Original article taken from Mint Directory Magazine

With the biggest time of the year for many retailers big and small fast approaching, the question on every ones minds is what is the best way to attract new customers for Christmas and the new year?

There are many ways, but here are two of the biggest and most popular. E-mail marketing & direct mail. Both play powerful roles in attracting customers both new and existing, but which one is better? What are the highs and lows of each and which one should you choose?

This is where I can come in… Don’t worry i’m not about to bore you with my credentials and why I’m an expert in this sort of thing, but it’s something I work with every day so I have a good understanding of how they both work which works best for different sorts of campaigns and the kind of results that are attached to each of them too.

First a few questions for you to think about:
When you receive a digital/direct mailing, how much attention do you pay to it? How long will you spend looking? Would you delete it or throw it right away? The answer to these questions depends on 4 hugely important factors:

Data – The brain of any campaign, you need to target people who actually have a want, desire or a need for your products or services. After all there’s no point sending an contract mobile phone deal out to someone who is 17, or to someone who has just renewed their contract a month before. Sounds simple, but is so often overlooked.

Headline – Without an amazing headline, the mailing has failed. Your heading needs to be punchy, relevant and create a desire for your potential customers. Without a successful heading your e-mail or mailing will be disposed of without even a glance. For example, which one are you more likely to pay attention to?

Great value TV Installation
Did you know only 25% of West Midlands homes are getting the best out of their TV’s? Want the best from yours? It costs nothing to find out how…

The second of the two is a little long winded but you get the idea. Gets you thinking right? Also it creates curiosity for the reader which encourages them to find out more.

Content – The copy inside the mailing or e-mail needs to be clear, interesting and written well, tell your potential customer what you want them to do next, be it call you or click through to your website. Basically it must have a clear call to action – another point very often overlooked. If you don’t tell them what they should do, guess what? They wont do anything.

Design – The design needs to be easy on the eye, yet look attractive and
eye-catching to everyone that sees it. Great graphic design will create curiosity. People like pictures and cool layouts. Be original.

If you lacked attention in any of these areas your digital mailing is almost
guaranteed to fail.

Why not think outside the box with your direct mail? Or in this case, outside the envelope and use something really original? Why not send your mailing in a tube with some great freebies inside, or how about some samples of your products? Packages are guaranteed to get opened. In a world where people receive junk mail every day, you need to ensure yours is the one that gets opened, talked about and responded to…

Read the rest of this article on our blog and give us your opinion. Get your hands on great free tips like the best free software to monitor your e-mail campaigns, how to build the perfect e-mail marketing/direct mail campaign, plus which mailing method to use and when.  Join the big direct mail discussion! Leave your comments & thoughts.

Also read the next article which will give you great tools for carrying out your campaign.