First of two parts
Direct mail is one of the best cost
effective ways in selling books, videos, cassettes,
disks, CD-ROM and other information products. DM workd
best to hard to reach consumers, libraries, special sales
(premium or catalog sales), wholesalers, corporations,
universities, and other retail outlets. This precisely
targeted form of direct response marketing has many other
uses and virtues. One of them is turning satisfied
customers into repeat buyers. Here are 51
by Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D. , The
Direct mail (DM) is any communications
delivered by the postman or any overnight delivery
service i.e. FedEx. It can be an association newsletter
like the one you are reading, books you ordered, or a
packet of ‘travel brochures’ convincing you into taking
that special cruise vacation you’ve been putting off—of
course a postage paid response card (BRE) is
It can be
used to increase sales to present customers, to sell past
customers, to sell prospects and to help companies suppliers.
It can also bring results within your own publishing
organization and accomplish a host of general
DM Increase sales to present
Increases demand among present
users: friendly, personal reminders,
creative suggestions of new uses.
Keeps customers in the buying
habit: spaced reminders, announcements
keep your accounts active.
Brings in book orders, between other
sales calls: important in keeping
clients adequately serviced
Builds up weak
territories: provides pin-point
intensity wherever you wish to bolster
Keeps customers and prospects
informed: newsletters and magazines can
win intense readership and promote enlightened
Helps keep your outside sales
reps active: reminds them of the advantages of
having your company behind them and of selling your
Sell past customers.
Brings customers into your
website: friendly, direct appeals telling
about new titles and new product opportunities now
Creates demand for your books and
related products: sales points appealingly
presented, illustrated; consistent use important.
Promotes credit card
affordability: special campaigns aimed at
likely prospects with good credit standings.
Secures direct sales-through
you: mail-order marketing can bring you
sales from far beyond your home territory.
Helps keep prospects
interested: a series of mailings can link your
first inquiry and make your initial sale.
Drives home sales
arguments: educates prospects to your products
and fast fulfillment program.
acceptance: consistent use of mailings breeds
familiarity and favorable impressions.
Develops sales among special
groups: often the only sure way of appealing
to an important but scattered group.
Can get your catalog recommended
by others: trade book publishers can target
wholesalers, libraries, and other institutional buyers.
experts, specialists whose word reaches many.
Supports your sales reps.
Paves the way for sales reps: helps
procure leads and pre-sell prospects; reduces per-sale
Opens up new territories: educates
prospective new affiliates, customers, and produces
measurable response sales you can bank on.
Brings prospects/buyers to trade
shows: invitations to open houses, cruise nights,
Follow up representatives' calls:
important to closing sales, not losing them.
Follows up shows: satisfies all
inquiries fully and quickly.
Pin-points your prospects: a
broadcast mailing draws inquiries from real
Distributes sales materials: vital
to increasing sales of established best sellers,
introducing new books/products.
Helps secure new sales reps:
interest them in selling your imprints.
Extends your territory.
Stimulates interest in planned
events: advance promotion of a "week," a "day," an
opening, a sale: personal appeal important.
Presents your full story: flyers,
brochures, catalogues help most marketing programs.
Develops territories beyond your own
reach: answers staff limitations, transportation
Helps suppliers help their field
personnel: boosts your image in their minds, can
generate buyer referrals.
Keeps your reps informed: tells them
about plans, available aids, ads to which they can tie
Keeps your reps alert: regular
newsletters or bulletins remind them.
In your own organization.
Educates your employees: your
customer service reps are your key sales people: give
Builds employee moral: newsletters
and house magazines keep workers
Helps train new employees: sales
manuals, indoctrination manuals, bulletins.
Sells stockholders, investors: when
your continued vitality or expansion requires new forms
Helps collect accounts: a planned,
diplomatic approach keeps accounts current, customers
Corrects mailing lists: special
mailings, secondary enclosures cover changes.
Classifies clientele: record all
inquiries for permanent list: note customer
Raises funds: personal appeals to
pin-pointed prospective contributors.
Builds prominence: develops consumer
awareness of business if consistently used.
Builds good will: every mailing
should do it: special mailings can be designed just for
Spreads news quickly, uniformly,
dependably: new address, phone number, hours, holiday
specials, prices, policies, products, services.
Offsets competition: meets many
sudden, localized developments with certainty.
Tests sales ideas: different
presentations tried on different typical lists reveal
your strengths, weaknesses.
Secures important data:
questionnaires to prospects, customers, VIP’s, valued
employees, the media.
Acknowledges orders: often expected,
nearly always appreciated: ensured repeat business.
Welcomes new customers: starts the
association off on a continuing, active basis.
Avoids waste: inquiries from a
low-cost mailing show whom to send a costly
Capitalizes on other advertising:
enclose reprints to reinforce massages.
Makes "offers" of other promotional
materials: get them to send for brochures: arouse
interest, inquiries and sales.
For a copy of
Linick's report "15 Costly Mistakes in Direct Mail that
Kill Sales and Bankrupt Budgets," send $5.00 and a 55
cent self-addressed stamped #10 envelope to: Andrew
Linick, Ph.D., the Copyologist® • Direct Marketing/Mail
Order, Book Publishing Expert, Linick Building, P.O. Box
102-PAS, Middle Island, NY 11953-0102. 631.924.3888.