I read a few articles about direct mail marketing for financial advisors mailing before I started this article, and I was shocked to see that many people steadfastly supported sending out postcards. I want it to be crystal clear that you shouldn't take any advice including mine as gospel. Try it out on your own.
Ways Financial Advisors Can Improve Direct Mail Marketing Results
1. Don't Be Afraid to Experiment With Postcards Vs. Envelopes.
Postcards are a wonderful option because they are less expensive than letters and are more likely to be read because there is no envelope to hide them. Postcards look like a fantastic idea because the primary objective of direct mail marketing is to catch the recipient's attention.
However, postcards seem flimsy. Simply put, they give the idea that you are mailing them to each and every resident of the zip code. Different headlines, lengthy copies, and other information can be found in physical enveloped letters.
All day long, marketing consultants can read academic studies, but without practical experience, the findings could mislead them. What I mean is that if you read the studies, you would think that postcards would always do better than letters. According to a DMA study, bigger envelopes (think birthday cards) have the best response rate at 5.0%, followed by postcards at 4.25%, and letter-sized envelopes at 3.5%. Due to their lower cost and higher response rate, you might assume that sending postcards is a no-brainer. However, you could be mistaken.
2. Test Everything.
You should also try different offers, content, forms, and audiences in addition to comparing postcards and envelopes.
Trial and error are a big part of marketing, but just test one thing at a time. Change only the headline, the font, or the postcard's size, for instance. If you do everything all at once, you won't be able to identify the factors that, for better or worse, contributed to the outcomes. Just make sure your sample size is substantial enough to boost your statistical confidence.
I advise a minimum of 1,000 split tests, thus each A/B test you perform will set you back between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars. I tell you this so that you will go into it with reasonable expectations and won't lose heart if you start off losing a little money or just breaking even. Recognize that it can cost you a few thousand dollars to develop a successful formula, but once you do, it will be a money-making machine.
3. Never Confuse Response For Results.
Budgets and dreams are killed by this. Responses are pleasing. Calls, inquiries, and responses to the "where did you find us" bubbles with the words "your mailer" are what they are. That implies that the postal campaign is successful, right?
No, not necessarily. Be sure you understand the distinction between results and answers. With a free offer, for instance, you can get a lot of leads (reaction), but how many of those leads will actually become customers (results)? Results are what truly generate revenue for you, and they are the ONLY thing that should be compared to your marketing costs to determine whether your system is operating effectively.
4. Compare Your Direct Mail Campaign Against Other Advertising Methods.
Despite being a marketing consultant, I have a strong focus on business. You may do the same with your direct mail if you appreciate the process of attaining the most return on investment. You should compare several campaigns and factors, as I've already said, but you should also contrast your direct mail campaign with other promotional initiatives.
Compare them on a "cost per X" basis if you are simultaneously operating an advertising campaign and a direct mail campaign. How much money does it take to produce a result, response, etc? is the common factor in all marketing. Let's imagine that I am simultaneously managing an advertising campaign and a direct mail campaign. Let's also suppose I close 20% of all my prospects in both scenarios, which means 20% of my responses will turn into results.
5. Think Boring
Full-color printing increases costs, but attractive mail rejections also increase. Isn't that pretty? people will exclaim before throwing it away. Think dull when it comes to direct mail.
Pretty mail discourages participation. Boring direct mail makes no attempt to appear sophisticated. Nothing else is intended; call generation is the only goal. You are attempting to gain business, not win an award. Many direct mail marketers will be successful DESPITE, not because, of their designs. Because there is no design to obstruct it, boring mail functions.
Mail is for immediate reaction, not branding. Follow proven methods to get results.
BONUS: Apply a stamp. When something has been mass-mailed, people can tell. A live stamp makes the envelope appear as though it was sent by a real person, increasing the likelihood that it will be opened. Because live stamp vs. bulk mailing is frequently not taken into account in academic studies, the response rate to the letter is lower.