Direct Mail Marketing: What's Your Audience Statement?
In marketing in general -- and with direct mail in particular -- your audience awareness should be ever-present. So what's an audience statement, and what does it have to do with direct mail marketing?
The Marketer / Audience Disconnect
Many marketers (writers, designers and those who manage them) have a tendency to lose touch with the very people they're trying to persuade. This often stems from a disconnect between the frontline people who deal with customers (like sales and customer service) and the marketing team.
The result is that the marketing team (or the individual marketer) begins to write about the benefits from his or her perspective, not from the prospect's perspective. Here's a way for direct mail marketers to avoid such problems.
Create an Audience Statement
Take everything you know about your customers and compile it into a list. What do they want? What are their top concerns or fears? What do they ask about on a regular basis?
Here's how my audience statement might go if I were selling accounting software.
"My audience is primarily made up of accounting folks within small to medium-sized companies. These people are constantly under pressure to accurately account for all financial transactions within their companies. The end of the month is especially stressful for them, because they have a lot of reports that are due, and they often have to track people down to research purchases and such."
Learn Your Audience Statement
Keep your audience statement handy at all times, and update it as needed. Put it on index cards and give it to everyone involved with your company's marketing. Be able to recite it verbatim without looking.
Now all you need to do is make a list of how your product or services can help these people ... how it can answer their questions ... solve their problems ... ease their worries ... and generally make their life better / simpler / more profitable.
Then you're ready to write your direct mail piece.
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