Direct mail is alive and kicking!

8 replies
When I started my business a few months ago I was very much under the impression that marketing would be straightforward. I had a website, MailChimp knowledge and social media experience and there was little more that I'd need.
After all, in this day and age direct mail is dead, right?
Ha ha ha!
I was sure this was the general consensus, especially for a new business when budgets were tight. I thought that direct mail was expensive and basically unnecessary with all the other free tools at my disposal.
The thing that made me change my mind in a complete 360 was when I received a letter from Google!! It welcomed me to Google Biz and gave me a window sticker to let my clients know where they can find me online.
This bought it back for me that the personal, individual touch is still very much a proven sales technique and most importantly, if Google are doing it then why isn't everyone?
I've since done a lot more investigation and I'm putting steps into place to launch a direct mail campaign to make people in my area aware of my services and to increase my profile.
I am hoping that I'll have success with a tangible piece of marketing collateral personally addressed to someone which addresses their specific needs.
It takes time to build up an online profile and I I feel that relying on online marketing and social media alone has diluted my marketing and I need to invest the extra cost for stronger results.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Do you think that direct mail has any weight these days, and is the ROI so much better than online marketing alone?
As you all know by now I'm a complete beginner to this and figuring it out as I go, so your thoughts, knowledge and experience are all so well received!

#alive #direct #kicking #mail
  • Profile picture of the author chemo38
    From what I read, Direct Mail is a very risky venture. People get so much junk mail these days, that they just sort if over there trash can as I do. Having said that, I believe your marketing will be successful if you can address and personally solve someone's problem. If you can do that, it doesn't matter what marketing tool you use.

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    • Profile picture of the author wordsandthebees
      Originally Posted by chemo38 View Post

      From what I read, Direct Mail is a very risky venture. People get so much junk mail these days, that they just sort if over there trash can as I do. Having said that, I believe your marketing will be successful if you can address and personally solve someone's problem. If you can do that, it doesn't matter what marketing tool you use.


      So true! I guess that is why we pay the creatives - to come up with new and wonderful ways to get our sales material to stand out above the competitors!
      Thanks for your input
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    We use direct mail and it's very effective. Like anything, it'll work perfectly well if you know your audience. If you're just sending out random mailings, then it surely won't work...

    There's regular posting that direct mail is dead, SEO is dead... well you can insert just about anything in there before the "is dead"... It's just attention getters.

    Test everything and spend more on the things that work for you...

    And something is only expensive if it doesn't produce results...

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    What I do for a living

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  • Profile picture of the author SamuelFlag
    Direct mail isn't the issue really. It's whether ads sent by mail work.

    To that the question is undoubtedly yes.

    Then you have to consider the cost and waste of sending unsolicited mail. The solution is to send solicited stuff where you can, or stuff people have chosen to receive. You move from paying to mail junk, to being in the position of a print newspaper advertiser.
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  • Profile picture of the author adamcurran
    Direct mail is 100% as effective as it always has been in my opinion.
    If it is targeted and sent as part of a strategic campaign, while the campaign may cost more to execute, the results are stronger and the relationships built far outweigh those created online.
    Let's be honest, in today's day and age, who doesn't love to receive a letter? If you have the skills of a great design and sales team behind you, there's no reason you shouldn't be spending money on both.
    Layering is a great sales technique where you pre-empt your letter with an email, hey - just letting you know to check your mailbox next week etc so your future customer is already aware that something is on it's way. It's a great strategy and there is no way, regardless of budget, that direct mail shouldn't be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
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  • Profile picture of the author EugeneWHZ
    I think that depends on the Niche you operate + on the age of your target audience. Youngsters do consider direct mail as a kind of rudiment.
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  • Profile picture of the author AriCooper
    Direct mail is very much alive and kicking.

    The key to a good direct mail campaign:

    1) Define the audience you are going to market to direct mail. Are you trying to get more clients to your marketing agency? Then you want to find business owners who are actively spending money marketing. I always look for billboards, crappy tv commercials late at night from local businesses, advertising by sponsoring events (i.e. A Jacuzzi business paying 5K to set up shop at a small home show), if they advertise and pay on places like yellow pages, if they take out huge adverts in newspapers...

    All of these go to the top of your "qualified prospects lists"

    2) You have to make it to the pile of mail they are going to read. I read "the ultimate sales letter" years and years ago by Dan Kennedy, and he talks about how people usually make 2 piles of mail when they check it.

    A) The not gonna' read
    B) The looks important need to open

    To get in pile B your envelope needs to stand out. Make it a large vanilla envelope, or you can buy "express envelopes" that are red, with an eagle and such on them, and it just looks important. So it gets placed in the "I need to open this pile".

    3) You need a good "sales letter" or offer in the envelope. This is crazy important, because it is just so hard to get someone to open your letter in the first place... and if you can get them to open it... you need to get them to take an action. So you're copywriting needs to be at least mediocre. You need to drive some sort of scarcity in the offer to get them to take action.

    4) Here is the step that no one ever uses and why direct mail takes the blame for being "dead". FOLLOW UP. FOLLOW UP. FOLLOW UP.

    You can have the best leads, the best sales letter/offer, the best everything, but the MAJORITY of direct mail success comes in the follow up. At least for me it has. Sometimes you can just "one-off" a good letter and get a response, but if you are truly going to send just 1 letter, and hope you get'll fall into the "direct mail is dead!"

    No, you're just doing it wrong.

    How do you follow up?

    Send another piece of direct mail or pick up the phone and follow up.

    "Hey Bobby Smith, I sent you an important letter in the mail the other day and I just wanted to make sure you got it, and see if you had any questions I can answer?"

    Direct mail:
    "Sending you this letter to let you know you missed out and *competitor* was able to take advantage of this offer. If you would like to be added to our waiting list the next time said offer opens up, just give me a call and I can add you really quick"

    When they call, it's because they feel like they may have lost out on something. The perfect time to deliver a sales message.

    This is just "generic" ideas taken from real world campaigns. I have used direct mail effectively over the last 5-6 years.

    Read: Dan Kennedy's the ultimate sales letter ... hopefully that helps.
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