Direct mail advertising can be understood as a type of direct marketing that is channelized using a mail service for delivering marketing materials like brochures, postcards, catalogs, sales letters, and newsletters to the mailboxes of the prospects.
It is considered as one of the most effective and result-driven ways to reach out to new as well as existing customers/clients. This post will take you deep into the world of direct mail advertising, and help you understand the right ways of using direct marketing to optimize your reach, lead generation, and conversion. So, let us get started right away-
What is Direct Mail Advertising?
Just go back to the time when you picked up your newspaper this morning. As you opened up the newspaper, pamphlets feel on the ground. You slowly picked up and got intrigued by the new shop that has opened in your neighborhood. It is Direct Mail Advertising in the most basic sense.
Many small companies, as well as established brands, resort to this method, where they send pamphlets and brochures to the doorstep of potential customers. It is a straightforward marketing strategy adopted by entrepreneurs to give a boost to their business.
As you read ahead, you will get to know what makes Direct Mail Advertising effective and how you can optimize its effect.
What Makes Direct Mail Advertising an Effective Marketing Strategy
In this age of smartphones and tablets, Direct Mail Advertising would look like an outdated marketing strategy. However, the sales traction of companies shows that Direct Mail Advertising is still active. Here are the reasons that make it a suitable marketing technique.
1. Well Targeted
Entrepreneurs can make their Direct Mail Advertising highly targeted by sending their brochures only to highly potential customers.
For a company selling protein bars, they can selectively send their mail to those regularly hitting the gym. For this, they can quickly get the database of gym members from nearby gyms. With this, the advertising becomes very precise and targeted.
2. Highly Assessable
You can be on point with your target, but you can also measure the effect of Direct Mail Advertising. Most businesses provide some coupons in the mail, which customers can redeem while making the purchase.
So the company can easily keep track of the tickets redeemed to know the impact of the direct mail advertising campaign on their sales.
Direct Mail Advertising allows companies to personalize every mail as per the customer. Companies can use technology to print the name of the potential customers in the mail.
The mail can be a letter from the CEO of the company. Seeing a name and a personal message establishes an instant connection with the person. This personalization helps in turning marketing into sales.
Several factors make Direct Mail Advertising a cost-effective marketing campaign. The mails are always printed in large numbers, which bring economies of scale and reduces the cost.
Moreover, the advertising campaign is highly targeted, which leads to sales. The method is less costly when put up against other marketing strategies.
5. Highly Adaptable
There is no specific structure for Direct Mail Advertising. You are free to decide the content of your mail. It just needs to grab the attention of its potential customers. Moreover, it is flexible in its execution as well. You can sneak in these mails with newspapers or deliver them to customers through postcards.
Even if people are more into smartphones, they never fail to check their mailbox. Direct Mail Advertising taps in on this habit and turns it into a complete marketing campaign.
Let us now go through 9 of the most effective ways you can use direct mail advertising techniques for optimizing presence and conversions of your business-
9 Ways Businesses can use Direct Mail Advertising
- Send info about Discounts, Coupons, and Specials
- Sending out samples to your customers
- Sending reminders for any upcoming events
- Delivering company announcements to keep your customers up to date
- Using QR (Quick Response) code for taking your customers to a specific landing page
- Adding texture to your mails to make them eye-catching
- Sending out 3D mailers like a box, tube or any other 3 D designs
- Using PURLs (Personalized URLs) to lead your customers to your site by leaving a track-able footprint
- Using video in-print techniques in your direct mails
Additionally, there are some of the effective techniques that are quite useful for optimizing the performance of your direct mail advertising practices. Let us have a look upon those as well-
Techniques of Direct Mail Advertising
You may not reap all the benefits of Direct Mail Advertising if you use the usual techniques. With a change in consumer thinking and the change in technology, it is high time that companies start making changes in their Direct Mail Advertising campaigns.
1. Augmented Reality (AR)
Technology is going off the roof, and now is the time to bring your mail campaigns on the same level. You can incorporate AR into your Direct Mail Advertising to provide a better understanding of your product.
If you don’t know AR, then the best example is of Lenskart that lets the users check how the specs look on them by just scanning their faces. You can provide a link or QR code in your mail that would take the consumers to a page where they can check the product carefully.
It creates a lasting impression on the customer due to the innovation in advertising.
2. Videos and Tutorials
If you have a product that requires users’ instructions to use it, then a simple mail may look bland and ineffective. You can provide a QR code that contains a video on how to use the product.
Scanning the code will take the consumer to the video. Blending your mail with technology builds a good impression on the customers.
3. Dimensional Mail
A flat piece of paper like a brochure or pamphlet looks very dull, and most of them go into the dustbin. However, whenever the whole package looks bulging, it increases the curiosity of the customer.
When you add a small sample or something more than just a brochure in an envelope, it adds mystery to the whole mail. People immediately open it to check what is inside the envelope. This is a simple technique to grab the attention of potential customers.
