Since the rise of email, direct mail is often overlooked as a marketing strategy. But what you may not realize is that direct mail, if done correctly, is a very effective, measurable and targeted means of promotion. As we are all bombarded by so many emails daily, direct mail can really stand out if the following steps are taken.
Pick a format best suited for your audience and your message. Postcards are an effective medium for most products because they eliminate the barrier of the envelope between the recipient and the message. However, some direct mail is more appropriate when crafted as a letter, for example when a more personal approach is needed.
Be creative. Make it possible for your audience to complete a story in their minds of how your product or service solves a problem that they have. Use graphics and messaging to engage your audience, thereby lengthening the time that the piece is looked at, and improving the odds they'll take in the information from the piece to heart.
Use the right list. It is impossible to understate the importance of using the right list. If you have the best format and offer, but send it to the wrong list you will have nothing. Even if you are sure you have sent it to the right list, if that list has not been qualified, your campaign will flop.
Include an offer. The offer is a critical element to a successful direct mail effort. An effective direct mail offer drives traffic to your website or physical location for further qualification and/or selling. Including time bound, bonus, money saving or problem-solving aspects in your offer will instill a sense of urgency.
Personalize the campaign. Defining narrow segments and personalizing offers for each one will yield the best results. You don’t need to rewrite your mailer for every campaign – small tweaks will help you stick out.
Track the response. Coding mailers can make it easy to track response rates. You can do this by adding exclusive codes to your mailers such as a unique campaign URL, email address, or phone number, and invite respondents to use their unique code.
Test. Like other marketing efforts, don’t forget to test the performance of your direct mail offerings. Use the data to refine the campaign. Don’t worry about sending multiple flights to the same prospect. Continue until you convert the prospect to a customer.
Direct mail is an extremely effective channel that when used properly can yield excellent results and provide a high return on investment. Your local printer is ready to help you set up an effective and affordable direct mail campaign.
Submitted by Holly Kaplansky, owner of Minuteman Press Newark