As marketing professionals we regularly keep check on things to be included in your direct mail content.
98 Direct Mail and Telemarketing Applications
The purpose of this article is to provide a wide range of object
lessons, each of which forms a practical example of direct response
promotion in action: performing the hard sell, creating good public
relations, building customer loyalty.
Many of these examples contain original ideas which, to my knowledge, have never been applied, while others have been applied successfully by companies and institutions for years.
To show the universal usefulness of direct marketing, these examples are given by trades and professions in alphabetical order.
- Accountants: Publish and offer free to companies a
quarterly bulletin on money management, taxation and ways to accumulate
wealth, of such intrinsic value that it would be in demand by clients
and non-clients alike with the obvious consequence of attracting new
business when a company is ready to change.
- Actors and Actresses: Design a newsletter to be
sent to theatrical management, casting directors, etc., telling them of
recent engagements and activities, including pictures from television
and stage productions and press cuttings.
This should demonstrate versatility, adaptability and make them want to k now you and work with you.
- Adhesive manufacturers: A scheme for mailing a
range of different industries with appropriate live examples showing
applications for specialised adhesives in every industry.
This would demonstrate the excellence of your product and your willingness to solve problems.
The samples should be intriguing, attractive and hard to throw away - with your name and telephone number on a sticker and an enquiry card in the package.
- Advertising Agencies: A mailing to prospective
clients sending them consumer products marketed by existing clients with
the offer of case histories of successful campaigns.
This could be especially striking where products are either in themselves useful, valuable or enjoyable, or where a product is strange or arresting in appearance, as with an industrial account. People find it hard to resist case histories.
Everyone likes an insight into someone else's business. Needless to say, don't send these, but take them along when you have arranged a meeting.
- Agricultural equipment dealers: A monthly
bulletin of new and used machinery for sale to farmers. Ads could be
obtained from manufacturers, oil companies, and farmers themselves could
be invited to advertise their surplus equipment in it free of charge.
So you sell them new equipment and give them a chance to dispose of the old.
- Airlines: Regular mailings to key executives'
secretaries, with the object of identifying the individuals who fly,
invitations to demonstration flights of new aircraft types for
secretaries, press releases about aircraft and airfreight performance,
testimonials from business men and celebrities who have recently used
the airline. Exotic flowers or fruit `fresh from some glorious overseas
country' where the airline flies regularly as a gift to secretaries or
- Aluminum manufacturers: Regular mailings to
architects and designers of furniture and industrial products with
details of new applications for aluminum.
- Antique dealers: Mailings to antique dealers and
collectors in overseas countries giving lists, descriptions and
illustrations of rare and precious articles currently available for
sale. Spreading the customer base world-wide by capturing and
maintaining name and address files of wealthy foreigners who happen to
visit your shop and keeping in touch with those who buy.
- Architects: Mailing to local Government
institutions, companies with known factory expansion programs, etc.,
attractive booklets of major housing and industrial projects recently
- Art dealers: Space ads offering, on application
through a coupon, catalogues of pictures and objets d'art for sale and
catalogues of articles sold giving details of prices paid, thereby
building a mailing list of likely clients.
Also stimulating the interest of investors in works of art for companies, aiming both at senior directors for their own benefit and for the company to build status and capital appreciation through investment in art.
Launch a loan scheme for good, middle range pictures (500 to 5,000) to be exhibited in company reception areas (catalogue and prices from reception).
- Auctioneers: Constant list building from those
attending sales, urging them to fill in name and address cards as they
arrive, with details of individual interests (buying and selling) must
increase attendance at sales and improve prices realised. This, in turn,
would attract more vendors.
Regular mailings to the press both in advance of sales and after completion with interesting news items about the type of object or property sold with human-interest stories and prices where they are remarkable.
Provide an attractive package which journalists can offer to their readers (names and addresses to you).
- Babies' outfitters: Constant list building by
arrangement with doctors, nurses, midwives, maternity homes and
hospitals, and attractive practical mailings to mothers and
mothers-to-be, combined with special offers in publications to obtain
new names, in collaboration with all available magazines aimed at this
- Banks: Mailings to school leavers, newly fledged
graduates, schoolmasters, etc., giving interesting, useful information
about banking and offering special services, both educational and
practical, to obtain worthwhile new accounts.
Also regular mailings to companies, giving news about progress of the bank's services, new equipment, new accounts and other success stories.
- Beauticians: A competition, organised through
local papers to attract beauty conscious women, offering free treatments
to winners who put a list of make-up rules in correct order and the
offer of one half-price treatment to all competitors (`everybody wine').
- Binocular manufacturers: Mailings to
ornithologists, ornithological societies, naturalists and members of
conservation groups offering free loan of binoculars for a limited
period and a special reduced price offer thereafter.
Testimonials from well-known authorities should be obtained and included. A joint promotion with the National Society for the Protection of Birds, giving a percentage of purchase prices to the charity would seem promising.
- Blacksmiths: Produce a simple decorative consumer product for sale through small ads in Sunday papers and offer these in limited quantities.
This kind of fill-in activity is useful when normal workload is seasonally low.
- Blanket manufacturers: Mailings to hospital
administrators, schools, hotels, boarding houses, holiday camps; coupon
space advertising in women's magazines, camping, yachting and other
`secondary use' blanket markets.
The product offered should be adapted to make it ideal for each of these markets or some especially aimed extra should be devised to fit each market's needs.
- Boarding and apartment houses: Organising
cooperative coupon advertising or classified ad campaigns to obtain
names of potential holiday makers for the forthcoming season and mailing
them with a cooperatively produced booklet of accommodation available
and of the generic advantages of this kind of accommodation to obtain
full bookings for the entire season.
