Direct mail may be defined as a marketing strategy in which the promotional message is delivered to the targeted audience via printed mail. It has many different forms such as brochures, catalogs, newsletters, postcards etc.
Direct mail advantages
Direct mail is one of the most effective marketing forms. The main reason for that is that the sender can exactly know who gets their message. It provides one-on-one communication between the seller and customer. There are many other benefits that it provides:
- Effectiveness is maximized if the demographics research has been done properly;
- Personalized mail gives the impression that company cares about its customers; just addressing the mail to their name often does the psychological trick;
- It can adjust to any type of business because of its various forms;
- Result tracking is easy and customers’ habits can easily be followed;
- It doesn’t require a big budget.
Internet and email
With more and more people regularly using their email accounts, big part of direct mail marketing has transferred to the Internet. Email marketing is even less expensive with the same effectiveness and other direct mail benefits.
However, it hasn’t completely replaced sending printed mail. Direct mail is considered to actually get to the customer more often than email, because most people will bother to read it before throwing it out, but they have no problem with deleting junk emails.
When can it be used?
Direct mail can be used in various situations and in many different ways. Some of them happen more often than others: advertising a new product, sending discount coupons, raising money for a cause, alert people about danger etc.
Most of the times, direct mail will be in the mailbox with a purpose to sell or promote some product, business or service; however, not all the mail is addressed to potential buyers. There is a field called business to business (B2B) and direct mail is very often used in it.
Direct mail can be great tool, but it is far from perfect. There is a chance that a person that receives printed material by mail won’t even read it. This started to happen with popularization of this method and its excessive usage. With more and more letters in their mailboxes, many people don’t have time to deal with so called ‘junk mail’.
In order to avoid this, marketers are using many tactics such as making the letter seem personal or making the great deal very visible.