By Craig McCallum.
One channel of media is not necessarily better than another. Each has specific strengths and weaknesses. In order to determine the most effective channels for your campaigns, it is necessary to know each of their primary goals, strengths and shortcomings. In this market, these primary classifications have shifted. Email campaigns, for example, are losing their once high response rates. Why? Because, as marketing budgets are depleting, marketers and business owners alike are scrambling for cost-effective methods. But when you consider the facts, consumers today, more than ever, are being exposed to advertising messages everywhere they go, from the bus stop, to plasma screens to coffee cups.
The environment or channel through which an advertisement or campaign is delivered can actually profoundly impact the way consumers respond. Cost-per-contact among media can vary, especially when email is next to nothing to send and these days quite measureable from the perspective of hit rates. While direct ‘snail’ mail often costs more, its precise target ability and high revenue-per-contact make it one of the most effective tools in marketing.
The most successful direct marketers will continually work to improve their direct mail response rates. In this challenging market space, you can never settle – it is tough to grab the attention and encourage your consumers to act on your direct campaign. Below are seven of the most popular and effective direct response techniques:
1. Craft sentences so they are short and make your copy simple, using short words that are six letters or less as much as possible.
2. Avoid long paragraphs. Six lines or more in a paragraph are too many. Shorter paragraphs improve the overall flow and are easier to read.
3. Insert a paragraph that consists of a single sentence – something you wish to emphasize. It should be evocative or compelling.
4. Draw attention to key points in your piece by bolding text, using a second colour, or using a call out box.
5. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. In order to provide a compelling reason for your audience to try or buy your product, you need to focus on benefits not features.
6. Use specifics. You will notice that the best direct marketers use headlines like, “In the first thirty days, I generated $38,746 in just 15 minutes a day”. These statements sound incredibly convincing and gain the reader’s attention.
7. Give something of value to your prospect – a free report, membership or savings – and create a sense of attachment with your targets. The giveaway or call to action should have a perceived value, based on your considerable and ongoing consumer research.
To build an effective direct marketing campaign, you must continually work to improve your direct response techniques. Those mentioned above are used by the best direct marketers. Use them, experiment, run split tests and determine which methods work best for your products and services.
Craig McCallum is the General Manager Marketing – Specialist Recruitment & Consulting Services for the Chandler Macleod Group. He has authored a number of articles on topics including human capital management, talent retention, corporate culture and strategy
alignment and best practice professional services marketing. Craig can be contacted by email at email@example.com or telephone
02 9964 9511.