How to Use the 40-40-20 Rule of Direct Marketing

The 40-40-20 rule of direct mail marketing breaks up marketing into three parts to help you predict and evaluate the success of your direct marketing campaign. 

According to Investopedia, direct marketing is any marketing that uses direct communication or distribution to customers through mediums such as mail, email, social media, and texting.

The success of your direct mail marketing is:

  • 40% dependent on your audience,
  • 40% dependent on your offer, and
  • 20% on everything else.

Let’s break it down and look at each one individually.

Direct Mail Marketing: Audience

You’re not going to get very far in your direct mail marketing campaign if you’re reaching the wrong people. Money spent on advertising to the wrong audience is wasted money. This is why reaching the right audience constitutes 40% of your direct mail marketing success. 

The right audience must be within your target market. The more precise you can make your target audience, the more effective your direct mail marketing campaign will be because the marketing will be more personalized. For greater personalization and success, go beyond surface-level characteristics. 

Build up a well-defined mailing list. Include people on the list who have bought similar products through similar methods. Keep records of who has bought from you in the past and how they did it. Target those who have bought similar products because of a previous direct mail marketing campaign. These people have a proven desire to buy your products. 

Direct Mail Marketing: Offer

The offer includes the product itself and incentives to get the customer to buy it now. It constitutes 40% of your direct mail marketing campaign success. 

First and foremost, the product must be something your audience actually wants. It’s going to be challenging to sell an unwanted product. Before releasing products, test them out with customers to see if there’s interest. 

Next, the offer within your direct mail marketing campaign must be good enough to incentivize your audience to buy now. Try out the following tips: 

  • Create FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): if you can get the customer to feel as if by not buying your product, they’re missing out, you have effectively created tension and pressure within your customer to purchase the product.
  • Create urgency. If the customer doesn’t feel the need to buy now, they might never get around to it. But, letting the customer know that the offer is only for a limited time or until supplies last creates a sense of urgency to buy now, which translates into more sales.
  • Provide safety. People, in general, are incredibly risk-averse. Don’t let people’s fear of loss hurt your marketing campaign. For example, offer a 100% money-back guarantee offers. 

Direct Mail Marketing: Everything Else

20% of the success of your direct mail marketing campaign relies on everything else. This includes the copy (written material), design, and format. Advertisers often put most of their time and energy here when creating an ad campaign. But, usually, when an ad falls through, it is because of the audience or the offer. However, that’s not to say this step is not important.

Copywriters should connect with and compel the reader by identifying the customer’s pain points, frustrations, and hopes. They should effectively convince the reader why this product will work for them. The copywriters should work with the designers, whose primary goal is to get the material read. 

The 40-40-20 rule of direct marketing will help you create more effective direct mail marketing campaigns.

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