We all want our products and services to be viewed as high value and perceived as being well worth the cost. The problem is getting the message out without breaking the bank. For example, you have a new line of products and you need a promotion to get the word out. You know there are a lot of potential customers but what's the most cost effective method to reach your targeted market.
One of the first cheap ways that comes to mind is to do this through an email campaign. But wait, you've probably trashed hundreds of these emails this week, emails that you never opened or read. I find my first job every morning is going through and trash unsolicited emails. Yeah, email may seem cheap but if they go unread and dumped, it can be pretty expensive in a lot of different ways.
It may be time to consider direct mail. Sure, it can be more expensive to print and mail promotional material and some surely gets dumped. But if you have a good mailing list that is targeted to old customers and new potential ones, at least you have a better chance of your promotion being seen than through an unsolicited email.
Your first response to this may be "Our small company can't really afford this". If you can't afford to do a promotion that may be the exact reason you need to do it. Most of us need to build our businesses, create more customers and more sales.The fact that you can't afford it indicates you're not doing as well as you should or could. This may be the best reason to do it.
If you view cards, flyers, brochures, pamphlets and posters as necessary sales and marketing tools to increase your business then the important question is not what it costs but what is your ROI (return on investment). As long as you have done your homework and believe you will have a positive return over a reasonable period of time, it can be very affordable in the long run. That's why so many successful companies do mailings on a regular basis. It reenforces their name to old customers and may create new clients which means new business and new money. It's no secret that you have to spend money to make money.
The nice thing about direct mail is that it is passive on the part of the recipient. It requires no overt action on their part to get them to view your message. The trick is to get their attention. Getting your message across and getting noticed and remembered may mean you need a WOW Factor!!
What is the "Wow Factor"? The "Wow Factor" is hard to define but you know it when you see it. It's that something extra that grabs your eye and attention. Going beyond good design and copy, it can be extra heavy printing stock, a printing technique such as spot UV coating or metallic ink that is not commonly used by everyone. By combining heavy card stock with spot UV or metallic ink or colored metallic effects. You can create a card that identifies you or your company as being forward thinking and caring about detail and quality.
A postcard or flyer promotion is a good inexpensive way to start. It would definitely be advantageous to hire a graphics designer with a style you like to create a look for your mailings. The content may change but the look is part of your branding and should remain recognizable on all your mailings.
Good design does not have to be expensive but don't fall into the trap of hiring your neighbor's son or your granddaughter who took an art class in school. You need more than pretty pictures. You need a professional print designer that knows how to design for the printing process and how to work with all the technical aspects of creating a well designed sales piece. You may want them to make sure they use the Wow Factor in order to make your pieces stand out from everyone else's . Doing this could save you from a disaster and lots of money and time in the process.
Direct mail is an important sales and marketing tool used by many successful companies because it works. It should be strongly considered as a very viable way to increase your sales and grow your business. You don't have to start out with a big mailing to hundreds of thousands or millions of recipients. A test mailing of 1,000 to 5,000 is a good way to start without breaking the bank. Remember there is no such thing as you can't afford it when it comes to advertising. The important factor is your return on investment (ROI).
A very important part of this plan is frequency. Ever notice how many postcards, flyers, brochures and catalogs you get in the mail from the same companies even though you didn't make a purchase? They are building name recognition, branding, and trust. These are very valuable assets to any company and don't come for free. Remember there is no such thing as you can't afford it when it comes to advertising.