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High Profit Direct Mail Marketing…for Cheapskates

If you want to try direct mail marketing without paying thousands on list acquisition, printing and mailing, here are three ways you can cut back your direct mail expenses without hurting your ROI:

#1: Mail to a Small List of Targeted Customers

Want big results in direct mail marketing without paying big bucks? Start with a small list. A smaller and more targeted list will bring you better responses because you can customize your copy, your design and your offer for a specific type of customer.

Starting with a smaller list also helps you test your direct mail campaigns on a small scale.  You simply send one mailing, measure your results and tweak your offer, your copy and your design until you find a winning combination. Then, you expand your list to target the same type of customer, only on a larger scale.

#2: More Copy, Less Design

I’ve seen black and white direct mail pieces pull in big responses. I’ve also seen flashy and fancy direct mail pieces go the way of the Titanic. It all hinges on how well–targeted your list is, how irresistible your offer is and how clear and engaging your written message is.

If your copy is well-written and you have a great offer, you’ll get a lot of responses, even with simple design. So if you need to cut somewhere, simplify your design. This is not to say that design doesn’t matter. It does. But if you cut costs on your copy and by sending your mail anything but first class, your conversions will suffer and you probably won’t get to mail again.

#3: Keep Your Copywriting in House

Copywriters are going to hate me for this, but if absolutely can’t afford to hire a good professional copywriter, do it in house. A good copywriter will charge a considerable amount of money to write a high-converting direct mail piece. There’s a good reason for this. They know how to get results. But if you can’t afford to hire a good one, you’re better off doing your copy in house.

 A cheap copywriter is unlikely to get you the results you want. Some of them won’t get you results at all. Heck, some of them are retired English teachers looking to make a few extra bucks, but they’ve never sold anything in their lives. Even good writing doesn’t sell if the writer has no selling skills or experience. And if your copywriter gets no results, a $200 investment can become more expensive than a $2,000 one.

You or someone on your sales team could probably do a better job than a cheap copywriter. Your team members know your product or service. They hear the objections and they talk to your customers every day.  While they might not be a “keyboard cowboy,” their inside knowledge of your customers is more valuable than the mediocre “selling” skills you’d get from hiring a bargain copywriter. So if you  can’t afford someone with a proven sales record, keep your copywriting in house.  You can always invest money into a dynamite copywriter later on.

Whatever you do, don’t cut back by mailing in bulk or by going with lousy design. This will make your direct mail marketing campaigns scream “JUNK MAIL.” Start with a small, targeted list, keep your design simple and, if you can’t afford a seasoned copywriter who knows how to sell, have someone on your sales team help you get things started.

Much success.

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