In our digital world, talking about direct mail marketing may seem pretty odd and well, old-fashioned. But, it’s precisely because of this that a potentially lucrative door is being left wide open. With the right approach, you can take advantage of the opportunity that direct mail offers (especially these days) and use it as a relatively low-cost way to grow your micro business.
The Internet Will Not Solve Your Marketing Problems…
So, don’t fall for any of those outrageous Internet marketing claims that countless “gurus” out there will try to make you believe.
The problem with mobile and Internet marketing is that everyone… and his grandmother… and his great aunt Tilly is doing it in some form. The reality is that if you want your message to stand out among your target audience, be prepared to do a lot of work and perhaps spend a lot of money along the way. There is absolutely no way to get around this.
I’m not saying this to discourage you. The Internet has totally changed the way we do business- a lot of it for the better. We now have the potential to reach many more people then we ever could have without it and do so while creating a rich, interactive, and rewarding exchange with current and potential customers.
The key take away here is that in order to succeed with any of your marketing efforts, you have to give it the resources (i.e time, effort, and money) it needs. If that’s too hard for you, then maybe running your own business isn’t what you should be doing right now.
You also have to keep two things very clear:
- What are your goals with the marketing strategy?
- Who are your ideal customers and where are they holding now?
If you know what you are trying to accomplish and you know everything that you possibly can about your target market, then branching out into other marketing mediums, such as direct mail, will make just sense. Each strategy should be a natural extension of the other. It should make sense for your business financially and have the potential for a significant and measurable ROI.
Now, I know that in your micro business, your marketing budget may not be so big. That’s OK. It’s not about the size of your list, it’s about how targeted it is, and how well you match your offer to their needs.
Why Even Consider Direct Mail?
Here are three compelling reasons why you should give direct mail a chance:
1. There’s less noise in people’s mailboxes. Because fewer businesses are relying direct mail, this means there is less competition for people’s attention.
2. It’s more personalized and targeted. If you have a targeted list of people who have already bought from you or who have actively expressed some kind of interest in your business, you can then customize your mailings to speak directly to them.
3. A physical item stands out in our digital world. I’ll expand more on this below, but let’s just say a valuable, physical free offer can make more impact than a digital one which can easily get lost and forgotten on the recipient’s hard drive.
Examples of Effective Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns
Here are a few ways to incorporate direct mail marketing into your current marketing strategies:
Sending a free offer. Instead of offering a free download on your website to capture email addresses, why not offer to physically send something to people if they provide their mailing address? Here’s the catch, though, it has to be something useful. For example, it could be a sample of your product or a published ebook in printed form. In some cases, if the item is particularly valuable, you can even have people pay for shipping. This does two things: they receive a physical product of value which can leave a more lasting impression, and they have already had an experience of sending you payment information, which may make it more likely that they’ll send you money in the future.
To promote a new offer. If you’ve got an upcoming promotion or you’ve added some new services that you want your customers to know about, the direct mail could be a surprisingly effective tool. Just, make sure any offers are valuable and time-sensitive. You want to give recipients a good reason to respond quickly. If you are offering a discount or a promotion, then include a deadline of when the offer ends. If you are promoting a new service, offer a free, value-added gift if people respond by a certain date.
Using creativity to get repeat business. Though you want your mailers to look respectable, you don’t have to spend a fortune on the design and copy. Here is one creative direct mail campaign that really stood out. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. It’s about hitting the right cords at the right time.
To thank a current customer. A hand written and/or personalized note thanking your customers for their business can go a long way. Where possible, you could even tie it in to promotion as mentioned above, offer them a small discount for being a loyal customer, or inform them about your other relevant services that they may not know about.
In short, direct mail marketing offers micro business owners in particular a way to target new and current customers without having to compete so hard for their attention. If you have some clear campaign goals, and you are in touch with the needs and wants of your target market, a well-timed direct mail marketing campaign can go a long, long way.
Susan — how did you know that I just unsubscribed from my own Aunt Tilly’s email blast system. It is true that the world of email marketing is at major overload and that alternate media are now a necessity, not a debate. Your suggestion of considering existing clients a “target” for direct mail is excellent…and oddly outside the box. With well-constructed direct mail to clients, it’s possible to (1) strengthen the loyalty relationship, (2) inform of new developments, (3) up-sell or cross-sell, and (4) seek referrals. It’s impossible, by definition, to do all that when marketing to “strangers.”
I agree. An existing customer-base is a big resource that many businesses either completely overlook or they have no idea how to properly tap into it. Direct mail is definitely one, surprisingly cost-effective way to get the most out of this pool of engaged customers and drive some big future sales.
According to the latest statistics, 94 % of the people respond to a personalized mail. They may not check the email that come in to their spam folder. I have started trying direct mail for my business and I get good results nowadays.
I can see the response rate from customers has increased. Troi mailing services at Toronto is the company which I work with for these direct mail service.
Direct mail just gives your marketing efforts a personal touch and helps your target audience feel like your company cares. If anything, direct mail with enhance your online efforts. Thanks for sharing!