Prepare yourself for an in-depth look at how words can be powerful and how that power can impact direct mail campaigns. Learn what makes a word powerful and the elements that make a word trend one minute and disappear as the next words come into the spotlight. Take a clear look at direct mail and understand how it is connected with powerful words to create eye-catching campaigns.
The competition in your industry is fierce, and you need to continually find innovative new ways for presenting promotional messages to your target market audience. Your marketing practices need to serve a dual purpose of capturing the attention of that audience while also giving you a competitive advantage that makes you stand out in the crowd in the process. One way to accomplish this goal is by combining powerful marketing words with a direct mail campaign.
Direct mail campaigns provide you with several opportunities to make an entrance into a new industry market segment or increase sales revenue with your current customer base. You do this by creating postcards, newsletters, brochures, catalogs and other print material that contains a promotional message and a call-to-action that prompts consumers to take further action with your company. Each of these promotional pieces is available in different textures, sizes and style variations.
Combining these variations with power words gives you an effective toolkit to gain a competitive advantage that starts when the direct mail piece arrives in consumer mailboxes. As consumers come in contact with your direct mail piece, an emotional connection form with your company. Seeing another advertisement for your company at a later point creates a mental recognition of the direct mail piece arriving in the mailbox earlier. Now consumers have a valid connection to your company and will take another look at the promotional message on that direct mail piece.
That connection is one of the reasons why you need to make a direct mail practices part of your content marketing campaign. You can easily integrate elements of direct mail into the digital aspects of a content marketing campaign. Create a personalized URL on a direct mail piece by including a QR code that consumers can scan with their smartphone. Scanning that code takes consumers to a website or landing page that you design specifically for the current content marketing campaign.
You can use print pieces to reinforce the promotional message of a content marketing campaign. If you are looking to drive traffic to your website through content pieces, use a direct mail piece incentive to make consumers fear as if they are missing out by not taking advantage of the opportunity you give them. Create a smartphone QR code that gives consumers an instant incentive when they scan that code. That resolves their fear of missing out by not taking action and you see an increase in lead conversion opportunities.
Finding Your Marketing Voice
Integrating direct mail components into a marketing campaign becomes more effective when you find your marketing voice. The tone of voice incorporates your word choice, the order in which you place those words and the natural rhythm of that placement in the promotional message you want to send to your target market audience. As that audience reads your promotional message, a verbal narrative play and it needs to match your company brand image to be effective.
Your choice of words creates that brand image in a clear and concise manner without needing further explanation by you or anyone in your company. The words you select must provide insight into the personality and the operational core of your business and create an authentic persona that consumers easily connect with on an emotional level.
Your marketing voice forms when you know exactly who you are speaking to and the message you are sharing with this group. Defining your voice begins when you identify three words that represent the personality of your brand. For example, your brand may be bold and strong so you need word choices that represent those aspects. Find a descriptive way to make your brand stand out against the competition.
Match your conversational tone with the one that your target market audience uses. If they approach conversations in a serious nature, you need to do the same. A mismatch in conversational tone will turn consumers away from your direct mail promotional pieces. Your marketing voice needs to inspire consumers to take action with your company. Revisit your marketing voice from time to time to ensure it still aligns with the personality of your brand and the voice of your customer base.
What Makes a Word Powerful
Part of finding your marketing voice is understanding what makes a word powerful in the first place. A word has the ability to convey a feeling or emotion that sets the tone for the entire sentence. When you are promoting a product or service that excites you, the word choices you make in promotional sentences conveys that excitement to consumers. Likewise, a feeling of despair over a product disappointment shows through the word choices you make in the sentences you use.
Here is a list of influential words that can help set the tone in your promotional sentences.
Creates Emotional Connection
A single word can build an emotional connection between your promotional message and consumers. They will click on a headline when a word in that headline stirs up an emotional feeling. One word on a Signup button prompts a reader to take action when there is a personal connection present. A word in a sentence may appear promotional on the surface, yet when a consumer reads that word, it creates a memory of a favorable experience in life. When consumers feel connected to a company, they are more willing to make an investment in that company.
Here is a list of words that work to build an emotional connection between your company and the consumers. These words convey a feeling of safety that consumers find valuable in a company brand.
- No Risk
Prompts Consumer Action
A word is capable of prompting consumers to take action with your company when it invokes a feeling of togetherness in them. Certain words are powerful enough to make the consumers feel that they are about to take part in something larger than themselves when they take the action you suggest. A feeling of empowerment and value begin to form when a word or phrase choice you make resonates with the consumers. You want to select a persuasive word that leads to the action you want readers to take. Ideal word choices to prompt consumers to take action are verb words such as add, drive, learn or view. Combine these words with a direct request and a location on how to act on that request. Consumers begin to feel as if they will miss out on something if they do not act on the request you provide.
Here is a list of words that prompt consumers to take further action with your company.