- Boat builders: List building of well-to-do
householders in parts of the country easily accessible to the sea or
navigable rivers, offering a weekend fun boat with regional promotion
tied to appropriately timed demonstrations or the free loan of a boat
for a limited period.
- Booksellers: Building lists of regular book
buyers categorized by subjects of interest and suggesting additional
reading on the same subject. Possible tie-up with libraries offering
free bibliographies to serious students or readers of subjects where a
worthwhile list of books is published.
Also overseas businesses direct with known readers of English offering to obtain and ship books on any subject -especially in out-of-the-way places where no book shops exist.
- Boot and shoe manufacturers: Coupon advertising
to build lists of outsize (large or small) customers and supplying them
direct at regular intervals. Also bespoke boots and shoes made to order,
either for particular pastimes like hunting, shooting, fishing, etc.,
or for the luxury trade in everyday shoes.
Appointments can be made in advance, either through the mail to high quality lists or by coupon advertising. Measuring and fitting can be organised through the mail to occupy a fitter full-time at given places such as hotels or specially booked accommodation. This has been found very successful for British boot manufacturers overseas.
- Brewers: Offering a `drink-on-the-house' by
door-to-door distribution of leaflets to better type households in
selected areas to introduce and popularise new or modernised bars or
pubs - especially on days when business is poor.
- Builders: Every household has a score of jobs,
which require doing, but are not necessarily urgent. An imaginative
builder could offer special concessions for work placed with him where
timing is not critical and, by constant promotion of this service, can
build up a full order book to occupy his labour force in varying weather
conditions for indoor or outdoor work when he is unable to go ahead
with major projects.
- Bulb growers: Bulbs, especially if prepared,
supplied with soil and already growing, could make excellent presents
for companies to their clients.
Mailings to major companies offering special rates for bulk orders could build excellent repeat business and the product could be distributed direct from the grower to the recipient of the gift with an additional opportunity for profit.
For instance, an advertising agency might be prepared to maintain a planter full of seasonal flowers at the offices of all major clients.
- Burglar alarm manufacturers: A multi-shot mailing
to wealthy private individuals, security officers, managing directors
and company secretaries could convert a worthwhile percentage of wealthy
households, companies, shops, offices, hotels and clubs.
Case histories and burglary statistics would ensure a growing sense of urgency. Mailings could be phased regionally to fill the appointment books of salesmen.
- Butchers: A mailing or leaflet distribution
kindling the housewife's imagination and offering specially prepared
meat at reasonable prices could attract and build new customers.
An occasional bulletin pointing out ways of providing meat for families more economically, either with new ideas, recipes and methods of preparation, or with seasonally reduced cute and kinds of meat, could lift one private butcher or chain of outlets above the rest.
Offering specially prepared -even cooked meat for the freezer at advantageous times of the year - could keep turnover level.
- Cabinetmakers: There is hardly a house, which could not do with more shelves built-in furniture or additional storage space.
Regular leaflet distribution offering a free advice and design service would almost certainly pay for itself.
- Caravan builders: The offer of a free weekend out
of season in a caravan on a deluxe site might convert many families who
have thought about, but not decided, on the purchase of a caravan.
The offer could be made conditional upon filling in a simple questionnaire or some other screening device. It would bring interested potential purchasers as far as an interview and will also help in building lists for further promotion.
- Car hire services: Regular mailings to companies
informing them of the latest models of car available and offering to
come and discuss specific car hire applications for their particular
company should effect introductions and enable a car hire operator to
build a useful list.
Special arrangements can be offered for replacement cars in case of accident or breakdown of company care for group rates enabling directors and senior staff to hire cars for holidays, for larger than usual cars, or prestige cars for special occasions or for minibuses and vans where required.
- Carpet manufacturers: Regular mailings to such
large users as hotel groups, commercial establishments, hotels and
boarding houses should be profitable in any industry where a single
major sale is of such high value and carpets get worn out fast.
A test-a-carpet scheme to demonstrate the hardwearing qualities of a new kind of carpet might tempt hotels.
- Charitable organisations: Direct mail addressed
to the wives of men in particular professions (to pinpoint their level
of personal wealth, degree of influence and leisure time) and attempting
to enroll them as local organisers could be very successful and far
less costly than mailings eliciting individual subscriptions.
Valuable prizes could be obtained from nationally famous companies (who would benefit from the advertising) for the most successful organizer and the prizes would be given away by prestigious personalities.
- Chemists: Without offending against codes of
practice and rules of professional conduct, chemists could discover from
doctors what special or additional services would be of value both to
them and to their patients.
They could then mail doctors that these services are now available, giving them some kind of hand-out for their patients to tell them the precise location of the dispensary and the hours when prescriptions may be dispensed, together with any special instructions of what to do in an emergency. (For instance, a home delivery service for immobile patients or a hire service for appliances which are required for short periods.)
By offering this kind of special service in conjunction with direct mail techniques, a chemist or chain of chemists might well be able to increase the share of prescriptions dispensed and, at the same time, offers a very much better service both to doctors and patients.
Bart E.J. Sanders - Business Group Management: Oce-Deutschland GmbH. Buhrs Forum: The Future of Mail' Direct Mail
Written by Charles Prescott, Vice President of International Business Development and Government Affairs, The DMA; Chairman, Consultative Committee, Universal Postal Union March, 2005
Developments in Direct Mail Markets around the Globe by Raquel Ferrari Project Manager, Direct Mail - UPU2005
This presentation covers The Future of Direct Mail in developing nations.
Valassis Communications Inc., a sales promotion company that offers coupons primarily through newspaper inserts, has joined forces with competitor Advo Inc. to distribute coupons through direct mail in seven markets around the country. The move intrigues analysts, who say the effort holds promise for both companies.