Today, email has just about replaced regular mail. Everything from advertisements to bills to holiday cards are sent electronically. In that sense, direct mail may seem archaic. However, your item may stand out more among a smaller pile of envelopes and flyers.
Who are you trying to reach and what are your goals? Direct mail can cost-effectively reach a wide audience, and it can spur action among your target audience, but first decide who that audience is and what you want them to do.
Demographics are crucial: Does your mailing list accurately represent your target audience? Is it segmented by pertinent data, such as location, age, or employment? You could place an ad in The New York Times for tens of thousands of dollars, and maybe a slice of your audience (which is a slice of the NYT audience) will notice it among the other ads and take action. By comparison, you can send a smartly designed postcard to a smaller, more targeted list of contacts and ensure they see your message – all for less than $5,000. Look at all of your marketing options – direct mail, online advertising, print advertising, events, etc. – in the context of target audience and desired action in order make the best budget allocation decisions.
The key phrase there is “smartly designed.” Just as SPAM filters will catch an irrelevant email, direct mail recipients will ditch anything that looks amateur, junky, or otherwise unappealing. Avoid contests that remind people of Publishers Clearing House and remember to include a clear call to action.
Direct mail can be useful, but it shouldn’t be the only tool in your marketing toolbox. For more information about direct mail and other direct marketing tactics, check out the Direct Marketing Association.
Stay on message,