The average buyer receives around 121 emails each day. So it can be a challenge to reach some prospects via mail. No wonder businesses are reverting to direct mail advertising to cut through all that noise in this age of social media and online marketing.
What is the direct mail definition? In direct mail campaigns, you're sending physical promotional materials such as postcards or brochures to a home or business using the U.S. Postal Service or other courier services.
Whether you want to create a buzz around your planned website launch, announce your restaurant opening, publicize your charity fundraiser, or post about your real estate open houses, direct mail marketing is fitting. Therefore direct mail marketing is viable for realtors, businesses, and for churches.
If you plan to run a direct mail campaign, these are some commonly used products:
A postcard is an easy and effective way to get your message across without breaking the bankShop Now
You can include more info in a brochure than in a postcard, making it ideal for product catalogs or service menusShop Now
A flyer is a good option if you want to distribute your message to a large audience quickly and inexpensivelyShop Now
You can use a newsletter to keep your customers and prospects up to date on what's new with your business.Shop Now
A catalog is perfect for retail businesses that want to showcase multiple products at onceShop Now
Affordable Full Colour Custom High-quality Packages are used to distribute gifts to esteemed customersShop Now
Used to offer discounts or Grear Offers (especially Free Shipping) to encourage customers to take actionShop Now
A letter is a great way to provide a personal touch and build trust in your relationship with customersShop Now
The type of product you’d use for your marketing campaign will depend on the type of business you’re into, your marketing objectives, and your budget. 4over4 offers direct mail services to help make the entire process easy. Why should you bother with a direct mail campaign?
A targeted direct mail will always do better than one sent indiscriminately. As a result, defining your target audience is arguably one of the most crucial direct mail marketing tasks that you can accomplish. After all, what use is the right message to the wrong audience?
There is no single right audience. Your direct mail target audience is never specific and will change based on your current business needs or interests. Therefore, creating a detailed customer avatar will ensure you understand who your audience is. It is this understanding that will help you reach your audience with the proper messaging. Then, you're more likely to capture their needs and sell your solution correctly.
Some customer attributes are commonly discussed when determining your direct mail target audience. These attributes can be:
Again, the attributes you’d be interested in will be based on your business and mailing objectives. But let's talk about 4 useful audience segmentation you’d find relevant:
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Many businesses that use target direct mailers concern themselves with demographic segmentation. This kind of client segmentation is common. Demographic attributes are:
What demographics are you trying to sell to? Sometimes, your product could have an age or gender appeal. In that case, you may decide to promote your business via direct mail marketing to your teeming fans before later expanding to other demographic.
Ensure you do not limit your direct target marketing to people close to your business. Remember that it is a solution you are selling. As a result, your business solutions will be helpful to not just your neighbors alone. But you still want to avoid states or areas that will make order fulfillment difficult, especially when you do not yet have a robust budget.
Events like a holiday or a cultural or traditional day can be a promising avenue for a successful mailing campaign. Create special offers relating to these festivities. So your business will gain both publicity and revenue.
Psychographic segmentation tends to group people based on their:
These attributes play as key a role as any other when making buying decisions. People generally have different beliefs or opinions, but generally, you can find clusters of people, i.e., communities, that share a typical value, interest, or belief system. The cult-like nature of these communities can make selling a challenge. But if it’s clear that you are solving a pertinent problem, you may have found yourself a pool of ready buyers.
Certain products sell better when you segment customers by behavioral basis. Think of high-end products or services, for instance. Many customers are unrestrained about making expensive purchases if they find the product relevant. So, if you had a costly product to sell, you should at least vouch that your target’s spending behavior can accommodate such a cost.
Sometimes, it’s the need for your product that segments your client base. It’s important to note that your product or service can fill needs or purposes they weren't designed to serve. Such customer improvisation could mean you have an emerging market to satisfy.
Also, you may be selling to other businesses (B2B), such as corporations, agencies, or nonprofits. Ensure to adapt your offer to meet the needs of these businesses.
Note that your prospects are all in different stages of their buying journey. Some may buy after hearing from you the first time. Others may need more convincing. As a result, even a successful direct mail campaign may take some time to become evident.
In the interim, you can incentivize loyal buyers by sending postcards or thank you cards selling special offers or educating them on your latest product or offer.
What’s the takeaway here? First, target direct mailing campaigns to the right audience for excellent results.
Direct mail for realtors is one of the most favorable direct mail marketing out there. As a result, many real estate agents and organizations are opening up to the potential of direct mail marketing for real estate businesses.
