The direct marketing industry has a lot to learn from the type of direct mail advertising used by catalog retailers. Most catalog shoppers are loyal customers and place an average of 15 orders each year. Catalog companies retain customers and generate repeat business purely by using direct mail.
The convenience of shopping at home is a major factor, but keeping the company in the minds of their customers, and updating mailings frequently has an enormous impact on sales. Shoppers keep mail order catalogs in their homes for an average of three months - no other direct mail advertising campaign can come close to this. And shoppers generally only trash a catalog when the new one arrives.
Think what you could do with your products and services if you took on board some of the tactics of direct mail advertising used by catalog retailers. The all important key is to provide a useful mailing, something that will encourage the addressee to keep it or even pass it on to friends.
For example, if you're a paint company, providing a brochure with comprehensive help on color schemes to use for different effects, home decoration and interior design means that you're much more likely to have a presence in a customer's home in two weeks time than you would with a simple information mailing. Follow up your first direct mail advertising with a simpler, cheaper 'special offer' on some of the products featured in your brochure and you're on to a winner.
A good brochure tells your potential customer what your products can do for them and why they should buy from you. It also answers all their questions - particularly if you offer a product or service they may not know a lot about. Try to answer these questions in a logical order.
After your send out your brochure keep in contact with your customers, offer them new or improved products or services. Make special offers regularly to keep them interested, and apply deadlines to your offers. Ensure your customer service and follow-up procedure are top notch - catalog shoppers don't even see their product until they've already made a purchase. Offering no quibble returns and excellent service will ensure repeat sales figures and brand loyalty that rivals that of the catalog retailers.