How to Mail to a List of Prospects


Here are some tips if you are mailing to a list of prospects:

1. Start with the best possible list; otherwise, all your efforts will be wasted. You should know from marketing re­search and planning who will be most likely to buy your product or service. Find the list of people who fit that profile.

2. Get ideas from your own mail. Save all mail advertise­ments that come to your home. Study them carefully and save the ones that stand out. Look at their overall appear­ance, language, and tone. You will find this to be a great source of ideas for your mailings. Plagiarizing is against the law, so you cannot copy another mailing piece, but you can certainly get ideas from it to help you with your own.

3. Make your offer a hard one for your prospects to turn down. Your prospects are buying your offer, so list spe­cific benefits that your product or service offers them.

4. Make sure your best offer and specific benefit are in your headline. Marketing studies show that 80 percent of people who receive direct mail don’t read past the headlines.

5. Answer every possible question you can think of in your sales piece. Include all information your prospect will need to make a buying decision. State your benefits com­pletely and clearly. The average person today does not like to read, so make sure your direct mail piece is easy to read. Keep your sentences short, seven to ten words, and your paragraphs no more than three sentences. Un­derline or use bold type or a second color to make your benefits stand out.

6. Always restate your major benefit at the end of your sales piece and reinforce it with a reason to “act now!” Gifts, discounts, and free samples are effective reinforcers for an offer.

7. If you’re mailing a letter, make sure you include some sort of teaser copy on the outside of the envelope. A teaser makes a claim, offers a benefit, or makes a prom­ise to the prospect with the solution or details inside the envelope. Make sure you put this teaser copy in bold, eye­catching graphics on the envelope. You want your pros­pect to open and read the contents.

8. Use a self-mailer. It is an inexpensive but very effective way to use direct mail. Simply add a panel to the back of a flyer that includes your label and postage. You won’t need an envelope, and you can use your flyer for many other marketing purposes.

9. Focus on frequency, not quantity, for direct mail success. A new business generally cannot afford to distribute 10,000 advertising pieces at a time. Instead of one mass mailing to a large group, narrow your prospect list to 2,000, for example, and mail to them six times a year. Frequency builds familiarity, confidence, and acceptance in a prospect’s mind. You will see your response rate rise with the frequency of your mailings.

10. Make it as easy as possible for your prospects to buy from you. Tell them exactly what they must do to buy your product or service. Include your phone number, ad­dress, fax, store hours, order form, reply card—whatever is necessary to make it simple for them to buy.

11. Use special stamps to attract attention to your mailing piece. People today get so much mail, they usually dis­card “junk mail” without even looking at it. When you use bold, colorful, and special-occasion stamps, your mailing piece stands out and raises the curiosity of your prospect to look inside. You can also use a combination of one-, four-, and five-cent stamps on your mailing piece. This is a lot of extra work but it will make your material stand out from the rest. And if your prospects don’t see your offer, they can’t buy your product or service.

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About the Author: Bruno Silva is an entrepreneur from Portugal with over 15 years of experience in Online Marketing. He is also a blogger and writes on variety of topics from online marketing to designs, cars to loans, etc.

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