Become a Follow-Up Master

No Jedi Skills Required

You’ve invested blood sweat and tears – not to mention time and money – creating a winning direct mail piece (if not, check out these earlier posts for tips on writing a successful letter, selecting the right envelope, or harnessing the power of pictures in your direct mail campaign) Your travails also required you to source the right list and pony up for postage, not to mention printing and mailing services. If it performs on-average with national statistics, you’ll get anywhere from a 1-2 % response rate. This means, however, there’s still 98-99 % of your list that has yet to buy into what you’re selling. In other words, you’re only just beginning to unlock the potential of your campaign – and the key to this is follow up!

So what’s the best method of communication to do a follow up? It depends. To begin with, it depends on the relationship you have with the individual. With a loyal customer base, it may be beneficial to take the time to call each one personally to make sure they noticed the mail piece. thing breaks the ice like having an interesting mail piece to discuss. In fact, when sending out to a small list, we’ve even seen some marketers make a call ahead of time, alerting the prospects or customers that something interesting is in the mail. Think of it is a ‘warm’ call, which it is.

The size of you mailing will also be a major factor in your follow-up strategy. Mailed to only 20 people? Picking up the phone to follow-up is not only easy, but it’s a crime not to do so. Mailed to 250,000? Unless you hire a major call center, the man-power and phone time needed to call each household or business would be out of the question! In that case, a postcard, email, or letter follow-up would probably be a better bet.

Regardless of how you choose to do your follow up, here are some basic tips you can follow:

  • Introducing yourself and the company – remember, not everyone knows who your firm is or what you do!
  • Remind them again of the 1st mailing and offer – there’s a good chance they didn’t read or don’t remember it.
  • Don’t be a robot – use diction that’s conversational yet persuasive. Most people can see through a sales pitch.
  • Copy on follow-up e-mails and mailers should be brief, and should create a greater sense of urgency (“Final notice on this subscription rate!”, “Hurry, we have 3 weeks to raise $250,000!”, etc.).
  • Don’t be too pushy—wait at least 7-10 days to hit non-responders with a second message. Keep in mind it may take them a few days to decide if they need your product or service, especially if there’s corporate red-tape in the way.
  • And when someone responds to any of your marketing attempts, make sure the lead is sent immediately to the sales team. Strike while the iron is hot. There’s no greater crime than not following up on red-hot leads in a prompt manner!

Follow-ups make good marketing sense – why give up on almost your entire list after just one attempt at reaching out? With strategic persistence and a great offer, you’re bound to get a lot of attention!

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