DIRECT MAIL IS DEAD...

49 replies
What are your thoughts on direct mail? Don't believe the hype!

Are you using direct mail? Have you considered using direct mail? What types of direct mail are you using?

Let me be clear I DO NOT believe direct mail is dead. I am a HUGE advocate of it. I've helped service businesses generate as much as 1k per month recurring income from 1 letter. And the LTV of each customer is around 1200 bucks so... needless to say, although they doubted using direct mail, they are now huge advocates.

Why do I like direct mail?
  • Because it works
  • It works for getting clients
  • It works to get you in the door
  • It works for lead generation
  • It works for traffic in to brick and mortar or online
  • Every other business is using online communication so it is wide open
Share your thoughts on this thread, strategies, etc.
#dead #direct #direct mail #lead generation #mail #more customers
  • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
    I built my business on direct mail. I still think it is one of the best ways to market a business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Great for lead gen; business reply cards are the bread and butter of the most successful final expense agents...
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Some of the reasons why I love it so much are:
    • Extremely Reliable
    • Extremely Precise
    • Can be dirt cheap
    • Can be personalized
    • Arrives more personally than anything else
    • Can deliver a message with 100% exposure
    • Requires virtually no tech skills
    • Can be leveraged using shared ad space
    • Is what nearly all recipients prefer for unsolicited advertisement
    • Can bring in business without someone actively searching for it
    • Can be scaled infinitely
    • Has worked for over a century without fail
    • Has always been the King of all advertising
    • Can take almost any business to any level of success desired
    • I love business reply cards
    • Can be felt and not just seen
    • Has an infinite shelf life
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  • Profile picture of the author TheBlueWizard
    Originally Posted by damongreene View Post

    What are your thoughts on direct mail? Don't believe the hype!

    ...

    Let me be clear I DO NOT believe direct mail is dead.
    You title a thread "DIRECT MAIL IS DEAD..." in all capital letters as a tactic to for viewers to think direct mail all of the sudden is "out"...

    Then within the post, you tell us not to believe the hype (which your actually insinuating by the title :rolleyes ... and go on to give your reasons why you believe direct mail is NOT dead (contradicting your thread title).

    If your going to use these attention grabbing/controversial type titles to pull people in, you might want to not trick people into reading your thread by advertising in the title something most people would disagree with, when in reality you actually agree with the main stream (which happens to be that direct mail still works very well). Then people like me who actually read the content, and piece together the usage of a thread title, content and any other motives behind starting a thread, won't have to pick apart your post down to the last detail.

    And just to contribute for the sake of contribution... Direct mailing works. There are better ways (and much more efficient ways) to get offline clients though, cold calling being one of them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
      Originally Posted by TheBlueWizard View Post


      If your going to use these attention grabbing/controversial type titles to pull people in, you might want to not trick people into reading your thread
      A rule with direct mail is to never 'dupe' the reader. If they feel they were mislead
      the chance of turning them into a lead/customer is gone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Voasi
      Originally Posted by TheBlueWizard View Post

      And just to contribute for the sake of contribution... Direct mailing works. There are better ways (and much more efficient ways) to get offline clients though, cold calling being one of them.
      I wouldn't necessarily say cold calling is more efficient, that's relative. For instance, is it efficient for me to be on a phone all day dialing to generate 2-3 warm leads, that have a 4 day close cycle. ...OR... would it be better to do a direct mail piece, mail, do follow-up calls (that take maybe half a day) and generate the same amount of interest?

      Cold Calling works. Yes. Direct Mail works just as well.

      I did a direct mail piece a couple months ago for my services. It was 100 letters, total hard cost per piece was $5, so total investment for this mail piece was $500. Converted 2 businesses into sales, for a gross profit of $2,000. But really, it's a lot more then that, as these are month-to-month clients and they typically stay on for 3-4 months.

      So LTV (lifetime value) was around $6000 for a $500 investment, for a Net profit of $5500.

      Direct mail works great and can be a very effective marketing funnel channel. Just remember that just mailing out isn't where the marketing stops. I have my team call on every mail piece we send out.

      Making your mail piece "memorable" is key, IMO. When my sales team started calling on all the businesses we sent mail to, several owners all said "Yes, we did get your letter, you're the "Dollar Guys!"".
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      • Profile picture of the author payoman
        Originally Posted by Voasi View Post

        I wouldn't necessarily say cold calling is more efficient, that's relative. For instance, is it efficient for me to be on a phone all day dialing to generate 2-3 warm leads, that have a 4 day close cycle. ...OR... would it be better to do a direct mail piece, mail, do follow-up calls (that take maybe half a day) and generate the same amount of interest?

