Many business owners may struggle with advertising their business. While much of this can be because of a wealth of competition in their niche, one of the primary drivers is that entrepreneurs often don’t know which form of marketing to use.
This is because there is quite a significant number to choose from, with each carrying its pros and cons. One that’s proven to be popular has been direct mail marketing. Despite being relatively common for quite some time, many people may not realize how beneficial for their company it may be.
With the potential impact that it can have on your company, it’s worth looking at how the advertising strategy works and how you can fully take advantage of it.
What Is Direct Mail Marketing?
Direct mail marketing is precisely what it sounds like and involves sending correspondence to a potential customer in the hopes of persuading them to purchase your product or service. This typically consists of a letter or postcard that includes your company’s logo, contact details, and a description of your product or service.
Types Of Direct Mail Marketing
When many people hear the term ‘direct mail marketing,’ they’ll intrinsically think of physical letters. While this is one of the more common types of the form, it’s far from the only one. There are a few benefits to this type, such as an enhanced open rate, although it offers various disadvantages, such as cost.
As a result, many marketing professionals have taken to several other types of direct mail marketing. One of the more popular of these is newsletters, which have been increasing in popularity in recent years. This is primarily because it can often be much more cost-effective than physical mail, although it could need more time to put together.
Alongside these are a few other direct mail marketing types, including:
- Self-Mailers; These are typically brochures or postcards that don’t require an envelope to be sent, increasing the likelihood of a recipient seeing your message.
- Catalogs; These can showcase a large variety of products, which is their primary benefit. However, they can often be much more expensive to produce.
- Packages; These typically come alongside any online orders and usually include letters and other marketing materials encouraging customers to purchase again. Packages can also include a variety of free samples, which is one of the larger areas where they’re used.
When To Use Direct Mail Marketing
While direct mail marketing can be effective, it may not be something that’s recommended in certain situations or with specific niches. However, there are a few occasions where you may be able to take advantage of the practice.
Perhaps the most notable of these is when you’re looking to promote a new product or service or even an event. Alongside this is when you’re aiming to build brand awareness among a specific group of people or in a targeted area.
Much of this is because it can be an effective way to build awareness in a highly targeted area or within a specific group of people. This can also work to remind many customers about your products or services.
3 Direct Mail Advantages
There are quite a considerable number of advantages when it comes to direct mail marketing. The first of these is that it can be a much more targeted approach to advertising. Businesses will be able to purchase or develop mailing lists based on their specific need.
Some of the larger examples include specific association lists, which allow companies to target a certain sector or even target a specific location. This is something that can be much more accurate than blanket social media or online advertising.
It can also be much more measurable than companies might believe, especially when coupons and similar aspects are used. By including these, a business will be able to track how many of the letters or flyers are being used over a certain period.
Thirdly is the fact that direct mail marketing can be incredibly flexible. Much of this because a company can include as much, or as little, in their direct mail campaign as they want. While information about the business will be a necessity, you can also include free samples and much more, which isn’t an option with many other strategies.
3 Direct Mail Disadvantages
While there are a variety of advantages to the practice, there are also a variety of disadvantages to direct mail marketing. Perhaps the most notable of these is that there can be a large up-front cost associated with the practice.
Much of this is because you’ll need to first purchase or develop a mailing list, which can often be an expensive proposition. Alongside this is the design and copywriting costs that will be associated with direct mail. Posting and printing will also be a high cost, with many people believing that the ROI may not be high enough.
Alongside this is that the response rate can often be minimal, with some reports suggesting that this can hover between 1% and 3%, depending on how effective your marketing is. This can also make the practice much less cost-effective.
Thirdly, it can often be unpredictable, especially if you’re sending out time-sensitive mail, such as coupons. As such, it may not be a recommended practice in this regard, with this unpredictability having a certain role in how cost-effective it may be.
Top 5 Direct Mail Marketing Do’s
There can be a variety of things involved in creating a high-quality direct mail marketing strategy. However, many business owners may not be aware of what they should do when planning and implementing the strategy itself. There are a few things that you should focus on when creating it:
- Have a clear and concise marketing message.
- Have a compelling offer for potential customers.
- Have a highly targeted audience.
- Tailor your message to a specific audience.
- Track your success.
Each of the above can be vital in ensuring your direct mail strategy’s success, with each having its own role to play. Tracking your progress, though one of the more challenging aspects of the strategy, can be one of the more essential parts of this, as it can inform future campaigns.
Top 5 Direct Mail Marketing Don’ts
Alongside the do’s listed above, there are a variety of things that you should avoid doing when designing and implementing your direct mail marketing strategy. While some may be obvious, there are a few mistakes that may be common. The most notable of these include:
- I don’t have a generic message.
- Don’t spam your audience by sending overly frequent mail.
- Don’t send to an untargeted audience.
- Don’t use low-quality imagery or designs.
