Direct mail marketing campaigns can be dated back all the way to the Babylonian era. Merchants would inscribe their services on brick or stone and deliver them to individuals that could utilize their service within neighboring communities. It has become a staple in marketing campaigns across the globe and has evolved to coincide with digital advertising. A study done by EPSILON found that an average of 73% of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail for brand communications because they can read the information at their convenience. With the ability to target specific demographics and with an average response rate that outperforms some of its digital counterparts, it’s easy to see the opportunities that direct mail can provide.
Now; before jumping into a direct mail campaign it is critical to come up with a plan of attack. Below you will find my 4 things to consider when utilizing direct mail.
Focus on your Demographic:
If you own a custom pool design business, you wouldn’t want to target individuals who live in apartment communities. Just like digital advertising, direct mail gives you the freedom to target specific demographics such as; type of residence, household income, age, gender and business type just to name a few. Once you have this information you will now want to consider the reach of your campaign or targeted area. It is common to target within a radius from your business’s location as well as flooding key zip codes with your mailer but keep in mind that you are not limited to just your state.
Having a set budget in place is an absolute must when it comes to doing a mailing campaign. You must factor in the following cost when deciding what your budget amount should be; printing cost (including ink-jetting of the address onto the card), design cost, mailing list & data collection cost, and finally postage cost (bulk rate or first class). Your budget should reflect on how much of an ROI you would like to get back as well as consider any promotion or discount that your mailer might be presenting to potential clients. In order to get the most exposure and bang for your buck I always recommend the following scenario:
Say you have a budget of a $1,000 to spend on your direct mail campaign and that covers a hypothetical 1,500 addresses. Instead of spending that budget on one campaign you can always target half of that data list twice. Targeting 750 addresses within a certain time period will allow you to expose those recipients to your brand twice and therefore reinforcing recognition with these potential clients.
Design & Stock:
Standing out is key to any successful direct mail campaign and it is encouraged that you think differently compared to everyone else. Sending out oversized mailers steals the show when compared to other mail that your audience receives and having a unique finish or feel to your paper stock stimulates the recipient’s senses of feeling something different. Insure that your design gets your message across and entices the recipient to want to know more or act upon whatever call-to-action you included. Lastly, you are not limited to a standard rectangular shaped postcard, try including different folds to get your clients to interact with your mailing.
Print & Digital Working Together:
The last thing to consider when assembling your mailing campaign is to have it aid your online presence and work alongside any digital advertising that you may be running. Encouraging recipients to visit your website and social media pages engages them to interact with your brand and explore your services further. Most of the mailing criteria that you established at the beginning of your planning can be applied to multiple forms of digital advertising such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Remarketing Ads. In the end it’s all about brand awareness, having your message anywhere and everywhere at the same time is key to any successful marketing campaign.
Some say that direct mail campaigns are a thing from the past, my response; Let them think that! With more and more promoters pushing online advertising there has been a significant decrease in the amount of mail that people receive. Some see this as a sign of the digital age taking over, I see it as an opportunity to make your mailer standout.