Direct Mail Marketers: is Direct Mail Is Dead? NOT on Your Life.
Do you think direct mail is outdated and ineffective? Nothing could be further from the truth—in fact, direct mail continues to enjoy a higher conversion rate than any other medium. At Beasley Direct Marketing, we have two decades of experience with direct mail services, and we have some tips for you on how to use direct mail as an essential component in an integrated marketing campaign.
Number 1: Don’t be scared off by the so-called higher cost of direct mail. The cost of printing might seem too high. But the statistics say you will make that investment back with interest. The ultimate cost per order or cost per lead is what really counts, and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports that acquisition costs for direct mail are in line with pay-per-click, and are considerably lower than telemarketing.
Number 2: Leverage your electronic marketing to get more mileage with direct mail. If you already have a landing page for email campaigns or pay-per-click, why not use it for direct mail as well? If you use personalized URLs tailored to each recipient, they will help attract attention from the prospect, and they also make tracking easier.
Number 3: Test postcards. The U.S. Postal Service reports that postcard formats are the most likely to be read. Possibly this is because they are a quick read for someone in a hurry. Of course, your offer must be gripping and quickly comprehended. Bonus point: postcards are cheaper to print and mail.
Number 4: Make the most of high-quality prospecting lists for direct mail. Rental direct mail lists tend to be better than rental email lists in terms of quality data and selectability. There is no SPAM regulation for direct mail, so opt-in isn’t an issue. Don’t neglect your house list, which is likely to outperform any rental list by a factor of many-to-one.
Number 5: Use first impressions to make it from the mailbox into the house. People are getting fewer direct mail pieces than in the past, thanks to email marketing, and total mail volume is down as well. This is good news for the direct mail marketer, because it means your mail piece will gain proportionately more attention (assuming it is well designed with a compelling offer). Make that first impression a memorable one.
Number 6: Use the “stage management” of direct mail to increase your impact. When an email arrives or the reader reaches a web page, the tendency is to scan quickly and move on. But direct mail offers many opportunities for involvement, including the envelope front and back and the visual and written elements inside.
Number 7: Get personal. Don’t just address the recipient by name. For example, Beasley Direct once marketed test measurement equipment to execs at cellular companies, using different hot buttons and issues, keyed to the cell company where the individual exec worked.
Number 8: Be timely. Traditional direct mail campaigns used to take weeks to execute, but in today’s digitally printed, just-in-time world, you can take advantage of the time factor. For instance, American Signature Furniture sends a self-mailer the same day that prospects visit a showroom but do not buy—and have reaped impressive results. Consider seasonality, and calendar your strongest seasons for your direct mail campaigns.
Number 9: Go dimensional. 3D mailings can be as simple as a lumpy envelope with a pen enclosed, or as elaborate as a specially designed and die cut box. Because 3D mailings tend to be more expensive, reserve them for high-value prospects, particularly when you need to get your message past a corporate gatekeeper. The DMA has found that dimensional outperforms standard formats by 250%.
Number 10: Test, test, test. And then analyze the results. Direct mail is highly measurable because every lead can be traced back to a source code or 800 number. Don’t get so involved in the creative and messaging that you forget to properly plan source codes. Make sure that the people responsible for collecting data are well trained and have the time to secure solid, reliable data.
This podcast was brought to you by Beasley Direct Marketing. If you enjoyed our podcast and would like more detail on these ideas, please download our free whitepaper, “10 Ways To Optimize Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns.” In addition to providing specific action items, we also provide some case studies to bring these ideas to life. The whitepaper can be found on the homepage at www.beasleydirect.com…that’s spelled BEASLEYDIRECT.com. Thank you!