10 Tried-and-True Principles of Creative Direct Marketing

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10 Tried-and-True Principles of Creative Direct Marketing

Is direct marketing part of your smart marketing strategy? Here are 10 tried-and-true principles for developing a high-impact creative approach for your next direct marketing campaign.

Developing Creative Copy

1.  Make it personal.  Direct marketing is the personal medium. Strike a friendly, “from-me-to-you” tone in copy and use data to personalize the message to the recipient.

2. Relevance is king.  Before you write the first word of copy, learn what matters to the target audience. Then, craft messages that appeal to the needs of prospects.

3. Segment prospects into groups based on their shared interests or other criteria. Tailor your messages to the interests of each segment.

4. Write copy that is easy to read, understand, and believe. Use simple words and short sentences. Tell a story that makes people nod their heads in agreement with you.

5. Prove your points. Use facts to make the case about the value of your product or service. Include testimonials from others endorsing your product. Showcase certifications or other credentials from authorities respected in your industry.

Developing Creative Design

6. Select the right format for the job. Consider your goal and your audience when choosing your format. A mini-catalog that spotlights a product line or a selection of bestsellers might have more impact than a full catalog. A series of interesting selfmailers or emails with related messages could increase awareness and response. And dimensional direct mail can be a powerful way to get past gatekeepers to reach C-level executives.

7. Get the prospect’s attention quickly and engage them in the message immediately. The carrier envelope, catalog cover, front panel of a selfmailer, or the message in the browser window of an email is the most important real estate in a direct marketing campaign. If the prospect isn’t quickly drawn in, your message is bound for the real or virtual trash can.

8. Use visuals to help people understand the product and the offer. Diagram the features of the product with call-outs. Compare the product or service to competitors’ products in a chart. Show the product in use. Add a picture of the premium to the response form.

9. Make a strong call to action and repeat it often. State the offer multiple times in can’t-miss places with bold, readable typography.  Put the offer on every piece in the package.

10. Be creative, but never let a clever creative approach overpower the message. Design should always enhance the delivery of the message, not hinder it.

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