Direct mail marketing takes many forms: postcards, magazines, brochures, flyers or letters. Before the last decade, unless you perused ads in newspapers, listened to the news or talked to friends and family, receiving direct mail in your mailbox was a common marketing forum. The popularity of the internet has changed all that.
I like receiving mail, whether at work or at home. To me it shows that someone is thinking about me. Of course I could do without those darn bills, but that is a subject for another time.
According to the US Industry Report from IBISWorld on Direct Mail Advertising:
“Direct mail companies are sitting pretty as a cheaper, more targeted form of advertising than traditional mainstream media… In fact, they often benefit in economic downturns from a redirection of advertising budgets away from expensive main media… Technology continues to impact this industry with advancement such as data matching, mailing list compilation and printing technology.”
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Then why are more businesses not using direct mail as part of a comprehensive marketing campaign?
A personalized piece of direct mail sent to the recipient’s place of business or home is one on one contact. As with any other type of relationship, speaking directly to someone is an important ingredient to that relationship. Direct mail marketing can be used to introduce yourself, offer an existing client a special offer or thank a client for their interest or business.
Research shows that many professionals in a B2B situation prefer their vendors and service providers follow up by mail to apprise them of new developments. It is simpler than checking multiple web sites for updates. When targeting a message to new companies about your product or service, include a Business Reply Mail card to start a dialogue. This gives the recipients the option to respond at their convenience.
If your business is geared more to B2C (Business to Consumer) than B2B (Business to Business), think about this: a number of independent research groups has found that consumers continue to look at mail as a highly relevant and meaningful part of their lives. This is true of even heavy Internet users. Direct mail provides a physical and concrete quality consumers do not receive in electronic communications.
Both B2B and B2C businesses have found that using direct mail marketing side by side with digital media has a considerable impact on the use of commercial websites. People readily flow from a message in the mail to a company website for more information.
One of the best values in direct mail marketing is brand recognition. Whether the brand is a company logo or an individual’s photograph, allowing the end user to associate a business with certain products or services is an important facet of marketing and business growth. Quality, service, honesty and dependability are by-words associated with brands whether the brand is from a local real estate agent or a Fortune 500 company. Direct mail marketing helps keep any business (and their brand) in the mind of the consumer.
The upside of all this is that with a relevant message in the mail, a business can drive web traffic, encourage response and build customer relationships. That is a good investment.