        Cold Calling works. Yes. Direct Mail works just as well.

        I did a direct mail piece a couple months ago for my services. It was 100 letters, total hard cost per piece was $5, so total investment for this mail piece was $500. Converted 2 businesses into sales, for a gross profit of $2,000. But really, it's a lot more then that, as these are month-to-month clients and they typically stay on for 3-4 months.

        So LTV (lifetime value) was around $6000 for a $500 investment, for a Net profit of $5500.

        Direct mail works great and can be a very effective marketing funnel channel. Just remember that just mailing out isn't where the marketing stops. I have my team call on every mail piece we send out.

        Making your mail piece "memorable" is key, IMO. When my sales team started calling on all the businesses we sent mail to, several owners all said "Yes, we did get your letter, you're the "Dollar Guys!"".
        The only thing I don't like about this, is that it cost you $500.

        Not only would it have not cost you $500 to make 100 phone calls (let alone worry about the individual personalisation, the packaging, the labor to get it out there) , if you had made those phone calls to local businesses with (qualified) bad looking websites or domain names but not website, you would have probably got 5-10 clients out of those 100 calls, for virtually no cost.

        This is why I haven't done direct mail. Calling still seems cheaper for roughly the same or better effectiveness.
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        • Profile picture of the author RRG
          Originally Posted by payoman View Post

          The only thing I don't like about this, is that it cost you $500.

          Not only would it have not cost you $500 to make 100 phone calls (let alone worry about the individual personalisation, the packaging, the labor to get it out there) , if you had made those phone calls to local businesses with (qualified) bad looking websites or domain names but not website, you would have probably got 5-10 clients out of those 100 calls, for virtually no cost.

          This is why I haven't done direct mail. Calling still seems cheaper for roughly the same or better effectiveness.
          You're kidding, right?

          You're scoffing at an 1100% return on investment?

          Everything in business (and life itself, for that matter) is a trade-off between time and money.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheBlueWizard
        Originally Posted by Voasi View Post

        I wouldn't necessarily say cold calling is more efficient, that's relative. For instance, is it efficient for me to be on a phone all day dialing to generate 2-3 warm leads, that have a 4 day close cycle. ...OR... would it be better to do a direct mail piece, mail, do follow-up calls (that take maybe half a day) and generate the same amount of interest?

        Cold Calling works. Yes. Direct Mail works just as well.

        I did a direct mail piece a couple months ago for my services. It was 100 letters, total hard cost per piece was $5, so total investment for this mail piece was $500. Converted 2 businesses into sales, for a gross profit of $2,000. But really, it's a lot more then that, as these are month-to-month clients and they typically stay on for 3-4 months.

        So LTV (lifetime value) was around $6000 for a $500 investment, for a Net profit of $5500.

        Direct mail works great and can be a very effective marketing funnel channel. Just remember that just mailing out isn't where the marketing stops. I have my team call on every mail piece we send out.

        Making your mail piece "memorable" is key, IMO. When my sales team started calling on all the businesses we sent mail to, several owners all said "Yes, we did get your letter, you're the "Dollar Guys!"".
        Certainly is relative, and with any marketing campaign there are just far too many variables to really narrow down to one specific tactic over another; though every business owner will repeat what they find to bring in the best return for their time.

        That bit about making your mail/letter memorable is pretty key, lumpy mail for example is excellent... anything to distinguish yourself from all the junk mail business owners receive daily is huge.

        Direct mailing certainly has better conversion rates, and those rates skyrocket with a followup call... nothing more powerful than when people say "oh your the Guy who sent in the Google bookmarks".

        Not disagreeing with your statements or anything, but one thing people don't realize about cold calling is that your charisma and the way you speak play a huge part... when I interview people for such positions and ask them to give an example to "sell me" if they were cold calling me... most people simply come off as insincere and robotic. I think this is something pretty highly correlated with most people who hangout online all day as most people on the internet tend to be shy or a little socially uncalibrated.

