Marketing is the lifeblood of every business large or small no matter what industry. Technology of the 21st century has led most business owners to use only electronic means to market their products and services. Though these types of campaigns can be successful for your bottom line, direct mail is still an incredibly effective marketing tool.
The Human Touch
Studies continue to prove, even in 2012, that most people prefer a physical piece of mail over an electronic message when dealing with marketing offers from businesses. This fact holds true even for younger generations with their iPads and Androids, according to a recent ICOM survey. Physical mail is simply more personable and stimulates the human senses of touch, sight and even smell far more than an e-mail can. Most e-mail providers now have spam filters anyway, thus a vast majority of electronic advertisements will never even reach the intended target.
Most business owners discount direct mail as an effective marketing tool simply because the cost and time involved in preparation. Social-media and electronic-mail campaigns take very little effort, which, frankly, appeals to the lazy business person who wants something from putting in as little effort as possible. Regardless, your direct-mail campaign will only be as effective as the address lists you obtain.
Delivering the Message
Not only should business owners make certain to get mailing lists with consumers specifically known to be interested in your product or service, but should cross-check all the listed contacts with a service such as address verification from QAS or another similar provider. This will greatly reduce the amount of returned mail (wasted money) and ensures most of your marketing messages end up in the hands of potential leads.
The cost of direct mail should not be a deterrent in executing this type of campaign. Business owners should look at it as an investment to get their names out there. The return on investment will depend solely on the time you put into the actual postcards and the content therein.
The mailings should get straight to the point, in large letters, telling what exactly you are offering and why customers should come to you for that service or product. A sense of urgency, such as saying the sale concludes in a week, can increase your chances of gaining new customers. You should always include the URL for your website, your social-media-account identifiers, a contact e-mail and a phone number if applicable.
Lastly, business owners should be certain to include as many pictures as possible on the mailings. Long, wordy descriptions of what you are selling will generally end up in the round file. Coupon codes or messages such as mention this mailing and receive 20 percent off? give the postcards more value and make them look professional. The simpler the better is the motto business owners should follow with direct-mail campaigns.