What is Direct Mail Marketing?

You’ve got mail! With so many marketing options, it can be hard to find the best way to communicate your message. Direct mail marketing is a powerful tool, but like all tools, must be used correctly. Think of marketing as trying to hit a target. If you’re just trying to hit the broad target, you may be better off sending an email. Direct mail should be used when you’re going for the bull’s eye, and know exactly what you want. Consider the benefits of direct mail, and then decide how to best use it to your advantage.

Studies have shown that consumers are more receptive to direct mail than to email. It may sound surprising, but there’s something about getting a letter in the mail that still gets attention. Companies with a physical store can expect a greater impact on in-store spending when they use direct mail marketing in the local area. That being said, the same studies show that the most effective marketing strategy is to use both direct mail and email.
Direct mail marketing also allows you to use more space. Consumers are more inclined to read the whole letter when received through the mail. Email campaigns are more often skimmed, and customers are less likely to take the time to read the full message.

Direct mail also gives you more freedom with images. Many email clients strip images out of messages, but that’s never an issue with direct mail! If you have great branding and a strong visual design, it is more likely to be seen when used in a direct mail campaign.

Why are people more receptive to and more likely to read standard mail? One reason is that there is now less competition in mailboxes. Less competition means a better chance that your mailing will get read. With good branding, your customers will quickly identify your company’s communication and will give it their attention.

The main drawback to direct mail marketing is the cost. It is significantly more expensive to use direct mail than it is to use email. Direct mail is best for smaller mailings and mailings that need more attention. Think back to the bull’s eye idea – direct mailings should be targeted mailings that focus on local customers, or customers who have an established interest in the specific message you are communicating.

Make the most of your mailings! Remember that the most successful marketing strategies incorporate both direct mail and email. Remember to use direct mail for a select target audience, and email for a larger, broader mailings. Get out there and make an impact by using all the tools available to you! Embrace direct mail marketing as one of those tools, and watch your business grow.

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