        When your doing things by yourself or starting off (or even finding a new team member to hire for this marketing methods) you really just to match up your strengths (or the employees) with the appropriate task.
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    • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
      Originally Posted by TheBlueWizard View Post

      You title a thread "DIRECT MAIL IS DEAD..." in all capital letters as a tactic to for viewers to think direct mail all of the sudden is "out"...

      Then within the post, you tell us not to believe the hype (which your actually insinuating by the title :rolleyes ... and go on to give your reasons why you believe direct mail is NOT dead (contradicting your thread title).

      If your going to use these attention grabbing/controversial type titles to pull people in, you might want to not trick people into reading your thread by advertising in the title something most people would disagree with, when in reality you actually agree with the main stream (which happens to be that direct mail still works very well). Then people like me who actually read the content, and piece together the usage of a thread title, content and any other motives behind starting a thread, won't have to pick apart your post down to the last detail.

      And just to contribute for the sake of contribution... Direct mailing works. There are better ways (and much more efficient ways) to get offline clients though, cold calling being one of them.
      What in the world are you talking about?

      If you scanned over his thread title you would have seen in 1 second flat what the thread was about. So that kinda nullifies your entire arguement.

      He only "tricked" you because you couldn't hover your mouse over the title, lets be real.

      Furthermore, who cares if he uses a bait and switch tactic? As long as he's offering a better value in return, I doubt people will mind. I'd be more pissed if he stuck to the topic in his headline, and tried to convince people direct mail was dead. Think about that.

      He's not doing anything wrong he's just being an effective marketer. You can get mad or you can learn something from it which is the fact it works. I rarely see more than 1 person get angry over threads like this so that tells me it works a lot better than it doesn't work.

      -Red
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      • Profile picture of the author TheBlueWizard
        Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

        What in the world are you talking about?

        If you scanned over his thread title you would have seen in 1 second flat what the thread was about. So that kinda nullifies your entire arguement.

        He only "tricked" you because you couldn't hover your mouse over the title, lets be real.

        Furthermore, who cares if he uses a bait and switch tactic? As long as he's offering a better value in return, I doubt people will mind. I'd be more pissed if he stuck to the topic in his headline, and tried to convince people direct mail was dead. Think about that.
        You clearly missed the point. Your suggestion that I somehow became 'angry' is irrelevant as well. Explaining disagreement or an opposing point =/= expression of anger or emotion for that matter.

        I actually don't care if he used bait and switch, and for what we know, it could have been a simple typo in the thread title.

        What I do find interesting about your response...

        Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post


        I'd be more pissed if he stuck to the topic in his headline, and tried to convince people direct mail was dead. Think about that.
        Mainstream of successful small business owners do know that direct mail works; however, if he had stuck to the thread title, and given very valid points to defend his statement as to why he/she believes direct mail is dead... you would be angry over this?

        I call that true and honest discussion/debate. Though I understand that it's far more easier and enjoyable to discuss things that you already know everybody is going to agree with you on.

        Just a reminder to OP, most post is in no way a personal attack on you in any way.
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  • Profile picture of the author nykotai
    worth giving a try
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  • Profile picture of the author jimenywo
    Is direct mail dead? Reminds me of the Yogi Berra line, "That place is so crowded, nobodiy goes there anymore." Or, restated for this thread, "I get so many offers in my mailbox, I find it hard to believe that anyone is still doing it!"

    The web is incredible, but when it comes to hitting a specific audiences or trying to saturate a local market dm is powerful. I know. I run direct mail campaigns for a long list of clients.

    The post office has been on hard times because overall mail volume is down - hard hit by the loss of much personal and corporate mail (bills, etc). True, much promotional / advertising mail has moved to the web, but the mailbox and its response rate is still viable. Actually, the downturn can be your gain, as postage rates are as low as 14.5 cents per piece.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Young
    It also depends on the type of business
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    • It works great especially for businesses which sell products/services worth above $200

      well targeted mail shots usually have 1-3% response rate , so it is enough to send 100-200 letters to cover postage and print costs and get some ROI
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    ha ha, My mentor here in OZ makes 900k - $1mill each year selling his own products.

    HOW?

    Direct mail.

    I get sick of these posts.

    The only thing that IS DEAD are these silly ..... IS DEAD, or THE DEATH OF.....threads

    Please hit the thanks button below if you agree!
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    • Profile picture of the author damongreene
      Originally Posted by celente View Post

      ha ha, My mentor here in OZ makes 900k - $1mill each year selling his own products.

      HOW?

