5 Quick and Easy Direct Mail Tools

Here are five basic direct mail tools that you can use to generate
new client leads quickly and inexpensively.

1. Sales Letter

The letter is one of the simplest and most effective direct-mail
tools available. It won't win any design awards, but if written
well it's one of the few types of advertising that people will
actually read all the way through. And generate a response!

To generate new leads with a letter, you generally want to offer
something free, such as a brochure, sample, treatment,
consultation, or information kit. There's no need to get fancy when
writing your letter. Keep it simple. Identify a problem, present
your solution, and offer to send your freebie. Doing so allows
interested prospects to identify themselves and gives you a "foot
in the door."

The simplest letter mailing includes a one- or two-page letter and
a reply card in an envelope. You can enclose anything else you
like, but remember that your goal is to get people to ask for more
information, not to close the sale immediately. Less is more.

2. Postcard

Yes, simple postcards are a terrific way to generate leads. They're
easy to print and as cheap as mail gets. If you're a small
business, you can even print postcards through a variety of online
printers and apply stamps and address labels by hand.

To get the cheaper postcard rate, the minimum size of any postcard
you can send in the US mail is 3.5" x 5", and the maximum size is
4.25" x 6". You can certainly create larger postcards, and many day
spas & salons do. You simply have to pay more postage. Larger sizes
give you more room for your message and photos or graphics. Just be
sure to talk to your printer first to determine the most efficient
size for printing so you get the most for your money.

Postcards are particularly good for generating a quick phone call
or for driving people to your Website. Since cards are small and
offer little room for copy, your product or service should be
familiar and easy to understand. Your offer should be simple and
direct. People don't read postcards as much as they glance at them.
Your phone number or Web address should be big and bold so people
can't miss it. If you're driving people to your facility, make sure
to give clear directions and a simple map if you have room. Telling
people what you want them to do and how to do it is the best way to
maximize response rate.

3. Flyer

You want simple and cheap? Print up a flyer on ordinary paper, fold
it, affix a mailing label and a stamp, and throw it in the mail.
This kind of guerrilla tactic is dirt cheap and can produce
fantastic results for day spas, salons and massage clinics alike.
It's particularly good for small, local businesses (or businesses
that want to appear small). Unless you're selling Mercedes sedans
or Rolex watches, no one expects you to do fancy mailings anyway.

In fact, in a pile of over-designed ad mail, a simple flyer from a
local business stands out. People are subjected to so many clever
ads, they develop "ad blindness." To get people to notice you, just
mail them ugly flyers that don't look like ordinary advertising.
Ugly gets opened!

When you're mailing a flyer, you should fold it in thirds (called a
"roll fold") and affix a tab to hold it closed so it can survive
the journey. You will put your main message on the inside with
teasers and your mailing information on the outside. And be sure to
design the flyer so that when you read the address, the folded side
is on the bottom and the tab is on the top. Most printers, even
small ones, should know this...

4. Invitation

When you see the word "invitation," you probably think of small
cards with heavy paper and elegant printing asking you to a wedding
or formal dinner. But invitations can take almost any form. They're
simply a way of presenting an offer that feels personal and
important to your prospective client.

You can certainly go the expensive route if you have an expensive
products or treatments. But you can invite people to an event with
any of the formats above: a letter, postcard, or flyer. Just start
the headline with the words "You are invited to..." then tell
people what the event is.

You can invite people to an open house, special sale, party for
your best clients, product demonstration, informational
presentation, or anything that requires getting people to a
particular location. The key is to make people feel that they are
special and not everyone is being invited. Once they get there,
your staff can go to work.

5. Special Delivery

FedEx, UPS and other quick delivery services are far more expensive
than regular mail, but this is a technique for a special "wish
list" of your best prospects. If you have 100 key people you want
as customers, spending the money to overnight a brochure or product
samples may well be worth the investment.

This mailer is guaranteed to get opened. Who can resist opening a
FedEx package? Inside, you should include a personal letter
explaining who you are and what you are offering. You might send a
sample with a note that says, "Here's a small sample of our skin
care products. If you'd like to see the real thing, call me and
I'll have a full size product shipped to you." Or you could enclose
a disk with a video presentation or an info kit with detailed
information about how others have used your products and treatments
and now look 10 years younger!

Once again, don't try to fancy it up. You are sending a message to
a highly select group of people, so it should look like you've done
it personally. This isn't advertising; it's a personal contact from
you to them.

No matter what direct mail tool you use to generate leads, remember
to follow up quickly once you get the lead. Hot leads cool off
quickly. Ideally, you should respond to people within a week, more
than this is tooo long.

Give your leads to the receptionist and make sure they understand
what was offered so they can follow up with a phone call.

By John Uhrig, CEO Monochrome Marketing Solutions www.spamarketingtools.com