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Direct Mail is Not Dead

March 14, 2013

 With the closure of post offices and all of the hype around social media, it is easy to see why many people think that direct mail is no longer a viable marketing option. However, in the words of Mark Twain: "The rumor of my demise has been greatly exaggerated."

The fact that you are likely still getting direct mail from credit card companies and other companies that very carefully measure their return on investment means that it is still working for some companies. However, a mass mailing is probably not the right approach for your business.


How Can You Use Direct Mail Effectively?

As a small business, you cannot afford to play the numbers game of mass mailings (and who wants to waste all of those trees?). You should think about whether there is a small target market you would really like to reach. This can be a great use of direct mail.

For example, a company I worked with was trying to target the individuals who were responsible for getting catalogs produced for major retailers. While we were able to find out who many of these decision makers were, it was nearly
impossible for the salespeople to get them on the phone. By using direct mail, we were able to get them to contact us or return the salespeople's calls.


Think Outside the Envelope

Most people think of letters and postcards when they think of direct mail. However, there are much better ways to get the recipient's attention:

Lumpy Mail - People are much more likely to open something that contains more than just a letter. And it does not have to be just a pen. Make it related to your business. An IT company I work with recently used an "IT problem
zapper" gun that they sent out to a select number of prospects. It showed they had a sense of humor and was fun for the recipients.

Handwritten Letters - While it may feel a little less professional, handwritten letters get people's attention and feel very personal. Plus, it is not too expensive to get them done.

Boxes - Have you ever gotten a box that you did not open? Me neither. You can use this strategy to be sure your recipient gets your message. Plus, it does not have to be cost prohibitive to send something when it is only going to 20, 50 or 100 recipients. To reach the catalog companies mentioned above, we sent customized binders to each recipient to highlight how we could best help them.


Repetition Required

As you are thinking about direct mail, please keep in mind that direct mail does best with repetition. Your target market will feel more comfortable with you when they see that you make a commitment to reaching them. Plus, you get the
chance to connect with them using different messages.

In order to reach your target market, it is worth considering whether direct mail might be a good fit for you.

 


About Factor Four Consulting

Factor Four works with small to mid-size companies to help them figure out their differentiators and core marketing message. Then, we develop a clear plan to reach their target market. While this is frequently online marketing, it can also contain offline components such as direct mail.

Contact Jeff at 858-220-0202 to discuss how your organization can reach its full marketing potential.
 

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