Direct Mail Marketing(2)

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					Direct Mail Marketing
A direct mail marketing campaign to publicize your optometric practice can be successful,
but only if you can motivate your audience to take action.
                     BY JOSEPH CASPER                           him/her to take,” while an effective intellectual direct mail
      Even professionally-trained marketing experts some-       piece “begins by delivering a message directly to a per-
times lose sight of the most essential element of a suc-        ceived need and then substantiates the claims being
cessful direct mail campaign — your message must ful-           made.” Both styles can be effective with a optometric
fill a consumer need and motivate them to do something.         direct mail campaign. With either style, try to use a memo-
If your direct mail campaign fails to accomplish this,          rable or catchy message that will help your product/prac-
nothing else really matters. While a direct mail campaign       tice stick in the mind of the consumer.
geared to publicize optometric offerings and generate                             Be Selective and Direct
dispensary leads can be cost-effective and highly suc-               Research your services and offerings to best under-
cessful, an improperly researched and misdirected un-           stand which population segments your patients will come
dertaking can be costly and ineffective.                        from and then target these groups with your direct mail
      If you are considering a direct mail marketing cam-       marketing effort. In marketing, this is called positioning
paign for your practice, be cognizant of several key ele-       or segmentation. Which group(s) of consumers have the
ments which can help ensure success.                            need for your services, the ability to pay, and can be mo-
                     Be Clear and Bold                          tivated to act? It is critical your direct mail effort is aimed
      Get your point across quickly, make it absolutely clear   at these specific groups. To increase your direct mail re-
what you are offering, and spell out what is “in it” for the    sponse rate, determine the potential population segments
consumer. Is your direct mail piece going to be emotional       which might be most prone to respond to your ad. If you
or intellectual? In The Wizard of Ads, author Roy Will-         already know your target segments, great. Go after them.
iams explains there are two types of effective advertise-       If you are not sure about whom to target, a direct mail
ments — information-focused intellectual ads and emo-           campaign can provide an excellent opportunity to test
tional ads which are experience-focused. The difference,        your message on different samples of the population.
the author says, is “a well-written, emotional ad will cause                          Continued on page 2
a reader to imagine taking precisely the action you’d like

 Accurate Mailing Lists are Vital
     Mailing lists are vital to the success of any direct       or broker and then complete the entire mailing for
 mail campaign. A poor, outdated list is a recipe for fail-     you. In addition, mailing house personnel frequently
 ure while an accurate, current list can produce signifi-       have a wealth of knowledge about how to effectively
 cant leads. There are several resources for acquiring          “word and package” direct mail materials.
 mailing lists that can meet your needs.                            You can locate these list holders through a vari-
     A mailing list compiler. A compiler develops,              ety of sources, including the Yellow Pages and other
 owns, and sells its mailing lists.                             telephone resource books, local chambers of com-
     A mailing list broker. The broker is a middleman           merce, or from your local printers. Local print shops
 who will track down mailing lists from multiple sources.       are an especially good source as they frequently pro-
 Generally, it is more expensive to obtain a list from a        duce work that is subsequently used in direct mail
 broker than from a compiler.                                   campaigns. Check references before you select a list
     A mailing house. Unlike compilers and brokers, a           provider. You do not want to pay for a list which is
 mailing house can be a one-stop shop for you. A mail-          out-of-date and results in a high rate or mail returned
 ing house frequently can acquire lists from a compiler         as “undeliverable.”

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Direct Mail Marketing
                        Continued from page 1

Finding successful niches on a small scale can greatly                ucts, it may take up to 18 months for an individual to
improve your response rates on a larger scale.                        take that first step. Experience reveals that consumers
     A simple mailing list — one focused only by age, for             often need to come in contact with a marketing message
example — will cost around $75 per 1,000 names. As                    four times before it “sinks in” and motivates them to act.
you request additional population sample perimeters i.e.,             In addition, research has found that a consumer will fre-
income levels, professions, lifestyles, etc., the cost will           quently make a decision whether or not to read a mes-
increase.                                                             sage within a seven-second span. While you would like
     Population segments you might want to target for re-             to obtain a commitment to read your message the first
fractive services include: Age and income: Ages 25 to                 time a consumer is exposed to it, reality says it may take
55 with an income greater than $40,000; Occupations:                  several “contacts” before the message is received and ab-
Pilots, law enforcement; firefighters, beauticians, etc.;             sorbed. While a “onetime” direct mail marketing cam-
Hobbies: Participants in water and snow sports, golfers,              paign will result in some success, your best bet is to adopt
bowlers, etc.; Lifestyles: Frequent vacationers, readers              a strategic marketing plan that features an ongoing cam-
of select magazines, such as Vogue and GQ. (See the ar-               paign which includes at least two or three mailings to the
ticle on page 1 for information about how to obtain a                 same targeted audience.
mailing list.)                                                             In conclusion, remember that the goal of a direct mail
               Be Consistent and Constant                             campaign is more than simply to spread the word about
     Develop a direct mail strategic plan that is adaptable           what you have to offer — it is to fulfill a consumer need
and ongoing. In marketing eye care services and prod-                 and motivate them to take action.

For more information, contact BSM Consulting at 1-800-832-0609.

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