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5 elements that influence direct marketing and advertising
20 Aug 2012
 

5 elements that influence direct marketing and advertising

 

5 elements that influence direct marketing and advertising

20 Aug 2012

Its easy to forget these 5 elements when we all start getting stuck into producing a targeted direct mail campaign, the fact is that all of us a guilty of overlooking these key ingredients when cooking up a sensational piece of direct marketing. We can get carried away with the look of the advert and miss the essence of the message.
It’s a good idea to print this out and pin it on your wall, then go-ahead write the advert and return to this list to see if there are any of these 5 crucial sections you have overlooked.
You will need to consider the following:

1: Your Wording.  
All advertising has words, sounds simple enough – but sometimes adverts don’t they use only an images and a logo, this is fine when you have David Beckham or Charlize Theron advertising your products then you will need to rely on great text or ‘copy’ as its known in the design and print industry.
Now anyone who has ever created a masterpiece of great copy will know, even the minor adjustment of some words can make  a huge difference in the impact of the advert and the response rate. This includes the attention grabbing headline, the ‘body’ text (bit in the middle) and the ‘call to action’ which is the sign off the bottom before the contact information.
If this is for a homepage, a landing page an e-shot campaign sent via email or a posted direct mail printed leaflet or brochure, after the image – the words are the most important.

2:  Your layout.
Something as simple as a sales letter needs layout, you would think that a letter is simple – follow the basics you were taught at school, but no even this can be manipulated and improved to maximize the fact of not being thrown straight into the bin.
The layout considers how far down the page the headline appears, how big the image you have chosen is, where the logo is positioned and at what size.
Layout needs to suggest how large your paragraphs need to be, how many words are needed to fill a particular space within the design.
What fonts are used, what size are the fonts. Should you use Bold, Capitals or Italics and where are they most appropriate.? (Design tip for you here, don’t change fonts mid sentence as the potential customer or person reading the advertisement subconsciously dislikes this, its seen a little condescending and it reduces your response rates).
Layout includes colour, fonts, backgrounds, background tints images using overall corporate colours will help you design. Colours which are not complimentary will clash and will turn off your audience.
The list of items to think about regarding ‘layout’ is almost endless. Unless you are a trained designer we suggest you leave the layout element of you advertisement up to the professionals.

3: Your offer.
For sure you have be offering something, be it something promotional, maybe something free or ask yourself ‘what is the sale’ . What is going to help you stand out from the crowd – what is your USP? (Unique Selling Point). You need to check this is in fact unique, you need to test your competitors and see if what you are offering is actually unique, if its not then your competition may have already done their direct mail promotion and are renowned for this USP, this makes it more difficult for your to take your stake in the market.
Ask your self a question, put your self in your customers shoes and understand it from their point of view, ask the question “Why do I want to buy from this company?” and ‘Why buy this product or service?’
Get these answers to these questions wrong and I guarantee you promotion will fail.
There comes a point in most markets where its almost impossible to offer something unique, especially if you are a small start up business, you may not have the capacity to be the best, not yet anyway!. So look at your competitors, identify where they are failing and see if you can offer something they don’t to help you steal some customers from them.
Even if your products and services are not unique, then its where your promotional advertising stands out that you can begin to penetrate that market, people will remember you because your printed literature is better than the competition, even if you offering the same thing as the next trader, you need to be remembered.

See these two adverts, booth for an individual offering lawn-mowing services. The plain one is for a gardener who is an established individual who has probably cornered the market for years in a particular area. On the face of it – its always good to look around for a better deal, the other flyer looks like it would be more expensive, but who’s to know that some young more modern looking company can offer a quicker more cost effective solution.

4:  Your distribution
No advert with great test, great design and a compelling message is going to work if its not given to the right person. Ask yourself is my mailing list up to date?, am I targeting people who are interested in my services? How do I reach the right people?
This is probably the most crucial element of the campaign. Its not good covering all of the other points to only send your ‘Garden Mowing Services’ flyer to someone who lives in an apartment.
Think this though carefully, you may need to research your target market thoroughly, the more accurate this information is the less wastage you will have with your campaign.
If you are producing a targeted mail campaign whereby you are posting to a particular person in a particular market, then you may consider using a direct marketing company to supply you with a list of names and addresses of people who fit your demographics. This sounds costly but it does have a bigger response rate than just ‘blanket’ posting your flyers through doorways in the hope that someone will be interested in your wares.
You need to plan this carefully.

5:  your Frequency
By events we mean the amount of times your advert or promotion is executed, how many times you send it out to gauge its response. The more  frequency you direct to your marketing campaign the better, the more times its likely to be exposed to the desired audience the more chance you have of getting your message across and it being recognized.
Its an idea to send two different promotions at any one time and then to gauge the response from both, this testing allows you to fine tune your campaign, decide on what works and what doesn’t. This fine-tuning works to your advantage as it tests one design against another. The key is keep experimenting with these adverts, even if they are successful, obviously go with the more successful of the two advertisements. The constant fine-tuning will allow you to eventually achieve an advert which is potentially groundbreaking.
If you are only sending out you promotion once, then there is no way of gauging the result as it’s the first time your potential customers have been exposed to you brand. Lets say the first promotion brings in a 1% response rate, this is likely to be increased to 2.5% on you second promotion as your brand becomes recognized. However this does not continue to increase the response rate on the 3rd and 4th promotion, as it teeters off at 3% as an on-going promotion.
So what sort of period is best to leave it between promotions? 1 month, 2 months, 6 months? Generally speaking you really need to be doing this once a month for at least 3 month so you can see a response pattern emerging. The more events you do the more your company will become recognized. Getting you brand in front of people is a big key factor, doing this more often will help you to grow.