Direct mail marketing for real estate businesses is more than just a way to increase the business scope. Real estate businesses that mailed their targets also noted these benefits:
As a real estate agent or agency, who might be interested in your direct mails? In short, peculiar groups may be on a perpetual lookout for good housing deals. Look at the below lists for ideas:
If you want to run a direct mail marketing campaign for your real estate business, the below steps may help you realize astounding results:
Ensure your list is made of names and addresses of prospects that are likely to buy
A contact list with too many faulty addresses is a bad list. The success of your campaign depends significantly on your list. Albeit a paid service, some online services let you curate and verify your list.
Many real estate agents favor promoting their contact or business cards. As a result, you may need a business card that stands out and is likely to be stored. Unlike a standard business card, ensure to include a clear CTA with an irresistible offer.
A test gives you foregleams of what to expect. It is never always correct but can save you money and effort. A test is also an opportunity to fine-tune your campaign for maximum results.
Also, testing can allow you to find the best direct mail for real estate investors and other buyer groups.
During this stage, monitor the campaign to know when to pull the plug or change strategy.
Ensure a system is in place to track emails and phone calls. The customer service team must know of the ongoing campaign and its objective. Lastly, ensure every response is followed up subsequently.
Did you meet your expectations? Why or why not? What will you do the same or differently? The current campaign may have ended, but the data and the lessons are invaluable.
Direct mail for real estate agents is a goldmine. But will you use it?
Anyone can use direct mail marketing, especially if you want to expand to newer locations or clients.
However, before any sales take place, the clients must be sure that you have their interests. At that point, they stop being mere numbers on a report sheet. For companies that use direct mail marketing, it can fill these business needs:
Mailing repeat customers is a sure way to increase your business sales because your customers may have forgotten about you.
Clients love creativity or novelty. What's predictable is soon forgotten. As a result, a company that uses direct marketing can evolve creatively.
There is no shortage of businesses advertising on digital media. Unfortunately, it's increasingly difficult to stand out in these new media. But standing out via direct mail marketing can be a breeze.
A direct mail marketing strategy is a plan for using direct mail to promote and sell products or services. There are many strategies of direct mail marketing out there with some applying the direct marketing best practices. Unfortunately, not all of them work. But seasoned marketers know that mailing postcards, letters, business cards, and the likes still produces irresistible results if done right. As a result, your marketing must include a direct mailing campaign.
A good strategy will reap good dividends in the long haul. So what are the unfailing strategies for successful direct mail marketing? Here are the 5 best strategies that characterize a spectacular direct mail marketing campaign.
Italian economist Vilfredo Federico made some stinging discoveries that will forever shape marketing. According to Pareto’s principle, 80% of outcomes come from 20% of causes. In essence, a business needs priorities. Not everything matters the same. Unfortunately, this realization is almost a forgotten revelation. Businesses pander to irrelevancies but ignore the elephant in the room - the actual money spinners. Namely:
The other 80% of causes that don't yield many outcomes can be:
Of course, this isn't one-size-fits-all advice, but the central nugget is prioritizing what will yield results.
You're familiar with value. Everyone wants value, including your customers. Your customers especially want value as they will be paying you with cash or attention. So why should they give you their money and not your competitor?
Providing value is crucial to any business. But you can't just give any value. Your value has to solve a pressing problem. When your value solves a problem, how would you tell that to the customer? Does your messaging and advert make it clear what value you're providing?
We see plenty of online advertisements with a missing value proposition. You'd be hard-pressed to make a more significant mistake than this.
All underwhelming direct mail marketing lacks a clear or even relevant value proposition. So yes, the most costly mistake you can make is to run a direct mail campaign with a missing value proposition.
A negative application
A newly opened school in a sparsely populated neighborhood was challenged with convincing parents to enroll. Because it was a new school, parents shrugged at the idea of their child going to an unpopular school. In a desperate attempt to solve the problem of low attendance, the school management advertised that the 1st term fee is free for new pupils. On the surface, this looked like a reasonable offer, except that it wasn't.
The school struggled with enrollment even though the advert ran for a long time. The majority of parents and prospects were uninterested in the offer. Why? Parents could sense that they weren't providing any value. They didn't emphasize values such
as the learning environment, the teachers' quality, the school's mission, etc. In essence, no one was sure what value the school provided.
Free isn't value. What problem does your product or service solve? Have you answered that with your messaging?
Successful brands have clear and distinct value propositions. Why? All over the world, millions people or competitors are doing the same thing you're doing. So, why should customers choose you?
