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What is Direct Mail? A Definitive Guide

What is Direct Mail? A Definitive Guide

150 150 Myles Robinson

What is Direct mail? The Definitive Guide to Mail Marketing

Direct mail is the process of marketing strategy and promotion, which involves sending a piece of physical promotional material to the targeted area.

Basically, it goes through the courier services or from particular postal services like from the US/UK or (any other country), to the targeted businesses or home.

Most recipients address it as “junk mail” because most of them arrive directly without an invitation.

It includes a wide variety of marketing techniques, flyers, brochures, letters, newsletters, postcard marketing, catalogues, packages and coupon envelopes and many more.

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Does direct mail marketing still work?

Many people may think that paid search and other digital marketing mediums have significantly reduced the effectiveness of direct mail marketing.

But, you will be glad to know that marketing through direct mail eventually returns a higher ROI than other marketing channels like paid ads and display ads.

Verily, direct mail is so effective, and it is considered the second-highest ROI provider competing next to the social media channels.

On the other hand, according to the survey from recent ad revenue results from different mediums, direct mail provides more than 5.3% higher response whereas email marketing provides only a 0.6% response rate for the advertisers.

So, it’s for sure that, direct mail still works very effectively as a marketing medium for any type of business. Similarly to blanket leaflet distributon services which are effective at large scale marketing.

The mailing list for your direct mail campaign

This is the very beginning task when you start setting up a direct mail campaign for promotional purposes.

Direct mail works too effectively and provides a higher response rate only when you land an appropriate message to the doorstep of the targeted people.

In other marketing mediums, it is expected that everyone would hear the message and reply. Still, direct mail only connects with those who really need that sort of service someone promoting directly in their doorstep.

That’s why direct mail speaks more than other traditional or online marketing such as paid PPC ads or display ads, etc.

What is your target market and how should you define it?

Selecting the right customers and triggering them out for sending promotional materials is one of the challenging parts of direct mail marketing.

It mostly depends on the selection procedure, whether you’re targeting the right audiences or not.

If the right customers receive your mail, it would be very effective and provide you with a higher response rate.

So, here are the parameters that you should consider before making the mail ready to deliver:

·        Age

·        Gender

·        Monthly or yearly approx. income

·        Homeowner or not

·        Car owner or not

·        Educational Qualifications or level

·        Kids at home

·        Employees or not

Those above are very basic things, and the answers must be collected before starting your first direct mail campaign.

Besides, it will make the list very specific for the right targeted customers.

The more information you can collect about the customers, the more responses you will get from them.

You can also add more parameters to the above list. It will be more specific to the service you’re offering to the customers.

For instance, you can add items on the list like have pets, own stock, hardwood floors or have asthma? It will depend on the service you’re going to promote through the direct mail campaign.

Direct Mail Marketing: Pros

·        Higher chances to get a positive customer response from the receiver

·        You can track and analyse the result

·        It is cheaper than regular mail

·        It’s very flexible to execute and reach out to the targeted audience

·        Individualised way of marketing

Direct Mail Marketing: Cons

·   A higher percentage of customers refer to direct mail as a junk mail service since it is sent uninvited. Moreover, they don’t tend to read the inside information of the mail.

·        It might be a wastage of money if the mails are unopened and fail to collect customers’ attention.

·        The response rate is lower compared to other direct marketing actions.

Why should you use direct mail marketing in-home businesses?

Taking the right decision and setting up the goal:

When you’re going to conduct a direct mail campaign targeting a particular area, at first, you need to create a mailing list.

The list will be filtered as much as possible by setting different parameters like age, gender, income, homeowner or car owner, etc.

Then, you will need to specify why you’re going to run this direct mailing campaign and what your customer exactly wants from your direct mail services.

How will they get benefited? Cover everything as a customer perspective and organize them well inside your mail. If things are done accurately, you have a higher chance to get positive feedback from the customer.

What is the type of the mail that you will send:

Most home businesses prefer to mail a postcard.

It is less expensive but has limits to include information inside the mail.

A postcard has a higher chance of getting read than a letter that needs the recipient to open and look over the content inside.

How you should design the mailing:

The success rate of direct mailing largely depends on a captivating mailer.

For this, you will need to understand copywriting.

It’s not easy to understand the user’s intention and what they actually look for and demand.

You will need to find and trigger out an alluring presentation that speaks and describes their needs.

The inside information of the mailing must be aiming at providing direct mail solutions to their problems.

Another great thing is that you can put information on an envelope.

So, put an enticing message on the envelope to convince the recipient and convert them as your customer.

This could bring you a huge response from the recipients. Trust me!

Identifying the target market:

It refers to the targeted people who will receive and open the mail.

So, make sure whether you sending a cold mail by purchasing a ready mail list or you’re contacting with the past customers.

If you’re planning and looking for a ready list, then make sure to do enough research behind finalizing mails to send.

Quality and updated lists are very important to return you an impressive response.

Additionally, follow the owner rules to send mails, from whom you bought the mailing list.

For instance, most ready list mail sellers only allow sending a mail to the respective mail owner. No worries! You can convert them to your regular mailing list when you get a response from them.

Get connected with the local post office such as Royal Mail to use bulk mail:

Bulk mailing is the cheapest procedure to send direct mail.

But remember, never add any misleading or incomplete information that may seem to be vulnerable to the customers’ perspective.

Start an initial campaign for testing purposes:

The processing and delivering the mails to the entire mailing list is expensive spending.

So, you mustn’t make campaigns that won’t provide you results as per your marketing plan, right?

