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8 Common Direct Marketing Mistakes

Misspelling words, using the wrong phone number or web address, not having a call-to-action or any sort of offer, are all examples of direct marketing mistakes. We want to take it a step further and point out 8 less obvious mishaps.

  1. Keeping It Short or Long – In direct mail, longer copy usually outperforms shorter copy. Depending on the industry, email may perform better with less copy. Rule of thumb, if it is a more technical product or service, you may need to write more to explain your products or services. You need to provide enough information to hook prospects and get them to react with a call or visit to your website.

  1. Offer is Too Cheap – Identify the goal with each direct marketing campaign. Is your strategy to gain new customers or are you targeting current customers? New customers need a higher value offer, and we know the most powerful word in direct marketing is “free”. When you consider the higher cost to acquire new customers, giving something away that’s valued at $50 may not be a bad idea. With existing customers you might choose a free shipping offer or 10% off their next purchase.

  1. Bad Timing – Be sure to market to prospects when they are buying, which will most likely be during your busy season. Even if you’re at full capacity, consider offering incentives to do the work when your business historically drops off. It’s better to offer incentives for future business than to lose business to a competitor. Take advantage of the prime marketing season when you have the consumer’s attention.

  1. Not Building Awareness – Your prospect may not be ready to buy when you send your first direct marketing piece. Direct marketing will build brand awareness for your company’s products and services. That awareness needs to be delivered consistently so when the need does arise, they think of you first. Research shows the more someone is exposed to a brand, the more positive impression they will have for that brand.

  1. Low Quantities – In order to determine if your campaign results are statistically correct, you need to mail or email a minimum of 3,000 to 10,000 records. All advertising methods rely on a small percentage of responses and direct marketing is no different.

  1. Wrong Offer – For some companies, offers can be very simple: “Bring in this coupon for a free sandwich with the purchase of one of equal value.” However, some companies with more complicated services or products may need to provide more information, samples, demos or a webinar, for example. Rather than ask for a sale, offering free information will provide a warm, prospective customer.

  1. Postage Matters – Be sure to use the correct postage with your offer. If your offer expires in two weeks, it’s important to consider that standard class postage may take 7-10 days to deliver. You may save money on the overall campaign, but both you and the customer will lose in the end.

  1. Forgetting Contact Information – I said these were not obvious mistakes, but you wouldn’t believe how many companies forget to add a phone number, address, website, email address, etc. Make sure prospects or customers have the ability to easily contact you.

Increasing direct marketing response by just a few percentage points can have a huge impact on revenue. Contact B2E to learn more.


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