Seven reasons to use direct mail for sales lead generation.

Written by Alan Sharpe

1. Personal Unlike an advertisement in a trade publication, which can be read by anyone, your sales letter arrives at your prospect’s place of business as a piece of personal communication from your mind to his. Also, unlike any other medium, direct mail can be personalized (Dear Mr. Smith) and customized to each reader (“As an IT manager, you know that . . .”), showing your prospect that you know about him by name and understand his business in particular.

2. Cost effective Advertising by its very nature is expensive. To reach a lot of people, you need to spend a lot of money. Direct mail, onrepparttar other hand, only targetsrepparttar 105187 prospects you want to reach. Instead of pitching your product to a huge audience of potential buyers, you aim your sales message only at prospects most likely to buy.

3. Breaks throughrepparttar 105188 clutter Your ad can easily get lost among dozens of competing ads in a trade newspaper. Your sales message is also easily forgotten on radio or television unless you repeat it many times, which is expensive. But a simple letter, addressed to your prospect by name and arriving on her desk inrepparttar 105189 morning mail (which she must open), cuts throughrepparttar 105190 media clutter and gets her attention.

4. Measurable ROI Direct mail is one ofrepparttar 105191 best mediums for measuringrepparttar 105192 return on your marketing dollar (or pound or yen). Simply code your business reply cards, and count how many return to you inrepparttar 105193 mail. Then calculate how many of those replies generate a sales meeting or a sale. Now you know immediately--and exactly--how effective your mailing has been. Direct mail numbers never lie.

Eight Common Direct Mail Mistakes.

Written by Alan Sharpe

Some companies that use direct mail to sell their products and services are likerepparttar blind man inrepparttar 105186 dark room looking forrepparttar 105187 black cat that isn't there. They repeatrepparttar 105188 same mistakes, and enjoyrepparttar 105189 same poor results. Here are their eight most common misdemeanors, and a cure for each.

Wrong list The most important part of any direct mail campaign is notrepparttar 105190 copy. It's notrepparttar 105191 art direction. And it's notrepparttar 105192 offer. It'srepparttar 105193 mailing list.

That's why you can mail identical packages to two lists, one good and one poor, and find thatrepparttar 105194 good list pulls 10 times more responses thanrepparttar 105195 poor list does. Your mailing list, after all, is not just a way to reach your market. It is your market.

No testing There are no answers in direct mail except test answers. I didn't write that. Eugene Schwartz,repparttar 105196 author of Breakthrough Advertising, did.

If you don't test one package against another, one list against another, you won't know what works and what fails. So test lists. Test offers. Test formats. Test envelope teaser copy. Don't assume you know what works. Test and be sure.

No offer The second most important part of a direct mail package isrepparttar 105197 offer. The offer aims to persuade readers to choose your product or service over what your competitors are selling. Your offer must differentiate you fromrepparttar 105198 competition by way of price, terms, guarantees or extras.

To generate leads, offer free technical information, a free analysis, free consultation, free demonstration, free trial use or free product sample. To build retail traffic, offer premiums, special discounts or exclusives. To sell a product directly throughrepparttar 105199 mail, offer a free trial, sample, premium or discount.

Starting with you, not me You're at a party. You meet two people. One greets you this way: "Hi, I'm a swell person and I make lots of money. But enough about me, what do you think about me?" The other greets you this way, "Hi, I'm Tony. You look like an interesting person. Tell me about yourself."

Now, then, which of these two people would you rather talk to? Your readers prefer to hear you talk about them, not about yourself or your product. Yet many businesses mail sales letters that begin: "ABC Incorporated was founded in 1982 and is inrepparttar 105200 business of delivering quality, service and value intorepparttar 105201 new millennium." Big yawn. Big mistake. Aim your messages atrepparttar 105202 prospect and say everything fromrepparttar 105203 prospect's point of view. Don't begin your copy with "we" when you can begin with "you."

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