4. Mid-Month Arrival of Mail
Many research results have shown that Direct Mail is more effective than email marketing. It provides more traction to sales than email. This is because emails have a lot of competition.
Every person receives hundreds of emails every day, and your email may get lost in it. However, a person gets very few mails in their letterbox. The competition for a mail is usually bills and magazines.
These bills and magazines reach the mailbox only at the beginning or end of each month. Try to deliver your mail to the potential customers in the middle of a month to grab your customers’ eyeballs instantly.
5. Mail Follow-Up
Keep a database of the customers that purchase from you for the first time. Use the database to improve your service. Send them emails with feedback form and FAQs to provide answers to their queries. Moreover, make them aware of the range of products that you provide. This helps in repeated sales and customer loyalty.
Now, the next thing that you should pay heed upon is the response rate of direct mails, so let us go through that here and now-
Response Rate for Direct Mail Advertising
As per a study in 2018, direct mails get a 9% response rate for the house lists, plus they receive a 4.9% response rate for the prospect lists.
In the process, oversized envelope gets the highest response rate, i.e., 5%, then postcard with 4.25% response rate, and finally, dimensional mail and sorts of kinds of stuff of more than 0.75 inches thickness get 4% response rate while catalogs get 3.9% response rate.
What is the cost of Direct Mail Advertising?
Costing of direct mail campaigns varies tremendously depending upon the purpose it is used for. However, in the most general sense, it may cost between 30 cents and $10 per recipient.
This will vary as per the design costs, medium, distribution, and many other factors. According to estimation by Inkit, a direct mail advertising campaign used for sending postcards to around 1000 recipients may cost around $1150 or $1.15 for every single recipient.
For running an effective direct mail campaign, you should also be aware of its do’s and don’ts, so let us have a look upon that as well-
Dos and don’ts of Direct Mail Advertising
Techniques of Direct Mail Advertising
Since you’ve seen all the essential practices, techniques and peculiarities of a direct mail advertising campaign, you may be interested about some of the do’s and don’ts of these campaigns, so let us go through them now-
Dos of Direct Mails
1. Defining your audience
While running direct mails, you should consider your product or service, and who it would be most appropriate for.
Then accordingly, you should center your strategies there.
With direct mail advertising, you can have an extraordinary ROI and engagement rate, plus, when you find out target niche, it can assist you with saving your money, since it enables you to target only those people who are most likely to convert for your product or service.
2. Running tests first
Once you’ve characterized your target niche and discovered the right audiences, you should share some of the test batches first.
While conducting these tests, you should ensure that you have an approach to follow the engagement of your clients. For this, you can use a unique coupon code, so you can track if the prospects use it or not.
It could likewise be a telephone number to call or an email address set up just for that campaign only. That way, you can undoubtedly monitor who is drawing in with your direct mail advertising campaign.
3. Making sure you have a CTA
This is one of the most important do’s of direct mails. The most appealing, well-designed, and rightly targeted emails also need CTAs to optimize the chances of getting favorable outcomes.
You should consider what you want your clients to do, and accordingly, you should characterize CTA for them in clear terms.
CTAs used in direct mails can be related to buying something, donating to a charity, using a coupon code, taking a survey, and so forth.
Don’ts of Direct Mail Campaigns
1. Forgetting to proofread your mailers
Forgetting to proofread your email content is a big ‘don’t’ of direct mail campaigns.
Your direct mail content will be the initial introduction your recipients will get of your business, so it ought to be liberated from mistakes and linguistic blunders.
That is why; you should ensure that you or any expert do the double-check the email piece and ensure it’s perfect. Additionally, you should ensure that it has a good flow of thoughts, interconnected structure, and engaging flow.
It should also comprise the right tone that represents well your product or service, plus resonates perfectly with your audience segment.
2. Forgetting to follow up
Not following your mail is also a big ‘Don’t’ of your email campaign.
Therefore, you should track what numbers of individuals are reacting to your mailers and note what their identity is so that you can catch up with them later.
It will offer you a database of engaged prospects that are bound to be useful for future advertising endeavors. You can likewise utilize that data to send a short message revealing to them you value their response.
3. Forgetting to direct traffic to your online presence
Forgetting to drive traffic to your site and other places of your online presence is a big ‘Don’t’ of direct mail advertising campaign.
You should drive your mail recipients to your site, social media platforms, and other places where you are present on the web. You should also interconnect your campaigns with common Hashtags, scannable coupon codes, giveaways, etc.
Direct Mail Advertising is not going out of fashion any time soon. Entrepreneurs still prefer it over email marketing due to its high return compared to the low cost.
Many companies don’t get the best out of Direct Mail Advertising. This is because they don’t see the mails beyond a piece of paper. Try to add mystery and curiosity to your mail.
By meeting your mail halfway with technology, you can quickly turn your potential customers to dedicated customers.
How important do you consider direct mail campaigns in widening reach and optimizing lead generations and conversions?