail can work for your company.
Of course, this is just an idea off the top of my head (my wife is already asking what I want for Christmas…hint hint).
Direct Mail is not dead. It’s just done as if it’s 1990. More companies are moving away from it. Now’s the chance to strike again. Improve your copy i.e. what your customer wants, and you’ll see results right away.