Directions for Direct Mail

Direct mail advertising efforts go way back. And, while perhaps a more vintage medium, your campaigns there do not need to feel that way. There are plenty of ways to breathe new life into direct mail efforts; and with all that is going on in the post office right now, it’s a great way to help a vital institution.

How Does It Work?

Direct mail campaigns are pretty straightforward. You, the advertiser, supplies the materials to be mailed. The USPS will address and deliver it for you based on the demographic and geographic segments you’ve indicated.

It can be fairly expensive, as you must develop and print the materials to be mailed, as well as pay the USPS for their service. However, these campaigns can be really effective when carefully considered, thoughtfully planned, and skillfully executed. They can provide some of the best ROIs, if you can cough up the initial I.

You can send post card style mailings, stuffed envelops of various sizes, pamphlets/magazines, flyers, and more. You could even employ direct mailing efforts to send samples of your product to your target audience, for the right price.

There aren’t as many as on social media, other digital platforms, or even for some print efforts. However, the available segmenting for direct mail should never be ignored.

You’ll want to use all of the consumer insight you have available to you, to make decisions here. Because it can have a high price tag, you’ll want to avoid as much waste as possible. And, pay close attention to your campaigns from start to finish. They should be used to help inform future efforts.

How Can I Get Started?

The first step is to figure out what your goals are for your campaign. Keep these in mind while designing your mailing, and while deciding who it’ll go to. You can break your audience down by age, marital status, homeownership status, household income, family size, ethnicity, and of course, geography.

If you’ve never completed a direct mail campaign before, I would recommend testing a few small markets with a postcard-style campaign. This will allow you to get a feel for a couple different audiences. You can employ unique landing page URLs, SMS capabilities, coupons, and/or other methods of tracking to measure performance. You must include some way to track the results of your campaign.

Higher-Level Techniques

There have been a lot of different ways in which direct mail efforts have come to light. If you want to be successful, and employ something that could be considered higher-level, do something unique. Avoid allowing it to look like spam. Provide a reason to act upon receipt of your mailing.

The highest level executions would be; to make it worth keeping; to encourage passing it on; to get your audience to post a photo of it on their social media. If you can do this, you’ve exponentially increased your frequency, and number of impressions.

Was one side of your direct mailing a print commissioned from a well known artist? Is it laminated for use as a shopping list, game board, or fridge magnet with relevant information?

Even if you aren’t sending a sample, try to give your consumer something to hold on to. This is an opportunity to provide more of a physical experience with your brand; maybe not as in-depth as a retail experience; but it is something they can touch and feel. It often feels more personalized. Unlike your digital efforts.

What is your opinion on direct mail? Have you ever had a successful, or unsuccessful experience? Let’s talk about ways your brand could benefit from such efforts, below!

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