Direct mail solutions are not dead

As the oldest version of direct marketing many commentators have predicted the death of direct mail solutions as more instant methods of communication become fashionable. This is however an over generalised statement because as with all things often seen as dying there are opportunities available for the canny and focused company.

Direct Mail has had lot's of bad press over the last decade as the amount of junk mail has increased and it is this along with cost that has started to limit the effectiveness of many of the campaigns that are undertaken. Direct mail solutions however, are an extremely effective way for a business to reach a target audience and if used correctly it can still deliver positive benefits, especially if used in conjunction with other forms of marketing and if made to be relevant.

It is important to consider the following key elements are covered off in all DM campaigns.

Target Market/Audience

It is important that you clearly define your audience and the offers or information you are planning to give them, this will reduce the risk of your mail being regarded as junk. In this day and age everyone's time is precious so don't waste anyone's with irrelevant offers.

Ensure Data Quality

When purchasing data make sure that it is as correct and relevant as possible and you can acheive this by using a provider with good credentials rather than just the cheapest supplier you can find, using an out of date unverified list will cost you more in the long run.

Collect Your Own Data

The best data you can use is that you hold on your existing customers. All businesses should be able to summarise the purchases current customers have made and offer them deals on more of the same or complementary products, this is not only cost effective but often appreciated by the recipient, providing you are not trying to sell too many items away from your perceived core business. Banks are an example of businesses who often just try and mass sell via this channel. They are all keen to sell insurance, assurance, travel cover, breakdown cover plus many other products that are not directly related to banking and in all this noise it is easy to forget their core offers. This bombardment will unfortunately just damage their brand and potential sales in the end as consumers will just bin the next offer without reading it. So use your data wisely! You can also collect data for potential new customers by offering incentives to join your mailing list but again make sure you ask relevant questions and then only target them with the offers they have shown interest in.

Integrate Your Campaign

Make sure you use DM along with other channels to ensure full reach of the campaign, it can be combined with an online offering which will enable you to capture further data and/or sales. Make sure your website has a landing page which looks like it is part of the campaign and then not only will you start to draw the reader in but you can then check to see how many visitors you had as a result of the direct mail. Micro sites are also a good way of adding value to a DM campaign as they allow a much more detailed overview to be given to the target audience as your own site may need to be more generic about a product or service so as not to alienate other segments of the market. This applies equally to services as well as products.

Be Different

If you are targeting a small audience be different and don't just send a leaflet, don't even send a personalised leaflet, send a personalised offer or something that will stand out, be useful and gain comment from the target and with there peers - viral marketing may be online but it can also work offline your unusual offer can be photographed and put online by the recipient. Remember direct mail also does not have to be delivered by post it can also be delivered personally or just visually outside the targets office window on the side of a lorry for example or on a bill board on their way to work.

Overall the opportunities for DM to be an effective channel are still there and as your competitors leave this behind as they look at new media opportunities they may well be leaving the door open for you.

To find out how Purple Frog can help your business using direct mail call 01844 295170 or email more@purplefrog.co.uk

About the author
Marcus

Boss of Digital. Swindon fan. And frantic music collector.

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