Direct Mail Formats: How to Choose the Right One

Written by Alan Sharpe

Which pullsrepparttar best response, a postcard, a self-mailer or a letter? The answer, you’ll be irritated to know, is clear. It depends.

The success of your mailing depends on who you mail to (your list), what you promise (your offer), when you mail (your timing), and what you mail (your format and creative). Here are a few questions to ask yourself to decide which format is likelyrepparttar 147198 best one to use for your next mailing.

Letter Does your sales message need to come from one person by name? Does it need to be addressed to a person by name? Is privacy or confidentiality a concern? Then a sales letter inside an envelope isrepparttar 147199 way to go.

Postcard Is your sales message short and simple, and designed to motivate your prospect to visit your website to hear your full pitch (and place an order)? A postcard is a good option.

Self-mailer Do you need to illustrate your sales message while keeping printing and mailing costs down? Then try a self-mailer (a document that mails without an envelope, such as an 8 ˝ x 11 sheet of card stock, folded once on itself and sealed with a tab).

Classic direct mail package Do you have things to say that do not really fit in a letter (technical specifications, for example)? Is your sales message longer than 600 words? Does your prospect need to mail back a check or order form? Then a classic direct mail package is your best choice, consisting of a mailing envelope, letter, brochure, business reply card or order form, and business reply envelope.

New customers and where to find them.

Written by Alan Sharpe

My business needs a steady supply of new customers. Yours does too, probably. Customers leave and go with competitors. Customers go out of business. Customers fall away without a word of explanation. So I need—you need—a regular supply of new customers to replacerepparttar ones that disappear each year.

The challenge in business-to-business direct mail is knowing where to look for new business. You need a source of potential new clients that is reliable and affordable. A source that will give yourepparttar 147052 contact information you need to send a direct mail package to prospective customers who need, want and can afford what you offer.

At a minimum, any source of names should supplyrepparttar 147053 following for each lead:

First name, last name Job title Company name Address (sometimes on two lines) City Province or state Postal code or zip code

Other details that are nice to know: SIC Code (Standard Industry Classification) Industry by name Size of company (in number of employees or sales volume) Telephone number Email address Business type (manufacturing, services, consulting) Job function (engineer, owner, purchasing, management) Purchasing authority Budget Geographic region (international region, country, state)

Where to find names of potential customers:

Associations There is an Association of Legal Administrators. There is an association for social workers who specialize in helping people with cancer (Association of Oncology Social Work). There is an association for manufacturers of fasteners inrepparttar 147054 mid-west ofrepparttar 147055 United States (The Mid-West Fastener Association).

If your target audiences is a niche market,repparttar 147056 first place to look for potential customers is trade associations. These associations (local, regional, national, international) often rent lists of names of their members

Trade publications Most industries have a trade journal. You are familiar, of course, with Frozen Food Age, Industrial Hygiene News, Eyecare Business and Waste News. These trade publications and most others also rentrepparttar 147057 names of their subscribers.

Trade directories You could look inrepparttar 147058 phone book. Or you could look inrepparttar 147059 Organic Export Directory, a compilation of contact names for companies that export organic food products. The more narrowrepparttar 147060 field,repparttar 147061 more likely it is to have its own directory of companies inrepparttar 147062 industry. Some of these directories are in print, and some are online as well.

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