Using E-Mail and the Post

Using E-Mail and the Post

Using E-Mail and the Post

Provision of suitable facilities for the preparation and despatch of regular mailings

To be successful, direct mail advertising needs to be properly organized and efficiently executed. Although it is often cheaper to operate than press advertising, it can place a heavier burden on the company concerned because, unlike a conventional advertising campaign, it is not so easy to 'farm out' the bulk of the work to outside agencies.

Your advertising agent can, of course, sub-contract to a direct mail specialist. One finds, however, that, as a general rule, advertising agencies do not display a great deal of interest in the use of direct mail publicity. They seek to place the bulk of their clients' promotion programme with conventional media owners from whom they receive a commission on the space or time booked. It is because they are not greatly involved in direct mail publicity that one finds, usually, that they do not possess the expertise which this particular advertising medium requires.

The ONLINE MARKETING Manager can, of course, exclude direct mail from the advertising agency's sphere of responsibility and contract with a direct mail house, several of which provide a very comprehensive service, including:

A. Provision of mailing lists.

B. Preparation, design and printing of sales letters and literature.

C. Addressing and despatch of letters.

D. Evaluation of the response obtained.

Nevertheless, even when all this detailed work is handled by outside specialists, one has still to create the ideas and assemble the factual information upon which a mailing campaign is based. To be effective, direct mail, like any other form of advertising, must be repetitive. A 'one-off' effort, without adequate follow-up within a reasonable period of time, is likely to be a waste of money. Regular mailings are essential because their effect is cumulative.

The main uses of direct mail campaigns to industrial firms are:

A. To inform customers and potential customers of new products or product innovations.

B. To remind customers and potential customers of one's standard products.

The preparation of suitable direct mail material for the promotion of a new product is usually not difficult. The very fact that the product is new to your range gives it a 'news' value. The technical specification and the selling message incorporating the special features of the new product should be enough to ensure a reasonable interest on the part of the recipients of your letters and bulletins.

What is not so easy, is to maintain ,a series of mailing shots about products which already are well established in the market. To do so requires a combination of good product and market knowledge combined with imagination and a flair for copywriting. This is where the company's own Advertising Department should come into its own. It should be the responsibility of the Advertising Manager to organize the gathering of material for direct mail publicity. He and his staff should make it their business to find out as much as possible about the applications to which the product is put with a view to establishing interesting case-histories. To do so they will need the active support and interest of the Sales Manager and his field salesmen.

One of the hazards of the use of direct mail lies in the fact that one is making a direct approach to the client on a personal basis. There is always an element of risk, in that the recipient may regard what you have to say as an impertinence. A press advertisement which suggests to its readers that their firms have a need for a particular item of office equipment is entirely impersonal and cannot cause offence. A similar suggestion, contained in what purports to be a personally addressed letter to the managing director of a business organization, may provoke an entirely different reaction. It may be regarded as an implied criticism of his company's efficiency. Some people can be very touchy about what is said in letters addressed to them personally.

The brash approach is, therefore, likely to be inappropriate for direct mail advertising aimed at business executives. This does not mean that one must resort to a staid, dry-as-dust style. One can write a dignified letter which can still impart a compelling message. The point to remember is that direct mail, as opposed to press copywriting, is addressed, not to a faceless multitude of casual readers, but to individuals, men and women who, because they occupy decision-making positions in their organizations, are likely to be of rather more than average 'WE intelligence and accustomed to receiving correspondence which is couched in fluent yet courteous terms.

Next Step: - Enquiry Follow-up

Please Note

The Trade is, of course, a major source of product ideas. All manufacturers examine, with avid interest, the new products of their competitors.