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Got a better mousetrap? Here’s how to tell the world about it




You’ve probably heard the words, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Sounds simple enough, but don’t hold your breath. Building a better mousetrap is just the beginning. Before potential customers can find your door, much less beat a path to it, you need to create a plan that promotes your mousetrap to them.

• What kind of mousetrap is it? What’s it made out of? Is it safe?

• How is it better than all the other mousetraps? Says who?

• How much does it cost? Is it a Consumer Reports ‘Best Buy’? What if I buy three or more? Do you offer coupons? Is there an

about it AARP discount?

• Where can I get it? (Ah, at last we get to the door!)

When it comes to promoting mousetraps – or for that matter, any product or service – you can send your message to potential customers using the mail. No other medium is more personal or engaging than the mail. It stands out. Studies show that about eight out of 10 households read or look at their advertising mail.

Here are five suggestions on how you get the attention you want – through the mail.

To whom should I mail?

You probably already mail to the people who do business with you. Mail to people who you wish would do business with you. How do you find them? You can rent mailing lists of potential customers and write to them. Don’t be shy. You are trying to let the world know about your great products, your outstanding offers. Send mail to as many potential customers as possible.

What should I mail?

Mail is very flexible. Send letters, postcards, self-mailing brochures – whatever you think fits your business. Doctors, attorneys and other professionals may prefer letters while retailers may prefer flyers. But there’s no rule. A retailer can send a “private sale” letter, and a professional can send a postcard to announce a new location or his or her appearance at a seminar.

When should I mail?

Anytime you have news, an event or upcoming news or events, it is a good time to send mail. An electronics store can let its best customers know in advance when the new digital cameras are coming in. Are you a tax accountant trying to avoid that late-season rush? Write your clients in January and get the information flow started early. “Fresh cheddar!” “Xtreme wire!” You get the idea!

Where do I send mail?

Again, send your mail to anyone who can do business with you. If you are a local store owner, you can write to every home in your community and surrounding areas. If you have unique items that might appeal to people in other states, you can get regional mailing lists of customers tailored to their interests and write to them.

Why should I send mail?

Mail is personal. Whereas phone calls often seem to come at the wrong time, mail is unobtrusive. Potential consumers pick the time and place when they look at the mail. Your message is tangible. Potential customers see it, touch it, consider it. When people look through their mail, you have their attention for at least a moment to deliver your message. And sometimes that’s enough to get their attention and lead them to a sale.

Got a great mousetrap? Use the mail to tell the world, and it will beat that path to your door. To find out more, visit your local post office or log on to www.usps.com/directmail.


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