How To Use Direct Mail Effectively

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How To Use Direct Mail Effectively

pizzaboxYou’ve just come back from your well deserved vacation and to find that there is a whole mailbox full of circulars and postcards. It’s the last thing you want to deal with so you put it aside. A week later you decide to dive into the pile and sort through it all. There’s an advertisement for pool-closing service and one for snow plowing- two things you might need. But the rest of it is going into the circular file.

This gets you wondering, what can the small business owner do to get their direct mail read? It all appears to be so haphazardly sent without any thought to the recipient.

The first question to ask is to whom are you sending to?

Do you have a relationship with the receiver or is this purely a cold mailer sent to someone who knows nothing about you? Or are you using the ‘spray and pray method’ where you are seeing the direct mail campaign as simply a numbers game. You throw enough at the wall, some of it will surely stick.

Not all small business owners have the money or time to waste on such forms of marketing—especially when the return on investment is very small. The general figures for direct mail are between 1-2%. Can you really afford to waste the money?

Here are few considerations before you use direct mail.

1. Depending on what type of business you‚Äôre in, send direct mail to your database of past and present clients. These clients already know you, and know about your business. This should be part of your normal touch marketing and can also be used to educate them on other products or services you provide.  This is so much easier than going in cold.

2. If you’re sending to customer’s home address, send them out either on a Wednesday or Thursday so that they receive your mail on Saturday. On a Saturday people are more relaxed and will have more time to read what you’ve sent.

3. Use a handwritten font on the envelopes and use a stamp on it rather than an indicia. This makes the piece far more personal.

4. Send out bulky mail. This is where you put something in the envelope alongside your material. When an envelope feels like it has something in it, the customer is far more likely to open the envelope in order to see what the object is. We sent out the pizza box above with catalogs and a Frisbee. I’ll bet they all got opened.

5. A way to monitor your direct mail is by asking the receiver to do something once they receive the piece. Obviously you want them to buy from you, but instead you can use a softer approach and ask them to log on to your website to download a free product, register their interest or to receive a discount coupon for example. You can then see if your Direct Mail piece has worked by the number of people who have registered and by seeing your rise in visitors to your website.

So the take away here is to look at who are you sending to, what you are sending, when you send it and what you ask them to do. This will ensure that your money is being spent wisely and giving you the best results.