Effective Direct Mail

July 31, 2017

by Lance Parman

Direct mail is alive and well. Of course, a lot has changed in the past 10 years, but studies show that consumers spend more time with direct mail and remember it better than digital marketing.

To ensure that your direct mail is as effective as possible, you’ll also need to know today’s recipient. For example, direct mail consumers check their mail less frequently, read bullet points and skim the rest, and like a clear call to action. And if you want a response, you’d better give them easy response methods and demonstrate innovative ideas and technology.

Direct mail is most effective when used with other marketing tactics. The power of it lies in the fact that it integrates so well with a multi-channel approach. If you decide to use direct mail, these three things continue to make the difference in determining which mailers are successful.

The List

Direct mail is highly targeted. That’s one of its greatest advantages. So the time and energy you pour into developing a good list can ultimately save money and ensure a higher rate of response. And remember, not all prospects and customers are the same. Consider customized mailers (and lists) to different segments of your audience offering what is most relevant to their buying habits.

The Design

Direct mail is tremendously versatile and can take the shape of a letter, postcard, magazine, and other creative packages. Determining what design will best capture the viewer’s attention can give you a significant competitive advantage.

The Offer

An effective “offer” doesn’t automatically have to be a discount. Be creative. The ultimate goal is to find the incentive that will inspire your customer to take action. Direct mail provides an excellent opportunity to deliver a special offer they will want to save—either on the refrigerator or in their purse—giving your marketing message even greater impact.

Direct mail has not, as some of you might think, been replaced by E-mail Marketing. Both have their pros and cons. Traditional mail provides some unique attributes that still plague digital mail.

Inbox Overload

Most of us receive more emails than we want to read. As each day brings a new batch, we are left with two choices. First, we can let them stack up until the list is too intimidating to tackle. This usually leads us to the second choice, which is to “Select All” and “Delete.” But don’t people just throw away physical mail too? A study by Epsilon showed that 77 percent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they receive it. And data from the U.S. Postal Service showed that 98 percent of people check their mail daily.

Increased Trust

Direct mail is not faced with these same problems. You can “attach” as much as you want without setting off alarms. Bells and whistles of a fancy package are added bonuses instead of red flags. Consumers are bound to trust your direct mail sales piece more than they would a suspiciously fancy email. The next time you feel the impulse to jump straight to digital marketing just because it’s what everyone is doing, take a moment to consider if direct mail might be a good option. If you know who you want to reach, and you know where they live, direct mail can be one of the most affordable and effective ways to deliver your message.

If you’d like to talk with Gazillion & One about making the most of your marketing efforts, contact us online or call (616) 842-7000 to get the conversation started.

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