The direct marketing promotion titled “How to Eat for FREE! Great food for your next road trip…” was reviewed by three of Hot Dixie Dog’s customers who live locally in the area and frequently stop by the hot dog stand. The letter will be packaged as a mail promotion you would find in your mailbox, with the titled printed on the front of the envelope. The intent of this tag line was to grab the attention of the resident opening the mail. After all, who wouldn’t be curious to learn how they could eat for free? Especially since the tag line mentioned a road trip, an interest held by the resident since they were targeted through market research. Upon opening the letter, the resident would see the rest of the letter with details about the business, benefits of eating at Hot Dixie Dogs, and an invitation to dine for free through the use of an enclosed coupon for a free hot dog.
When asked what was most important about effective direct mail, my viewers responded with several major characteristics. To begin with, they told me that honesty was paramount in determining whether or not they would follow through with any action that the direct mail prompted – such as calling a number, signing up for an event, or in my case, redeeming a coupon. After hearing this feedback, I began to imagine all of the ways our minds account and perceive honesty when we receive a marketing material like mine. From the envelope colors and message, all the way to the actual letter inside and anything else included – it all needs to line up with reality in a way that my business can deliver on. Although we want to grab the attention of our reader, it is crucial that we do not over promise and under deliver. For this reason, I will pay close attention to the words used in my material to guarantee that they line up with our product offering. After all, a spectacular product is what will keep the people coming back for more – an inflated marketing line will not.
Another major factor involved in making a highly favorable promotion for my customers was the length of time they had to respond to the offer. Many times they told me that if a coupon forced them to redeem it by the end of that very week, there would just be no way they could make it to the business if something came up in their schedule. For this reason, I will make sure that there is ample time available for the redemption of special offers – because everyone hates realizing that their coupon expired yesterday.
After listening to the feedback of these people, I have decided to shy away from saying the word “best” in any of my marketing (unless it is a direct customer quote or award). Saying we are the best at something very well could be over-promising, since each and every person has different taste preferences in food. Ultimately, the general language of the letter will stay similar to what it was before, but I will always strive to be honest with what the customer should expect while developing any marketing materials.