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“Mr. Anonymous:” Great Poet and Composer, Lousy Direct Mail Marketer

Ever get a direct mail marketing piece that said “To Current Resident” on the envelope?

You just threw it in the garbage didn’t you? I don’t blame you. Even if you had time to waste reading junk mail, why would you want to buy from a company that addresses you as the “current resident?”

That’s a no brainer, but here’s the paradoxical lesson in those “mystery man” mailings…

Why Direct Mail Marketers Need to Think More Like Consumers

A lot of marketers could be more successful if they’d simply spend more time thinking like consumers.

This is true in SEO, Social Media marketing, email marketing and in direct mail marketing. Before you send your next direct mail piece out, honestly look at it and ask yourself how appealing it would be to you. Most important, ask yourself if you’re being 100% clear about the question that we all know is on a new customer’s mind.

“Who is this from and why should I read it?”

If you’ve seen any of the renaissance music and some of the old poems from the 15th and 16th century, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of them were written by “Anonymous.” Apparently, that dude did a lot of great work in the world of art. But he’s not so hot in the world of marketing. A generic direct mail piece might save you a lot of money, but it’s going to cost you a lot of results.

I’ve seen people blow money on bulk direct mail campaigns, only to be left saying “I tried that once and it didn’t work, almost lost my shirt.” Most often, the problem wasn’t the offer itself. The problem was the packaging. It wasn’t customized, and these days things that aren’t customized are VERY easy for consumers to consider irrelevant and deem a waste of their time.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your direct mail pieces aren’t ignored…

How to Connect With Your Customers Through Direct Mail

Personalization is the “secret” to connection.

This has always been the case, but it’s especially true in today’s socially driven marketplace. If you’re asking someone to spend money, they want to know where their money is going. They want to know that you’re going to still be there in a few weeks. They want to know that they’ll get their money’s worth. Most important, they need a reason to open the envelope right away and to read your offer.

Being anonymous, or treating the customer as an anonymous nobody just won’t cut it. People won’t read your mail if you do this. They’ll just toss it right into the garbage…where junk mail belongs. So if you’re going to invest in direct mail marketing to promote your business, take the marketer hat off for a moment and look at your campaign through the eyes of a consumer.

If you don’t enough money to send your mail first class, narrow your list and mail to a more targeted customer and a smaller mailing. You’ll get better results if you can customize your offer for a specific demographic anyway. 

Most important, remember that consumers read their mail standing over the trash can. You might think your brochure or sales letter is the greatest thing since the iPod, but when you honestly consider its value from a customer’s perspective, do you get the same impression?

If you have doubts, it’s time to revisit your approach. Think like a customer and you’ll have an easier time connecting with them.

-Yours truly

Anonymous Marketer

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