Junk Mail – open it or throw it away?…

direct mail Marketing

There was an envelope in my postbox yesterday stamped “Water Restrictions” in bold red letters.  That’s all there was on it.  It wasn’t addressed to me and there was no return address anywhere on the envelope.  Normally this type of junk mail goes straight in the recycling bin but I felt compelled to open it and discovered it was from a local plumber encouraging me to install a rainwater tank.  He was warning me that “Stage 4 water restrictions are coming and I need to act now before it’s too late”.  I was hooked by his headline, and a little alarmed at what might happen after it’s too late.  This sense of urgency had grabbed my attention (which was his aim) and he had ticked one of the “7 essential tips to direct mail success” boxes.  Apparently he is in my area installing a rainwater tank and thought that I might be interested in finding out more.  The direct mail piece goes on to list reasons why I should install a tank NOW and he puts forward features and benefits that are all credible. 

As it happens, I’m in the market for a rainwater tank so his direct mail piece is timely.  He’s giving me a special offer: if I call quickly I’ll get an upgrade to a premium pump and $50 off the installation price.  Sounds good.  I’d like to see some tanks and get some prices but his direct mail piece doesn’t go that far.  Clearly I have no choice but to call him if I want this information.  I’d say at this point I’m feeling a bit let down – I really would like to see the tanks on offer and get an idea of prices.  He hooked me but I got away. 

As a small business owner, his marketing wasn’t bad for someone who probably isn’t trained to do this kind of thing.  It was no doubt beyond his budget to include a glossy brochures with nice pictures and prices.  If he had a website, I would have logged on straight away.  And maybe he would have got a sale.   Was this good or bad direct mail?  Well, I opened it, and that’s a start…

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