Marketing Ideas and Interactive Marketing Products For Direct Mail

Response rates generated by promotional pop-up mailers are known to be far in excess of those created by bog-standard leaflets and flyers but what is it about pop-up mailers that make them such a success as direct mailing pieces? The answer lies in one word and that word is “interactive”. Here are some suggestions and ideas for interactive marketing products but first, I should perhaps try to define what I mean by interactive.

“Interactive” is one of those new words that is used a lot in marketing but what exactly is an interactive mailer or interactive marketing product? Let’s try this for an explanation – once the user has opened the promotional mailing pack and has experienced the surprise of the pop-up, the next thing to happen, almost inevitably, is that the pop-up mailer is put back in the pack and the user does it all over again! After that the pop-up mailer is put back in the pack once again and passed to an unsuspecting colleague. When I refer to promotional pop-ups as interactive mailers, that’s what I mean.

Pop-up mailers have a combination of positive attributes that are not always present in standard promotional print. Let’s look at automatic pop-up products as an example. Powered by rubber bands, the various pop-up items all bring with them the element of surprise which inevitably leads to laughter – so they are fun products. That fact alone already puts pop-up mailers higher up the league table that an A4 flyer.

However, not all interactive mailers have a pop-up action – but they still make very successful direct mail pieces. In these instances the interaction might be different but nonetheless, the reader will perform a level interaction with the marketing product which will make a very significant contribution to the success of the campaign.

There are many types of interactive mailers and each has something different to offer that gives them that something extra. It might be the fact that the product has a long desk top life such as promotional penholders, pen pots and desk tidies which stay on desktops for absolutely ages giving your message a very long exposure indeed. Cardboard-engineered pen pots are supplied flat in a size suitable to fit standard envelopes and are erected by one simple interactive push-up action that makes them a popular choice as a promotional mailer.

It could be that the movement fits perfectly with an advertising message. Take interactive marketing products that turn, for example. I don’t think that enough use is made of the humble eyelet in the design of promotional marketing products. The simple task of eyeletting can add car wheels that turn, steering wheels, turning hands on a clock, items that spin such as propellers – all kinds of things – and each with an interactive turning movement.

Another type of mailer has an interactive movement that makes pictures change. These promotional advertising products are known as dissolvers and are heaven-sent for a multitude of advertisers. The old classic theme of “before” and “after” pictures is brought up-to-date by these tremendously interactive advertising products. Absolutely everything is down to the smooth way in which, by the simple interactive pull of a card, the picture at the focus of all your attention changes from one scene to another.

Or how about interactive marketing products that jump. Promotional products in the “Jack in a box” or “Crackerjack” style offer much more of a surprise than you would ever imagine from the size of the pack. They have a very high and instant impact and are very successful at drawing attention to any campaign. Even when the person opening the pack knows exactly what is going to happen next you will see that they open the pack with some trepidation – being wary of the crackerjack effect.

Assuming that the advertising and marketing agencies have done their jobs well and assuming that the direct marketing team are sending the interactive mailer only to serious business-to-business sales prospects then you have a winning formula for a successful promotional mailing campaign.

Construction Marketing

As a contractor, if you don’t have a direct response system in place, you are leaving cash on the table. For absolutely every contact you have with any individual who could be a prospect or who might even know someone someday who might need your services, YOU NEED A DIRECT RESPONSE SYSTEM OR YOU ARE MISSING THE BOAT.

What is “direct response” you ask? It’s pretty simple. You have to have a valuable offer, and a specific call to action. The worst mistake most contractors make is they hand new prospects their business card and then just cross their fingers. If you haven’t noticed: Business cards and other marketing materials are very easy to ignore, lose, and throw away. And websites are even easier to escape. Just click away, right?

This is true unless you have a killer direct response OFFER, and a CALL TO ACTION. This works so well it’s ridiculous. And it’s so simple. Yet few construction companies use it. I don’t know why. I just throw up my hands on that one. For example, a free report could be your offer. Then you could have more products and services available for sale to people who want more of what you have to offer.

Your call to action? Ask people to get on your email list to get more valuable info. Can you do a free report? Sure. Are there other options that might work better for a construction company? The possibilities are endless.

Let me share some examples of direct response techniques that have worked in the past:

One builder I know of has been offering a free hot tub with the purchase of a new home. This may sound like an expensive method. But the cost of this method can be justified by building some of it into the cost of the home.

There are also some high impact, inexpensive methods you can use to create a compelling offer. Personally, I use an offer for a free information-packed report. I advertise this report on my business card, my website, and any other publication or marketing piece which will reach my target prospect.

One marketing area where this works very well is direct mail. With direct mail, depending on your goals and costs, you should aim for at least a 5% to 10% response. This means with every 100 letters or postcards you send, you get 5 to 10 phone calls. For the typical construction company, a 5% to 10% response rate would be very effective and make direct mail a worthwhile endeavor for your business. It’s possible, with good copywriting and a great call to action, to get 20% response rate or more!

Using an offer and a call to action in your direct mail piece can mean the difference between no response and a response that will land you enough projects to keep you busy for months.

Direct Mail Marketing

Gone are the days when you have to send mails in the post office. You are now in an era wherein the internet gives you the convenience of sending mail with just one click. Instead of sending hard copies of your catalogue, you can now send it through email. Indeed, direct mail marketing has been taken a step higher. This is something much less expensive than printing out catalogues and paying for your mail to be sent to your customers.

Imagine yourself trying to engage about a thousand customers at a cost of $50,000. Say for example, their average order value is marked at a price of $100, so that would mean the turnover value would be $100,000. Your cost of products is $50,000. With that, you have just broken even and maybe there are some other costs you ran up in running the business. You’ve taken a loss with the activity you just did. That is similar to many traditional direct mail marketing strategy results.

In the past, a lot of people have been dependent on mailing catalogues every month or so to be able to obtain successive orders. On an average, about 10% of your targeted market responds to the catalogue you have sent. One would be pleased that 10% responded, but how about the remaining 90%?

It is just too expensive and impractical to print and send out product catalogues. It is about time for you to send catalogues through email. What is great about email is that it allows you to make as many catalogues as you did before, and it will cost you less than sending out catalogues through snail mail.

Make a catalogue that stands out. Think about it in a logical manner. You can engage your business with an email service provider. The cost of sending out catalogues through email is virtually zero. Just make sure that your offer is appealing and comes with a reasonable price. You have to come up with a good layout as well. Your catalogue should entice your potential customers to buy and not get discouraged with the catalogue that you have. Be creative in coming up with a good catalogue. You can hire a few graphic artists to help you with your catalogue. Do not forget to add in a link to your website in your catalogue.

You can send catalogues to your valued clients. Direct mail marketing is a very effective approach because your valued clients will feel extra special. They will get the notion that you took your time to email them the things that are new in your business. You can treat them like they are VIP by ensuring them that they are the first people who will get to view your new line of products.

Also, you need to send catalogues to potential customers. These are the people that have visited your website. You can add in your website a section for people to put their email address. It would be wise that you send them a catalogue every month. Do not make it a point to send them a catalogue every week because they would consider it as spam mail and you will lose the chance of getting any sales from them.