Direct mail’s death has been greatly exaggerated. Direct mail is still one of the profitable, if not the most profitable forms of marketing. Local advertisers spend 43% of their budget on direct mail. People enjoy getting mail. 73% prefer mail over other advertising methods. 56% find mail the most trustworthy marketing. 70% say mail is more personal than the internet. U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person to earn $2,095 in sales, a 1,300% return; that’s a 13 to 1 return on investment! 40% try new businesses after receiving direct mail. Mail gets read and read quickly. 98% bring in their mail daily, 77% sort through their mail immediately. People spend 30 minutes reading their mail. Mail has longer shelf life. 48% save their mail for future reference. So what’s the best way to use direct mail?


Identify your target market. Determine your buyer persona. Where are they located? Are they an individual or business? What’s their income or sales? The narrower your target audience, the more effective your campaign. You can the buy inexpensive mailing lists. Info USA is one of the better, more inexpensive companies. You can buy lists based on location, type of listing, industry and income or sales levels.


Determine the type of mailer you’ll use.  You can use letters, postcards or brochures. Postcards can be more productive because they don’t need to be opened, they’re less expensive than a letter and an envelope and envelopes don’t need to be stuffed. Although letters have outperformed postcards 3-to-1 because of the illusion of real mail over advertising. Using a combination of all 3 has been most productive.


Design your piece. Personalized pieces perform better.  You could use letter or flyer form. Use your company logo. Use your letterhead if it’s a letter. Create your copy. Good copy has an attention-grabbing headline.  A singular, core message that includes the benefits and features most valuable to the consumer.  An enticing offer that gives people a good reason to respond.  An urgent call-to-action that gives people a reason to respond now because of a limited time or supply and an easy way to respond; printed response form,  website, phone number, email, social media addresses or location with directions. 3 forms of responding and calls-to-action provide the best results. You can include a coupon with a good deal and expiration date. Technology can also be integrated using Quick Response (QR) codes or Near Field Communications (NFC). And a tone appealing to their emotions of fear, pain, happiness and desire. Since P.S. is the most read part of a letter, include a P.S. reiterating the message, call-to-action and offer.


Measure your results. Track response. Create tracking codes to track results. Test different types of mailers, messages, offers, call-to-actions and lists. Use the most successful ones. A reasonable test is 3,000 to 5,000 names. 20% of your response is attributable to creative, 80% is attributable to the list and offer. A 1% response rate is typical. 21 days into the mailing will give you a good idea of the results with 90% of responses in within 45 days.


Be consistent. Integrate your mailing campaigns with your other marketing efforts. Augmenting the mailing with radio can call attention to reading the mailing and increase response. Carry your same branding, messaging and offers across all of your marketing channels. Send out a series of mailings. One mailing isn’t going to accomplish as much.


Now you know why direct mail is still an important part of a marketing strategy and how to make the most of it. Are you using it? Why not? I look forward to receiving your mailer and remember to read KFNX’s mailers.






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