absolute beginners guide to direct mail marketing blog

Direct Mailing – An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Success

If you’re considering direct mailing to market your business, good for you! You may have heard that direct mail is “old fashioned” or that it doesn’t work. Don’t believe it. Direct mail has proven its value for decades, which is why thousands of small businesses across the country swear by it.

So read on, to learn why direct mailing could be the Next Best Thing for your business and how you can get the most impressive results.

You can mail most anything, but postcards deliver the biggest bang for a surprisingly affordable cost. Studies show people look forward to receiving postcards with special offers in their mailbox, and they respond. Postcards instantly grab attention without hiding your name and message inside an envelope. They are fast to produce, so you can start seeing results soon.

Who can benefit?

Direct mail is ideal for local businesses, whether your products or services appeal to a broad, community-wide audience or to a narrower segment of the community. Postcards are especially popular with:

  • Professionals such as dentists
  • Restaurants
  • Retail stores
  • Home or business services
  • Personal services such as salons and spas
  • Private schools
  • Churches

How can you use direct mailing?

  • Introduce a brand new business or a new location
  • Attract an ongoing influx of new customers, clients or patients
  • Promote special events – an open house, half-yearly sale, holiday festival, trade show, class, etc.
  • Introduce new products or services
  • Build repeat business and loyalty among existing customers
  • Win back former customers

Direct mail can be highly effective on its own, but it is also an excellent means of expanding the reach and success of multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Direct mail results are easy to measure.

You can track the number of responses, revenue generated from each one and – best of all – your overall return on investment. That’s not easy to do with many forms of marketing.

Let’s look at the keys to obtaining outstanding results.

Key to success #1: Custom design.

It’s critical that what you mail be unique to your business and be created by a direct mail professional, because they know what works and what does not. A well-designed postcard incorporates several important elements:

  • Bold headline that immediately grabs attention
  • Images – photos and/or artwork – that reflect your business and reinforce your message
  • A few bullet points that tell recipients what makes your business special
  • A special offer – discount or free giveaway – to motivate response
  • A time or quantity limit on the offer, to create a sense of urgency to respond
  • Superior quality professional printing

Key to success #2: The right mailing list.

Your list should be comprised of people most likely to be interested in your business and offer. If you own a restaurant or you want to grow our church’s congregation, the most appropriate mailing list might include everyone in the surrounding area. If you’re an orthodontist, your mailing list should focus on households with children, perhaps a certain minimum income level. If you own a carpet cleaning service, you’ll want to mail to homeowners or apartment building managers.

Key to success #3: Repetition.

No advertising works without repetition. Marketing experts disagree on exactly how many “impressions” it takes to get your message across memorably, but once is never enough. Direct mailing experts recommend you mail monthly to get the best results from an ongoing campaign and that you mail three or four times about a week apart for a specific promotion or campaign.

Key to success #4: Professional help.

One of the most attractive aspects of direct mailing is that you don’t have to worry about getting the details just right. Team up with an experienced full-service direct mail company, and they’ll guide you through every step painlessly. The sooner you give them a call, the sooner you can get started using direct mail to build awareness about your business and convert prospects into customers.

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