What is direct mail?
Direct mail is a type of marketing that delivers printed promotional materials to prospective customers using a postal or courier service. Even as more forms of marketing become digitized, direct mail remains a highly effective and profitable outreach method. By sending out tangible, printed materials, it leaves a lasting impression on readers. Additionally, direct mail allows businesses to speak directly to their target audience, aiming the right message at the people who need to hear it most.
What to send over direct mail
Direct mail includes many different kinds of printed marketing materials. Some of the most common ones are:
Defining your audience
Direct mail is most effective when it’s sent out to a specific, well-targeted group. Define your audience based on the demographics of your ideal customer, taking into consideration factors such as gender, age, education, income level, marital status and employment status.
Another relevant question in forming the right target audience is whether your message is aimed at new customers or at your existing clientele. In case your business is location-based, you can also narrow down the audience by area or by neighborhood.
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The mailing list
The mailing list is a key factor in the success and efficiency of any direct mail campaign. It allows for a direct channel of communication with your target audience and saves costs by decreasing the amount of irrelevant people you contact.
You can either purchase or rent out a mailing list through list brokers. While less expensive, renting a mailing list entitles you to just a single use of the provided names and addresses. For future use, you can only keep the names of those who’ve reached out to you through the campaign.
Other sources for renting mailing lists include colleges and universities, phone or credit card companies and more.
A recommended practice for direct mailing is to follow up with customers several days after the mail was sent. A phone call is a personal way of making sure that they received the letter, and a great opportunity for pitching your best offer.
For a completely contrasting approach to marketing that takes place only online, check out our What is SEM guide.