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Marketing your product or service through direct mail can include, for example, using newsletters, catalogs, postcards, coupons, and similar.
Before sending your material, you need to identify your market, research demographics, and create mailing lists. You can use third-party companies to create mailing lists, or use data collection and CRM software to build a customer base. You can also rent, borrow, or buy lists from other businesses. Keeping mailing lists updated is crucial, and building your own mailing list can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your campaign. It is important to know what legal constraints you must comply with when compiling these lists and using them.
Various other aspects of using direct mail include production and postage costs, and potential agency costs (including copywriters and designers) to create the physical product. You may also want to use direct mail as part of a multichannel strategy, alongside online, social, or email advertising.
The first impression of your mailings is crucial as it determines whether the customer will take a second look or throw it in the trash. The first words you use, the degree of personalization, and creativity in packaging and envelope design matter. Providing benefits and rewards, such as contests or free samples, can increase your “likeability” with your customers, as well as generate a call to action, giving an incentive for customer response. After the mailings are completed, it is a good idea to try to follow up with your customers, and reconnect.
Why use direct mail when you have multiple online marketing options? There are several reasons why it is still a relevant choice: email oversaturation, online trust issues (phishing, viruses, fraud), and short attention spans are a few.
The numbers are telling. The response rate for direct mail is 4% vs. 0.1% for email (Royal mail), which can easily become a victim of the spam filter. Direct mail returns the same ROI as social media (15-17%) (DMA). Lastly, 98 % of US Postal Service customers check their mail every day (USPS), with drastically fewer messages to look through than come into the average user’s email inbox on a daily basis.
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