Direct mail advertising gets a bad rap. It doesn’t get the kind of exposure that TV commercials get, or the kind of captive audience that radio commercials get during the drive home, but it is one of the best advertising mediums available. Direct Mail is all about efficiency, and it’s important that people understand how effective efficiency is in advertising. TV and radio alike focus on creating a commercial that broadcasts to everyone tuning in. Think of it like giving the first 3,000 people who look at you the same message. It doesn’t matter who they are, what they do, or what motivates them. If they see you, then you give them the message. Not only is this a very impersonal approach to advertising but if the TV ad is offering a lunch discount on sushi to a person with a fatal fish allergy then the ad is not going to work. Not to say the shotgun approach doesn’t work, it does, but its lack of efficiently is expensive. The expense of producing a quality TV ad is still out of reach for many small and medium sized businesses that’s why most TV commercials are produced by the Wal-Mart’s and Best Buy’s of the world. Fortunately there is another way.
Direct mail removes the shotgun from advertising and focuses on creating a personal targeted campaign. When executed well it really is one of the most efficient forms of advertising. Wal-Mart and Best Buy, with their huge advertising budget and multiple TV commercials, still use direct mail because it can be customized for each and every individual targeted in an advertising campaign. With a well developed direct mail campaign the customer who carries around an EpiPen to protect himself from an accidental taste of sashimi would never see the “all you can eat” sea food advertisement. The discount shrimp ad would have skipped his mail box, and perhaps found a local foodie with tight budget. Direct mail is all about getting the right message into the right hands. Unlike TV or Radio that speaks to everyone whether they are listening or not, good direct mail only targets people who might want what you have to offer. Then it packages the offer in a way that appeals the potential customer as an individual. By limiting the audience to interested parties, and approaching that audience in a personal way, a direct mail campaign can get better results at a noticeably smaller cost than any TV Commercial.
If a targeted personalized ad campaign that can be produced for as low as a $0.25 per lead sounds like it might be a something worth looking into then you are in luck. Over the next few weeks I am going to explain how to create a direct mail campaign from beginning to end in a step by step process, buying the data list, designing your direct mail campaign, producing the mailers, and mailing the campaign. I’ll even throw in some information about getting a good postage rate, measuring response rates, integrating a direct mail campaign with new technology and how it can be done in an environmentally friendly way. It can sound like a lot but if you take it one step at a time, and you have the right direct mail experts backing you it is a very manageable process. Take some time decide who are the most likely people to buy what you’re selling. Does this target group, own a home, do they make over 6 figures, are they in school, do they have a birthday in January, do they own pets? Think about it and figure it out because next week , in Direct Mail Beginning to End – Data Lists, I’m going to talk about the most important part of any direct mail campaign, the data list.