Effective Direct Mailer Concepts

Will your direct mail campaign be viewed as just another piece of junk mail? Discuss some of the strategies learned from your reading as well as ideas you've developed that could save a direct mail campaign from being automatically tossed in the trash.

The stats are against direct mail especially if an organization is not able to afford the volume to get the low rate of return to show the needed numbers. This means some creative ideas are in order to generate a better return and get the public to delay disposal of the direct mail piece.

1. Using the Famous:
The first idea is to locate some sharp looking celebrities with great teeth, probably some one on the red carpet looking very glamorous. The concept is that “You don’t have to be a celebrity to have a nice smile…” Images could be located on http://www.shutterstock.com and as long as the printed number was less then 250,000 the price for the photography would be rather affordable. To make this concept successful the celebrity would need to be a more popular one. Kids might connect with Justin Bieber, while generation-X might be drawn more to Megan Fox, or Ryan Reynolds. My wife claims women of all ages like George Clooney. The bottom line to this concept is that people would see the celebrity and think of this glorified individual. We would play on their emotions as we are saying the dental care will make them one step closer to this ‘godlike’ individual. Think of how teens have posters of these individuals plastered across their bedrooms. Using a popular celebrity face would defiantly slow the trip to the trash.

2. Special Offer:
My gut reaction is a special offer will always get someone in the door or at least delay throwing away the promotional. But as dental offices are giving away free whitening, cleanings, and x-rays like it is going out of style, one would think that there would never be anyone missing dental care or not establishing a dental home.

This offers have almost given ruined the public for direct mail as there is always a catch. My wife for example went for her free exam and the dentist claimed to find 6 cavities and wanted $2500. Funny she had never had a cavity before in her life.

The offer would need to be clear and not have hidden addenda.  For me I would like to know that I could get in the door and out with the service without getting hammered with a bill. “A free first visit” might be in order. The service and experience would key to retain the client and make them want to return. Also booking the follow up in 6 months would need to happen to help establish the relationship and dental home.

3. Stuff For Kids:
Kids love to get stuff in the mail. If the mailer was directed at children it might prove to stay in the home out of the trash for the longest amount of time. I would consider some type of folded piece that has stickers and was a chart that children could place by their toothbrush, or even hold the toothbrush. They could track their brushing, and flossing and it would help count down to the next dental appointment. This would help remind the child of their next dental visit and they would be excited as the completed chart could offer some “great prize” for healthy brushing habits.

I think a combination of all of these concepts would be the best solution. Marketing should be directed at the children. The piece should be some type of thing that helps them remember to brush and practice good dental habits. If the piece showed a good track record the child would get a prize and free dental cleaning this would be Incentive for the child and parents both. Taking this one step further finding a relatively inexpensive character to help endorse the promotion would be the best touch, but could be costly. Most cartoon characters are branded with copyright. It might almost be easier to develop a new character, but that removes the “I know them” concept from the piece. For example, if my daughter got a piece in the mail with Dora, or Elmo on it saying to brush her teeth, she would be more drawn to the piece than if a everyday cartoon dog was on the piece. This being the case still combining the concepts would aid in creating a solid piece that would offer great motivation to both child and parent.