I had a quick (not thought out) question about direct marketing come in today that I wanted to share. Part of my business as a copywriter involves fielding (and weeding) out email requests like this.
First warning: his question was about as basic as it gets (why waste a professionals time when 2.2 seconds of search on Google would have answered your question?).
Second warning: no name – just a question on what is direct marketing and how much “does it cost to start”. Again – all warning signs point to someone not concerned about wasting my time, nor prepared to actually DO anything. I know nothing about their business, their industry, their challenges, or anything else about them that would be remotely helpful.
I should have deleted the email, but decided to answer it quickly and use my answer as a quick educational piece.
Direct mail is sending targeted promotional pieces designed to get potential clients to take an action.
That action may be to call you – to order – to visit a website, etc.
How you get started is a difficult one to answer. There are a ton of books out there on how to get started (Dan Kennedy has some great inexpensive books on this).
You can take courses.
Or you can hire a professional.
I’ve been writing direct mail materials for 13 years – you can see testimonials here http://blog.smallbusinesscopywriter.com/testimonials/
If you are interested in talking about this, I need to clear something up. I am a professional – this is my business – my full time business. That means I don’t write for free (in hope you pay me one day – I get asked to do this weekly – the answer is always no). I live in Canada, not India – so don’t expect to hire me for $4 an hour. I am damn good at what I do and only write for those who are SERIOUS about getting results, and for those who actually have a marketing BUDGET.
If you are still interested in talking, let me know.
Now, I was too subtle and kind for this reply. If I was not who I am, I would have been an ass in my response. Not my thing, so I was decent about it – but pointed enough to undoubtedly scare him away.
There is ONE thing I wanted to point out in my response though.
This ONE thing is critically important to understand in your marketing.
The ONLY purpose of direct marketing is to elicit SOME kind of response.
I personally think ‘branding’ for the point of branding is a complete waste of time and money for the average small business. You don’t have the budget to make a real impact through ‘branding’ if you’re a small business.
BUT, you CAN afford to do some very targeted direct marketing that has one specific goal – an ACTION.
That may be to send them to a web page and optin to your newsletter (or signup to get a report, or cd, or ebook).
Maybe its to get them to call you (one of my clients got an 18% response rate from a COLD list when we implemented their goal as an initial call). They wanted to go for the sale – which would have gotten NO response – instead we got the door opened to 18% of the people we targeted from ONE mailing piece.
THAT is a goal you should aim for!
Hopefully this gave you some thoughts and insights into the world of direct mail, direct marketing, and copywriting.