Direct Mail Basics

Direct mail is a very cost-effective form of advertising when done correctly. When you have a great direct mail piece – it can make you a lot of money! Think about it. If you knew that for every dollar you spend you would get back two dollars – you’d do it all day long, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s the kind of success you can have with Direct Mail. Many highly successful businesses have been built upon it. If you’ve ever received a catalogue in the mail, or one of those Reader’s Digest sweepstakes letters – you’ve experienced direct mail.

The goal of Direct Mail is to put your marketing material or sample products directly into the hands of your customer. In return, the recipient sends in a reply card, uses a coupon, or makes a purchase and becomes a customer or repeat customer.

The normal approach is to send a customized letter to selected (or targeted) names and addresses of people you believe would be interested in your products or services. This can be to prospective customers or your existing customer list. The Direct Mail piece you send should have a strong “call to action.” This can be to make a phone call, send in a reply card, use a coupon, visit a website etc. The bottom line is you want them to make a purchase.

Direct mail has many applications:

  • Direct Sales
  • Find And Convert Prospects
  • Distribute Catalogues Or Product Samples
  • Encourage Repeat Business
  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Highlight New Services Or Special Promotions

Direct Mail is Affordable

Done correctly, Direct Mail is very affordable. If you want to expand your business, or even just stay afloat in today’s increasingly competitive world, you should be using Direct Mail.

The standard method of measuring the cost of your mailing is to calculate the actual (or estimated) cost per response. Simply add up all the costs including the printing, the mailing list, envelopes, mailing services, and the postage. Divide this figure by the number of replies and you’ll know the cost of each response. Subtract the total cost of response from the number of new sales and you’ve calculated your Return on Investment (ROI). Even if you break even it still may be a good deal, because these customers will continue to buy from you in the future.

It’s always a good idea to send out a test mailing to about one thousand addresses first. If you get a good response rate from this sample mail, you will most likely have a successful campaign. The ability to test track and measure the effectiveness of your campaign is a major benefit.


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