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Direct Mail: A Quick Guide

Direct mail marketing campaigns, when done right, have a proven positive effect for small businesses. Despite the latest technological boom, direct mailing still seems to be one of the most effective marketing methods. In fact, Target Marketing’s Sixth Annual Media Usage Forecast found that direct mail had the highest rate of new customer acquisition (34%), as compared to 25% for email marketing.

However, a plain, white brochure or mailed postcard may not have the affect you're looking for - from design to maling, you should be following industry best practices.

Designing Your Mailing

An effective direct marketing campaign should be bold, clear and induce a call to action to your product or service. The design should effectively communicated and reflect your company brand. Make your mailing creative, attention-grabbing, and aesthetically pleasing, and direct the viewer’s attention to the call to action. In addition to providing information about your company, products, and services, you can sweeten the pot by offering free or discounted services and products to new customers.

Running Your Direct Mail Campaign

The direct marketing process is simple, but effective. It only requires you to design a mailing with a call to action for your potential customers. You can purchase or create a list of recipients, and use a mailing service company to send the mailing out and track the results.

  • Advances in graphic design and laser color printing have made it easier to create eye-catching, professional-quality mail with high-resolution photos and graphics.
  • By using the right mailing list, you will have an understanding of the demographic you may think will benefit from seeking out your business.

Learn about building your mailing list in our Buyer’s Guide.

Being Effective

Direct mail has proven to be effective because people tend to view it as a more personal approach to market, as opposed to the mass-automated feel of internet marketing.

A case study by Millward Brown states that physical media – such as direct mailings that the customer can hold in their hands – produces “a deeper footprint in the brain and produces more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater ‘internalization’ of the ads.”

  • Analyzing the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns is much easier than internet marketing, as you can directly track how many coupons or messages were sent out, and how may are redeemed in your increased sales. Once you determine which audiences are successful, you can continue to market to them while also testing out other demographics.

As you start creating and utilizing direct mail campaigns, remember to test! Test different demographics, designs, and product offers to find out which ones return the greatest ROI. Continue sending out consistent messages and your business is likely to encounter many new customers, especially when paired with email marketing techniques.

If you’re interested in direct mail marketing, you may want to also consider printing services and postage meters.