      Direct mail.

      I get sick of these posts.

      The only thing that IS DEAD are these silly ..... IS DEAD, or THE DEATH OF.....threads

      Please hit the thanks button below if you agree!
      I wrote this to spark curiosity. Direct Mail is nowhere near being dead. It is UBER effective for most businesses. Just as long as you know how to copyright.

      Ill be posting a casestudy somewhere on the forum about how I landed my landscaper an extra 1200 per month using a sales letter. 10% Conversion rate with half @ss written copy. It was ok but could have been much better.
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      • Profile picture of the author wcroz99
        Originally Posted by damongreene View Post

        I wrote this to spark curiosity. Direct Mail is nowhere near being dead. It is UBER effective for most businesses. Just as long as you know how to copyright.

        Ill be posting a casestudy somewhere on the forum about how I landed my landscaper an extra 1200 per month using a sales letter. 10% Conversion rate with half @ss written copy. It was ok but could have been much better.

        I would be very interested in seeing the sales letter you did for a landscaper seeing as I run a landscaping business myself. I am going to be sending out a few mailshots in time for the busy season next year. Please let me know when you post it
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  • Profile picture of the author kingofthesouth
    Direct mail will never die! It's one of the best ways to generate leads and sales for any business you promote. We implement a print and mail system with the home business system I promote that works great.
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  • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
    Banned
    Originally Posted by damongreene View Post


    What are your thoughts on direct mail?

    Share your thoughts on this thread, strategies, etc.

    Direct mail is great. Personalized direct mail is even better.

    Cats and dogs personalize everything in their path through the highway of life, but of course they have scent glands.

    Taking a tip from our feline and canine friends though, you could always pass your envelopes or postcards with a quick swipe or two over your gonads prior to mailing. This would have the effect of making them instantly recognisable to ex-wives and girlfriends, close family members, and of course your old pals from the soccer or rugby club who will fondly recall pungent changing room aroma's from years gone by.

    Many of your mail recipients who are unacquainted with your personal, nether-region 'signature' will also be likely to read your missive, particularly if it's of a sufficient bouquet to stimulate their basic animal instincts adequately. (Tip: refrain from consuming garlic within 24 hours of the exercise as this would have the effect of masking any personalization)

    I find this garners much better direct mailing results than a mundane 'Bob the Builder' sticker, complete with a partial mail franking mark over his trowel logo.

    Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    Direct mail can be very effective, but it can be frustrating at times as well. Sometimes you'll mail 100 letters thinking that the response will be huge, only to find that there is 0 response.

    Another time you send 10 letters out and get a 20% response rate.

    Before the internet, direct mail is all I relied on and I had campaigns that returned 10X or more the investment I made in the mailing. However....Its easy now to be afraid of spending 50 cents for a letter when an email to the business owner is free.

    When you consider the lifetime value of just one business owner that you can sign on as a monthly customer (seo, website, sms marketing, reputation management, etc.) then direct mail makes perfect sense.

    In April of 2011 I sent out 10 letters to local restaurants and 2 called me back. One become a client and that relationship has turned into thousands of dollars per year of profit for my business. So that was definitely worth the 50 cents to mail to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author century90
    Direct mail is effective tool for business success who says is dead? if you know the effective way how to use direct mail to get effective result.
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  • Profile picture of the author FantaMan
    as long as the direct mail is targeted towards your business ad its product/service then absolutely. It is still one of the best and most cost effective ways online and offline!
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  • Profile picture of the author KristofferIM
    Dead AGAIN? Oh man...
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  • Profile picture of the author ilovemedia
    I am with you in that. Direct mailing is actually a very effective marketing strategy especially for small and local businesses. That may be because of the nature of printed materials. The info-graphic from Print and Advertising: Where It’s Headed « Small Business News, Blog and Resources sites the characteristics of print that makes it a good platform for marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
      I've only seen one long time Warrior come on this forum and
      say 'direct mail is not effective anymore'.