Make your value proposition short, distinct, and straightforward. Lastly, remember that your value proposition isn't just a set of features. It's, first of all, a solution to your customer's problems.
Your customers don't care about your latest or new product features. Instead, they have real problems that need a solution.
Selling to everyone is inefficient and counterproductive. In the same way, selling to groups of persons or customer segments can sometimes prove difficult. These groups are still too varied. You'd get a lot of success creating a buyer persona and selling to your buyer persona specifically. What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is an imaginary person who describes your target audience well. Every customer segment should have a buyer persona attached to it. A buyer persona should answer these 5 questions about each customer segment on a single page:
A vivid customer persona makes writing your sales copy a lot easier. You are no longer persuading imaginary groups of buyers. Instead, you're empathetically trying to help a friend solve a pressing need.
Not measuring your campaign performance is the wrong direct mail marketing strategy. Sometimes, you'd need to pull the plug on your direct mail marketing or intensify efforts. These are key decisions you cannot make without accurate measurement. Some indexes to look out for are page visits, purchases, sign-ups, or calls. This type of measuring can provide silent feedback for your business.
There is a lot you can do with a campaign. As a result, ensure you determine your specific objectives from the get-go. That way, you can determine when you hit the mark or when you should re-strategize.
Some examples of goals will be:
- increase website traffic
- get more customers
- generate high-quality leads
- boost brand engagement
Although direct mail marketing plan can require a lot from you, expect excellent results when you stick to the strategies of direct marketing outlined here.
The average response rate for a direct mail campaign is about 4.9% for prospect lists and 9% for house lists - the best-performing products are oversized envelopes and postcards. By contrast, the response rate for email is just 0.6%.
Additionally, when it comes to Return on Investment (ROI), direct mail is shown to do better than both online displayed ads and paid searches. Direct mail was only behind social media as the second-best ROI medium. So you see that direct mail still works.
But, why does direct mail work?
There are specific reasons why direct mail works. Knowing these reasons will help you craft profitable campaigns. They are:
Customers touch, feel, and read messages when they receive them in their mailbox. They'll at least look at business mails before deciding whether to keep them or not This tactile connection is absent in online marketing, making direct mail more intimate.
Certain prospects can only be reached offline. Thus, electronic advertising can limit a targeted reach. If you suspect you are missing some offline prospects, give direct mail marketing a go.
There are fewer competitors with many brands ditching physical marketing in favor of online marketing. As a result, it's easier for clients to notice and patronize products or offers that come to them directly.
Combining online marketing with direct mail marketing gives your customers a more seamless buying experience. You can also use it to be more creative with your marketing message and offer.
Fragrance company brochure from Canva
You can measure how successful your direct mail campaign is with data such as open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost per acquisition. These metrics are essential in analyzing the return on investment (ROI) of your campaign.
You can personalize your direct mail messages to increase engagement. With the advent of new technologies, it's now easier to customize and target your audience with laser precision.
Postcard design by NKiwexx Graphics
As we pointed out earlier, with people receiving an average of 121 emails per day, it's easy for your message to get lost in the shuffle. According to studies, 70% of people say they would open a piece of mail from a brand they love.
Direct mail can be an affordable marketing medium, especially if you take advantage of printable coupons and discounts. You can also save on postage by targeting local customers.
Now before we even delve into the details of how direct mail marketing works, we need to answer the question that has got everyone’s tongue wagging. Does direct mail marketing work in a digital age? The answer is a big yes.
We are going to be expounding on this. The trends in digital marketing have continued to be a major part of any marketing strategy but this has also exposed the loopholes that only good old-fashioned advertising can seal. Package yourself right and push that package into the mail and it will have a huge impact on your customers.
This will also be reflected in your ROI. Direct mail marketing complements your digital marketing efforts. So go ahead and give your customers personalized attention and here is how.
First and foremost you need to define your goals. What is it that you want to achieve with your direct mail marketing campaign? Do you want to bring new customers on board or do you simply want more traffic to your website?
Perhaps you just want to inform your customers that you have restocked or have a new product. You need to have a clear goal in mind before indulging in this sort of campaign because this is what governs the decisions you make in the entire process.
A good direct mail marketing campaign works with a mailing list. This is the only way you can be certain that your marketing material lands on the right doorstep. Advertising speaks to the masses, but direct mailing focuses on the individual hence its efficiency.
For you to get an effective list you will need to define your target market. Who are you selling to? You will need your customer’s avatar. Here are some of the factors that you have to consider.
