Today’s lockdown lesson is all about how you can get in front of more potential customers right now. How you can find new prospects and get noticed – even during lockdown. 

How you get in their mailbox. Their real, physical mailbox. 

Because email inboxes are overcrowded. They have been for a while and it’s only getting worse. 

How many ‘Covid-19, unprecedented times” emails have you had? 

But letter boxes? They’ve been getting quieter and quieter. We might be ordering more packages, but we’re sending less post. 

And guess what… everyone’s at home right now. Everyone’s checking their letter box on a daily basis. 

And postmen and women are some of those amazing key workers who are still out there doing their every-day jobs. 

They could be delivering something to help your business survive.

DIRECT MAIL WORKS BECAUSE IT’S DIFFERENT

Because direct mail works. It’s tried, tested and proven. It’s worked for decades – centuries even – and it still works today. 

Especially now, when it’s so under-utilised. 

Letters, brochures, whatever you want to send… they’re different. They grab our attention. The only thing we expect through our letterbox is bills or junk mass mailers. 

So something addressed to us that looks interesting and unusual? That’s going to make us stop and take note. 

I’ll never forget the first letter I received addressed directly to my first business. I’d just incorporated, and the letter was from an insurance firm, congratulating me on setting up and sharing a leaflet of their business insurance cover. 

I didn’t need business insurance cover – or at least I didn’t think I did – but it made me stop and think about it. And it made me smile – a letter addressed to my brand new business. 

And it made me take note of that company. They were the only business insurance company congratulating me and telling me about their products. None of their competitors got in touch. They were too busy fiercely competing for space in news feeds, inboxes and search results. 

But this company reached out where their competitors were not. 

And you always want to be where your competitors are not. 

I actually think I still have the letter somewhere. Saved as a momento. 

Because that’s the other thing about marketing you send in the post.

It sticks around.

It sits on desks and coffee tables. It gets passed from room to room, person to person. 

Besides a meme of Boris Johnson, what else gets shared so much? 

THREE TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE DIRECT MAIL

So how do you go about sending some direct mail to potential new customers? 

Three tips to always bear in mind. 

1. Make it personal 

If you send a generic mass mailer to everyone you can think of, you’re definitely not going to get noticed. You’ll just look like every other generic letter addressed to “the homeowner”. 

Your letter will be thrown straight into the recycling bin. 

You need to be as personal as possible with your direct communications. At the very least that means getting a name to address your mail to. Directors’ names and company addresses are freely available on Companies House – that’s a great place to start. 

But ideally you want to make it personal in other ways. 

Which brings us to tip number two. 

2. Make it relevant 

As well as personalising the address details of your direct mail piece, you’ll want to make sure it’s actually relevant and useful to the intended recipient. 

That business insurance letter I got? Perfect timing, right as I set up my own business. 

If you can find a way to match your offer – your letter – to the needs of your reader, you’re onto a winner. 

The lesson here again is – don’t send to everyone. Make sure you pick those who will be most interested. 

And lastly, tip number 3. 

3. Make sure it stands out 

You don’t want your direct mail to look like another piece of junk mail or – god forbid – a dreaded bill. 

So do something different. Send it in a bright yellow envelope. Or blue. Or green. Whatever takes your fancy. 

Hand write the envelope. 

Or send a postcard. Everyone loves postcards with interesting pictures on. Short, sweet, effective. 

HOW TO SEND DIRECT MAIL

Get started by finding some people you want to work with. There’s loads of info online – and looking for names and addresses is something you can do while watching TV – or hire someone on Fiverr to help. 

If you’re stuck for addresses – find the prospects you want to talk to online and simply ask them. “I’d love to send you something in the post, would you mind sharing your address?” 

Their curiosity will be well and truly piqued. 

Think about how to sell your product or services and what you want to say in your Sales Letter.

Or simply pop a brochure in the post to give your prospects something different to read, something interesting to browse through and distract themselves from the outside world. 

With copywriters and designers all working from home and printers still in operation and able to offer contactless delivery, it won’t take much effort on your part to update or create a new corporate brochure either.

And if you’re worried about Greta or Extinction Rebellion – don’t be. There are plenty of sustainable ways to send direct mail. 

With direct mail, you can share the right message at the right time, in an unexpected place. A place where you’ll stand out. 

What are you waiting for? Be where your competitors are not.  

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