Direct Mail, once prophesized as soon to be extinct, continues to be used, both in regular direct marketing promotions and catalogs. In fact, Direct Mail is being used by many Internet only e-commerce businesses to drive traffic to their websites. And, contrary to the assertions of some industry spokesmen and research groups, Direct Mail is alive and the use of Direct Mail catalogs has actually increased. Probably one of the biggest factors besides the cost of Direct Mail vs. Email contributing to the decline of Direct Mail is declining numbers of marketers who actually know how to use it. Most new marketers are schooled on digital marketing practices and channels and receive little or no training in Direct Mail or other direct response media.
Direct Mail ((and Email) are the only directly measurable advertising medium. You know exactly how many pieces you mailed, when they mailed, to whom they were mailed, what percentage of response you received and what your average order was. You can project your response within days to 4 weeks of the mail date, depending on whether the campaign is email or land mail.
Direct mail offers the widest variety of promotional formats; solos, self-mailers and catalogs. The basic elements of the standard direct mail package include a letter, brochure, outer-envelope and business reply device. Email doesn't offer the range of formats, but content can range from single product to multi product offers and landing pages, which are a necessary component of an email campaign, and can have a variety of formats from single landing pages to entire digital catalogs.
What objectives can Direct Mail help you achieve in your business?
- Activate inactive buyers and customers.
- Target and attract new prospects.
- Generate customer traffic.
- Level out peaks and valleys in sales volume.
- Pretest products, pricing and offers.
- Sell a wider range of products and services.
- Promote special events, products and services.
- Dispose of limited inventories.
- Solicit ideas and suggestions from customers.
The advantages of direct mail advertising over other media include:
- You can target specific market segments.
- You can completely cover your target audience.
- It is highly selective.
- It is personal.
- It is a private medium.
- It is flexible.
- It is intrusive. (Yes, intrusive is an advantage; because, you want to get their attention and you want them to do something after they have read your message.)
- It offers the ability to develop a unique business identity.
- You can reach your target at home or work.
- It has high reach potential against selected targets.
- It has a wide variety of formats.
- It's tangible allowing you to physically place your message in the recipient's hands and encourage interaction.
- It has numerous response options.
- It has excellent reproduction possibilities.
- It avoids competition for customer's attention.
- It is measurable.
Direct Mail Tools
This section includes tools for planning direct mail programs.
The success or failure of a direct mail package is dependent upon not just the written copy, but also the design and appearance of the package whether it's a letter and envelope or a package which includes a letter and accompanying brochure. Here are a few guidelines to help you design more effective direct mail packages.
This tool may be used for computing the per thousand cost for any direct mail campaign, whether it is a postcard, self mailer, brochure, catalog, a dimensional mail package with free gift/premium included, or a solo mail.
Direct Mail Marketing News
Target Marketing Magazine (more news...)
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