Nowadays you also have to consider if your customer owns a pet or not. These are just some of the demographics that you should be able to cover when making a mailing list. Once you have a customer’s avatar you need to find them.
For a business that has limited resources then mailing list brokers might not be down your alley. You can instead use the following:
You can also get your name on several mailing lists. Obtain all the free information that you can. You can get this from companies that are in the same lane of business as you.
Note down every reaction you get and save the response from those that were most effective no matter the source. Direct mail inserts should have keywords and colors. You should ensure that your colors and the images are in sync.
Never use neon colors for serious products or services. Color psychology is a major determinant of how your mail is reciprocated.
This is your final chance to impress and convince your customer. This is the reason why you should initially have had a clear goal in mind. This is where you tell the customer why you wanted their attention.
A good CTA is one that not only grabs the attention but is also memorable.
Now that you know what you want, your customer and where to find them then you need to choose a format of the material to be used. Most businesses use standard postcards but why should you follow suit when you can be unique? Here are just some of the options you have:
Regular sized postcards 4 x 6 inchesShop Now
Oversized postcards 6 x9 / 6 x 11 inchesShop Now
Once again your goal and CTA come into play here. This should be what your design revolves around. You can opt to work with an independent professional designer or get one from Fiverr or Upwork.
Do not overdo the images or the texts. A modern design template should be good to go.
Congratulations, you are now going to print and send large volumes of mail to hundreds if not thousands of addresses.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, Direct mail average response rates range from 1% from a list of prospects to 3.7% from an in-house list of previous buyers.
We have various products so you can achieve your specific direct mail marketing needs and be in charge of your budget or expenditure. As a result, your direct mail costs can vary. For example, plan your campaign with as little as $71 for direct mail postcards. This cost does not include the cost of some optional customizations or printing and mailing costs.
The factors that affect the cost of direct mail advertising are in your control. These factors include:
- The direct mail product of choice (flyers, brochures, postcards, letters, business cards, etc.)
- The scope of your advertising
- Design charges for artwork
- Mailing list size
- Copywriting fee and
- Printing and mailing customizations
- Printing format (large, small)
Some practical approaches can drive the cost down and ensure you do not spend more than you budgeted while still getting your desired advertising results.
Work with a freelancer or another creative your company hired. Since the individual will be on a salary, the cost you'd incur will remain flat and reasonable. The amount you'd typically spend on artwork will depend on the experience of the designer in question. Even though these rates can fluctuate, they can always be negotiated slightly. Make sure to check the designer’s portfolio before you settle with them.
You can use an existing template to save design costs and time. An online tool like Canva has numerous good-to-go templates you can pick from. Alternatively, use our free online editor or choose our range of custom-shaped products for free to style your designs.
The experience level of a copywriter can decide the outcome of any advertising campaign. Therefore, consider spending adequate money and time to recruit the right client. Does the copy sound convincing enough? The cost of hiring a professional copywriter may not matter after all.
Postage costs can take a chunk of your direct mail marketing budget. But postage costs vary depending on the kind of posting you choose. First-class posting generally costs more than its standard alternative, but it has unique advantages that make it enticing. Get a delivery span of 1-4 days with first class mailing, a free return option for mails that couldn't deliver, and the ability to track your postage via barcode. Ironically, postage cost becomes more reasonable for higher volume mails. Reduced direct mail costs is the main advantage of choosing the standard postage.
How much does it cost to send 10000 direct mail? The cost can get to $495.00 for 10000 mails. In comparison, the direct mail cost per 1000 mail is just $145.00. What is the quantity and quality of your direct mail item? What format or size are you using? Of course, you can lower costs by sticking to smaller formats, but sometimes, you may need to use a large format for your advertising. More importantly, your format size should be guided by your message and intent.
Printing costs per item can be around $0.05 and $1.00. Premium materials can increase your printing cost.
Traditional direct mail marketing is more effective than online marketing in many ways. For one, it is tangible. This physical presence makes it impossible to ignore. Brands now complement their online marketing with traditional and physical direct mail marketing.
How does direct mail vs digital marketing compare? First, direct mail marketing is considered more personal. As a result, it's easier to get prospects' attention. So it's no wonder direct mail marketing has a higher open and response rate than its digital alternative.
It's reasonable to sell certain items via direct mail. Does your product involve the human senses? For example, beauty brands use printed catalogs to show their product ranges and varieties. Restaurants and food vendors can use similar strategies.
