Seven reasons to use direct mail for sales lead generation. by Alan Sharpe
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, on the other hand, only targets the 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 through the 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 in the morning mail (which she must open), cuts through the media clutter and gets her attention.
4. Measurable ROI
Direct mail is one of the best mediums for measuring the return on your marketing dollar (or pound or yen). Simply code your business reply cards, and count how many return to you in the 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.
One advantage of knowing the success rates of your past mailings is that you can predict the success of future mailing. If you mail the same package with the same offer to a similar group of prospects at the same time of year, you can predict how many responses you will receive, and how many of those will translate into sales.
6. Can be improved through testing
Because you can measure your direct mail results, you can also test your mailings. Test one package against another, one list against another, one offer against another, and you’ll discover what works and what fails. That way you’ll spend your marketing dollars where they are most effective (without relying on guess work or hunches).
General advertising builds brand awareness. Sales brochures inform. But a direct mail letter asks for action now. So if you need to generate sales leads, and don’t have time to wait for your ad to appear in “IT Buyers Quarterly,” send a direct mail letter and wait a week or so for a response.
About the Author
Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter, sales lead consultant and owner of www.sharpecopy.com. Alan helps businesses attract qualified prospects using creative, compelling, cost-effective direct mail marketing.