The ability to present complex features and benefits makes direct mail an invaluable sales support tool. Every manufacturing and distributing company has a sales force, dealer network or customer service staff. Direct mail can multiply the effectiveness of those responsible for promoting the company’s product or service.
Direct mail is a natural for introducing new products, generating leads in new market areas and building up weak territories. Responses generated by this type of mailing make it possible for a sales rep to cover larger territory and schedule sales calls more efficiently. Direct mailing into areas not covered by a sales person can generate additional business with a low cost of sales.
There are often unknown barriers to making a sale based on perceptions, right or wrong, about a company or a particular product. A series of informative direct mail pieces can go a long way toward educating prospects and converting them to customers.
Companies that invest in electronic media often mail to targeted areas to reinforce their advertising message, making the entire campaign more effective. A reply card with a call to action or special offer can also “close the deal” by generating a response from prospects.
Retailers and other companies advertising to consumers also use direct mail for more than mail order and announcing sales. When consistently used, direct mail can create or increase demand for a particular product or service. Presenting features and benefits in a visually appealing manner often sparks new interest and prompts consumers to seek products by brand name. Many companies go one step further by including a sample of their product, giving the consumer a chance to try it at home.
While selling product via direct mail is vital to building a business, it’s important not to overlook all the ways direct mail can be used for “indirect” selling. For example, every employee of a company transmits their attitudes and beliefs about the company to a host of important people on a daily basis. Keeping employees informed about the latest company philosophy, internal changes and other issues builds morale and makes each of them a better public relations spokesperson. Acknowledging orders and payments, welcoming new customers and other goodwill advertising are also methods of indirect selling that will improve your bottom line over the long run.
Any time there are new phone numbers, address changes, the announcement of additional locations, grand openings and other special events, don’t miss the opportunity to keep your name in front of prospects as well as current customers.
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