Promotional Products + Direct Mail = Responses

We receive so much advertising today, through the mail, e-mail, the Internet, television, radio, and billboards. We learn to tune certain messages out and choose carefully what we open out of our mailboxes. Many pieces of mail are sent straight to the garbage without a second look. As a marketing professional whose job is to grasp customer attention and generate responses from direct mail strategies, this can be a challenging task. However, there are some possibilities that should not be overlooked. Promotional products can make the difference. It’s true. It has been proven- by leading experts in the field of market research. When a company includes promotional items along with direct mail sales letters, response rates increase dramatically. Consider the following:

1. Mailed promotional gifts solidify your business’ name in the minds of prospective clients. They remember you. When children need back-to-school clothing, recipients are more likely to remember you based on the inflatable ball that you mailed. Similarly, when the heating and air conditioning needs repair, that customized refrigerator magnet you sent serves as a reminder of your company. The need to search the yellow pages or ask around the neighborhood for names is eliminated when the public already has some exposure to your name. Direct mail paired with promotional products enhances the memory of customers.

2. The combination of pieces creates feelings of gratitude in the customer. The studies indicate that when individuals receive an item of value, it fosters a sense of obligation. When customers open your packages to find gifts that they appreciate, they lean toward choosing you over the competitors based on the initial contact and favor.

3. Promotional products create curiosity. When recipients check their mailboxes and discover odd-shaped packaging or envelopes that obviously contain something of mystery, the wheels in their minds begin turning. In the beginning they may have few intentions of responding to your offer. Nevertheless, the mystery contained in the packaging can be too much for people to resist. Upon discovering your item, the chances that they will connect with your company increase magically.

4. Moreover, free gift items contribute to an element of suspense. One effective technique involves sending a series of packages at various intervals each containing a unique and thoughtful item corresponding to the time sensitive opportunity. After the first one has been opened and examined, it can be hard to resist subsequent arrivals. People want to know what is coming next. They begin to anticipate and look forward to the following direct mail pieces. Of course, this greatly affects their relationship to your business and its image.

While so many benefits exist, consider that there are ways to assist the ease of the intended outcome. Safeguard your efforts by checking in with some of the following ideas. You obviously want to see the fruits of your labor, and taking time to review the following suggestions can work to your advantage.

- Contact the local post office. Certain promotional gifts, though small, have the potential to puncture thin packaging. Ask about the appropriate methods of sending such items.

- Know the consequences of using oddly shaped containers. While tubes and oversized boxes are eye catching and can inspire curiosity, they can be an inconvenience if they force the recipient to travel to pick them up. If a package fails to fit into a mailbox and the mail carrier leaves the notice indicating failure of delivery, the customer could become dismayed. They may be disappointed after traveling to pick the mail and finding the direct mail piece. This could be detrimental to your wishes of facilitating customer goodwill.

- Create professional packaging. Use computerized labels, standard envelopes, and avoid handwritten addresses or sloppy appearances. If you want your mail to be taken seriously, it must be presented with care. In addition to looking respectable, it should not stir any feelings of uneasiness or discomfort among recipients.

- Doing some basic demographic research could be beneficial. If you are taking the time to customize an item and pay for the shipping, make it worth your while. Include something of quality to impress the prospective clients. It need not be expensive or large. However, a creative or thematic approach works well. Be sure that your graphic work appears professionally done.

Becoming aware of what does and doesn’t work saves you trouble, time, and resources. These basic principles and gentle warnings should be of assistance to your direct mail campaign. Competitive businesses know that including promotional items seriously influences the response rates of sales letters.

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