Direct Mail Secret

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by Tom Watson on May 18, 2010

Everyone hates junk mail. No secret there. I know from personal experience that at least half of my mail hits the trash can before being opened. When your  a business owner who does direct mail you need a way around this problem. I have a solution that has worked for me.

Make your direct mail more personal.

You make your direct mail personal by hand addressing your mail. Many people think I’m crazy to hand address several hundred letters at a time. The results speak for themselves however. Generally the response rate is double what it would be otherwise. This changes the equation quite a bit.

When your response rate doubles this means you are performing twice as many bids. This gives you a much greater chance of landing accounts quicker (not to mention you get valuable experience creating bids). The quicker you get accounts the faster your income grows. This leads to an upward expansion of the entire operation (not to mention your bank account).

How exactly is this done?

I generally either purchase a list from a broker or go online and find my target market and create my own list. Then I hand address each envelope. If I know the name of the person who is in charge of hiring the cleaning company I make the envelope out to them. If not I make it out to “Office Manager”. So the mailing address would look something like this.

All County Medical Facility

Gina Davis (if I knew the persons name I would place it here or “Office Manager” if I don’t)

1919 Bunker Hill Lane

Anytown, USA 08555

What about the return address?

I hand address this too. Sometimes I use just my name or sometimes I use my company name. Either way is fine just make sure you write it by hand. Of course you do want to make everything legible. If it looks real sloppy this could actually hurt you. People may think that if your handwriting is sloppy your work may be too.

At the end of the day this method has worked well for me. In fact direct mail letters was the foundation of my marketing efforts in the early years. It worked so well I still use it to this day. Give it a try to see what results it yields for you.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tsipora Smith March 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

I have been reading several of your posts and they have been very informative. I have just one main question what goes into the letter? What do you say?

2 Tom Watson March 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Hi! Well a sales letter is what gets sent, and that letter talks about the possible (and likely) issues the reader may be facing with their current cleaning company. It reads like a personal letter, but shares how your company would address the issues that trip up so many other firms.

I’ve wrote some posts on this. Here is one that may help…

3 HP November 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Great advice. The sample helps to see as well. Thanks

4 Tom Watson November 11, 2015 at 10:40 am

Thanks HP!

5 Kyle September 26, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Hello Tom,
Is it best to use metered mail or stamps? Some metered mail companies make customer pay a monthly fee and the postage amounts.

6 Tom Watson September 26, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Hi Kyle! I used regular stamps because it looks like mail from a person rather than from a business (I never wanted my direct mail to look like JUNK MAIL). With that said, feel free to experiment and measure the results. Maybe one pulls better than the other.

7 jamelalove January 21, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Love this. I have been stumped at getting customers, i have beautiful handwriting (so people always say) so I think my letters would be well-received. Although I plan to use this idea for residential customers.

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