Direct Mail is alive and well

Thanks to the overuse of email marketing, Direct Mail has once again become a communication channel worth consideration by businesses of all sizes.

As with any form of communication, there are many aspects to be considered before we can use this marketing method to its full potential.

What about the hated “Junk Mail”?
One can debate this at length, but the difference between junk mail and direct mail as a marketing tool lies in one, brief statement:

For someone living in a high-rise building, receiving a direct mail offer from a garden service would amount to junk mail. Because it’s obvious that the company did not bother doing its homework on its product relevance to the prospects. They probably purchased a mail list containing hordes of names and addresses for a specific area, aimed the old marketing shotgun, and let rip! Although it cannot be considered as true direct mail, placing a few thousand flyers into post boxes amounts to pretty much the same thing – if it’s irrelevant it’ll get chucked away. Still, most people will at least give your communication a glance to check such relevancy.

The purpose of Direct Mail
The whole idea of using direct mail to market products and services is one of approaching prospects in an individual manner. That’s because if it’s done correctly, direct mail has a better chance of eliciting response than an advert speaking to hordes of other people as well.

When it comes to our existing customers, we’ve already seen how they warrant special communications. We already know who they are, they’ve proved their ability to purchase, so we don’t have to spend advertising money establishing all of that. Besides, customers want to be treated as special. That is something a simple direct mail letter can achieve — because it’s between YOU and ME. And it’s why direct mail is regarded as such an effective communication method when it comes to customer retention.

Getting direct mail off the ground
Getting one’s message delivered to prospects’ homes or offices is not enough; that is merely the channel used to transmit the message. What is needed is a message structured in a certain way because it is based on some knowledge about the your target market, in the same way you should gain knowledge of the type of readership of a magazine in which you place your adverts.

Direct Mail is for everyone
Direct mail should be used to make a sale or build customer relationships. It can make an offer to a customer or prospect and enable them to indicate their response without any direct human sales contact. Or, it can be an effective way to pass on information so that the reader feels special, while at the same time producing measurable reaction and profit.

Whether your operation involves business-to-business communications or the consumer, direct mail can work for you — provided certain ground rules are followed! If you can write a reasonable business letter, you can prepare your own, effective direct mail campaign.

The effect on the reader
When you place an advertisement in a newspaper, your readers have the choice of whether they should stop to read it or not. With your sales letter, your’e forcing them to at least acknowledge your envelope — on their time ! — so you’d better make sure you don’t waste it if they open up and read further. The emotional effect, good or bad, is far greater when you have encroached on someone’s personal time in the privacy of their office or home.

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