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What is Your Direct Mail Campaign Worth?

Question: What works best when designing and planning your direct mail promotions? Keeping my name in mind is one thing, getting that to translate into sales is another.

I’m going to jump right into this one. First you must create a marketing plan, in which you determine your marketing tactics and lay out a year-long schedule to implement them. Once your schedule is in place, pick images that work together as a cohesive campaign and determine the order in which they will be sent out. Now that you have your campaign outlined, here’s a quick checklist of what works best to attract clients, based on my experience:

1. Figure Out Your Budget

Before you implement any tactics in your marketing plan, first decide on your promotional budget. You can then determine the number of email and direct mail promotions as well as the quantity of printed pieces you want to produce based on what you can afford. Identify and carefully target your agency contacts to support a parallel between what you do and what clients they have. When planning for direct mail, you also need to include a quantity for those who clicked through on your email campaign, as well as targets whom you’ve specifically noted like to receive mail.

2. Showcase Work That Relates to the Field You Want to Get Work In

For example, you might have multiple markets for your work – maybe advertising, editorial and music. Depending on what your style is like, you might need to pull three different types of images to support your client’s focus.

3. Determine Your Call to Action

What do you want your target audience to do once they receive your promotions? Click-through to your website or a specific link? Use their mobile phone to reveal a QR code’s link? If you want to generate a return on your investment (ROI), you must know what your Call to Action (CTA) is, and be able to clearly communicate it. Your CTA is what you are trying to get the viewer to do.

For example, let’s say you are building a direct mail list, with these goals in mind:

  • Generate Brand Awareness. Build an understanding of who you are and what you do for new markets or new viewers within your market.
  • Keep In-Touch. Show work that is new and fresh to let your viewer know that you:
  • Consistently generate new work
  • Have a strong visual brand
  • Are a professional

Ultimately your CTA should drive traffic to your website. One easy way to do so is to use a quick response code (QR code). QR codes allow the viewer to scan a barcode with their mobile device, which takes them instantly to a web/landing page of your choice. You may want your QR code to:

  • Send the viewer to your latest work on your website or online portfolio
  • Take the viewer to a sign-up page for your email newsletter
  • Send the viewer to your blog post that shows the production process behind the image on your promotion.

Jeff Korhan wrote a very informative post “How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business” on Social Media Examiner www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-qr-codes-can-grow-your-business. The great thing about a QR code is that it allows you to actually measure the traffic and gain leads from your printed piece.

4. Draw up Your Design

Your promotion must be well-designed. It must visibly and clearly showcase your brand identity and your contact information. Keep in mind that whatever your layout and design is, nothing should take away from your images – this is a big reason why I encourage you to keep it simple and clean.

For example, choose a type face that feels like you but is still easy to read, such as Arial or Helvetica. I also like to show multiple images – it’s always a plus. Two verticals next to each other can create a strong visual relationship. What makes a strong visual relationship can be color, size, share, etc. See the example below from my client, photographer Ken Burris.

The Marketing Lab Direct Mail Campaign Photographer Ken Burris 01 resized 600

© Photographer Ken Burris

The Marketing Lab Direct Mail Campaign Photographer Ken Burris 02 resized 600

© Photographer Ken Burris

The Marketing Lab Direct Mail Campaign Photographer Ken Burris 03 resized 600

© Photographer Ken Burris

5. Choose a Quality Printer

Quality does matter. Here are a few recommended printers:

6. Create a Follow-Up Plan

Follow up your direct mail piece with phone calls or a personalized email. If you are unsure of how to go about cold calling, I recommend signing up for a Telemarketing cycle with Agency Access.

Creative Direct Mails Tend to Have a Greater Impact

Successful direct mail promotions are highly market-focused and very carefully targeted. They showcase your creative process and show the client what it is you do … and most importantly, that you do it well.

For example, you can reference Agency Access’ Heather Lefort’s blog post, Fueling Your Creativity Grows Your Business, where she speaks about one of my clients, photographer Pete Springer. She breaks down the cost of his direct mail campaign using a case study format.

The Marketing Lab Direct Mail Campaign Photographer Pete Spring Swimwear Marketing Kit resized 600

© Pete Springer’s Emergency Beach Kit

Remember, a tactile approach is still greatly appreciated when done well. So ask yourself this, are you producing creative, targeted promotions that are turning heads and generating business?

About Jennifer

Jennifer Kilberg’s unique insight into the photo industry is a result of her extensive experience and understanding of all aspects of photography since joining the industry in 1996. In 2004, Jennifer started FluidVision Inc. and has worked with a diverse international client base of photographers and illustrators of all styles and specialties. As a strong communicator, Jennifer enjoys working with all types of personalities, and her loyal client base is a testament to her ability to build long-term relationships. Jennifer has worked with Agency Access clients since 2009 in both Campaign Manager programs and other types of consultations. FluidVision

Related Articles:

1. Can You Really Justify the Cost of Direct Mail Campaigns?

2. Dialogues Podcast: Do Direct Mail – Without Draining Your Budget

3. Creative Collision: Do Art Buyers Still Look at Direct Mail?

Consistency is Key with Design.

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