The other day I was talking to a friend from my mastermind group about the results of his recent direct mail campaign. Oh boy did I strike a nerve so I’m guessing the campaign didn’t go well.

I guess he thought I was going to say “I told you so.” See I gave him some advice on how he could make his marketing stronger but he was more concerned about his image and didn’t really listen.

And you can guess what happened?

Yup! The campaign got a poor response rate…actually it was a total flop. So now every chance he gets he goes on and on about how direct mail doesn’t work.

However between you and I (I hope he doesn’t read this) the problem is not that direct mail doesn’t work…The problem is that his marketing is terrible.

I’ve been doing this long enough to know that most people struggle with marketing. They feel just like my friend does about direct mail and you probably do as well.

So this gave me an opportunity to share with you the same advice that I gave him. I truly hope that you won’t make the same mistakes my friend made.

This is the same advice I follow for my own marketing as well as the marketing campaigns that we create for our clients. I live by these 10 rules of direct response marketing.

Now before we go on notice that I specifically said direct response marketing and not just marketing.

The biggest difference between the two is that marketing is mostly concerned with brand building. Listen if you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance that you’re a small to mid-size business, so let’s leave the brand building to the big dogs like Nike and Coca Cola and let’s, you and I, focus on creating marketing that generates a response…marketing that generates an ROI.

So let’s jump right in with Rule #1: There Will Always Be A Call To Action.

A call to action could be…

  • “Call for your free catalog”
  • “Request a free quote”
  • “Schedule a consultation”
  • “Download our free e-book”

It could also be an offer…

  • Order now to get free shipping

Call today for your free catalog

  • Call now and get a second one free
  • Reserve yours today and get a free gift

Without a call to action there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to respond. If there is no reason to respond, you wont get any responses and you’ll be like my friend ranting and raving about how “direct mail doesn’t work”.

Please don’t be like my friend, take my advice and put to good use today. Don’t miss our next blog post on rule #2, #3 & #4.

Self-made entrepreneur, author, speaker and self-diagnosed “Marketing Junkie” Robert Vico helps small business stop being marketing and advertising victims and once and for stop spending money on worthless marketing. For a copy of our book, click here. If you’d like more information on how promotional products can help your business, call 305-888-7301.





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