Think about what might make potential customers interested in your business. You’ll need to show what you can offer them and give them a reason to choose you. That might be a special discount, for example. Think about what will make your mailshot connect.
A mailshot gives you a great opportunity to get information about your business into the hands of those people who are most likely to buy its products and services. But to get the maximum value out of your campaign, you need to think hard about your message: both what you’re saying about your business and why people should give you their custom. Too often, businesses over-complicate their pitch or put people off with poorly designed and badly expressed marketing: think simple, to the point and professional.
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Create the right offer for the audience
Think hard about your business’s unique selling point. What is it that you do so well that potential customers would be making mistake by taking their business elsewhere? Getting this message across, in very simple terms, should be your primary goal – what does your company do and why should people who want that product or service come to you?
This is partly a question of design and language. Online tools offering easy-to-use templates such as Royal Mail’s MailshotMaker can be invaluable here, providing a simple way to express your business’s messaging with clarity, simplicity and concision.
In addition, you should consider giving potential customers a specific reason to buy, particularly if they haven’t done business with you before. A special offer might be anything from a discount off a first purchase to a free gift, but think carefully about what is most likely to resonate with your particular audience.
Discounts can certainly be effective ways to get people through the doors. But they can also send out the wrong message – that your business isn’t offering something of high value or quality, for example – so tread carefully. Consider other options – a loyalty scheme that offers benefits to repeat customers, say, or pitch that sets out your stall on customer service, such as a money-back guarantee or an extended warranty. What’s right for your business will depend on its individual characteristics.
Play with psychology
Professional marketers have spent many years researching what works with customers and what doesn’t – it is worth applying some of what they have learned. The psychology of selling may seem abstract and implausible, but lots of respectable studies have shown that it works.
You’ll probably be familiar with some of the most-often used ideas. It’s common, for example, to see something priced at, say, £4.99 rather than £5.01 – the two prices are barely different, but the first one instinctively feels cheaper because it’s below a round number rather than above it. Similarly, businesses tend to separate out delivery charges when quoting a price, because it makes customers feel as if they’re paying less, even if they then have to pay an additional fee.
There are all sorts of tricks of this trade. If you’re offering discounts on your mailshot, for example, explain why you’re doing so, in order to address the negative connotations sometimes associated with money-off deals. Perhaps you’re engaged in a clearance sale, for example? At the least, try to use more positive language – the large supermarkets, for instance, often talk about ‘rolling back’ prices, to convey the impression they’re passing on a saving rather than discounting. It’s worth conducting a little research online to think about which psychologies will work best for your business.
Bringing it all together
If you put together your mailshot carefully, with the right message and content, our research shows that people will value what you’re sending them. When it comes to content, 83% of people value mail that keeps them up to date, while 65% value mail that tells them something new. Prompting people to feel something about a brand and giving them an action to take forward is also important; 64% of people value mail that tells them what they need to do.
Don’t waste the golden opportunity you have when getting your marketing material into the hands of a customer who you know is a potentially valuable prospect. Tailor your message according to the nature of your business and the profile of these customers – tell them very specifically how you can make a difference to them and think hard about what your pitch will be.