If you were the recipient on the other end of the email you’re about to send, would you open it?
You’ll not meet a single person that says they’re delighted with the increasing number of leaflets delivered through the mailbox. We put junk mail straight in the bin and bemoan the waste of paper. But, with every piece that you receive, the person sending it thought it’d be valuable to at least enough people to motivate them to buy or take action, to cover costs of the campaign through incremental business.
Why did the sender not recognise the junk?
Why didn’t they see the leaflet as you see it? Something that represents a complete waste of time and money all round.
Perhaps they didn’t truly consider who they were sending it to, and what that person would want. They were thinking about what they wanted.
Other people are doing it
The mindset we hear so often – “It must work because other people are doing it.” The person making the leaflet in your hand probably thought the same thing. It must work because other people are trying it, but it maybe your competitors are all trying the same tactic assuming that it works because everyone else is doing it, when in reality nobody is achieving any success with the tactic.
It’s for everyone
Junk mail is usually sent on mass. It’s not targeted at all because targeting takes more time, thought and money. Targeting is critical to any direct marketing campaign. You can’t create something useful if you don’t decide who you’re making it for. When you make a direct mailer to cover everyone in a neighbourhood, you make something that nobody wants. Different pitches and proposals to cover various different personas and mixed messages. There may be exceptions, but in general, junk is usually something that has been sent to everyone.
It’s not about you
The business making the junk has thought only of what they want from the interaction. They tell the ‘reader’ about how great they are, how well established, what they can do. They’ve not thought about the person receiving the mail, the problems they have and how the business will address those problems. I don’t care about your business, I care about myself. If you have something that will benefit me, tell me how, and quick. Even better, describe a problem I have and how you have the solution.
We know it but don’t see it
Most business owners and marketers recognise the points raised above through experience as the recipient of direct marketing campaigns, but when they become the sender they forget. In the moment, when we’re focused on what we want, it’s easy to lose sight of what it’s like to be on the other side.
Successful direct marketing campaigns always break this cycle. They’re targeted, personalised and truly empathetic to the problems of the recipient.