a href=http://www.small-business-marketing-tips.com/direct-mail-advertisingDirect mail advertising/a is one of the most successful and profitable methods for every business to get new customers and to sell more products and services to existing customers and clients, too.

The problem is business owners tackle it in totally the wrong way. A profitable direct mail advertising campaign is not only a case of mailing some random letter or postcard through the mail and expecting it to result in a flood of sales.

Effective direct mail marketing, like every other of effective and profitable small business marketing is based on adhering to the rules of the game, rules developed over the last 150 years or so.

Theyre not rules as in laws you must abide by or else, but instead are guidelines which have been uncovered empirically to give higher quality results (i.e. higher Return on Investment, or ROI).

Unfortunately, the individuals responsible for creating most of the direct mail advertising campaigns small businesses send out are not really qualified for the job. Because it is likely to be left in the hands of graphic designers, and unless theyve been specifically trained in direct advertising principles, they ll create something that looks fantastic … but in terms of ROI is a disaster.

I caution you: your graphic designer and printer will loathe this advice Im giving you, and will likely tell you its not going to work. In this case, simply tell them youll split-test their version against yours, and the loser pays for the entire mailing. Get them to put their money where their mouth is. Here are a couple of simple tips I recommend you test in your direct mail marketing, and simply see the difference they make.

Rule # 1: Dont bellow ADVERTISING

The majority of direct mail advertising LOOKS like marketing. Its sent in a stock envelope with a label or printed address on it, and as frequently as not it has the company name and logo on it, to. This is a really bad idea..

How come? Because its obvious even to my dog this is an advertising piece — and it follows youre going to attempt and sell me something, which instantly puts me on the defensive.

Rather than doing this, invest in some proper personal envelopes, get them hand-addressed or use a good handwriting font, and then stick on a real stamp from the Royal Mail. Yes, its a touch more inconvenience and a tiny bit more expensive, but the increased responses will more than repay your investment.

Whenever its genuinely necessary to have a return address on it, just add to to the front in the top-left corner, though dont put your company name (put your name if you need to) and positively leave out the logo.

This is right away going to mean many more people will actually open your direct mail marketing pieces. Of course, when theyve opened it, theyve got to read it and then reply.

Rule # 2: Be friendly

But … if you check out most direct mail advertising pieces, theyre plain, humdrum and full of wind. They dont seem to be there for any particular reason other than brand awareness. Disregard that immediately. Your brand awareness will be a by-product of your success, not the other way around.

So compose your direct mail piece from one particular person to another, in informal, friendly terms. And then, make sure youre writing about one thing, and one thing only.

Identify, emphasize and promise to resolve a SINGLE issue in the headline; inform them you can fix it and how they can easily get the solution in the copy; and then in the call to action inform them clearly and unambiguously what they must do to get it, why they ought to do this (and why they need to do it NOW rather than later), and what ll happen if they dont. Dead easy.

These suggestions by themselves will make a substantial difference to your profits, I promise.