Building a mailing list that actually responds

You should feel great about getting your first postcard campaigns out the door because getting started is really half the battle. But how are you doing on your responses? That’s the other half, and it’s a big half. A conversation goes both ways and if you’re doing all of the talking and not hearing anything back from your mailing list, it’s considered unresponsive. It could be more than just the marketing copy and odds are good that the problem is one of three specific things it’s causing you to lose out on customers.

Before we dive into the answers, let’s talk a bit about why people wouldn’t respond. It is no secret that consumers are absolutely bombarded with marketing messages these days (some 5,000 per day, according to studies). The result of this is that people have learned to filter what they see and if it smells like bad marketing, they just ignore it. What are the signs they look for?

  1. It’s not personalized and addresses them generically “Dear Mr. or Mrs.”
  2. It asks for something without offering anything back
  3. It’s unclear what you’re asking them to do

All of these are poor interpersonal habits for anyone to have, but coming from a business? In the words of Fat Tony, “forget about it.” These messages won’t ever be responded to. Luckily we’ve helped run thousands of successful marketing campaigns over the years and have three tips for creating a truly responsive mailing list:

Get Personal

People feel compelled to respond when addressed by their first name. Just as you know intrinsically that you’ll have a higher response rate when writing someone’s name on an envelope than printing it, you’ll have a higher response rate for addressing them by their first name on a postcard than by using “hi there.” Why? Because at our core, we’re all just a little bit vain. We like to hear our own name. And when someone addresses us by it, we feel compelled to learn their name as well. This works just as well with your business as it does with two strangers meeting for the first time, so always lead with their name and they’ll feel obliged to remember yours.

Deliver Real Value

To compel your customers to act, you need to consider the “WIIFM,” or “What’s In It For Me” factor. This is an acronym that you should pin to your wall and every time you’re designing a marketing campaign, refer back to. If you were your own customer, what would be in it for you? Nobody goes into the auto shop out of the blue just because its #1 rated in customer satisfaction. They go in because they heard a clanking noise and they’re afraid their old jalopy will have a blowup on the freeway. So what’s in it for them with your postcard? Peace of mind! Tell them about how relaxed they’ll feel knowing that their family car is safe to drive. Find the real value that you offer them and it will compel them to act now.

Tell Them Exactly What They Need to Do 

Your postcards may have pretty pictures, but they’re so much more than a pretty picture! Every marketing action you take should be driving consumers towards taking an action of their own, whether it’s bringing the postcard in for a 2-for-1 deal or calling your toll free number. If you’ve taken five minutes to set up your marketing funnel, you’ll know exactly which action to direct them towards. So make your call-to-action large and obvious!

And if you’re really looking to inspire responses, it’s also very important to make it as easy as possible to respond. Leave nothing up to interpretation. I’m always shocked when I see mailings that say vague things like “Get in touch with us!” and the phone number is either absent or hidden somewhere else. They’re expecting me to know what “get in touch” means, how to do it, and when I should I do it. As a consumer, I’m likely to set this postcard aside and forget it. Don’t create barriers to people responding! Use a phrase like “Call today for your free sample at 1 (800) 555-5555!” which tells them why (free sample), how (call us), where (phone number), and when (today).

How to Get It Right

The best postcard campaigns are ones that consumers feel they got a great deal on and actually look forward to receiving more mailings. When they respond consistently and your sales start to spike, you know that you’ve hit the three points successfully. You’ve sent personalized outreaches, delivered value, and made it easy and compelling to respond. Congratulations! You’re now holding a responsive mailing list which is the golden goose egg of marketing because it will keep delivering more sales.

Not so tough after all, huh? Now that that cat is out of the bag, there’s really nothing standing in between you and a successful, responsive mailing list than just getting started!

Today is the day, give us a jingle at 877-222-6010 and let’s talk about your next marketing campaign!