“Why should I know what direct mail is? Print is dead anyway.” These words are among the most frequently used by the fervent supporters of all things online, digital and mobile. Yes, it is true, the greatest focus is on social media marketing strategies, building better websites and landing pages, crafting compelling mobile apps bringing companies tons of customer data to sift through and develop their marketing plans.
To answer the critics, many marketing specialists point out loud and clear, that print is nowhere neer dead. In fact, it is making a strong comeback through more creative and technologically advanced materials, shapes, colors and calls to action. From this perspective, it is quite accurate to say that digital is getting old and overcrowded while print is for the few and bold who want to reach out to customers in a more meaningful manner, and direct mail is an excellent way to reach out to people.
What Direct Mail Is and How to Use It
For starters, the importance of direct mail is reflected in the return on investment (ROI) of your latest online campaigns. Low open rate, a low click through rate and a high cost per click. This is the current landscape of online marketing:
- People are exposed to hundreds of online ads on their computers and mobiles;
- Nearly 25% of computer browsers have ad blocking software installed;
- The advertising budgets for Facebook ads are soaring while the ROI is consistently decreasing.
The question is: wouldn’t companies prefer to make sure that their marketing messages are getting literally in the hands of potential customers, with a very high chance of getting read? Most certainly, the answer is “Yes”. This is exactly why this article is about what direct mail is and how it brings new customers to the companies who still prefer to market to people the old school way.
How to Succeed in Direct Mail Marketing
First of all, you need to understand that direct mail comes with a cost – the cost of printing the marketing materials and the postage cost to send them to people. However, the rate of response to these articles covers these expenses and brings companies profit. There is one condition to achieve this: you have to follow precise steps in profiling your customers, building a mailing list and creating the right type of call to action. Here are those steps:
1. Know Your Customers
You do not have to know only what direct mail is, but also whom you are sending it to. There are various types of consumer groups who are more likely to buy from a direct mail offer than from an online ad or newsletter.
These people belong to the adult and senior age groups, people who are not very technical and are not comfortable using a computer or smartphone, and individuals who embrace traditional views and a traditional lifestyle (for example, stay at home moms).
These people intrinsically place more value and confidence in a printed offer than in a digital ad. They are quite familiar with what direct mail is and actively take advantage of printed coupons and other similar discounted offers.
2. Creating Your Mailing Lists
The old principle used by people who knew what direct mail is and applied it in the 1980s and 1990s - “send your mail to everyone, some of them are bound to answer” – is not applicable anymore. Printing and postage costs have increased, and companies need to be careful about each dollar spent on advertising.
For this reason, they have become very selective and resort to buying mailing lists containing people who have expressed the willingness to receive printed offers. There are three kinds of such mailing lists:
- Specialty list – you can identify people fitting the demographic profile of your target customer;
- Custom mailing list – you can go into deeper detail with the particular behavioral and interests profile of your target customer;
- Cloned list – it contains people with a similar profile to your existing mailing list.
3. Craft Your Message and Send It Out
After compiling your mailing list split it according to your customer targeted profiling and create adequate messages, offers, and calls to action that are most appealing to each customer group.
Now that you know what direct mail is, you can start running your marketing program. We are ready to help you with all the printed materials you need – call us at 888.678.9998 or send us a message!