Monday, June 25, 2018

What is Direct Mail Marketing and How Can I Use It to Build My Business?

Direct mail marketing is a way for businesses to potentially attract new customers or to maintain a relationship with previous customers. So how exactly does this work for your business? It’s really as simple as it sounds. A company uses a mail service to deliver different promotional or informational material about their products or services directly to the target market. This includes materials such as brochures, newsletters, postcards, or catalogs. As you can see, if proper research is conducted to identify the right target market, direct mail marketing can prove to be very valuable when it comes to building your business.

How Direct Mail Marketing Can Build Your Business

In today’s world of technology, most businesses focus their time and efforts on social media marketing and other forms of online marketing strategies rather than even considering direct mail. So, direct mail marketing could potentially differentiate your business from fellow competitors if you execute it properly. However, if you’re a small business owner, it might seem costly to invest in direct mail marketing to reach your entire target market. Continue reading for some strategies and tips to keep in mind when you roll out a direct mail campaign.

Know your budget and target market

When it comes to direct mail marketing, so many businesses want to do a large mass mailing to everyone in their target market in hopes of getting responses. However, after just one mass mailing, it’s not very likely that a enough potential customers will respond in order to cover the massive amount of money you just spent. It’s important to spend more time researching your target market to send out a smaller number of direct mailings to hand-picked prospects instead of just to everyone. This will help you stay within your budget and should also give you a much higher success rate.

Have a clear objective for your mailing

This part is crucial. When a potential customer receives your promotional material and it is so congested with information that they can’t figure out what the purpose is, don’t expect them to take further action. Create direct mail that has a clear, defined objective that the prospect can easily identify and understand what they should do next to act upon it. This objective could be something like:

  • Announcing a new store location/hour
  • Get the customer to actually come visit the store
  • Promotion of a sale
  • Making a phone call
  • Going to a web page to take an action like signing up for notifications or becoming a member

Don’t stop at just one mailing

As much as you could spend time creating the best piece of marketing content to send out to customers, reality is that not every single one of them will take action and respond. So be prepared to have to send out multiple mailings to your customers. It may seem redundant at first, but the more the customers see your business’s name they will create name recognition for your business. This will make them familiar with your business and even have them consider your business in the future even though they don’t regularly respond to your direct marketing efforts.

Direct mail marketing isn’t a going to be an overnight success for every business. It does require time and effort to get customers to take action and respond to your efforts. However, with quality research of your target market and consistency with the mailings, you may find that direct mail is an extremely profitable marketing channel for your business.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Costs of a direct mail campaign

For many years direct mail has allowed marketers to build both leads and sales in a highly cost effective fashion. If you're new to the game, though, you may be wondering how cost effective direct mail is today. With spikes in fuel prices and seemingly never ending increases in the cost to mail anything, it may seem far-fetched to believe that direct mail can continue to provide a solid ROI for marketers.

Fortunately, there are a variety of media you can use when putting together a direct mail campaign, and your cost will vary quite a bit depending on what you're looking to send out. Here are some fairly popular examples and a rough idea of what each would cost to print, prep and send.

The cost estimates for each of these is based on 5,000 units:
  • Jumbo postcard (the size of half a sheet of paper, 8.5 x 5.5) - $2,000
  • Standard letter with return envelope included - $2,500
  • Single color standard postcard - $1,750
  • 2- color newsletter - $2,200
  • Glossy 2-sided self mailer - $2,200
The prices above are only loose estimates, there are many other prepress and design elements that can effect costs, but these should provide a decent rule of thumb for expected costs.

Interestingly, though direct mail is seen by many as a dinosaur still hanging on in the digital age, there is research that states otherwise. Lisa Formica of FMI said in an article in Forbes that, "Direct mail surprisingly transcends the age demographic, with younger consumers (the 18- to 34-year-old demographic) preferring to learn about marketing offers via postal mail rather than online sources, according to national survey research from ICOM."

As far as ROI, despite the plethora of other options for marketing outreach, direct mail's ability to put something physical into people's hands still makes it the most effective. Target Marketing magazine showed that customer acquisition and retention is still direct mail's game to lose, at it outscored all other marketing outreach programs for B2C marketing.

Maybe it's time we all consider the costs and returns of this "dinosaur".

About the author: Amanda Sozak is a contributing writer to several marketing and business related sites around the web including Miami, Florida direct mail provider Ritter's Communication. Learn more about Amanda on G+.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Exploring Services


One of the most common mistakes that I see in service organizations s that they mix sales and billings together. I applaud those services organizations hat understand that selling is a profession and which have put in place sales people with targets – well done. Unfortunately, many of them link sales targets to billings – revenue. Billings are linked to delivery – and sales people don’t deliver. Why set them targets, therefore, for something over which they have no control? A service organizations delivering consultancy will have a project manager who controls when the service is delivered. They are the ones responsible to the client for delivery. In most cases they will also be responsible for the billing. So why would you set the sales guy a billing target? It’s mad. You end up having two people looking at delivery and, while the sales guy is pestering the project manager about billings, he is obviously not out looking for the new business necessary to create the work required to keep the consultants in work. High utilization of consultants brings high billings. Service organizations need to make sure their sales people are set targets on contract value only. Don’t link their commission to billings. Do this and their focus will be on what they do best – bringing in new business.