Does the Direct Mail 40-40-20 Rule Still Apply?

  • Added:
    Sep 30, 2013
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Most of the direct mail marketing resources you read will mention the tried and true 40/40/20 rule. The idea with the 40/40/20 rule is that your success in direct mail advertising depends on three things: audience, offer, and everything else. The audience and offer each make up forty percent of your chances for success while everything else makes up twenty percent. Ed Mayer, a big time marketing guru first suggested this rule some time ago, but you do not hear much about it anymore. But you may be wondering if it still applies. And if so should you really be devoting time to things other than the creative aspects of your advertising? Absolutely.

The Genius Behind the Rule

The creative part is what people spend the most time on maybe because it’s a bit more fun to play around with, but the reality is that even the most creative ads can fall flat, whether they’re used as marketing flyers or even online campaigns. Instead, you have to start the process of direct marketing with a careful look at your list. If you’re not reaching the right people, you’re not going to end up with any business from your campaigns.

Getting Started

Wondering how to get to the right people? Your direct mail company is a really solid place to start. They often have access to the lists you need to help better develop your audience profile, no matter what vertical you’re in. It’s all in understanding the profile, though. Once you’re able to articulate your needs, you’re going to be able to create a client list that fills those requirements.

Beyond your list, the offer plays a pretty important role too. You can mail anything to all the right people but if you haven’t let them know what’s truly in it for them, you’re still going to lose. A discount sounds like the natural option, and it’s one you don’t want to overlook, but there’s more to it than that. Think about real rewards and the option you want responders to take. For example, do you want them to come in for a consultation appointment? Offer a free one. Do you want them to log onto your site and download a new whitepaper? Deciding what will be most appealing is essential.

The final steps are a bit more fun. You actually begin designing your ad after you’ve put in all of the hard work of finding the right people and creating an offer they need to hear. This is where you can feel free to get clever and build a campaign taht will drive them into your shop.

While 40/40/20 may seem like a concept best laid out for Mad Men, it’s one worthy of consideration every time you consider direct mail advertising.

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Article Source: Mudlick Mail


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