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Its easy to forget these 5 elements when we all start getting stuck into producing a targeted direct mail campaign, the fact is that all of us a guilty of overlooking these key ingredients when cooking up a sensational piece of direct marketing. We can get carried away with the look of the advert and miss the essence of the message.
It’s a good idea to print this out and pin it on your wall, then go-ahead write the advert and return to this list to see if there are any of these 5 crucial sections you have overlooked.
You will need to consider the following:

1: Your Wording.  
All advertising has words, sounds simple enough – but sometimes adverts don’t they use only an images and a logo, this is fine when you have David Beckham or Charlize Theron advertising your products then you will need to rely on great text or ‘copy’ as its known in the design and print industry.
Now anyone who has ever created a masterpiece of great copy will know, even the minor adjustment of some words can make  a huge difference in the impact of the advert and the response rate. This includes the attention grabbing headline, the ‘body’ text (bit in the middle) and the ‘call to action’ which is the sign off the bottom before the contact information.
If this is for a homepage, a landing page an e-shot campaign sent via email or a posted direct mail printed leaflet or brochure, after the image – the words are the most important.

2:  Your layout.
Something as simple as a sales letter needs layout, you would think that a letter is simple – follow the basics you were taught at school, but no even this can be manipulated and improved to maximize the fact of not being thrown straight into the bin.
The layout considers how far down the page the headline appears, how big the image you have chosen is, where the logo is positioned and at what size.
Layout needs to suggest how large your paragraphs need to be, how many words are needed to fill a particular space within the design.
What fonts are used, what size are the fonts. Should you use Bold, Capitals or Italics and where are they most appropriate.? (Design tip for you here, don’t change fonts mid sentence as the potential customer or person reading the advertisement subconsciously dislikes this, its seen a little condescending and it reduces your response rates).
Layout includes colour, fonts, backgrounds, background tints images using overall corporate colours will help you design. Colours which are not complimentary will clash and will turn off your audience.
The list of items to think about regarding ‘layout’ is almost endless. Unless you are a trained designer we suggest you leave the layout element of you advertisement up to the professionals.

3: Your offer.
For sure you have be offering something, be it something promotional, maybe something free or ask yourself ‘what is the sale’ . What is going to help you stand out from the crowd – what is your USP? (Unique Selling Point). You need to check this is in fact unique, you need to test your competitors and see if what you are offering is actually unique, if its not then your competition may have already done their direct mail promotion and are renowned for this USP, this makes it more difficult for your to take your stake in the market.
Ask your self a question, put your self in your customers shoes and understand it from their point of view, ask the question “Why do I want to buy from this company?” and ‘Why buy this product or service?’
Get these answers to these questions wrong and I guarantee you promotion will fail.
There comes a point in most markets where its almost impossible to offer something unique, especially if you are a small start up business, you may not have the capacity to be the best, not yet anyway!. So look at your competitors, identify where they are failing and see if you can offer something they don’t to help you steal some customers from them.
Even if your products and services are not unique, then its where your promotional advertising stands out that you can begin to penetrate that market, people will remember you because your printed literature is better than the competition, even if you offering the same thing as the next trader, you need to be remembered.

See these two adverts, booth for an individual offering lawn-mowing services. The plain one is for a gardener who is an established individual who has probably cornered the market for years in a particular area. On the face of it – its always good to look around for a better deal, the other flyer looks like it would be more expensive, but who’s to know that some young more modern looking company can offer a quicker more cost effective solution.

4:  Your distribution
No advert with great test, great design and a compelling message is going to work if its not given to the right person. Ask yourself is my mailing list up to date?, am I targeting people who are interested in my services? How do I reach the right people?
This is probably the most crucial element of the campaign. Its not good covering all of the other points to only send your ‘Garden Mowing Services’ flyer to someone who lives in an apartment.
Think this though carefully, you may need to research your target market thoroughly, the more accurate this information is the less wastage you will have with your campaign.
If you are producing a targeted mail campaign whereby you are posting to a particular person in a particular market, then you may consider using a direct marketing company to supply you with a list of names and addresses of people who fit your demographics. This sounds costly but it does have a bigger response rate than just ‘blanket’ posting your flyers through doorways in the hope that someone will be interested in your wares.
You need to plan this carefully.

5:  your Frequency
By events we mean the amount of times your advert or promotion is executed, how many times you send it out to gauge its response. The more  frequency you direct to your marketing campaign the better, the more times its likely to be exposed to the desired audience the more chance you have of getting your message across and it being recognized.
Its an idea to send two different promotions at any one time and then to gauge the response from both, this testing allows you to fine tune your campaign, decide on what works and what doesn’t. This fine-tuning works to your advantage as it tests one design against another. The key is keep experimenting with these adverts, even if they are successful, obviously go with the more successful of the two advertisements. The constant fine-tuning will allow you to eventually achieve an advert which is potentially groundbreaking.
If you are only sending out you promotion once, then there is no way of gauging the result as it’s the first time your potential customers have been exposed to you brand. Lets say the first promotion brings in a 1% response rate, this is likely to be increased to 2.5% on you second promotion as your brand becomes recognized. However this does not continue to increase the response rate on the 3rd and 4th promotion, as it teeters off at 3% as an on-going promotion.
So what sort of period is best to leave it between promotions? 1 month, 2 months, 6 months? Generally speaking you really need to be doing this once a month for at least 3 month so you can see a response pattern emerging. The more events you do the more your company will become recognized. Getting you brand in front of people is a big key factor, doing this more often will help you to grow.





Get a feel for what we do!

Our FREE sample packs are full of great print ideas. They’ll give you a taste of what to expect when ordering your design and printing from us.

Request free sample pack