Printed catalogs are popular with real estate and automotive companies as well. These industries require the customer to get a sense of the house or car they want to buy or rent by looking at the pictures and reading the specific features. In addition, having a physical copy helps make the products more memorable to the customers, thus helping them make a buying decision.
Direct mail solutions aren't just fanciful. These solutions are efficient and productive and can save you time and money.
At 4OVER4, our all-in-one direct mail marketing services are a one-stop location for your mail marketing needs. We offer printing, listing, data processing, and mailing services. Our direct mail marketing services at 4OVER4 have the following benefits:
In addition to your selected print turnaround time, at 4OVER4, your mailing package will be processed as follows:
You can request that we print your items in 2 or 4 business days. Then the mailing process will follow. Depending on the quantity you have ordered, your prints will be available with names on the items. Also, the certification is done and dropped off at the post office in the duration below.
500 - 25,000 1 - 3 business days
30,000 - 60,000 3 - 5 business days
70,000 - 100,000 5 - 7 business days
You're in control of your campaign speed. You'll also be able to calculate when recipients will likely receive your mail.
A penny saved is a penny earned. When engaging in a direct mail marketing campaign, you should have this in mind. Depending on where you get these services done, you could save a significant amount getting your mail printed and shipped from one place.
For instance, 4OVER4 charges 31.5 cents for a 4x6 postcard and 50.5 cents for postage of other sizes. However, if you did the mailing yourself, you would pay 35 cents and 55 cents, respectively.
Traditional marketing methods have a unique advantage, especially in this digital age. Direct mail marketing stands out from the crowd and allows small businesses to connect with their audience uniquely. The key takeaway is that you must target the right audience. We've provided specific methods of segmenting your audience to do justice to your marketing campaign. Proper audience segmentation is the basis of good marketing.
We already mentioned several listings sources, but you should not stop there. Keep growing. You can rent outside lists, but you should also concentrate on building your database. Start with a rented list and build on it. Rent it for one-time use; then, once your target audience responds, you use their response as data.
All-in-one, direct mail marketing services save you time and money, especially now where you can get support in copywriting, designing, printing, and distributing your marketing collateral all from one place.
While email marketing remains a powerful channel for advertising, marketers agree that the email marketing field is becoming increasingly competitive. As open rates for email plummet, selling via email alone is becoming an uphill climb.
Conversely, direct mail marketing has a much higher open rate and a response rate that's 8% more than any other communication channel. These statistics show the purview of what's possible with this form of marketing. Some organizations still utilize direct mailing only as a complementary marketing channel. But as we'd see, it is best viewed as an established, standalone channel with an excellent return on investment (ROI).
What is the ROI on direct mail marketing? A recent 2021 report shows direct mail advertising outperforms display advertising, social media advertising, paid search, email, and SMS marketing in terms of average ROI. Comparing direct marketing vs advertising shows brands should mail prospects more.
Here are 5 facts that show why direct mail isn’t dead.
Despite printing and shipping costs, direct mail ROI surpasses these expenses. You'd incur printing and shipping costs with direct mail marketing, but the ROI is enough to exceed those expenses. Around 60% of marketers confirm direct mail has the highest ROI compared to other marketing channels.
In addition to this healthy return, you can maximize your campaign's ROI by reducing costs. For example, use design templates to save costs. Also, conduct a simple test to help optimize your campaigns for the best results.
Use this free direct mail ROI calculator to estimate your campaign returns.
This statistic is from a direct mail study. Whereas paid search and social media have a response rate of just 1%. Direct mail isn't dead yet because of the high ROI, open rate, and response rate. On the contrary, expect more organizations to resort to this traditional means of advertising to reach more customers.
Add a tracking method to your campaigns to track direct mail responses. Use special QR codes, phone numbers, unique links (URLs), and different discount codes to monitor your campaign's responses.
Surprisingly, millennials are most responsive to direct mail marketing. Thus, direct marketing solutions can work for a diverse audience. Besides, millennials are in the stage of their life where they now have significant purchasing power. Therefore, you can sell them a product or solution with the right offer.
Direct mail is uncommon, so your competitors likely do not mail prospects. As a result, there's less competition and being noticed is much easier. Daily, marketers inundate customers with hundreds of emails and messages. But the mailbox of customers is without clutter.
Direct mail marketing works well because marketers have underutilized this marketing channel in this digital age. However, since it takes a bit more work than other digital marketing strategies, it's less common but more effective.
Customers will buy from you if you trust your brand. Customers tend to trust traditional advertising over digital advertising. Direct mail ranks behind only television advertising and print ads for trustworthiness.
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