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Direct Mail Marketing – Get the Results You Want

     -     Jan 10th, 2012   -     Accounting Marketing   -     0 Comments

Have you been wondering how to kick start your marketing in the new year? Or maybe your scenario is that you are so buried in backed projects you have no idea where to start.  Regardless, marketing should always be on your radar – typically what happens to firms is they experience a lull in business and then decide to launch a campaign to churn up some new clients. If you are starting the hunt for new business at that point, you are already very far behind the curve of successful marketing.  The key to effective lead generation is anticipation of need, you have to think ahead – most large retail companies start planning for Christmas promotions in early July, this allows them to concept and develop a cohesive campaign, plan for ample revisions, print and distribution time, and the campaign is sure to be a success because it wasn’t rushed or hurried.  Take some time now to go over your entire years marketing strategy and outline when you would like to promote specific services and why, then rewind by 4 months to begin the campaign.  In other words, if you want to get leads in May, start planning now so that there is ample time to get your campaign together.

One of the most basic pieces in any campaign is a direct mail marketing piece.  It has a proven track record for generating a surplus of impressions, and creates more leads than any digital banner ad campaign.  Something about physical collateral that people respond over digital messaging.

There is a lot more to direct mail marketing than just developing a mail piece, sending it to a list and crossing your fingers.  In fact, if you are hoping to generate any response whatsoever, you should to follow some basic rules:

  1. Make Your Piece Interesting. 
    Seriously, if you look at it and think of it as just another boring piece of junk mail – what do you think your audience is going to think? When was the last time you picked up a piece of corporate collateral material and said to yourself “This is awesome – I want to show it to my __________.” My guess is that it’s either been awhile, or you have never felt that way.  Work with a creative team – tell them to push the envelope – express to them that you want results and you want to generate a buzz and an interest.  Be open to guerilla marketing tactics (a post for another day – or just look here for the definition [LINK]), try something new for your call to action, or open yourself up to something other than boring business stock photography.  Be funny, be sad, be angry, give your piece an emotional promise. 
  2. Promote a Single Service and Understand the Emotions Behind A Need for that Service.
    Do you want to gain new book keeping clients? Think of all the reasons someone might need an accountant to handle their bookkeeping, are they scared to do it themselves, seeking knowledge from a professional, looking for someone who deals specifically in their industry, they are too busy? Too disorganized? Whatever the reason – you need to appeal to that in your direct mail campaign – play on that emotional response because your target audience will naturally respond to the message.  Think about using a metaphor – perhaps an illustration of a monster under the office desk and a line like ‘Are taxes catching you by surprise?’ – be concise, creative and direct.
  3. Stop Saying You Are Friendly and Professional. EVERYBODY says this. It makes you sound boring, like there is nothing else that makes your firm outstanding – what is your value proposition? What is the one thing that really, really makes you stand above your competitors? How much has your firm saved its clients over the course of a year? How many years of combined experience does your firm have? Is your approach different than other firms? How? How is that a benefit to your potential clients? Oh, P.S. if you insist on being ‘friendly and professional’ – do it, don’t say it.  Your follow-up calls should demonstrate both of these qualities. 

So now you have your perfect direct mail piece, you have included the basics; call to action, website URL, return address, logo, and a phone number – did you develop a special landing page to track your website hits based on this piece? That’s a good idea too! You also made sure to include a targeted message for a single service, and you had a professional put the entire thing together.  You are thrilled with the entire campaign, from concept to process to execution, now it’s time to send it out.  

Be sure to check back next week for how to properly send out a well developed direct mail campaign, perform proper follow up and more importantly – generate those leads!  

See you then!

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