The definition of direct mail marketing – A type of direct marketing that’s delivered physically to a prospect’s door through the postal service or other delivery services.
Postcards, flyers, and catalogues are common examples. Email marketing is the digital equivalent.
What is direct mail marketing?
Direct mail marketing is a physical correspondence you send to customers with a clearly defined goal.
All you need to have to send direct mail is something identifying you or your business, a call to action (CTA), and a way for your customers to contact you. The rest is left to you.
Why does direct mail marketing work?
On his blog, Neil Patel, an entrepreneur, marketer, and best-selling author, wrote about recent research that investigated the median return on investment (ROI) per marketing medium.
It’s known that direct mail campaigns actually had a higher ROI than both paid search and online display ads.
In fact, direct mail is only just behind social media, the second-highest ROI medium.
So why is direct mail, something considered by many to be on the decline, still so effective?
Direct mail marketing is interactive
The fact that customers can physically handle mail and look at it before deciding whether to keep it, helps get more eyes on your marketing.
If you include a promotional offer, discount, or a CTA that requires them to do something with the mailer such as bring it to a store or restaurant, your customers are more likely to keep it.
It can have a bigger reach
It offers ways to become creative
Pairing social media and digital content marketing with direct mail can create a seamless customer journey.
For example, a travel company ran a campaign during which they sent out a card and a voucher whilst encouraging recipients to use their discount on a charitable donation.
This increased people’s awareness of their brand and emphasised the company’s values to the public.
There are even more ways to introduce creativity with direct mail because its versatile nature gives you the chance to engage more of your recipients’ senses than digital marketing. Here are just a few examples of marketing techniques from various companies:
A Brazilian gym gave out calendars to their customers with cutouts in the shape of a man and a woman. As they flipped back each month, the silhouettes of the people got slimmer, showing the effects of consistently working out.
To promote World Water Day, one marketing team sent out direct mailers with a message that only became visible when soaked in water.
An Australian marketing firm sent out disassembled cardboard FM radios. The recipients who put them together were directed to tune the radio to a channel where they could hear an ad inviting them to join the national defence force.
There’s not as much competition
Companies are reducing their physical marketing efforts in favour of digital marketing. Digital is a more environmentally friendly route, and it’s also easier to start seeing results with digital.
Even if someone doesn’t use your discount or special offer straight away, they might keep it, especially if it’s something they may need.
They’ll pin it on a noticeboard. Then when they’re looking for a new pair of pants or a deal on power tools, your company will be more likely to come to mind.
The Dos and dont’s of direct mail
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of a direct mail campaign, you might like to see how to start one.
Here are a few guidelines that could help you save time, money, and energy.
Do: Define your audience
Do: Run tests first
Once you’ve defined your market and found your target area, send out a few test batches.
When sending out tests make sure you have a way to track your customers’ engagement.
This can be a discount code unique to the mail campaign that’s tracked online according to how many customers use it.
Other options could be a phone number to call or an email address set up only for that campaign.
That way you can keep track of who is engaging with your marketing.
Do: Make sure you have a CTA.
Most eye-catching mail delivered to the right people at the right time still needs a CTA.
Think about what you want the customer to do and explain it to them in clear terms.
Don’t: Forget to proofread your direct mail marketing
Don’t: Forget to follow up on your direct mail marketing
Don’t: Forget to drive traffic to your online presence
You can also link your digital marketing campaigns with discount codes, hashtag campaigns, or giveaways on your social media channels.
A modern twist on a classic channel
Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is far from out of date.
Although it’s one of the oldest forms of marketing, it’s still extremely effective in closing the gap between brands and customers.
It’s also a good way to stand out, so if you’re looking to shake up your marketing efforts, give it a try.