As a cold caller for more years than I care to think about, I am often asked about the virtues of utilizing a direct mail campaign to garner clients. The argument I’m often faced with is that my clients will send out hundreds maybe thousands of direct mail pieces only to have spent a ton of money with no results. There are also the clients who send out those “direct response” mailers. You know the ones that ask you to “detach and mail back with your information and someone will get back to you“. They send these out only to be disappointed again by the lack of response. Okay here’s the problem. The first thing to understand about direct mailers is that the info you gather must be accurate or they are useless. Sending out a direct mailer to the wrong person does you no good and is a waste of both time and money. To make a direct mail campaign truly effective you need to implement the following steps.
The receptionist is your friend.
1. Call to verify the information you have on the prospect. This means that you must make sure that the decision maker still works for the company and makes the final decision on whatever it is that you’re trying to sell them. For example, if I were calling about general liability insurance, I would call to find out who accepts the quotes for the company. If it happens to be Mary Smith in HR then I would more than likely send information to her directly. Just because you’re gathering information at this point doesn’t mean that you need to speak with the decision maker. You’re just verifying information-that’s all. The receptionist can give you most of the info you need. This can also be true for a direct response mailer
2. Make sure the address is correct. It’s amazing how often we will drop a direct mail piece in the mail box only to have it returned to us with the wrong address. With postage and printing cost constantly going up do we really need to waste more money on a mailer that’s going nowhere? Again, you can get this info without bothering the decision maker.