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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Using Direct Mail to Generate Leads of Prospective Clients
by Brian S. Konradt of BSK Communications and Associates

 

Direct Mail
In its simplest form, direct mail is creating rapport and establishing a relationship with prospects via the mail by means of mailing promotional and/or informational materials. Your direct mail may be as simple as a single promotional piece or as complex as a multi-component portfolio. The most basic direct mail package includes a sales letter, capabilities brochure, business card, and a response device, such as a reply card.

Why Direct Mail Works Effectively
Direct mail is widely used to get in touch with prospects whom they otherwise could not reach via other marketing means. Selling yourself via direct mail can effectively:

  • Introduce yourself, your business, and your services to the prospect.

  • Sell the benefits and solutions of your copywriting services.

  • Showcase visuals of your samples, testimonials, and other persuasive copy.

  • Lure the prospect to call you for further information or to outsource work to you.

Selling yourself via direct mail is very useful to create rapport and establish a credible existence between you and the prospect. Your DM material does the networking for you, in a sense: your information informs prospects who you are, what you do, what your intentions are, and how you can help solve their problems.

How To Use DM Effectively
There are two elements that make direct mail work effectively: the quality of the direct mail package and the quality of the mailing list.

Your direct mail material, whether it be a sales letter, brochure, or a complete package, must do more than introduce you to the prospect—it must also convince the prospect why you are the best freelancer for his next project and what benefits and solutions you'll be able to provide.

Your mailing list must be targeted, so know which types of businesses and clients who invest in your services and where you can locate them. A good quality mailing list will yield higher results and make repeated selling efforts more productive.

How Direct Marketing Can Be Ineffective
Direct mail can be costly and absorb a lot of your time. Not only do you have to create and manage a mailing list, but you also have to create effective, response-driven, result-oriented promotional material. Because you cannot sell your services face-to-face with the prospect, your direct mail material must be the vehicle of communication—and the salesperson.

The second disadvantage is that direct mail selling must be continuous and repetitious to create impact, therefore you must make sure you have the time and money to package your materials and mail them out to prospects.

What To Expect
Don't expect a large response to your initial efforts of selling yourself via direct mail. Response rate is usually between 1 and 2.5%—however, these rates can be increased by offering incentives, making sure your mailing list is highly targeted, and your DM materials cater to the needs of prospects, not yours.

If you're mailing materials to prospects for the first time, do a small, carefully selective targeted mailing to determine how effective your mailing list and your promotional materials are.

Selling yourself via direct mail is a two step process. First, you mail your DM materials to prospects to establish a credible existence and to create rapport. Then, in five to ten business days, you phone prospects, if they haven't returned a response. Although you'll be asking prospects if they had received your materials and if they have any questions, your true intentions are to find out if they can use your services and if they have an upcoming or future project available.


Brian Konradt is the owner and operator of FreelanceWriting.com, a Web site dedicated to help writers master the business and creative sides of freelance writing. Mr. Konradt is also the principal of BSK Communications & Associates, a communications/publishing business in New Jersey, which he established in 1992.


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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