While it seems like both technology and business publications are constantly writing about the latest social media trends, direct mail isn’t a topic that’s known for making headlines. However, just because the press isn’t infatuated with direct mail doesn’t mean it’s not a valid marketing option. On the contrary, it’s a tried-and-true marketing tool that still works quite well.
Just how well does direct mail work? According to Direct Mail News, the average response rate for direct mail in 2012 was 4.4 percent. That number applied to both B2B and B2C mailings. To put it in perspective, email has a standard response rate of just 0.12 percent. If you’re wondering how it’s possible for direct mail to engage so many prospects, it’s because contrary to popular belief, people do still like receiving things in the mail. In fact, 73 percent of U.S. consumers said they prefer direct mail for brand communications because it’s more convenient.
As if the high response rate and receptiveness of consumers wasn’t enough, the icing on the cake is that direct mail is very cost-effective. According to statistics from the post referenced above, U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold. That translates to an ROI of 1,300 percent!
Since direct mail is engaging, well received and cost-effective, it’s a practice all businesses should try for themselves. But even once they get past all the common misconceptions and find out that this marketing channel actually does work, many businesses are at a loss for where to start. If that’s the position you’re in, the good news is we’re going to cover exactly what you need to do to get started:
Buy or Build a List
Before you can send anything out, you need to have a list of recipients. There are two basic options for obtaining a list. The first is to buy it from a broker. The main advantage of buying a list is you can get a targeted set of recipients fairly quickly. The main downside is it’s often challenging to find a reputable broker that can actually deliver the quality you expect.
Your other option is to build a list yourself. Although you may not think you have many people to reach out to, once you start compiling current and potential customers, friends, social media contacts and other possibly interested parties, you may have more than you expected. And once you make building a list a priority, you’ll likely find that you have lots of opportunities to add targeted contacts to it.
Come Up with the Right Message
When it comes to making your message as effective as possible, the most important thing to remember is to be clear. Avoid using overly complicated language or feeling the need to compose the equivalent of an essay. In fact, the more you can edit for clarity and conciseness, the better results you will generate.
Other tips for crafting a great message include speaking directly to the recipients, giving them an incentive to take action and telling them more than once exactly what you want them to do. Taking that approach will give you the best chance of grabbing their attention, raising their interest and, ultimately, getting them to take action.
Choose the Right Mailing Option
After you have your message, you need to decide on what you’re going to print it. If you want to save money on postage, avoid spending time folding and stuffing envelopes; utilize an attractive design and even help the environment by using less paper with postcards. What’s great about choosing postcards is not only will you reap all those benefits, but it’s quite easy to place an order online through a postcard printing company for exactly what you want.
Send, Measure, and Adjust
Once you have your postcards, it’s time to send them out. Based on the response you receive, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to accurately pinpoint what worked great and what didn’t go as well as expected. Based on that information, you can make the necessary targeting and messaging adjustments for your next mailing.
Now that you know why your business should try direct mail, as well as the steps you need to take to make that happen, all that’s left is to add the steps to your to-do list and start completing them!