First impressions count

I received a piece of mail the other day.

Well actually it was more of a scrawled handwritten envelope – it actually looked like an after-thought or that somebody had been doing this for hours and mine was the bottom of the pile.

Not a great start.

When I opened the envelope I found an un-personalised, uninspiring photocopied letter saying ‘Hi’. And as for the copy, there were no benefits to me, how I would enjoy the experience or a ‘you don’t want to miss this’. There was no buzz about it. It was very vanilla. And there wasn’t a clear call to action either.

The letter also had the corner bent over – clearly not part of some clever design. They really need some fulfilment guidance. Accompanying the letter there were three vouchers for me to use or share. The vouchers to be fair were quite nicely designed, branded and professional. A complete contrast to the letter and envelope. It was inconsistent.

Personally, when I see something like this it does raise questions. It did look like it had been literally thrown together, a bit of an afterthought, a bit desperate.

Is that a true reflection on their business and how they operate? Probably not. And, you don’t always know the back story as to how or why this came about.

But, here’s the thing, we make instant decisions and form opinions on what we see. And when we’re in a society where we’re constantly bombarded with choices, first impressions count.

Now here’s the irony.  This came from a photographer. Someone who you pay to make you look good. Someone who should be on the money when it comes to attention to detail and brand awareness.  They’re not doing themselves any favours.

What could be done differently?

Being really focused on your target audience and relating to their needs is so important. You need to empathise with your audience. Get that right and you’re well on your way.
Here are three tips for a good direct mail:

  1. Make it personal – go to the effort of getting my name. I want to feel like you’re talking to me.
  2. Make me excited – give me the benefits of your service, how it’s going to make me feel, how are you going to make my life easier or better with your product or service. Make me feel like I don’t want to miss this!
  3. Have a clear call to action – don’t have me looking around and guessing what to do. Tell me what to do.

Time to focus

Having clarity on your target customer and your proposition are key to any marketing success. Without that you’re doing what we call ‘spray and pray’ – trying some marketing and seeing if it works. Not the best way to invest your hard-earned cash.

Are you clear on your target customer and your proposition?

If you’re unsure or you think you need to revisit this, then download our Fingerprint document. It’s what we use with our clients when we’re working one-to-one with them. It goes through everything you need to get your marketing focused. You can download it here.