I’m sure you’ve heard this as an excuse not to print direct mail, right? I had a fascinating discussion with Mark Pageau, vp sales at Darwill, yesterday about this very topic. You know how he responds? He asks a question: “What’s happening in the rest of your sales funnel?”
Mark has discovered that, very often, when people complain that their direct mail isn’t effective, they have other challenges in their pipeline that have nothing to do with direct mail. The direct mail may be great. It may be well written. There may be a compelling incentive. Based on the direct mail pieces, people may be going to the website or making a phone call. It’s what happens afterwards that’s the problem.
Maybe the prospect hits the website and can’t find what he or she is looking for. Maybe the website is hard to navigate or the purchase buttons aren’t working right. Or maybe the person picks up the phone, but the salespeople aren’t friendly. (That happened to one of Mark’s clients — after he encouraged them to start recording inbound sales calls, they discovered that their salespeople had attitude problems!)
It was a great reminder that print, email, marketing collateral, and every other form of marketing communication is just one piece in the larger puzzle. If your clients are balking at spending money on direct mail, before trying to convert them to email or other channel just to keep their business, poke around a little. Find out if it’s direct mail really isn’t working for them or whether there is something else afoot.