Direct mail is the process of selling products or services directly to the public by mail or by telephone instead of selling through a retail outlet. It is a way to make a connection with the customer or the client. There is no middle man involved. Direct marketing happens when there is a clear connection to reach the target market.
There are several different ways to implement direct marketing so that it communicates with the customer and deliver products. This may include using a sales force that goes directly to the prospective customer’s home, with multipage catalogs, websites, email, direct mail pieces such as postcards, brochures and flyers, telemarketing, seminars, trade shows, and other techniques to communicate and sell to customers and clients.
Direct marketing methods have become even more diversified with the growth of marketing on the internet. Companies in the nonprofit sector use direct mail for fundraising. Exercise equipment, computer and auto companies all use direct mail for product announcement along with other marketing channels. But, in order to understand direct mail marketing and to figure out how it can work for your own company and business, you will have to understand what each type of direct mail does and how it can benefit your business.
Each direct mail piece has its own personality and purpose.There are general types of direct mail, each with its own specific abilities and audiences. Picking the right type of direct mail for your needs, you can better reach your audience and meet your marketing goals.
Direct mail has existed for a long time in the form of only printed materials. But, when Cds, audio tapes, video tapes, fax mail, email, and voicemail came about, they were also used in direct mail campaigns. Direct mail lets you be selective in your target market. It can be personalized, flexible, and it allows early testing and response measurement to take place. A highly targeted and accurate mailing list can determine the success of direct mail efforts to enhance response rates and control costs.
The Internet is another aspect of direct marketing and it has revolutionized the industry for promoting the sale of products and services to targeted audiences. Access to the Internet provides users with services in information, entertainment, shopping and communication. The internet has allowed borders to disappear and the ability to market to people around the world as a major asset. The Internet makes direct marketing easier, more targeted, more flexible, more responsive, more affordable, and potentially more profitable than ever.
Telemarketing is another form of direct marketing. This is the process of contacting people on a qualified telephone list to sell services over the phone. Successful telemarketing campaigns depend on a good calling list and an effective script with a well-trained staff.
Direct-response advertising is done through television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. The prospective consumer watches, hears, or reads about the product or service and initiates a telephone call to place an order.
There are many choices for direct marketing, but for direct mail marketing, there are a few avenues that can be taken to get you message out through the US postal service. The following is a list of useful direct mail pieces and their benefits:
Postcards are the most effective tools that you can use for a variety of products and services. They are very economical and have been proven to effectively generate leads. They come in different sizes from small to oversized and can offer a strong visual impact.They can give a casual, friendly feeling to their message. A postcard is a perfect choice for a short, bold statement. They work well for coupons or quick announcements such as grand openings. You can include bright colors, photos, and other eye-catching graphics. The only drawback of a postcard is that there isn’t a lot of room for a long explanation with text. Lists of benefits for services and products don’t work well and instructions must be said in a very short and precise way. If your marketing campaign is designed to communicate a lot of information, another size will be a better choice.
Flyers are single sheets of paper with print and text on one or both sides.This is one of the lowest cost options for direct mail. They are very casual and get right to the point. Flyers have a low production cost and they don’t have the elegance of some other options. If budget is your primary concern, a professionally produced flyer is a solid option.
Self mailers are made as brochures and leaflets. Self mailers are best used if you want to introduce products to new customers. Adding color and artistic designs can make them more appealing and attractive and pictures and product information can be included to highlight your company. They are sent without an envelope normally folded in half or in thirds.
A traditional form of direct mail is the lead letter. These letters are sent to reach highly targeted customers and current customers. They can be highly personalized and very professional looking. A letter may cost a bit more to send, but it can convey a lot more to the customer or potential customer. Letters also lend a certain formality and luxury to a campaign.
Newsletters are sent to existing customers but on occasion they will go out to a mailing list. Newsletters can to keep them informed about updates, news, and sales.
Brochures can bridges the gap between a letter and a postcard. They photographs like a postcard, but they have more room for more content. Bullet lists work particularly well on a brochure. Brochures can also be made with a tear off section for coupons and other offers. They can be casual, colorful, serious or sophisticated.
Catalogs showcase your company’s products. Catalogs are most often used for companies that offer multiple products. Companies can put their best selling products in front in order to draw people into its pages, and then introduce them to newer products inside the covers.They can complement the full product listings available online or in a bricks and mortar store.