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Direct Mail

The Direct Mail Solution by Craig Simpson with Dan Kennedy

The full title of this book by Craig Simpson with Dan Kennedy is

The Direct Mail Solution: A Business Owner’s Guide to Building a Lead-Generating, Sales-Driving, Money-Making Direct-Mail Campaign

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of 4 Stars. This means it is good and well worth reading.

Here is my book review.

Useful guide for mass mailings but it won’t teach you how to write the sales letter

This is a useful guide to direct mail although it’s more targeted to B2C mass mailings than it is for anyone who wants to mail to B2B targets and small lists.

As is often the case when there is a bug name author sharing credit with a less known author, it us the less well known one does most of the work. To be fair, there are more chapters from Dan Kennedy than I expected. As is normal in his books, you’ll be urged to buy plenty of other DK books. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The full title of this book by Michael Masterson is

The Architecture of Persuasion: How to Write Well-Constructed Sales Letters

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my review.

Very interesting with an emphasis on the teaser, headline and lead

I read a lot of business books and especially about marketing. I have to admit many of them are quite dry and only appeal to my inner geek who wants more knowledge and understanding.

Thus book is different. [continue reading…]

in 4 – Lead Generation, Best Business Books, Copywriting

The full title of this book by Drayton Bird is

How to Write Sales Letters that Sell: Learn the Secrets of Successful Direct Mail

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my review.

An excellent book for people interested in copywriting

When I first became self employed, I decided I wanted to split my time between small businesses and bigger businesses who had challenging projects. My problem was how to reach the key executives in these bigger companies. LinkedIn didn’t exist back then and my answer was direct mail. [continue reading…]

in 4 – Lead Generation, Best Business Books, Copywriting

The full title of this book by Joan Mullally and Evelyn Trimborn is

Postcard Marketing Success: How to Use Postcard Marketing To Promote Your Business“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I gave it a rating of Four Stars. This means I consider it to be in the range of good to very good.

Here is my book review.

Plenty of good practical advice about postcards

Direct mail is an important way to target potential customers and postcards can be very helpful as part of a sequence of contacts.

This book is packed with good practical advice to help you succeed. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Postcard Marketing Update by Pat McCord

The full title of the book by Pat McCord is

Postcard Marketing Update: What You Need to Know Now

In my review posted at Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 3 Stars.

Here is my review.

Practical advice on using postcard in your marketing

A useful book that can help you to use postcards in your marketing.

It would have been much better if it had included examples since you need immediate impact with this technique of direct mail. Postcards get a glance but the photo or headline on either side must be strong enough to demand more attention and get the card read. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to dismiss it as “junk mail”.

What’s in the book is fine but I feel you need to know more if you’re going to use postcards as part of your marketing campaigns.


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in Other Business Books

The full title of this book by Dan Kennedy is

The Ultimate Sales Letter: Boost your sales with powerful sales letters, based on Madison Avenue techniques“.

In my review posted at Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a Five Stars rating. This means I think it is Excellent.

Here is my book review.

My copy shows plenty of signs of use and that’s probably the strongest recommendation I can give.

When I look at my copy of this book, it shows all the signs of use – the spine cracked, various sections underlined in different colours, others asterisked and there are comments in the margin.

This is a book I go back to when I am preparing to write a sales letter because it is a) very good and b) very well organised. [continue reading…]

in 4 – Lead Generation, Best Business Books, Copywriting

Sending your direct mail letter to the right people is even more important than the quality of the copywriting and even the offer in the sales letter.

The wrong people don’t want or need what you sell.

What Should You Look For When Buying A Mailing List?

Here are a few questions to ask.

  • How old is the list?
  • How is the mailing list refreshed and how often? People move, die etc.
  • What is done to check the accuracy of the data on the list?
  • What extra information do they hold? Sadly very little information needs to be filed at Companies House by small companies.
  • Are there any guarantees on the data?
  • How often can use the data on the direct mailing list? Some lists are sold for one-off use.
  • How is the data is delivered? You want the information to be ready in digital form.
  • How consistent is the format of the information so that it is ready to use? I’ve seen too many lists that are obviously compiled by disinterested college kids on a lowly paid holiday job with no regard to common practice. Names and addresses all in capitals. Addresses combined on to one line or split across multiple lines inappropriately.

Can You Put Your Own Mailing List Together?

The most responsive mailing lists are likely to come from your own contacts:

  • current customers
  • past customers who have stopped buying – data needs to be checked in case they have moved away
  • prospects who enquired but didn’t convert – again the data needs to be checked
in 4 – Lead Generation

9 Types Of Direct Mail To Market Your Business

I believe direct mail is an important way for businesses to reach out to potential customers.

The big advantage is that it can be very carefully targeted to a tightly defined group of recipients with a tailored message.

However, when people think of direct mail, they may not appreciate the different types of direct mail that can be used to:

  • Attract new prospective customers
  • Convert prospects into customers
  • And encourage customers to buy again

The 9 Types Of Direct Mail

  1. The standard personally addressed letter. These are usually one to two pages long but can be much longer.
  2. The printed letter. These are usually long (8 pages plus) and commercially printed and may be sent with a personally addressed introductory letter.
  3. Postcards. A short, simple message requires little effort to read and usually promotes an offer on a website address for more information.
  4. Catalogues /  catalogs and brochures. Often best sent with a letter.
  5. Magalogs. This is a sales letter disguised as a magazine with different articles. These can be used to change beliefs.
  6. Newsletters. Regular information sent to develop the relationship between the business and the (prospective) customers.
  7. Lumpy mail. Marketing trinkets can be used to make the envelope/package look more interesting and the letter more intriguing. It’s best if the trinket has a connection to the offer and will be kept.
  8. Valpak coupons and postcards. Your offer is sent together with offers from competing or complimenting firms to reduce the mailing cost per business and to create something that is intriguing to receive.
  9. Gifts. Calendars, wallcharts etc that are designed to keep promoting your brand and offers.

If you’re planning to use direct mail to promote your business, I recommend that you think of a multi-mailing approach.

It usually takes more than one contact to get the best response. Some experts say you should have a three letter sequence, others say use seven.

I don’t think there are hard and fast rules. Plan to use multiple mailings that reference the previous one (like debt collection letters) and write the best copy you can to get the action you want.

Then test and see what your economics say. If there is a fall off in response after one particular letter, improve it or replace it with another.

How To Learn How To Use Direct Mail Effectively

There are different types of direct mail.

While direct mail is effective for reaching customers who are hard to reach in other ways, it is expensive because of the postage and production costs.

If you’re going to use it, it makes sense to learn how to do it effectively.

I had great success after reading these two books:

Drayton Bird – How To Write Sales Letters That Sell

Dan Kennedy – The Ultimate Sales Letter


in 4 – Lead Generation

Collecting Customer Contact Details To Reactivate Them Later

Have you ever noticed a fishbowl in a restaurant that has about 20 business cards in the bottom and a little sign next to it asking you to leave yours too?

The restaurant owner does this because he recognises that it’s a good idea to get your details so that he can send you details of special offers.

Of course many restaurants never get around to do anything but it’s a great idea in theory. [continue reading…]

in 4 – Lead Generation, 6 – Revenue Regeneration