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Published on June 9th, 2009 | by Janine Popick

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Why Direct Mail Still Works – 5 Reasons to Use It Today

PostcardsSome people think that since the evolution of email marketing, there is no place for direct mail anymore. There’s no doubt that email is a fantastic and inexpensive way to reach your current customers, but there are certainly times when direct mail rules, especially for getting NEW customers.

Here are 5 reasons why direct mail really can work for your businesses.

1. You don’t have email addresses for your customers - If you’re like most businesses, chances are you have a bunch of customers or prospects that you don’t have email addresses for. It’s easy to send them a postcard directing them to your site to sign up for your offers. Make sure you tell them that these are “Email Only” offers meaning, they’ll only get these great deals if they sign up today!

2. You want to find new customers
– There are so many unscrupulous email lists that people are likely trying to sell you and it’s tough to find one where email addresses weren’t scraped from the web. But with direct mail, it’s totally acceptable to rent a list and send a postcard.

Check out D&B for business-to-business lists, USA Data and InfoUSA for business-to-consumer lists. From tests that we’ve done, if you mail first-class (you’ll get the bad addressed postcards returned to you) we’ve seen about 10% of the mail returned. Also, if you want to do follow up mailings to this list, make sure you’re not just limited to a one-time usage make sure you can use the list multiple times. You’ll end up paying a bit more, but it might be worth it to re-mail those people at a later date. The more they see your offer and brand the more likely they are to remember you.

3. You sell something that is expensive – If you are offering a an expensive product, service or event, you may start your campaign by sending a postcard about your promotion. By the nature of what you’re selling you might be able to afford to make a bigger splash with a postcard that ends up laying on your recipient’s desk or on the kitchen table as a reminder. Your recipients might even expect it. Real Estate agents do a great job keeping in touch with their contacts with “Just Listed” postcards and neighborhood information.

4. You want to reach new movers – If your business is local, one great way to introduce yourself to a new neighbor is a postcard with a “new mover” special. People love getting a nice welcome when they move to a new neighborhood. Check out USA Data and InfoUSA for their new mover lists. One suggestion, if you’re finding that this works for you, make it a monthly program.

5. You telemarket to businesses – Try sending a postcard about your offering, then in the postcard copy tell your prospect you’ll be following up by phone shortly. It gives you a reason to make the call and remind your recipient why you’re calling. The script might read something like this:

“I’m following up from a mailer we sent you a week ago about our special offer this month. Do you have just a few minutes now?”

And no matter what your offer is on any direct mail piece you produce, make sure you include the following:

  • Clear call-to-action – Call out what you want your recipients to do followed by a phone number, website address, and physical location. If you’ve got a specific page you want them to visit on your site, include the URL, just don’t make your URL too long. You’ll leave too much room for error when they have to type it into their browser.
  • Offer – Boldly display what your recipients will be getting in return for following your call-to-action, whether it’s a discount or a free gift.
  • Expiration date – It’s a good idea to promote this clearly on your direct mail piece to get your recipients to move quickly. Make sure you put your expiration date within a month or less, since you want them to act now.
  • Benefits – List why they need your product, or what they’d get out of going to your event. It’s important for them to know how you’ll save them time, money or make their lives easier.
  • Your logo – You want them to start identifying with who you are by your brand, especially if you’ll do follow-up mailings.

All in all, direct mail can be a great way to get the attention of your recipients when they’re not staring at their inbox. Once you get them to your site and get their email address, your cost of marketing to them will decrease with email marketing campaigns. Give it a shot. Try VerticalResponse Postcards.

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About the Author

is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse.



2 Responses to Why Direct Mail Still Works – 5 Reasons to Use It Today

  1. Wow! You have managed to transform a very helpful thought into reality. I was looking for someone who could help me in managing my assets. And your site has everything I needed. Not only your site but also your marketing team is very helpful to me. I thank you for that. Dominik Bjegovic

  2. Frugalocal says:

    Direct marketing is most often hit or miss. In my experience you’re lucky to break even. If you have a very small business, it is difficult to afford and usually not worth the risk. That being said some companies with money to burn on trial and error perfecting their promotion , seem to make it work.

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