- Don’t overlook the timing of your campaign.
By doing any of the above, you run the risk of your direct mail marketing campaign is unsuccessful or less successful than you might want. As such, they’re aspects that you should avoid at all costs.
5 Tips For Growing Your Mailing List
Many business owners may have difficulty with growing their mailing list, as this can often be quite the most confusing and complicated part of the strategy. However, there are a variety of tips and tricks that you’ll be able to take advantage of when doing so.
While there can be quite a significant number of ways to do so, there are a few important tips. Some of the most notable of these include:
- Divide your audience into segments and personalize your mail accordingly.
- Ensure that your content is clear, concise, and includes a call to action.
- Avoid having clutter in your design.
- Track your results and adjust your campaign accordingly.
- Provide value by including coupons or offers.
Though there can be a variety of other tips and tricks that you can take advantage of, each of the above should have a drastic impact on your email list’s growth.
How To Create An Effective Direct Mail Campaign In 5 Steps
Many business owners will want to take advantage of direct mail marketing, although they may not know how to put together an effective campaign. While the process may seem confusing and somewhat overwhelming, there are a few steps that you should take when creating and implementing it.
- Choose A Campaign Goal: Before you start your campaign, you should know the strategy’s goals. These can include increasing brand awareness, generating sales, and much more.
- Identify Your Target Audience: Sending letters or other mail to everybody isn’t going to be cost-effective. As such, you’ll need to identify who your target audience is and limit your mail to a certain group of people.
- Create A Compelling CTA: Like many other marketing campaigns, you’ll need to encourage your audience to take action. To do so, you’ll need to create a compelling call to action (CTA) or offer that your audience will want to take advantage of.
- Design Your Mail: Once you have each of the above done, you’ll need to design your mail. During this stage, you’ll need to focus on both the overall design, as well as the copy and images.
- Schedule & Track Your Mail: Once you have your mail sent out, you’ll need to track its success. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as coupons or offer codes. By doing so, you’ll be able to adjust your future campaigns based on results.
What Is The Average Response Rate For A Direct Mail Campaign?
Results are something that many business owners will focus on, as this can be the primary indicator of how high or low your return on investment is. A significant number of people will want to know what the average results they can expect with a direct marketing campaign are.
While many marketing strategies will have a somewhat lower response rate than others, direct mail can be much lower than you might expect. On average, you should expect anywhere between 1% and 3%, which is considerably lower than many will want.
However, much of this can depend on the amount of effort you put into defining your target audience, as well as how compelling your CTA and other design elements are.
How Much Does A Direct Mail Campaign Cost?
Before launching any marketing campaign, it’s important to note how much it will cost, especially per lead. Much of this is driven by the potential ROI that you should see throughout a campaign. Direct mail marketing is no different, although there are a variety of factors that can come into play.
One of the more notable aspects of this cost is the design and copywriting cost that will be associated with the campaign. Much of this can be avoided if you do these yourself, although it can often be recommended to hire a professional unless you already have the necessary skills.
These can often cost up to several hundred dollars, depending on which company you choose. Alongside this is the cost of printing and shipping the mail, which can cost up to 3 and 35 cents respectively, although discounts may be available for bulk purchases.
Lastly is the mailing list. Similar to many other aspects, this can range in price but can be free if you build it yourself. If you purchase a mailing list, however, it can cost up to $2 per contact, although this can vary depending on where you buy it from.
In general, the cost of a direct marketing campaign can be up to $1,000. Once you’ve done your first campaign, however, you’ll have many of the required assets for future campaigns, so this should subsequently come down.
Top 10 Stats About Direct Mail Marketing
There are quite a significant number of direct mail marketing statistics that highlight how effective the advertising strategy can be. Despite what many professionals may believe, it’s still an effective way of promoting a business. Some of the more notable statistics include:
- The response rate for direct mail is 4.9%, which is the highest it’s been in over a decade.
- Letter-sized mail received the most responses, averaging 15.1%.
- The average cost per response with direct mail is $49.20.
- Direct mail ties with social media as the second most used medium, with 57% of people using it.
- A staggering 81% of survey respondents plan to maintain or increase their direct mail usage in the future.
- When making a purchasing decision, 76% of consumers trust direct mail.
- Direct mail is 20% more persuasive than its online counterpart.
- Over a third of people under 30, approximately 36%, look forward to receiving direct mail.
- S. households receive over 120 billion pieces of mail every year.
- Direct mail is the top purchasing influencer among Baby Boomers.
Despite costing somewhat more than many other advertising techniques, direct mail marketing can have quite a significant number of benefits. While much of this can depend on your target market, there are several advantages across every age group and demographic.
As a result, every business may be able to benefit from its use. The key to taking full advantage of direct mail marketing is to ensure that your business is equipped to create a high-quality campaign that leads to a large number of conversions. While much of this can depend on your business, you’ll be able to maximize your results with the tips above.