The Effectiveness of Direct Mail Advertising
May 16, 2017
In this day and age, one would think that direct mail advertising is already obsolete. However, this isn’t really true. In fact, a lot of businesses, such as retail stores, salons, and restaurants, among others, still use this marketing strategy.
Direct mail advertising refers to the process of sending promotions or offers to prospective customers by mail. It typically includes brochures, sales letters, prepaid envelopes, and order forms. A lot of small business owners even advertise in direct mail magazines, as well as inserts with other companies, to cut costs.
Although there are some disadvantages to direct mail advertising, such as high costs and the possibility of not being read, the advantages still outweigh the disadvantages. For starters, direct mail advertising is highly targeted. Business owners can obtain a mailing list of prospective customers via mailing list distributors.
For instance, the owner of a store selling vitamins can obtain a list of the people who frequently order health products and vitamins, before preparing a direct mailing, with the objective of getting the attention of these customers and convincing them to shop at his store.
According to the United States Postal Service, direct mail advertising is highly measurable. For example, a small company can efficiently study the results of direct mail campaigns by keying the coupons used in the direct mail campaigns. The owner of a hardware store can place an ad in a direct mail coupon magazine that’s distributed to subscribers.
This storeowner can include expiration dates on the coupons used for a particular issue of the magazine. Consequently, the storeowner can keep track of the responses of the mailings as well as compute for profitability.
Direct mail advertising is also highly individualized. Owners of small companies can use computer software programs to address their customers by name in their direct mail campaigns. Thus, the messages of their sales letters become directed to specific people instead of to a group.
This makes it seem like the business owner speaks directly to each one of the customers. The United States Postal Service states that about 55% of customers become more eager to read their mail when they see that the message is specifically addressed to them as individuals. By addressing these customers by name, their experience is enhanced and they’re prompted to purchase the products of the company.
Furthermore, direct mail advertising is highly flexible. Owners of small companies can send out postcards to market their merchandise without incurring huge expenses. Also, small manufacturers can include freebies and sample products in their mailings. They can include as much information as they want in their direct mail campaigns, based on how much they’re willing to spend.