Take the Junk Out of Direct Mail

January 2001
by Brian Jud

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When you have a finite, identifiable group of people who are potential customers for your books, direct mail may be the most effective and efficient marketing tool you can use to reach them. It gives you control of the timing, delivery, and content of your promotion, a pre-determined fixed cost, and the means to forecast and measure the return on your marketing investment.

Your direct-mail campaign will be more successful if you first prepare a tactical plan. The plan should outline the actions you intend to take in five key areas: (1) the books/products you offer, (2) the target market, (3) the special offer, (4) the format, and (5) the ways in which you test and evaluate your implementation.

The Product

Before you decide if the title you select can be sold successfully via direct marketing, ask yourself a couple questions. Can your potential customers buy something more current and less expensive from your competitors? Will the title’s pricing structure support the discount you intend to offer?

The Target Market

Make sure your list is cleaned (old names eliminated) regularly. Segment your customer list by those who have purchased recently, those who purchase frequently, and by the dollar value of their orders. Each group will be receptive to different offers.

The Special Offer

The most important part of your direct-mail package is not your title, but the special offer that surrounds it. There are some basic proposition…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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