3 Ways to Make Direct Mail More Effective

Many of our clients tell us, “We’ve tried direct mail and it didn’t work.” This experience leaves us asking, “Why do some programs not perform as well as expected, while others succeed beyond a company’s wildest dreams?” According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail can pull in response rates as high as 15% or as low as 0.03%. With such a large gap, it is easy to see why many companies have lost their faith in this very popular marketing practice.

Over the years we’ve learned how well a direct mail program performs depends on the chemistry of three elements-format, offer, and list-and whether or not you have designed the program with enough frequency and follow-up triggers built in. But before you can pull these three elements into the most effective program possible, you need to first determine:

  • The goal of the direct mail piece (For example, is your goal lead generation or direct-to-order?)
  • The current relationship you have with the list. Is it a cold list or has qualification already occurred? (For example, have they already attended a seminar or webinar of yours or downloaded something from your website?)
  • Then follow this advice as you design your direct mail program:

  • FORMAT. Direct mail comes in a variety of formats-the postcard, the business letter, or the 2-D or 3-D package to name just a few. The truth is, all three of these formats pull about the same percentage of responses, when used correctly. The magic then is to choose the format most suited to reach your goal and specific audience.
  • OFFER. The offer is a critical element to a successful direct mail effort. From our experience, the strongest direct mail offer is one aimed at driving traffic to a website or retail location for further qualification and/or selling (qualification if the contact is still cold and selling if it’s a contact where qualification has already occurred through a previous marketing activity). This offer can be anything from a free product demonstration, an online ROI calculator, an article/white paper download from the website, or simply retrieving more product or service information.
  • LIST. The list is possibly the single most important element to an effective direct mail effort. If you have the best format and offer but send it to the wrong list, you will still have nothing. And, even if you are sure you have sent it to the right list, if that list has not yet been qualified you will waste a lot of money. Even a house list can get quickly out of date. Conduct a qualifying call down of any list you plan to mail to and make sure the list is still a) accurate and b) qualified to receive your offer. Keep the call short (3-4 qualifying questions at the most). Only after you’ve connected with and qualified the prospect should you place them in your direct mail engine. This will save marketing precious dollars and sales precious time, while ultimately making the entire campaign more effective.
  • Direct mail will always be one of the most compelling ways to prospect, and when done strategically, pulls high open rates and generates excellent leads. Make relevant and cost-effective choices, implement with a frequency of at least three impressions, be sure to follow-up on every prospect you get to take an action…and watch those leads pour in!

    Email Marketing Training – 4 Powerful Success Strategies

    Email marketing all starts with effective direct response writing, or copy writing. The power of email marketing can be extremely lucrative when done the rite way. Once you learn the power of speaking through written words you can virtually succeed in any online business.

    When some one gets to your lead capture page or web site it is vital that you have an email opt-in form on that site. This begins the prose’s of collecting emails so that you can now communicate and follow up building a valuable relationship through the power of email marketing.

    When just starting out online it can be frustrating not knowing what you need to do first. But below I will lay out a simple step by step formula to accomplished success with your email marketing.

    1. Relationship building – It is important to realize that marketing online is no different then a brick and mortar business. You need to build a relation ship with people that visit your store front, in the online world your store front is your web site or lead capture page.

    But in order to build a trustful relationship one needs to collect some information from the customer, so that you can use your email marketing to communicate and build relations with potential customers. The way you do this is by collecting email addresses of people that have an interest in what you offer on your web site.

    2. Auto-responders – In order for you to effectively collect emails you are going to need a piece of software that can collect all the emails, so that you can send out broad cast and start your email marketing efforts.

    This software is what all professional marketers use to communicate and build their email list, this is whats known as an auto-responder. There are lots of email marketing companies out there but the best one I think is aweber.com.

    It is important to realize that an auto-responder is an email marketing tool online and it is essential to your business success. With an auto-responder you can effectively build relationships with your subscribers, by sending out email messages that help them get what they are looking for.

    3. Consistency – Email marketing becomes more and more lucrative by staying consistent and putting your web-site in front of potential people that are looking for the information you are offering, once they give up an email and a name on your web site they are giving you permission to build a relation ship through the power of email marketing.

    Then as you are growing your business you can send them information and up dates about YOU – your business – products or services. These people have an interest in you already as they have shown by giving up an email address and name.

