Direct mail marketing
Direct mail marketing is a type of physical promotion used in businesses, in this promotional materials are sent to the customers both existing and past customers for maintaining business relations for future growth. To say it in simpler words, direct mail marketing is advertising by sending physical materials in order to attract new customers and to maintain relations with the existing ones. Most of the businesses send postcards and letters to their clients in form of promotional materials.
Direct mail marketing is considered to be the most common form of marketing as it is an easy way of promoting and advertising the business. In this you can send postcards, letters, mails and messages for promoting the business and attracting new customers. This is a also an affordable way of marketing if done in the right way, there are quite other ways of marketing also but this is considered to be the most apt form of building business.
The objectives of direct mail marketing
Direct mail marketinghas certain objective which is why a lot of businesses today are making use of it for promotion and for building a strong customer base.
· To attract new customers is the primary objective
· Educating the people about new products and schemes
· To increase the sales
· Attract and entice the customers both new and the existing ones
· Promotion of services
Tools for direct marketing
With the rapid growth of technology and its evolution there can be seen new tools for direct marketing.
· Email- The email campaigns have become really famous as it has the option of direct mailing from the database. There are quite a number of softwares that are there which allows one to manage contacts, send and track the mails. Direct mail marketing via emails is known to have assured results and a lot of businesses are using it.
· SMS- This is a cost effective tool of direct marketing but one should keep in mind the day the words that are used for sending the message. It has an average response but mainly it all depends upon the words that are used.
· Facebook- Social media websites have gained a lot of popularity and are used almost by everybody; through facebook one can also describe the products, attach photos and videos related to the product. One can make a lot of business through the daily mail marketing via facebook.
· Radio and TV- The radio and TV are an effective medium for direct campaigning, there are some channels on TV that are dedicated towards the promotion of products only. TV is seen by people of all age groups so it is considered to be an interactive and a great medium for direct campaigning.
Magazines- The newspapers and magazines are another medium for direct mail marketing, it is helpful in the branding and in the promotion of products. This kind of marketing doesn’t have a great response but if one wants to try it then they can try it.
The categories of direct mail marketing
There are basically two categories of direct mail the shared mail and the standalone mail; in the shared mail the direct mail marketing is shared among different companies and the cost of advertising is split among them, this is a cost efficient and cheap way of marketing. The shared mail cannot be personalised and the mail can even get lost amongst the other shared mails. While in standalone marketing, the mail is not grouped together and the cost is not split so it is a kind of an expensive way of marketing for advertisers. Standalone marketing is a form of one on one communication and there are various different formats and presentation options that are available.
Why should direct mail marketing be done?
· Effective and easy to get fast response if it is written well and speaks sense.
· Direct mail can be sent in bulk to a number of customers together so it costs fairly less.
· The results of direct mail can be tracked.
· The mail is printed in no time and sent to the customers so it also is time saving along with being inexpensive.
· It can be personalized and customized by adding names and other important information.
· There is a wide variety of format options in direct mailing which makes it quite versatile. The versatility of the direct mail makes it suitable for every business.
· The creation of a direct mail is quite easy and anyone can easily design it; it is also user friendly and comes with a lot of features.
Well these are the several benefits that direct mail marketing has on the business which is why it is considered to be a potential way of attracting customers.
Ways to use the direct mail for business
Direct mail marketingis not only about mailing of advertisements but there are a lot of other ways also by which one can make use of the direct mail marketing for attracting customers:
· Firstly, as a business owner you can publicize your products by sending the catalog of products to the clients and to gain the clientage one can also send some offer coupon so that they are compelled to buy.
· Sending cards and letters alone doesn’t look quite appealing, which is why you can also add a special deal or discount coupon. With the deal being good and attractive a lot of people would buy the product.
· There are certain useful products that the customers love keeping, like a calendar with you name. This helps the customers in keeping your name in mind and using the calendar for their work.
· A business owner can also send reminders to the customers depending upon the business. Sending in a reminder can be useful and can shoot up the business during the season.
· In case you are planning to launch some new products or deals then you can get an announcement done so that customers can check out the offer.
Direct mail is the best opportunity that businesses can use to get customers and to promote their products, but still a lot of business owners are unaware of the basics of direct mail marketing, so here are a few tips that can help in direct mail marketing.
Steps for direct mail marketing
· Knowing about your position is the very first step, see where you are and what you want to be, analyse your competition and make goals to do well in your field.
· Before sending in direct mail it is important to see whether you have the authority and permission to do so. For direct mail campaigns you need permission if you are not in a position to take the decision.
· How is the direct mail going to be? How are you going to design it? all these things come in the next step; see if you need outside creative help or it can be done in your office. If you are going to post it then keep in mind the postal regulations.
· Then the next step is to decide the people you are going to send the direct mail to, prepare a list and then send the direct mail. You should be well aware of your target audience; well this is something we will also be talking about later in the article.
· The last step is the execution of all the ideas and it is time to send the mail, assign people to do the work and divide the work amongst your workers, this will make the whole process quite easy.
Tips for making the most of direct mail marketing
· Understand your clients- It is important to have knowledge about your customers as they are the ones for whom you will do direct mail marketing. It is necessary to know about the basic age of your customers and also to know about their likes and dislikes and their purchasing power. Business owners should know about the different trends and the lifestyle of the customers, all this gives a better idea and helps in direct mail marketing.
· Target the right customers- Once you are aware of the customers and their information then it is ideal to prepare a target list. This is an expensive task but it is surely worth it and would definitely help in getting the best response. Mass marketing is the best way of daily mail marketing as it can help you get a large number of customers.
· Mailing list- After you know your target audience and the customer information, it is apt to prepare a mailing list, this should consist of all the important and valuable customers. Preparing a mailing list would help you achieve more success.
· Creating a mail- Once the list is prepared it is then time to create the mail that you would want to send your potential customers. The mail you create represents you and your business. Make your customers clear about what you are selling and offering.
Well as it is important to know about the benefits, the steps and the tips for direct mail marketing it is also important to know about a few drawbacks.
The drawbacks of the direct mail marketing
· Most of the direct mails are unread and sent to the trash folder by the customers as they consider it to be another promotional gimmick.
· The response rate of direct mail is quite low as a lot of customers avoid replying to it.
· It can be costly if the direct mail doesn’t get the expected results.
Direct mail marketing is undoubtedly a great of promoting business and different products but it all depends upon the right way of doing it and the right medium for doing the marketing. The direct mail marketing is done in a number of countries and is quiet successful. A business man before getting into direct mail marketing should learn all the basics about this way of promotion. It is necessary to study the pros and cons before hand and one should be alert