for OCTOBER 1983
GOOD IS DIRECT MAIL ?
were lucky in those days if they saw one customer a day and
the only good thing it had going for it was that it had extremely
good car parking.
decided on what her client base was going to be and then started
out with householder type circulars that she personally delivered
into letter boxes.
slowly built up a client list and first of all had these on
cards and then on sheets that she could Xerox the names off
and finally now has them in a computer.
has in excess of six thousand names on this list and she can
sort this list into any of the following...
can make up a list of people who haven't purchased since a specific
date or people who purchased over a dollar amount or people
who purchased a typical type of garment, or
she can sort the complete list into postal codes to save on
regularly sends out a fashion news letter always incorporating
in it a personal touch and always giving something free. She always gets a six percent result in the first week.
can see a lot of parallels in her business to the average photographic
is in a specialized business... people buy from her regularly
and she has repeat customers.
a photographers list may have to be larger because of the periods
between the times they can purchase Photography... unless you
offer something different each time like "family groups"
and you sell to them... Copy's and you sell to them.... and who is to say that they should not have a portrait
or a family group done each year
also get five to twelve percent more people telephoning in for
your product if they can quote their credit card this of course
does not apply to having your portrait made.
to me means that if you'll accept credit cards in
your business mention it on all of your advertising material
you will get more and more people paying for the photographs with credit cards.
O.K. you have to give a small percentage away but that is more than offset normally with the extra orders that you get.
ON THE DIRECT MAIL SEMINAR
other advertising medium can offer this personal service.
then mentioned key rule "A.I.D.A." that should be
followed in writing direct mail letters such as....
stressed that you must do what you promised, WHEN you promised
you would do it in every instance.
writing direct mail letters there are key words that have maximum
effect such as
lot of thought must go into the way that you make your offer. He cited the following example whereby an item can be
offered at "Half the price " OR you could
of the above mean the same thing, but in practical test cases
it was found that the "buy one, get one free" had
by far the most effect.
always the letter should be started with a question to gain
the readers attention. In many cases this can be written on the outside of the
envelope in a bold manner, if this is done who would not then
want to open the envelope to see what was inside.
In summing up Mr McDonald mentioned that direct mail advertising generally takes more planning and production time, but dollar for dollar nothing succeeds like direct mail.
was a line-up of very good speakers ... and like all conferences
some were a lot better than others.
of the points raised were ...
In America householders received between 5 and 6 pieces of direct mail every day. This means in New Zealand we are massively under developed in the direct mail industry. Statistics from that country indicate that only three in a hundred pieces of direct mail do not get opened.
became very obvious right throughout the whole seminar that
if your direct mail list is to be any good you must work it
constantly. The lists require constant updating and editing removing all
names that have become stale.
if you have to buy them, are extremely hard to get and are extremely
expensive, so the customers that you have and that have bought
from you in the past are your best source of new business and
those are the people who should be on your list and you should
be following them every time they shift house.
customers have cost you money to get in the form of advertising
word of mouth or whatever so they are your best source of new
did mention that the easier it is to respond to whatever you
post, the more likely you are to get a reply. This of course bares out my comments that all direct
mail should be followed up with a telephone call to maximise
direct mail they said that the guarantee is one of the most
important things you can offer, and, the customer is always
philosophies of course apply to all business and not only direct
mail and I am sure if you guaranteed satisfaction with all of
your portraits unless your a bit of a lousy photographer you
would build up much better customer confidence than you could
any other way.
did say that New Zealand is the most responsive market in the
world to direct mail.
envelopes that you see with the message on the outside of the
envelope in lots of cases do work and Do create a lot of responses.
did say that direct mail brochures should be extremely heavy
in copy, in other words you give them plenty to read.
you are sending a brochure you should always include a letter
because the letter is the most important thing in the complete
letter of course should always tell them what you are going
to tell them.
should then proceed to tell them what you are going to tell
you tell them what you have told them.
that thirty percent of
all people have some sort of eye problem so if you use a very
small type that group of people you may as well not send your
this of course applies very very heavily in any mailings you
do to older people.
you cannot make up your mind whether to have printing on both
sides of the page.... relax they have been unable to determine
that you'll get any less response by having printing on both sides
you are a member of the N.Z.P.P.A. mention it, it will give
you more respectability and credibility.
offer you make them, make it a very personal offer and include
as much back-up with your letter as you wish and ask, ask, ask for a response, ask
right throughout all of your mailing.
can receive up to forty-five percent discount on your postage
under 'with special conditions" what they are I have yet
to find out ask your Post office.
Digest of course is the most successful direct mail company
in the world. They
started off in 1921 with no customers and have built it up to
about 31 million issues going out every month.
average cost per piece of direct mail is 80 cents. They of course do test their market before they go into a complete
mailing. This means
that they will select a portion of their list perhaps every
tenth name and try the mailing out on them and the response
they get from this mailing can be applied across their complete
means that if they have a thousand names and they post to each
tenth name they will be posting out a trial posting of one hundred
pieces. If they
get a ten percent response it would be logical to assume that
they would get a ten percent response on the remaining nine
direct piece of direct mail that they did in 1957 was to post
out a two cent coin to all of their customers they posted out
in total 40 million coins and almost drained the complete market
place of coins of that value.
Managing Director of Readers Digest who was addressing us said
that good direct mail ideas are transportable providing you
test the idea before you go into it
of the speakers said that you must decide of these following
facts... Who are you trying to influence?
are you trying to sell?
should you prospect buy it? Where will you find your prospect?
should you speak to them?
after you have decided on all of those points should you even think
about using anything in direct mail.
should never try to be clever in any of your adverts because
you must keep it simple.
you are posting out a piece of direct mail to somebody who never
used you as a client it would do you no harm to use a photograph
of the building that you are in to build confidence in your
idea that often works in direct mail is the following offer
three and get??? free.
other words you could invite your customer to buy three photographs
and ...perhaps get something perhaps
another photograph free.
you are using a reply card in your direct mail it should be
of 175 gram paper weight and of course be a business reply paid
of course cuts across my concept that you should be telephoning
all of your prospective clients rather than waiting on them
your considering mailing to every householder in New Zealand
they said that there are one million fifty thousand householders...
O.K. so its a piece of useless information...
envelopes or not? They said that any small mailing that you do, that
be for example, word processor based, a non window envelope
is more practical.