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Get to the Point!

Paul Fleet

Don't spend money on direct-mail advertising unless there is a real deal that you're offering! 

None of us gets much snail mail any more. Especially direct-mail sales pitches.

The Internet cut out a big chunk, and rising postage rates accelerated the decrease. On a cost-per-thousand basis, almost no form of advertising costs more than direct mail.

So when a sales pitch does show up in your real mailbox, it had better be mighty good to justify the cost. It better get to the point quick on its way to the waste basket.

We got one the other day from a car dealer. The first thing that hit a reader was a big arrow pointing upward and the words Vehicle Upgrade Program. It’s repeated in a banner across the top of the page.

First, there’s no meaning in that statement...and no appeal in a "Vehicle Upgrade" program. Then below, there’s a hook baited with $3,000 of something called "Conquest Cash" if you trade in a 1999-or-older Acura on a new Buick.

If you’re inspired to pony up the dough for a direct-mail sales piece, do not to fool around with meaningless messages like Vehicle Upgrade Program.

If you’re offering a real deal, get to it immediately. If you’re not offering a deal, don’t send direct-mail.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com

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