The Boy Scouts of America have defined exemplary behavior through a list of attributes that has often been referred to in whole or in part. Since marketing of any sort and direct mail marketing in particular is both introspective and interpersonal, this list targets marketers of any stripe.
That said, following are some thoughts based on these ideals for direct mail marketers to consider in 2016, and beyond:
LOYAL – Value, no, TREASURE customer loyalty, which is a contract based on trust. This is one of the bulwarks of successful brand building and stewardship.
HELPFUL – Always offer contact information and access to reference resources in a simple, usable form.
FRIENDLY – A welcoming tone is key to being allowed into people’s lives.
COURTEOUS – “Please” and Thank you” are door openers and sale makers.
KIND – The “Do unto others” principle, applied to earning consideration of an offer, even one that sells to scarcity. “FOLO” has limits. Nobody likes pressure. The opportunity to consider an offer often results in a favorable decision. Clarity and transparency can reduce the time needed for a prospect to say “yes”.
OBEDIENT – Honor rules meant to protect prospect rights and level the playing field. COPPA, Do Not Call, opt-in, etc. exist for good reason. Nobody wants to call down the ire of the FTC. Once again, consider the “do unto others…” principle.
CHEERFUL – “You’ll attract more bees with honey than vinegar” Make people comfortable. You can use an engaging tone to propose any offer.
THRIFTY – Haphazard marketing is wasteful marketing. Buy mailing lists for a carefully measured audience. Don’t buy more records than you really need. Lists are selectable and a good broker can customize a response or compiled list to sharpen your focus and target your best prospects. Plan to succeed!
BRAVE – Use lateral thinking (as in Out Of The Box) to expand and reach your audience. There are often great opportunities to reach seemingly elusive targets in unexpected places. (For example, gourmet food catalog buyers are more likely to have their own window box herb garden.) Once again, a skilled, insightful mailing list broker can help.
CLEAN – Freshness counts. Rigorous hygiene separates wheat from chaff. De-duping, NCOA, DPV, PAVE, CASS Certification, etc. are the keys to cleanliness, deliverability, and ROI. There are tools offered by the USPS as well as proprietary solutions offered by reputable marketing data firms.
REVERENT – Relevance equals reverence for the prospect’s time and money. All of these attributes of thoughtful, professional direct mail marketing show respect for businesses and consumers alike. Make delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time the highest priority going forward.