Is Direct Mail Dead?

Direct mail (DM) is an effective tool to market your business. The trick is to make the direct mail so appealing to customers, that they are compelled to give it their attention. If your business has already made a name for itself, customers will be eager to check out the offer you make in the direct mail.

Direct mails are effective only if they target the right group of people; people that will be interested in the product or service you are promoting. A lot of thought has to go into the creation and distribution of DM. Here are some pointers on what businesses should know to make the best use of direct advertising.

Consider the target audience

The target audience is the most important consideration when developing a direct marketing mailer. A list can be made out using the in-house list of customers and contacts, or you can use the services of a reputable list provider. The list should be current and legitimate to be effective. The audience can be targeted based on age, sex, income, geography, marital status, education, etc.

Objective of the direct mail

Businesses should know what they want from the mailing. What is its objective? Once the objective is clear, you need to include all the information required by the customer to respond. The mail should clearly state the action the customer must take – send a mail, call a number, fill an attached form, and so on. All pertinent information should be included such as location, phone number, address, web address, location map or any other specifics.

Effective design

The design is important because color, font and format should catch the eye. Professional designing services make sure the mail is effectively worded and well designed. The goal is to make an instant impact on the customer. The quality of the direct mail reflects on the quality of your business.

Strategic timing

The timing of the mailing impacts its effectiveness. Announcing a sale on Christmas trees near Christmas season is bound to be effective. Businesses should also schedule direct mailing according to the best time for them, such as promoting a clearing out summer sale at the onset of autumn. It is a great opportunity for customers, and also makes space for the store to stock and display its autumn collection. Businesses should prepare to meet the demand that will be created by the mailing before sending it out.

Keep track of responses

Track the responses to the mailing to measure the success or failure. This crucial feedback can be used to make the next round of mailings more effective.

Communicate with responders

Get details of customers who respond to the direct mail. Find out their preferences, likes and dislikes in relation to the products or service your business offers. This is critical data that can help you improve your service to them. Create incentive programs such as raffle tickets and lucky draws to make it exciting.

Plan ahead

Review the process of creating and sending out the mail, and learn from it. Analyze the response, timing, value of the mailing list, look of the direct mail, and any other thing that could have been done better.

Research the mailing system

As direct mails involve the mailing system, it is a good idea to have some understanding of it. You should be aware of postal regulations, postal costs, time frame for delivery and other specifics. Many post offices provide free mailing kits that can be very helpful.

Businesses can increase their sales by using direct mails judiciously. They should give due thought to the objective of the mailing, its timing, appearance and target audience as these have a considerable impact on its effectiveness.