Despite having an out of date, ‘old school’ reputation, the reality of direct mail marketing is anything but. In fact, if used correctly, it can be incredibly cost-effective, efficient and profitable…
So what exactly is direct mail marketing?
Fundamentally, “Direct Mail” constitutes any advertising message that has been personally addressed and delivered directly by mail to a prospective customer.
As a form of advertising, it’s becoming increasingly popular amongst various businesses because it’s a proven, targeted and measurable medium to market products and services to customers. However, in recent years the reputation of direct mail has suffered as a result of it being perceived in similar terms to “junk mail”.
These two descriptions of postal advertising are often used interchangeably – when in fact, the two of them are very different indeed – and it’s important that you understand this.
Direct mail advertising is all about giving your list of prospects and paying customers EXACTLY what they want.
Here are some examples to explain what I mean…
Imagine you’re a big movie fan… If you were to receive some direct mail in the post from Blockbuster (the movie rental store) telling you about a 2-for-1 offer on DVDs, you’d be interested, wouldn’t you?
Of course you would!
I’m a big movie fan myself and I’d love to receive an offer like that.
Or, let’s say you enjoy going out for meals with your wife, husband, partner etc, and a voucher for your favourite restaurant slides through the door… You would have a read of that wouldn’t you?
And there’s a good chance of you visiting that restaurant very soon – voucher in hand…
And that’s the key point right there…
If you send a sales letter that’s compelling and relevant to the right target audience, they’ll respond positively to it, and there’s a very strong probability that they will follow up on the offer and make a purchase.
Be direct with your mail, and it won’t turn into junk! That’s the power of direct mail sales letters.
In contrast, if you send a piece of direct mail to an untargeted person who has no interest in what you have to offer, it quickly becomes “junk mail” and the money you’ve spent on printing and posting has been completely wasted. That’s why the prospects you send your direct mail to need to be specifically targeted, to maximise the chances of it being read, and not simply ending up in the trash!
The reality is that you could be sending out information on the greatest product in the world for your particular niche, but if it’s mailed to the wrong target, they won’t bother reading past the headline – and that’s if they even decide to open it in the first place (a flyer on dog grooming for a cat lover, for example, or hair products for a bald man, probably won’t be read very thoroughly!)
The important thing to remember is that any potential for “junk mail” can be eradicated with a targeted list. That’s why your list is a crucial element of your direct mail programme.
Nick Cobb – Direct Response Copywriter