Direct Mail Strategies in the Age of Email

Is direct mail dead in the digital age? According to the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail circulation has been decreasing by two percent each year – but that’s exactly why you should consider using it. Think about it. As the online advertising space grows more cluttered and less effective, companies are searching for alternative ways to reach customers. Consider the numbers on direct mail:

  • 66 percent of recipients open direct mail
  • 82 percent read for one minute or more
  • 62 percent who respond make a purchase

Direct mail also has an average 5.1 percent response rate – up from previous years and higher than digital channels like email, social media and paid search. So, how can you tap into the power of direct mail to grow your business? Follow these three steps:

Target the Right Audience

You can’t sell to someone who doesn’t need – or want – what you’re offering. Avoid the trash pile by deciding who you want to reach in a given campaign. Maybe it’s onetime customers you haven’t worked with in a while? Or perhaps it’s prospects with key similarities to your current clients, such as geographic location or business size? In contrast to emails – which prospective customers must opt in to receive, in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act – direct mail can be sent out even to a purchased list of cold prospects.

Design an Eye-Catching Mailer

Now, onto the main attraction: your attention-grabbing, high-quality, memorable mailer. Does that sound like a big ask? First, choose the type of mailer that’s right for your audience. That might include:

  • Letters
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Postcards
  • Catalogs

Postcards are a simple, inexpensive option with a response rate of 5.7 percent. Letters and brochures present a more professional image and offer plenty of opportunities for customization and personalization. You might also consider 3D mailers, such as boxes or tubes, which cost 50 percent more per lead but outperform other formats by 250 percent – making them ideal for high-value prospects.

Whatever your format, the same basic content rules apply:

  1. Keep it brief. Prospects want to scan fast and understand your offer within seconds.
  2. Include incentives such as discounts and first-time customer deals.
  3. Personalize where possible – 84 percent of recipients are more likely to open personalized direct mail.
  4. Include a strong, clear call to action – do you want them to call, schedule a consultation, attend an event, etc.?
  5. Add personal touches such as testimonials and photos of your team.

Also, make sure that your mailers are reaching prospects at the right time. When will they most likely be in the market for your services? How much advanced notice do they need for a sales or promotional event? The answers to these questions will help you get the greatest ROI from your mailers. Remember, it’s acceptable to reach out more than once to catch prospects at an opportune moment.

Track Results and Repeat

How effective was your direct mail campaign? Incorporating a dedicated URL, promo code, email address or phone number into the mailer will allow you to track how many leads – and ultimately, sales – result from direct mail. Set metrics ahead of time and determine what response and conversion rates you would consider successful. And although direct mail can be a key tool for your business, it has the biggest impact when integrated with other marketing efforts. A coordinated direct mail, email and telemarketing campaign sends a more powerful message than any one element on its own.

Make direct mail work for you by targeting your prospects, crafting an attention-grabbing mailer and tracking your results to see what worked – and what bombed. Want the results of a direct mail campaign, but short on time, resources and expertise? Contact us today to talk about creating a stellar direct mail campaign for your business.