For that, you should do a test run on direct mailing to a smaller list of the entire list and monitor if it succeeds in getting results and allows you to broaden the response rate.

Track the response rate and analyse them:

After preparing the promo for the mailing list, go to the local post office and present it to them.

When a successful campaign is conducted, then start calculating the ROI and take further actions according to the result you got from the earlier campaign.

7 Ways to Use Direct Mail

Almost everyone thinks according to the terms of regular mailing ads while considering direct mailing ads. But, it’s not something to be done only following the terms of regular mailing ads.

You can use direct mail for different purposes to diversify your direct mail marketing. There are several ways where you can implement direct mail to get clients and customers.

Promote products catalogue and services: It so impresses for the customers as they will see some examples of your offer products catalogue and get an overview of your services. You can also include some coupon codes or discounts for the recipients, which will encourage them to buy and take your service as well.

Adding special discounts: Unlike another marketing prospectus, why you wouldn’t include a special deal and discounts for the customers instead of just sending them a letter or a postcard? Such as adding a percentage by giving convincing products and services in an affordable and cheaper price.

You can also specify the discount offers or coupon codes only for first-time customers. In fact, it’s a great approach to draw the attention of your targeted customer and mail recipients.

Reminders: Sending reminders to the customers and let them aware of the ongoing situations is very good to get them connected to your business.

Although it depends on the service and product, you’re offering to the customers. As an example, if you have a business that is about providing tax consultation, then you can send a reminder in December to take the deductions before the years ends. Also, you can notice them get ready for their upcoming tax paying deadline.

Include useful tips or items: Many realtors often send calendars and recipes to their clients and customers. These items are useful in our daily life. So, people keep them in their home, and thus your business also gets introduced with the house owner. Because people remind the name of the realtor whenever they check the calendar and recipe guides, essentially, you can also do that for promoting your business. But, make sure that you are offering something to the recipients who would really need them and be a useful thing as well.

Samples: It’s another great action you can take along with the mail you deliver to your targeted peoples. People like free products, and they love to test it. But, the product mustn’t be cost-effective that can harm your overall budget for the campaign. A free sample product can bring you customers who are converted from junk mail recipients.

Newsletters: Email newsletter is good enough and most affordable to deliver information to your regular email list. But, yet print and mail news can be effective too. By using a newsletter, you can combine many items like discounts, services, useful tips and announcements altogether and present them to the customers.

Announcements: When you’re about to launch a new product or service, you should let your all existing clients, prospects and customers about your newly arriving product or service. So, once again, it will be a great way to present your upcoming services or products through direct mail. 

Benefits of direct mail marketing

There are several immense good benefits accrue to use direct mail advertising method. It not only creates a positive impact for your business but also helps to converts your business as a brand to the customers and consumers. So the benefits are-

Highly targeted and converting them to potential customers: The most useful advantage of direct mail advertising is targeting the exact audience who’re really intentional about getting a respective service or purchasing particular products. You can purchase a readymade mailing list from the specific distributors or outsource the seller. Then, prepare them for your direct mailing campaign in the hope to get some potential customers in your business. For example, If you’re a store owner and you sell health and vitamin products in your shop, then you can collect the list of people who usually purchase those types of products and set up your direct mailing campaign.

 Highly Measurable: It is a highly measurable marketing channel for any business owner. A small company can easily measure their ROI for one or multiple direct mail campaigns. You can get an immense good conversion rate by adding some coupons or discounts inside the mail. At the same time, you can also keep track and monitor the response rate to take action further.

Individualized way of marketing: Direct mail is the form of marketing that is highly individualized. There are several computer programs which have the ability to address consumer with their name in direct mail. It works well, especially for small companies. Therefore, it seems like speaking to the customer directly as if the owner is talking to them face to face. Besides, addressing someone with their name is highly convertible to long discussions and creating values as well.

Extremely Flexible: Using direct mail advertising is very flexible as it requires fewer efforts and saves costs. Different manufacturers tend to attach a free product along with their mailing to attract customers and drive them into their business. Also, a business person can add as much as possible information in their direct mail and its envelope. Not to mention that it also varies depending on customer intention and buying intensity. 

How will you send direct mail?

You can use two main ways to send direct mail, and those are standalone mail or shared mail. Shared mail is mostly used by small business owners who share the space with other businesses in the same mail. On the other side, standalone mail is solely sent from a business when they advertise themselves own. Let’s dive into the procedures for both shared mailing and standalone mailing.

Standalone Mail: When you pay for everything that includes performing a successful direct mail campaign, then it will be considered as standalone mail. It is more expensive than shared mail as the respective business owner spends for everything.

Before sending mail to the expected customers, you will need to purchase a readymade list from a seller or outsource them anyhow. Basically, it needs to send postcards directly when you use standalone mail for direct mail marketing.

There are higher possibilities to format and present standalone mail to the customers. Although, it depends on the budget as you have some limitations to spend it creatively.

Shared Mail: It is also known as marriage mail marketing where the advertisers share space and split their expenditures. Distributers or different business owners have a predefined mailing list where they pay for the cost of postage. So, as the cost divides into a group, it becomes cheaper and even as low as a few cents for every household. Some examples of the shared mails are RedPlum, Clipper Magazine and Valpak.

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, every business owner constantly tries to create a positive impact on the market, and that’s why they do need quality customers who will represent them. If things are done properly in a direct mail campaign, it’s for sure that it will be highly efficient and beneficial for the business. It may have the reputation of being spammy but still it worth the value to recreate a brand and lead it to successful.


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