There was a time when direct mail marketing was arguably the number one marketing strategy in the business world. But even today, when digital is so dominant, direct mail still has a very profitable place in successful small business marketing strategies. 

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

When it comes to marketing, it doesn’t get any more traditional than direct mail. It’s one of the oldest and most familiar forms of business promotion. And despite the rise of digital marketing and online advertising, it continues to generate healthy and predictable ROI for businesses that understand how to leverage this powerful medium. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Tangible. There’s something powerful about being able to touch and feel mail. It’s physical, tangible, and real. The ability to hold a postcard or letter in your hands is something that digital mediums will never replicate.
  • Novel. There was a time when mail was just, well, mail. But in a digital age where email and social media rule the day, physical mail has a novel element to it. Everyone loves getting mail. There’s a certain allure to it that doesn’t come with opening an email. 
  • Easier to process. Physical mail is significantly easier for consumers to process and understand (compared to digital advertisements). According to one study, direct mail requires 21 percent less cognitive focus.

In addition to these powerful benefits, it’s important to note that direct mail is extremely low cost. And assuming you’re targeting the right people with the right message, it has the potential to deliver unparalleled returns.   

4 Direct Mail Marketing Tips

There’s clearly some very real value in direct marketing. But if you want to be successful in this area, you have to focus on the right tactics. Here are a few tips you may find beneficial:

1. Develop a Precise Direct Mail List

The foundation of any successful direct mail marketing campaign consists of the right mailing list. In other words, you need recipients who are primed, receptive, and likely to take action.

There are two major schools of thought for developing a list. You can either generate your own list based on internal data you have within your company, or you can purchase/rent an existing list that fits your demographics. 

2. Develop Compelling Design and Copy

A targeted mailing list is a great place to start, but it’s not enough to be successful. You have to find a way to cut through the noise – and the dozens of pieces of “junk” mail that your audience receives on a weekly basis. This requires compelling design and engaging copy.

“Whether you write the copy for your mailing yourself or contract with a third party advertising company, it’s important to create a piece that is visually striking and fits in with your overall marketing strategy or political campaign,” MasterClass explains.

The right mailing list combined with compelling design and copy will make you more successful with direct mail than 99 percent of other businesses. But if you really want to maximize your results, you need to reach even higher. 

3. Join Forces With the Right Printing Partner

With direct mail, you have to actually print a physical postcard. This requires paper, ink, and postage. Anything you can do to lower the cost of these items will amplify your ROI.

Printing postcards in bulk is the ideal strategy. Since they’re relatively small, bulk printing doesn’t require a ton of storage space. It does, however, stretch your budget much further. Likewise, it’s important to find a printing partner that knows your brand and will work with you to ensure optimal quality and consistency.

4. Analyze and Optimize

Your job doesn’t end when a piece of direct mail is handed off to USPS. Your next step is to analyze the results. How many people are engaging and responding? Which types of recipients are responding? How can you reach more of these individuals? 

Give Your Direct Mail Strategy a Boost

We’re not advocating that businesses spend 100 percent of their promotional budgets on direct mail marketing, but it’s definitely a medium that should be carefully considered. As you can see, it still packs a pretty powerful punch in 2020 (and will continue to do so for many years to come). Learn how to properly leverage this traditional strategy within a modern context and positive results will follow.