The Lost Art of Direct Mailing

The Lost Art of Direct MailDirect mail has been used for generations to advertise products and bring information from businesses to their loyal customers. In recent years the internet has become an increasingly popular tool for customer contact and in many ways has replaced direct mail completely.

However, there are still certain aspects of direct mailing that can’t be replaced by high-tech advertisements, and that many customers actually prefer to online marketing.

The Technological Age

Businesses are investing huge amounts of money into online marketing campaigns and advertising.  Email marketing and social media sites like Facebook and Google + have replaced “snail” mail as the main method of contact between businesses and their customers.

Though these may be useful tools for getting your message across to the largest amount of people at a given time, it is not necessarily the most effective method for successfully reaching out to every single one of your customers.

Benefits of Direct Mail

Direct mailing seems to be forgotten by most business, especially those who started and grew in the digital world. According to Themailhaus.wordpress.com, 47% of U.S. households read catalogs, and only 19% discard them without reading. With stats like that, it’s worth taking a second look at your direct marketing opportunities. Consider the host of benefits this marketing tactic offers:

  • It’s more Personal- With direct mailing, it is easier to target your audience. Massive email blasts lacks in personalization, and by adopting direct mailing you can target your audience to specific regions and include personal information that is more likely to impact the customer. Your mail can be customized and headlines can be changed for different audiences, while maintaining the layout, pictures, and body content.
  • Make it easier to Stand Out- The amount of companies that invest in direct mailing has drastically decreased, making you one of the only pieces of direct mail your customer receives. Stand out from the crowd of online advertisers and contact your customers the old-fashioned way.
  • The Format is Familiar- It’s likely that your customers enjoy receiving mail more than they enjoy deleting spam from their increasingly over-crowded inbox.
  • Easy to Measure Results- The results of direct mailing can be measured without using complicated analytics of online marketing. It is simpler process to keep track of how much mail was sent out to customers versus how many replies or inquiries were received, or how many coupons were redeemed. Direct mailing is a good method for testing offers and potential audiences because you have complete control over who sees your advertisement.
  • Cost Effective- Creating flyers, postcards or brochures is relatively inexpensive for a business. Creating decent design for print is easier than online animation as well. Mass-mailing rates are also available for direct mailing campaigns to cut down on postage costs.
  • Supports Other Marketing Efforts- Direct mailing can also include access to your other marketing efforts. On your mail you can include your social media page information, company email, and phone numbers so that your customers can respond whichever way they feel most comfortable.

The amount of customers who trust direct mail over email has actually grown from 29% in 2008 to 36% in 2012. This may be because the internet is overflowing with false information making it hard to differentiate the good from the scammy. Mailing your customers directly helps to assure your customers that your company exists in the real world and consists of real people, not just automated robots.

Kate Webster writes for lead generation resource, ResourceNation.com. She focuses on a variety of topics including email marketing campaigns.

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