Direct mail marketing is a cost-effective promotional tool for small, local businesses. As the name suggests, this marketing method involves contacting prospective customers by mail, either by letter or postcard.
Letters and postcards each have advantages and disadvantages. Letters have more space for information, but people are less likely to open a letter and read it than they are to look at a postcard.
Following are suggestions for using direct mail effectively.
A mailing must grab the reader’s attention in a split second. An interesting heading and an eye-catching image have the best chance of engaging the prospective customer.
The message must focus on just one product or service, explaining why it is of value to the reader.
Simple and clear writing is important because if people don’t understand it on the first reading, they are not going to read it again.
Offer prospects something of value. It can be information, a discount, or a free reward. You might have to do some research and creative thinking to come up with an enticing offer for your prospective customers.
Your direct mail marketing letter or card must include a call to action; tell your readers what they need to do in order to get whatever it is you offer. Make the action simple, like making a phone call or going to a web site.
Direct mail works best when mailings go to people who have an expressed interest in what you sell. The best prospects are people who have already bought something similar to your wares.
List brokers sell mailing lists. You can and should specify the location and types of people you want on your list. For example, if you are selling baby clothes you might want a list of new mothers, but you might not want a list of retirees.
You can test your letters or cards by sending then out to a small percentage of your list. If the response rate is too low for what you want to accomplish, you can make changes before you mail to the entire list.
Once you get your message, headline, image, and prospect list right, direct mail marketing has a good chance of enhancing your customer base.