While the economy has been taking tentative steps towards rebounding, marketing departments are still working with smaller budgets and trying to make every effort to be efficient with their direct mail strategies. Despite the push towards online and social media marketing, direct mail marketing can still be an effective strategy. The UK’s Institute for Direct Marketingcalls direct mail “too brilliant to overlook.”
A recent op-ed piece by Carol Krol of Direct Marketing News notes that while many are publicly downplaying the impact of direct mail, the statistics beg to differ: direct mail is successful and direct mail budgets will continue to grow. She states, “The simple fact is direct mail works so well that most marketing executives are more interested in doing it, under the radar with little fanfare than talking about it. It is a time-tested tactic that gets the job done.”
There’s no denying that many direct mail costs have increased, including postage costs. However, there are many strategies that you can use to maximize the return on your direct mail budget:
- Get as much detail as possible about your prospects, not just basic demographics. Tie in purchasing history with existing customers, and request additional information as part of your opt-in process. Then, focus your direct mail on segments of your list, providing them with targeted messages. Your prospects are more likely to respond to your mail pieces if they feel you are talking directly to them.
- Think outside the box when it comes to mailing types. Some options such as the slim jim magalog can give you significant real estate for your message while keeping your postage costs low.
- Hire a third party company to handle your direct mail generation and mailing. These companies focus specifically on developing direct mail campaigns, so they can work more efficiently, especially if you have limited resources.
- Take advantage of automation discounts offered by the USPS to lower your overall postage costs.
While direct mail doesn’t have the flash and glamour of social media marketing or email marketing, direct mail is still a highly effective way to get your message out.