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The Do's and Don'ts of Direct Mail Marketing to Physicians

It’s pretty safe to assume that the majority business owners below the age of thirty-five most likely have not thought about running a direct mail marketing campaign for his or her business. Being raised in a world becoming more and more paperless, the mere thought of spending precious marketing bucks on printing thousands of sheets of paper to stuff into consumer mailboxes appears pretty crazy to the younger generation of entrepreneurs – and it’s not an unwarranted feeling. There’s no denying that the business world (and our world in general) has been dramatically swinging toward the faster, more economical, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly realm of digital communication. However, direct mail marketing can still play a role in acquiring new customers and growing your business

If you’re going to do direct mail campaign, you need to plan it right
But before you get ahead of yourself and discount the idea of running a mail marketing campaign, you need to scan through this article. Direct mail, thought it seems like a dinosaur in today’s world, is still be a powerful weapon in your arsenal – if it’s done properly and tactfully, of course. We’ll lay out some broad tips for you to think about if doing a direct mail campaign. whereas we'll still urge the bulk of business owners toward a more electronic/Internet primarily based promoting strategy, you'll be able to still get solid results from direct mail.

Steps you should do
1. Follow the 40/40/20 Rule

In most plans it’s vital to stress the importance of getting ready, creating a well-thought out and comprehensive plan, then executing against it. Well, it’s no different for direct mail marketing, and the tried-and-true approach for this tried-and-true angle of marketing is following the 40/40/20 rule. This rule dictates that the success and ultimate ROI of your direct mail marketing efforts are going to be dependent upon three factors – 40th of your success will come from the effectiveness of your list, another 40th will depend on how compelling your offer is, and the remaining 20th will come from everything else (design, the copy/text of the mailing, the pictures you’ve chosen, delivery date and call to action, etc.).

2. Don’t spend too much time perfecting the design

Whether your design is good or amazing doesn’t make as much of a difference as spending time implementing the other steps. Too often, businesses spend unnecessarily excessive time developing the flashiest, snazziest, most attention-getting ad design that they're certain will blow everybody away, and then rush to throw together the offer and/or the list of people to send it to. It’s one of the most common and worst mistakes in a mail marketing campaign.

3. Focus on clearly seeing who your audience is
If your store is giving a limited-time discount on big-button remotes, you recognize you don’t have to waste time and cash sending the promotional materials to anyone but baby boomers. Unless you've got limitless pockets, sending your promotional flyer to an entire region or zip code is a good way to deplete your marketing budget.

Once your list is targeted, you should try to spend an equally big portion of time creating an valuable deal for the customer– whether or not it means that you may lose a small amount of funds by doing so. The underlying goal of any marketing campaign is to achieve new customers, and it’s worthwhile to sometimes scale back your profit margins to achieve more customers. Once you've got an ideal lead list and a great incentive, then you'll spend some time on the look, copy, delivery strategy, postage rates, date of delivery, size of the mailer…there are lots of alternative choices to contemplate, however following the 40/40/20 rule you'll be able to see how important audience and offer really are.

Do a Test Run On The Market

This ties into the first 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – whether or not you've got what you feel could be a good and well-defined target list, you won’t really understand how good it is till you do a test run. If you manage a business in a smaller community, this won’t be as crucial – however if you’re in a medium or large town, it will be crucial. In a city like New York or Los Angeles, you wouldn’t need to send it to everybody over the age of 65. Instead, choose one very large town, then several small areas to check the market out. Start small and measure the effectiveness and ROI during each step of the way.

You can (and should) run many tests with little tweaks to figure out the most effective combination of audience, offer, and design before sending it out wide – simply bear in mind to only modify one variable per test otherwise you won’t understand what caused the changing result. This will greatly enhance your possibility of gaining customers, and allow you to have the most effective campaign based on your resources.

Create a Strong Call to Action
This applies to the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – currently you’re probably starting to see why that was listed up above and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it involves direct mail marketing. With alternative types of advertisements or marketing, such as online, radio, or event marketing, it's absolutely acceptable to only care about impressions – a billboard in a very highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that's more of a teaser in nature will generally go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, that is the initiative in getting them to interact. Since you have to spend money on each mail piece that will be sent out, large scale impressions are not the right choice. Instead focus on your target audience and make sure you have a compelling call to action to give people.

The call to action doesn’t need to be a huge sale or limited time offer – it might be advertising a contest or promotion, or incentivizing individuals to conduct an internet survey. no matter what kind of offer you promote, there should a minimum of one call to action. Direct mailing is most not just the avenue to channel a blank postal card or flyer that merely informs individuals of your presence – it’s  too time overwhelming, and too hard to efficiently track metrics of your impressions.

…and the Don’ts
1. Fail to Proofread/Quality control
Even though this falls into only one of the myriads of components within the twenty portion of the 40/40/20 rule, it's arguably the most necessary. Nothing can get your piece of direct mail marketing throw into the garbage more quickly than an obvious typographical error, a visible formatting issue, or an overall poor print quality. If you’re writing the copy, make certain to not solely proof it yourself. You absolutely must have a number of your best linguistically inclined friends and colleagues help you out, not just for grammatical and punctuation mistakes, but for overall ease of reading and flow. Don’t be afraid to ask for several sure opinions, and make certain to be open to any constructive criticisms.

For the design component, odds are that unless you've got an artistic background, you’ll be either employing a pre-existing template from your printer or having it designed by a graphics designer. The templates from your printer can more than likely have an effective eye flow and a solid ratio of graphics to text – if you go the designer route, make certain to make several mock ups and once more ask for the opinions of these around you whose opinion you value. and last, print copies to check for quality and make certain to go with a printer that provides some form of guarantee on quality, or at the absolute least one that will provide you with a refund or reprint if you’re not 100% happy. You don’t want to be forced to have to decide on a poorly printed mailer to save costs.

2. Forget to Follow Up
After all is said and done, you’ll be left with a couple of individuals that have come in and transacted business with you primarily based on the direct mail piece they received. You can track this in any variety of ways (coupon codes, requiring them to bring the mail in, comparing sales numbers from highlighted products on sale versus once they’re not, etc.), however, make sure to track it in a simple manageable fashion. this will permit you to re-engage with those customers with whom your mail marketing was victorious.

It may be as straightforward as sending them a thank-you note or adding them to a loyalty list that you will use later and can be comprised solely of people that you believe they are responding and acting upon your mail marketing efforts. regardless of how you are doing it, don’t forget it – these individuals are worth their weight in gold when considering your next mail campaign.

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