It seems that every day a new story hits the wire about companies shifting marketing dollars into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media while cutting back on traditional marketing methods.
I recommend companies get into social media if they haven’t already, but I caution them about completely throwing out all the marketing strategies that got them to where they are today. Direct mail, for example, is still a viable, cost-effective option for many companies who have learned how to harness its power.
If you’ve never done direct mail, you may be surprised at all it has to offer. Here are some of the benefits of direct mail.
It’s targeted to exactly the individuals you want to reach. Mass advertising can be extremely expensive for smaller companies, even B2B firms that want to use trade publications. Direct mail allows you to focus your message on a smaller group of individuals who are most likely to respond to your offer.
Direct mail is flexible. You can use practically any format you like, from postcards and brochures, to sales letters and lumpy mail. Mailpiece design experts at the post office will advise you about the deliverability and costs associated with unusual sizes and shapes.
It’s personal. Most of us can think of an experience early in our lives where a letter came addressed just to us. For many, it was a birthday card from Grandma. For me, it was the package I’d get from various Major League Baseball teams. As a kid, I would write a letter to my favorite teams, asking for anything they would be willing to send me. Within a couple of weeks, a thick package would arrive with my name on it, and it would contain team and individual players’ photos, a scorecard, a season schedule, bumper stickers and other great stuff including a ticket order form. I used to get these packages from the Indians, Yankees, White Sox and Tigers – all my favorite teams. Personal addressability is a powerful tool and may explain why 55 percent of customers report that they look forward to getting the mail every day.
Direct mail is tangible. Your customers get to handle your message and inspect it, which allows you to foster interaction. Giving your customers multiple ways to respond will increase your success rate.
Direct mail can be measured. Your first mail piece becomes what’s known as your control. With direct mail, you can track and analyze your results, and then make adjustments as needed. On subsequent mailings, you might tweak your offer, do a split test, change the envelope design or a host of other things in order to improve performance and beat the response of your control. Over time, you’ll learn what types of formats and offers trigger the best response, and being able to calculate your return on investment (ROI) is huge.
Marketing is not a science, and there are few absolutes to deal with. (That’s why we’re called practitioners.) So don’t discount direct mail, or radio, or television, or newspapers, or video, or, or, or, etc. The key to success is knowing how to use these tools effectively, and that takes a certain amount of hard work and diligence. Be encouraged knowing that many of your competitors will be too lazy to learn how to do direct mail well. Let them abandon it to you. You’ll secretly thank them when your results start coming in.
Direct Mail Help is a Phone Call Away!
You have more direct mail options today than ever before, but proper execution of a direct mail program requires planning. We can help you avoid the pitfalls and in doing so, turn direct mail into a powerful marketing weapon. Give us a call at 330-342-1255 or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you within a day. Have a great day!