You can combine a string of words together to create call-to-action phrases. These sentences give consumers a direct action to take by a certain deadline that you set. Each phrase works to create the feeling of exclusivity or membership that makes consumers feel as if they are a special part of your company. When consumers feel a unique sense of value in your company, they are likely to select you over the competition when having a need for a product or service that your industry provides.
Here is a list of phrases that create a sense of exclusivity or membership in your organization.
- Members only
- Exclusive offer
- Become an insider
- Be one of the few
- Be the first to hear about it
- Only available to subscribers
When creating promotional messages for your direct mail pieces, you want to use words that are familiar to your industry and your target market audience. These are the same words, the consumers use when conducting online searches for product or service information. They have a basic familiarity with these words and seeing the same ones in your promotional messages reinforces their level of trust in your company.
How to Identify Trending Words
An essential aspect of using power words in your direct mail practices is selecting words that are trending in your industry. By selecting trending words for your campaigns, you will create promotional pieces that resonate with your target market audience. Trending words dominate topics of conversation across the social media channels that are popular for your industry.
Paying attention to trending words in your industry gives you a focal point for the direct mail promotional pieces that you will create. Tie the words into the benefits that your product or service provides and you instantly provide value to your target market audience. Modern technology makes it easy for you to identify the word or word phrases that are currently trending in your industry.
Using Social Media
An excellent starting point for identifying trending words is the social media channels that you and your target market audience frequently uses. Social community sites such as Facebook and Google+ highlight trending words through group forum discussions. A basic observation of these groups indicates the current topics of interest for group members.
Analyze the group discussions to see if one or two words stick out as being repetitive. Each repetitive word or word phrase you notice gives insight into the current problem your audience is facing. Twitter and Instagram maintain a hashtag focus that allows users to express emotions, thoughts or topics to the images and tweets that they share.
Trending hashtags display in a numerical ranking order with the hottest trending hashtag showing first. Review this list to see what words are trending at the moment. Take a minute to review the list of trends and plan your direct mail pieces accordingly. Join in the conversation by sharing relevant thoughts and ideas that benefit the discussion taking place.
Using Google Trends
Google provides companies with many beneficial services that help across the board for the various campaigns your business operates. Google Trends is one such example of the available tools that benefit your direct mail campaigns. Find current trending story topics that are relevant in the world or search by topic of interest such as business or entertainment. Conduct a search by country to see what is trending in a particular geographical region.
When you find a trending topic of interest, click on the entry to learn more information on that topic. See how long that topic is trending, relevant online articles and the current interest level consumers have on that topic. An illustrative map highlights the geographical areas that hold the most interest in that topic. The information can help you pinpoint trends taking place in your industry and what is no longer relevant.
Using Social Mention
Social Mention works to bring the trending internet topics to your fingertips. You enter industry relevant keywords into the search box and let the tool go to work. It scans approximately 100 websites and social media channels to produce the trending topics currently taking over the internet. It looks at YouTube, Digg and other sites that highlights trending topics as well. Below the search box is a list of current topics that are trending worldwide. The list can include anything from celebrities to business transactions. It is a highlight reel of the trends at the moment you conduct a topic search.
You receive a list of search results indicating the strength percentage and reach a percentage of the word or word phrase. Additional information includes relevant keywords or keyword phrases, relevant hashtags and sources containing that word. Clicking on an entry of interest brings you to the internet source for that particular entry. All of this information works to give you insight into how well a direct mail campaign containing that word in the content may perform.
BuzzFeed takes a slightly different approach to trending word presentation. The website searches the internet for trending topic content and brings it back to the home base. At that point, you receive a newspaper style presentation of all the trends currently dominating the news media and internet feeds. Red circle symbols indicate topics that are currently trending alongside other topics that are recent trends.
You can use this tool to identify current industry trends or see how relevant keywords are performing. A quick observation of trending topics provides ideas for upcoming direct mail campaigns that capture the attention of your target market audience. Part of an effective direct mail campaign is having catchy headline titles. You can find ideas for that content by scanning the headlines on the website.
What Causes a Word to No Longer Trend
Newspaper headlines, current events, consumer interest and purchase behavior play a significant role in determining whether or not a word reaches a trending status. Modern technology makes it possible for a word to start trending the moment a breaking news story hits the airwaves. Within moments of a breaking news story developing, a relevant hashtag flash on screen and the world instantly latches on to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic.
As time goes by and events change, a word begins to move down the trending topics list. Consumer purchasing behavior can also impact whether or not a word continues to trend. Your industry practices also impacts how long a word remains on the trending topics list. Technological advances determine the rise and fall of a word or word phrase on the list of trending topics. A new technological tool coming out today will cause yesterday’s new tool to fall off the trending list.
Word trends take a cause and effect approach in how information appears. An event today produces a trending word. That trending word causes a word currently on the list to move down in rank or come off of the list completely. A word coming off of a trending topics list is not a permanent situation. It is especially true in the business world. Trending words may fall in numerical ranking today only to return to the number one spot tomorrow. It is an ever changing environment.
