Direct Mail is the Workhorse of Direct Marketing

Lois Geller

Many years ago, the Chairman of Ford of Canada called my agency in to his office for help. He needed to have more women in Canada buy theirs cars. They were losing market share to General Motors (who actually knew how to train their salespeople to talk to women in the showrooms).

We developed a curriculum approach to builing relationships with the women. It began with a survey, and a nice letter from the chairman asking them to help him do a better job.

It was signed in blue ink by the Chairman (of course it was printed), but it still looked authentic.

Then he gave them an offer of a book, Car and Truck Buying Made Easy... after they helped him out with the survey.

All of the names and answers to three questions were databased.

If they were going to buy a car in the next three months, we sent them a $200 gift certificate to come to the dealership near them, make the best deal, and then whip out this special certificate for additional savings. The other groups were handled differently, and all groups got a newsletter to "continue the relationship" with them.

Now, they call these kinds of programs "trigger mailings." If I do this, then you mail me that offer.

I'm just wondering why more companies don't do that. They have triggers on line, like offeres that come popping up, when you abandon the shopping cart. They have trigger pop-ups when you are about to pay, and then there's one more offer.

Why aren't more companies doing this in the mail? In fact, why don't they write to me, when I defect?

For instance, about 3 months ago, I stopped using my Mastercard to get American Airlines points. Why? Because I realized I don't fly that much on AA, and I'd rather get some of the exciting gifts they offer on American Express Membership Rewards.

Maybe you should consider some small tests, with trigger mailings, and follow-up. Might work wonders for you.

Lois Geller is founder and president of Lois Geller Marketing and author of Sold! Direct Marketing for the Real Estate.
Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Print page