      He got smashed by everyone. I have not seen him since :rolleyes:

      DM is just a tool in the marketing shed... a damn fine tool
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  • Profile picture of the author 123xyz
    Direct mail can be used to facilitate a call or direct the recipient through your sales funnel. It is another useful tool and it just depends on how you use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author lhic
    Direct Mail is my favorite way to go. Positioning wise it sets you up beautifully. Closing higher dollar clients on the first offer is much more efficiently done through direct mail
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  • Profile picture of the author Forteam04
    No way . direct mail marketing is not dead.
    direct mail Marketing remains the most cost effective and profitable marketing technology available to today's entrepreneur, helping them to reach their customers with targeted campaigns and ultimately selling more..
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  • Profile picture of the author Leon Zykos
    Direct mail has been and always will be one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Anybody who says otherwise obviously does not know the true power of direct mail.
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  • Profile picture of the author MagneticKopy
    When I use direct mail for lead generation, I use Lumpy Mail.

    Earlier this year I created a package for my client and I sent out a letter with a monopoly hotel piece attached to the top of the letter...

    That piece got a 39.9% response rate.

    My next project I'm sending out a Louisville Slugger bat.

    Direct mail works! Especially Lumpy Mail.

    If you hear anybody claiming that it doesn't work, then they're either doing wrong
    or simply haven't done it and don't know what they're talking about.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    If you're selling high priced services to businesses and you're
    not using direct mail...

    And if you're not now overwhelmed with more clients than you
    can handle...

    Then you need to seriously consider doing some direct mail.

    Well designed direct mail pieces are amazingly effective at
    turning cold prospects into highly educated clients eager to
    hire you for multiple services and happy to refer you to other
    clients.

    You can do this to a certain extent with email too but great
    direct mail gets great results beyond almost anything else.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author mrozlat
    where to get started with direct mail? i have a simple coupon code i would like to promote to people that buy natural health products/herbal supplements
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    • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
      Originally Posted by mrozlat View Post

      where to get started with direct mail? i have a simple coupon code i would like to promote to people that buy natural health products/herbal supplements
      By a list of people who've bought what you're trying to sell. Sending direct mail to prospects who have subscribed to a fitness and nutrition magazine is a great start.
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      • Profile picture of the author mrozlat
        Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

        By a list of people who've bought what you're trying to sell. Sending direct mail to prospects who have subscribed to a fitness and nutrition magazine is a great start.
        where can i find these lists? i found some local ones in my country... but i remember there was a postcard marketing course here on warrior forum that supplied some links to some bigger companies that are highly recommended
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  • Profile picture of the author bsummers
    Still one of the most effective and reliable marketing strategy there is. These days I think it will be more appreciated since most people now turn to social media.
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  • Profile picture of the author smoor2012
    I have been considering a direct mail campaign and want to know more about doing it the right way.
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    PM me and I will respond as soon as possible

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  • Profile picture of the author ATAC
    Direct male is a monster and always will be...

    Its all about setting up your funnel correctly from your mailer ...

    Direct mail will always be around ..

    Whenever you have a question like this the most accurate way to get your correct answer is to test it out yourself..

    Never let someone else's opinion make up your mind for you !
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  • Profile picture of the author McKattry
    Direct Mail can be quite effective, but only if you can recoupe the mailing costs. If you reduce those by mailing in bulk, or going in on a local flier, all the easier for you. It really depends on the product your selling, and the value of the return. It's all a numbers game, and if at the end of the day you've made more money because of your method, then it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author webcosmo
    Of course it works, it`s just time consuming. Because it has to be a personalized mail, not bulk or spam.
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  • Profile picture of the author Angle Warrior
    We have a much higher return rate on our direct mail marketing then we do to our client list using emails, the cost in Canada is high though, a standard letter is now $1.15 tax included but the return far out ways the cost.
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    • Profile picture of the author amcg
      Originally Posted by Angle Warrior View Post

      We have a much higher return rate on our direct mail marketing then we do to our client list using emails, the cost in Canada is high though, a standard letter is now $1.15 tax included but the return far out ways the cost.
      Direct mail is useful but as others have said, it's expensive.
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
        Originally Posted by amcg View Post

        Direct mail is useful but as others have said, it's expensive.
        It's only expensive if you don't know what you're doing.
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      • Profile picture of the author infamous dave
        Originally Posted by amcg View Post

        Direct mail is useful but as others have said, it's expensive.
        It doesn't cost you anything if you get a return on your investment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christianaseo
    Actually working on a post presently, direct mail is still the best leads generation and sales awareness, and this is while it's far better than social media.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gaurav Barot
    If the product/service is in demand, the letter copy fairly engaging and you add-in a bit of offer/discount, then I don't think Direct Mail would be dead ever.

    Long live Direct Mail!
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