    4. Direct Response Writing – Now we need to follow up with some powerful direct response copy writing, I have found that over time this gets easy. You will be communicating with your prospects through written word, the best way to do this is to speak to them as if they are in front of you, do not speak as if your giving a lecture, this is dull and you will not see significant results.

    You need to be helpful, ask them questions and then give them the answers, spike their curiosity this will get them to really think of what you are saying, put the question in their mind so that they are now pondering your question, they will be moved to find out more about you and you offers.

    In the end be sincere about helping and try and over deliver, offer a free report with your email marketing, send out broadcast daily, they do not have to be long and drawn out just let them know your a real person, and speak to them, help them and you will have great success with your email marketing.

    Developing a Give2Get Marketing Plan

    First, let’s take a look at why you need a marketing plan to grow your practice.

    If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail, or at the very least fail to accomplish your desired outcome. I’m positive you have heard this expression before. Most Chiropreneurs would rather sidestep the planning phase and just jump right in and start spending their hard-earned money. Bad move. Very bad move!

    Marketing your brand of chiropractic is not something you should be doing in a haphazard, inconsistent manner.

    Often I’ll ask a Chiropreneur what they want to achieve with their marketing. Often the response: “I really don’t know,” or “Increase my new patient production.”

    Imagine if they were getting ready to go on a vacation but hadn’t stopped to decide “where” they were going. How would they know what to pack? How would they know what kind of transportation would be needed? How would they know how to start? How would they know what direction to go in, or if they were making any progress? They wouldn’t!

    In fact, most Chiropreneurs spend more time “planning” their vacations than they do planning their business!

    Or, suppose you were a farmer who didn’t know what kind of crop you wanted. How would you know what seeds to plant? What kind of fertilizer to use? You get the idea.

    You must FIRST decide exactly what you want to achieve, and then you need to develop an effective plan for achieving it.

    It’s no different with your marketing. You must know where you want to go, if you want your marketing to help get you there. It’s so much easier to get someplace once you know where that someplace is and you have a “map” to guide you and keep you on track.

    Once you have decided on your destination ( $1,000,000 in collections, 40 New Patients per Month Average, PVA of 40, and Average Visit Income of $50.00, etc.) then you just have to make a plan of how to reach that destination.

    If you know where you are going, what the target is, and you have a plan to support your vision, you’ve given yourself an excellent chance for success.

    A Marketing Plan is Not a Picture…

    It’s a Puzzle

    Many Chiropreneurs have an enormous misconception about marketing plans. They’ll say something like, “Can you help me create a marketing plan? I need it by the end of this month.”

    They honestly believe that a marketing plan is something that they can put together and then merely follow it and success will be there. It doesn’t work that way.

    A marketing plan is not a permanent picture that is created in one sitting. It’s a living, evolving “puzzle” made from matching pieces that are only discovered through “trial and results” over time.

    Sure, someone with experience can lead you in the right direction, and make recommendations of things for you to test. But they can’t predict exactly how your particular plan will evolve. Or the results you can expect to receive.

    To develop your plan to generate Prospex from your List of Strangers, you have an unlimited number of marketing tactics available to you. You could base your plan on the least expensive tactics by giving talks to Prospex groups, writing articles for your local publications or columns, submitting Media Releases or giving interviews on local or national media.

    Or you may elect to focus on building a referral network, or marketing alliances with other like-minded entrepreneurs in your marketplace. Another Chiropreneur may not want to use those tactics and may elect to test low-cost media ads, free-standing inserts, and small mailings directed to his/her target group.

    Each Chiropreneur selects the marketing strategies and tactics he or she feels most comfortable with in relation to his/her time, energy, budget and personality. No one else can predict or tell you which is right for you.

    One Chiropreneur may have a vision of building his business to a $1,000,000, while another wouldn’t dream of growing beyond $500,000. Each calls for a different marketing plan.

    Whichever tactics any of these Chiropreneurs choose, they will be “testing” them to determine if they are appropriate and effective for reaching their particular Prospex. They must then test their Prospex Generating Offers with those tactics until they find a match.

    When you know that you have the right strategy and tactics, then it is just a matter of testing your offers to those Prospex. If you test one and it doesn’t work, you try another, and another until you get the results you want.

    That’s how puzzles and successful marketing plans evolve. As you grow and as your marketplace changes, your plan must change. You will be continually looking for new opportunities and you’ll have to test your marketing tactics to find the right ones to achieve the highest levels of success.