Do you know the difference between brand marketing and direct response marketing? Well, the difference is quite vast, and if you’re looking for an explanation, I have one for you. But you should know that what I’m about to tell you is something that your college professors probably know nothing about.

Now we all know brand advertising when we see it. For sneakers, the Nike logo is obvious. The Pepsi and Coca-Cola brands are known worldwide. And the Trump name is symbolic (Donald Trump). But with all of these companies known, how is it that this CAN’T be the best way to market your business?

Well, it’s simple. All of these companies and figures spend millions of dollars in advertising each year. Do you have a million dollars to pour into advertising? Probably not. And if you did have a million dollars to play, I highly doubt that you’re going to spend it on marketing. You’ll probably take the million and live off of it for the rest of your life.

But back to the topic at hand: brand advertising is for large corporations who have money to blow. But for you, since you are a small business, it’s in your best interest to focus on getting customers now. Never rely on “getting your name out there” to do the trick for you. Your ad either works, or it doesn’t – and that’s what direct response is all about.

With direct response, you hold your advertising accountable. If something doesn’t work right away, then scrap it. You could never tell if your ad was working if you did brand advertising. I see brand advertising all the time in a magazine, and I just sit and ask myself, “How is someone supposed to respond to this ad?”

You see, what most businesses do when they brand to advertise in a magazine is that they put up a company logo, a company slogan, a mission statement, and NO contact information. This is a classic case of losing money on advertising. Hopefully, you’re not running ads like that because if you are, you’re wasting a ton of money.

So what should you do then? Well, the first thing that you will want to make sure of is that in your ad, people have a way of contacting you for more information. Be sure to list your phone number, website, email address, and even your fax number. Give your prospects a lot of different ways to get in contact with you.

Remember, you should stick with a direct response. If the first month you don’t get a lot of prospects calling, revise the ad and run it again. Also, check to see if there are other advertisers in the publication running a similar ad that you are running. Ideally, the magazine that you will want to advertise in is full of direct response ads – because magazines like this are the most responsive.

Teaser copy and direct mail envelopes

How will you go about earning more money in your direct mail campaigns? The truth is that it’s quite hard to get direct mail to work, especially with the rising cost of postage.

Your only option with direct mail is to find a mailing, make sure it’s targeted, have a high-priced item, and then mail your letters. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about the postage costs, but you can do something about the offer.

One of the first things your prospect will see on your envelope is who it is from. Next, they will check if they recognize the name and address and determine whether it should go in the garbage. One of the best ways to prevent it from going into the trash is with teaser copy.

Teaser copy is words that are supposed to invite your prospect to open up the envelope. But, believe it or not, it’s tough to get the letter opened. So you see your prospects’ more than likely have a stack full of mail, and they all won’t get opened by the end of the day.

Your prospect is standing in front of their garbage pail with the stack of letters in hand. Once they come across your letter, you have to make sure that it gets opened immediately. And this is something that teaser copy can help you to do.

One of the best teaser copy words that I like to put on my envelopes is “For Your Eyes Only”. This adds a bit of suspense, and the prospect wants to know what is inside. But believe it or not, teaser copy doesn’t have to be only 1 or 2 words. Some people use teaser copy on the front and back of the envelope to get their prospect’s attention.

This may seem a bit unconventional, but for these marketers, it is working for them. They are successfully selling their products and services via direct mail for high prices. So I think it’s safe to say that these guys know what they’re doing. But what about you? What is it that you can test out teaser copy on your envelopes? Well, I’m glad you asked.

First off, you should know that you can include many relevant words on your envelope to get people to open it. However, one of my favorites is just sending out a letter with no teaser copy. Letters like these written in blue-ink will do wonders for your direct mail response rate. But if you prefer to try teaser copy, then read on.

First, think about things that are relevant to your prospect. The goal here should be to get them to open your envelope. Try something like “First Class Mail”, or “Free Gift Inside,” or “To The Head Of Household.” These teaser copy examples are what you can use to get your reader to open up your letter.

There are many more things that you can do to perfect the teaser on your envelope. But if you’re just starting, consider adding only 1-3 words to your envelope. Once you’ve found something that works, try to beat it with teaser copy on the front and back of the envelope. Always be testing to find the best control to bring you the most response back to your offer.

Why should you include direct mail in your marketing strategy?

Direct mail should be a very powerful strategy in your marketing plan. The fact is that, even though direct mail has gotten more expensive over the years, it still works the same like it used to be in the old days. You still need a good list, a good offer, and a message to market match. With these things in order, you can stand to earn a nice living with direct mail.

When mailing out to your prospects, keep in mind that you have to build credibility immediately. The best way to do this is by telling a story in your letter. Also, you have to get “personable” with your prospects because they don’t know you and haven’t heard of you in their life. So whatever you do, make sure you make yourself known fast.

Inside of the actual letter, you shouldn’t just pitch your products or services right away. Instead, offer more information about the problem they are having and position your product as the number 1 choice to choose from. This is basic direct mail 101, and it’s something that you should start implementing today.

Most of the cold direct mail letters that I receive are for offers I don’t even like. I just received a package in the mail from this well-known company about an electric razor. On the front of the package, it said, “Happy 18th Birthday!” I’m way older than 18, and I’m interested in what list I am on that would make me receive this offer.

It’s a gift, sure, so I guess I should be happy (and I am…); I suppose I’ll use it when my other razor goes out of commission. But I’m trying to make the point that whoever rented the list that had my name on it is mailing out of people who will more than likely NOT respond to the offer.

Even with the best sales letter in the world, you can’t convince uninterested prospects to do business with you. And trying to do this would be so silly that you must be happy to rent lists like these. So after your letter is created, make sure you select your list with exact precision. It may even help to find the list first, as opposed to finding the product first.

In the world of direct mail, the conventional rules of direct response marketing still apply. You still need a headline, a good offer, a receptive audience, a good sales letter, and a good product. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Direct mail can make you very wealthy if you know how to play the game right. As a marketer and business owner, you have to put on your thinking caps and determine if everything is in order before mailing out your letters. This kind of approach will help you with your direct mail mailings.

Don’t be like large corporations sending out their sales letters to a variety of random names. They mostly do this to “get their name out there,” but this is something that you shouldn’t follow. Instead, keep your mailings focused and target, and you will have success.

Now that you know the difference between brand advertising and direct response advertising, it’s time to put things into motion.

The following two tabs change content below.
George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.