Honesty and authenticity are over-used words in the marketing industry, but there is good reason for that. After all, if you don't appear honest and authentic in your Direct Mail campaign, then everything else is wasted. This is particularly important in the betting and gaming sector, where trust is a vital component of the marketing process. The key question to ask yourself, as you sign off your DM campaign, is whether you do so with a clear conscience?
I don't mean in terms of whether it will lead to a profit – that of course is a given – but whether the product and promotion you're offering will actually benefit the customer. They buy, they get something back and you benefit. It's a quid pro quo. Authenticity in Direct Mail is not only important from a legal and regulatory point of view, it's also vital to the positive perception of your business and its brand. As we saw with the Hoover free flights fiasco in the 1990s, businesses that make promises on which they are unable to deliver will ultimately fail.
On some levels this can be quite basic, such as guaranteeing a £1 million jackpot when none exists and not overstating the odds on a casino payout, but it's also about culture and positivity. The trick here is to focus on what you promise in your campaign, as opposed to the overall reputation of your brand. Get the first thing right and the latter will also be enhanced, but focus on the latter and you risk ignoring the promise, which in DM terms is the equivalent of firing blanks. It's not rocket science either, you just need to ensure that all aspects of your campaign are properly thought out and planned.
Let's take a hypothetical casino mailer as an example, promoting a new roulette product. Try to put yourself in the place of the customer and think what they want from the product. The obvious answer, of course, is to win, but you need to give them a reason to play too. Simply giving them free spins will not generate a return, so give them a conditional offer that's attractive enough to make them want to play. This could be a deposit match or a no-lose guarantee. The exact details are less important than the need to keep the offer honest and authentic. Never promise anything you cannot guarantee to deliver.
Authenticity in Direct Mail is all about delivering added value to your proposition, without over-promising. This will subconsciously convey the fact that you have integrity and nothing to hide, which in turn will lead to short-term responses and longer-term customer loyalty. Customers who trust your brand will value your DM correspondence and take note of what you have to say. That won't happen overnight, but it all starts with authenticity.
Source: Isle of Man Post Office