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Direct Mail is Alive and Well

These days, marketing is all about digital. We are emailing, blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking our little hearts out. So direct mail (the kind that the postman puts in your mailbox, remember?) must be dead in the water…Right? Wrong. Did you know that 65% of consumers of all ages have made a purchase as a result of direct mail? Did you also know that direct mail receives more than triple the amount of response rates as electronic mail? It looks to me like direct mail is doing just fine, thank you. Many business owners are recognizing this and are adding direct mail to their marketing toolbox. Maybe they have maximized their online spend and need to find another channel, or maybe they enjoy such a high response to direct mail that it’s added to the mix from the start. Either way, the results cannot be ignored and direct mail is becoming a staple in their marketing plans.

Here are a few tips on how to make direct mail work for your business:

Know Who Your Target Audience is

The better you know your customers the more effective your direct mail campaign will be. Is there a specific type of person that purchases your goods or services? You will find that it is much more effective to send out thousands of pieces to specific homes using various filters, rather than blanket neighborhoods at random.

Consistency & Frequency

The majority of people who send direct mail send out one letter or postcard and then stop. I refer to this as the old “one and done” routine. In order to get the best results, you must do more than one drop, I recommend a minimum of three mailings for each campaign. If you are targeting the same group of homes more than once, try changing the card choice so that they don’t see the same thing over and over. As long as each mail drop you do is profitable you should continue mailing letters until the last step is no longer profitable.

Your Message Must be LOUD & CLEAR People are bombarded with advertisements from TV, radio, online, and direct mail so you must make your headline stand out and be relevant to your target customer. Most people are not paying attention to every advertisement so you really have to draw their eye to something that is relevant and attention grabbing. Do you ever wonder why the tabloid magazines outsell prominent magazines Like Newsweek and TIME? It is because of the exciting and gripping headlines. The headline is the most important part of any sales letter because if you can’t grab attention with the headline then there is no way your prospect will care to read the rest of your message.

Track Your Results

We have a saying here at TWG Advertising that says, “A direct mail campaign that can’t be tracked is a failed campaign”. Having a “call tracking phone number” printed on your cards not only gives you the ability to see how well the campaign is doing but is also a great tool for planning your next drop. By tracking your results, you will be able to know what areas to mail to again and what areas to stay out of.

In conclusion you must see yourself as being in the marketing business first and foremost. There are plenty of high quality products and service businesses that fail because of poor marketing. On the other hand, even low quality products and services may thrive with the correct marketing. An easy example would be pizza restaurants like Pizza Hut or Dominoes. They are not successful because they have great tasting pizza. In fact, many small-sized local neighborhood pizza restaurants would outperform them in a taste test. Pizza Hut and Dominoes are successful because they focus on the marketing of their pizza. To be successful in direct mail marketing you must see yourself in the marketing business, not necessarily the satellite TV & internet, retail, restaurant, or whatever business you are in.

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