Golden Rules for Direct Advertising

Often clients convey a story of an unsuccessful direct mail advertising campaign. Clients figure because it was tried once it will never work. There are many elements to direct advertising. Below are some of the golden rules to consider in your next campaign:

1.      The list – In both email and snail mail the list must be accurate. You can waste a lot of money with snail mail if it is not. If using email make sure you have permission to send the email or in other words, it is an opt-in list. Finally, make sure the recipients are targeted correctly. Sending an expensive offer to a list of low-income people or products targeted for women to men is a sure way to fail.

2.      The first sentence – Imagine driving by a billboard on a highway. How much time did you have to look at the ad without hitting the car in front of you? That is about the amount of time a perspective customer will spend on reading your direct ad. Make sure your first sentence is to the point, state the offer or the question you want the customer to realize efficiently. Do not bury the words in pictures or odd fonts. Keep it simple and direct. This is especially important with email. Most user delete spam and other email in a couple seconds.

3.      The hook – At this point you have enough attention to continue reading. The best direct ads create excitement and realization of the benefit of the product or service. If you cannot create excitement how can you expect a person to part with hard earned cash. Some tips are: keep the benefit to the customer in mind, use clean easy to read type, breakdown the information into simple chunks of information.

4.      The follow up – OK, the perspective customer is interested, the fish is on the line. It is a shame to lose them now. Create a simple step-by-step process for the perspective client to contact you or fill out a form to apply, etc. Walk the customer through the process one step at a time. Don’t assume anything.

5.   The Close – In closing your direct mail piece provide a way to get off the email list. You don’t want to brand your company in a negative way. Also repeat your benefit / offer. Many people who are interested skip the meat of the letter and go right to the end to signup, etc. Finally, repetition is important. Send your ad or a similar ad out five to seven times. It takes that long for most people to notice an advertisement.

Greg Ahern
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Author: Greg Ahern

Greg Ahern Founder and President of Ometrics® is a fanatic about conversion rate optimization and AI chatbots. Greg has been a successful Internet entrepreneur since 1994. He speaks at conferences and webinars and has built a number of internet businesses. You can follow Greg on Twitter @gregahern and join his CRO Hacks Groups on Facebook and Slack. When he is not in front of a computer he can be found unplugged with his family, drawing or sculpting, endlessly learning guitar or running around in the mountains biking, climbing and skiing.