Understanding Direct Mail
Direct mail is a marketing practice that presents your promotional messaging to consumers in the form of print material. Brochures, newsletters, post cards, flyers and other print materials to individuals on your mailing list. You develop a mailing list by interacting with your customer base and encouraging them to subscribe to the list. It serves as an incentive for potential customers to subscribe as a way to gain insight into your business and the benefit you provide.
You can benefit from running a direct mail campaign by interacting with your client base on a more personal level. You design the promotional messages that the direct mail pieces showcase, which allows you to engage in one-on-one communication with your target market audience. As you prepare to send out a direct mail campaign, you decide whether to send the promotional pieces to your entire list of subscribers or a smaller segment of that list. Direct mail allows you to craft personalized, interest specific content pieces for each different consumer segment on your list.
What to Include in a Campaign
Certain elements of a direct mail campaign are instrumental in making a campaign successful. You want to make sure the content includes a strong call-to-action featuring smart words that work to drive a consumer to take the next step towards making a purchase from your company. Combine a powerful word phrase with a distinctive design element on the face of the direct mail piece. You want consumers to easily locate the call-to-action request and follow through with the action.
A clean, concise design, layout presents the print material content in an eye-catching manner that consumers will instantly notice upon pulling the item out of the mailbox. A sophisticated color design creates a visual appeal that peaks consumer interest and draws attention to the call-to-action request. Keep the lines clean and leave space for the address label and mailing elements without impacting the promotional messaging.
What Not to Include in a Campaign
A direct mail campaign is only as successful as the list of recipients for each promotional print piece. You need to avoid sending a direct mail piece to a vast subscriber list that does not have a true interest in the message you are presenting. You can’t take a hit or miss approach with your mailing list for this type of campaign. An uninterested audience will have little interest in the meaning of your promotional message, which results in a waste of your time and financial resources.
As you design a direct mail piece, space availability may become an issue. You have to make judgment calls regarding what information to include and what to omit so that you can stay within the size restrictions of a particular mailing piece. One spacing sacrifice you should never do is removing the call-to-action request on the promotional piece. Your promotional message needs to have a focal point that highlights the benefits consumers will receive from your product or service.
One of the costliest mistakes you can make with a direct mail campaign is sending the pieces out without any means of tracking the response you receive. Create a measurable tracking system right after you place the call-to-action request on the promotional piece. It gives you the opportunity to create benchmarks along the way that can determine the success or failure of a campaign.
Using Powerful Words in Direct Mail Campaigns
Words influence the way consumers respond to a direct mail campaign and the promotional messaging on the print material. Selecting content containing power words increases your potential for lead conversion opportunities and sales revenue generated. You drive more traffic to your website and see a spark in the number of mailing list subscribers that you receive.
Adding power words to your direct mail promotional materials allows consumers to visually imagine how your product or service makes them feel. Those feelings take over the consumers thought the process and they focus on a way to make those emotional feelings a reality. That brings them to your business where they make an emotionally driven purchase.
How to Write a Power Phrase
As you develop the promotional pieces of a direct mail campaign, make a list of the benefits that your product or service provides to your target market audience. Try to use single words or short word phrases when describing a product or service detail. Repeat this process for each product or service you are showcasing in the campaign. With the list complete, write complementary action words for each product or service benefit.
You want to select high-impact power words when writing the content for your direct mail pieces. High impact words work to stir up an emotional connection while prompts consumers to take action at the same time. Any of the following choices are good words for instilling a sense of power in a direct mail campaign.
Each word on this list forms a high-impact impression in the minds of consumers. They begin to associate your product or service with an emotional need present in their life. A mental picture takes shape that allows a consumer to envision a product or service using only your power words for reference. To further drive home the emotional connection present between your company and the consumer, you can use phrases consisting of three words.
In the world of direct mail practices, three-word phrases are the magic number of generating the ideal response from your target market audience. Make your phrases clear and concise, which works to form a lasting impression with consumers. Here is a list of powerful three-word phrases you may want to consider using in a direct mail campaign.
- Power, performance and speed
- Save time, money
- Enjoy at home
- Guaranteed on time
Three-word phrases are easy to remember and help sharpen the emotional connection consumers form when reading your direct mail content. The phrase style creates brevity and rhythm that combine to present consumers with essential information that does not contain an overwhelming amount of detail. When creating three-word phrases, add the combination to an impactful call-to-action direction that you want consumers to take next.
The Final Thought
By definition, a direct mail marketing campaign allows you to send promotional pieces directly to consumers or target market segments. It is a simple process that holds the potential to generate a substantial amount of lead conversions for your company. Incorporating power words into the benefits presentation of your direct mail pieces creates eye-catching messages that stand out in the competitive field. Harness the power of internet tools and social media channels to bring trending topics and words to your fingertips. The information allows you to create relevant, eye-catching promotional pieces for direct mailing.
You want to make sure to include a powerful call-to-action in a prominent location on the promotional piece. Create power phrases using three descriptive action words that work to form an emotional connection with consumers. That emotional connection to your product or service is all that is necessary to prompt those consumers to engage in further action with your company.
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I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!