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Tips for Increasing Response from Direct Mail

Direct Mail Tips – 7 tips for increasing response from your direct mail program

By Jeffrey Dobkin

Jeff Dobkin, Dani Dobkin

Jeff & Dani Dobkin

In “Retail,” Marketing success means ‘Bringing More Traffic in your Front Door.’

In “Network Marketing,” success means your phone is ringing.  Simple as that. But wait…

Business is lousy. The economy is tanked. You’re looking around and saying, “Where is everybody?”

Good News: This article discusses how to get people to show up.

If you’re in a network marketing business, here’s how to get your phone to ring. If you’re a restauranteur, here’s my phone number: 610-642-1000 – I usually get hungry around 8PM. If the campaign works really well, I’ll be bringing a few friends.

1. Track Response

Learn what’s working, then yea, do more of that!  And just as important, learn what isn’t working. Leave a memo pad by each phone and when you receive a call – in the very beginning of the conversation – say, “And how did you hear of our us?” Write down the response on the memo pad, and throw that slip of paper in a drawer and forget about it. At the end of the month tally up the slips and you’ll have a pretty darn good idea which ads or campaigns brought in the most customers.

2. Best Campaign Ever: Mail to your house list.

No matter what industry, no matter what you’re selling, or what type of business you have or what industry you’re mailing to: mailing or emailing to your house list is the lowest cost and most effective marketing you can do. Lowest cost. Most effective. Hummm…  Any questions?

Start by collecting current customer’s names and addresses and logging them into a database. If you don’t have a customer house file – a list of the names and addresses of all your customers – start one now. This will be your most valuable asset.

In your store, restaurant, on your website: sign people up for your “FREE Preferred Customer mailing list!” Keep a card by the cash register, or by the front door, or both. Don’t be afraid to recommend they fill out the card.

3. Mail to your Prospect list = Reach target customers for under a dollar each.

Depending on your type of business, these can be geographic targets (close to your store), demographics targets (people who like to/can afford to shop in stores like yours), or personnel in the industry you serve.

If you don’t have a good prospect list, start that list now, too. At least start researching that list.

Advertising and Marketing Services

Direct Response Ad from Jeffrey Dobkin

4. Mail a Gift Certificate

Gift certificates are inexpensive to print and low in cost to mail. The nice letter you send with it?  The same. The goodwill it generates, invaluable. It’s a double function piece: good for the customer and great for you. Print or hand write “Gift Certificate Enclosed!” as teaser copy on the envelope – everyone will open it.  Offer to give away something of high perceived value.

Best of all, the gift certificates only has a cost if the customer actually shows up and redeems it. No customer, no cost.

5. Get a Referral

Feel free to ask any of your better customers if they have friends they would like you to send a $5 gift certificate to, with their compliments of course. As an added incentive, mail an additional gift certificate to the referring customer with a nice letter of “Thanks for the referral.” Send the referral prospect a nice letter – and of course the gift certificate – compliments of your original customer and from you, personally signed.

This “referral method” is the best way to get a new customer who immediately has trust in you, good faith in your firm, your services.

Customer acquisition cost: postage! And the five bucks you took off the merchandise or food bill – hey, that didn’t really cost you five bucks, did it? It was just the discounted cost of your goods.  Read our “Get More Referrals” article!

6. Target market

Retail campaigns target a geographic center. Everybody likes to shop in their own backyard and shop at stores in close proximity. If you have a retail storefront, limit your marketing to people who live or work within a half hour’s drive.

In Network Marketing you have no geographic center.  While it’s easier to get people to join your ranks when you can meet with them face to face, there are plenty of opportunities for marketing around the country by phone and by computer.  Plenty.

Reaching random people with your message can get expensive in a hurry, especially if you consistently reach the wrong people – those who are not in the market for your offer. This doesn’t mean you stop marketing: just be selective in the way you reach new customers.

7. Buy my books.

I thought this was a good idea. Well, it is for me, anyhow.  Wait… for you, also!  In fact, my books are the best $30 you can spend on marketing.  Any questions?


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Need More Business? If you’d like to easily get more customers and kick up the response to any traditional marketing or direct mail program, just look around on this website and learn new practical ways to make your direct marketing more effective, and lower your cost. Read the newest FREE direct free marketing articles from author and master marketer Jeffrey Dobkin by signing up for his email mailing list.  Dobkin has written 5 books on direct marketing, including the cult classic, How To Market a Product for Under $500.


…or just forget about all that boring marketing stuff and doing it yourself — and call us.  That’s what we do.  Go back to running your business and making money.  Let us create a direct marketing campaign that brings in phone calls, more customers, and a higher response than you ever thought possible.  Call us, the first consultation is always FREE.   610-642-1000 rings on Jeff’s desk.  Go ahead, call at lunchtime — see if his mouth is full…

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