Learn Why Direct Mail Is A Smart Choice For Any Business


In recent years, many companies have moved their advertising onto the Internet, using social media to target their message to specific audiences. Traditional forms of advertising have been neglected in favor of the new, but this does not mean that the traditional advertising channels work less well. In fact, direct mail advertising can under many circumstances be more effective than social media advertising.

According to recent data compiled by a direct news marketer, the average household response rate for direct mail is 5.1%, as compared to 0.6% by email and 0.4% by social media. In fact, among young people between the ages of 18-21, the average response rate is 12.4%. U.S. advertisers have found that for every $167 spent on direct mail, they sell $2,095 worth of goods, for a return-on-investment of 1,300%.

As the above data shows, direct marketing is far from dead, and it is worthwhile for businesses to consider direct marketing as a part of their advertising campaign. If you have never advertised through direct mail before, below are a few steps to help you get started.

Obtain a Mailing List

The first step in a direct marketing campaign is to obtain a list of possible customers you wish to target. You have two options: buy a list from a broker, or build the list yourself.

There are positives and negatives to buying a list from a broker. There may be brokers who sell outdated lists that are not correctly targeted to your intended audience. However, though challenging to find, a good broker can save you time and money by selling you the address of a set of targeted audience. You can learn how to work with a broker here.

Your second alternative is to build the list yourself. Start by compiling a list of existing customers, potential customers (sometimes an Internet search can help with B2B customers), friends, social media contacts and other possibly interested parties. You may be surprised how many names you can gather. Continue to update and add to that list through repeated advertising campaigns. Soon, you will have an excellent set of targeted customers who are actually eager to hear about your products or services.

Find the Right Message

Once you have your mailing list, you must compose the right advertising message for your audience. This message could be anywhere from a holiday sale to a new service provided by your business. Whatever your message might be, it is important to be clear and concise. You do not need a paragraph if one sentence will do. Speak directly to the recipients, give them an incentive to take action and then repeatedly urge them to take action. Do not forget to give your social media accounts and Internet website so they can interact with you if they so desire.

Choose Your Mailing Option

After you have composed your message, you must print the advertising material and send it to your potential customers. You have several printing options. You can print your material and send them in a standard envelope or even a large sized one. You can also print your message directly on a postcard. Some companies will contract the entire work for you, or you may elect to stuff the envelopes, stamp them and send them out yourself. The U.S. Post Office has a terrific page to get you started.

Send, Measure, and Adjust

Once your advertising materials are ready, send them out and keep track of the response rate. For instance, to test the effectiveness of two differently worded advertisement, you can assign each a unique sale code and require a customer to give that code to get the discounted rate. Using the data gathered this way, you can improve the results of your next campaign by adjusting your message or even changing your delivery method.

About the Author

Emily Snell

Emily is a contributing marketing author at ChamberofCommerce.com where she regularly consults on content strategy and overall topic focus. Emily has spent the last 12 years helping hyper growth startups and well-known brands create content that positions products and services as the solution to a customer’s problem.

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