Direct MailPosted 11/16/2004
By George Zabrecky
Did you know that - last year alone - $36 billion was spent on direct mail? Approximately 780 billion pieces of direct mail were sent to 134 million addresses. Direct mail is still the best marketing investment you can make. It's fast, it's simple, it's inexpensive, and it's easy to track results. It is the most utilized marketing tool in any industry in our nation. The Internet has not replaced it; in fact, marketers use direct mail to encourage customers and prospects to visit their Web sites.
Direct mail allows you to market to a target audience of your choosing or to motivate existing customers by special offers or a reminder card program. It saves you money by getting your message to the market that will actually patronize your shop instead of advertising to the masses. Here are the key elements to make your direct mail work for you:
Have a plan of action - What do you hope to accomplish with this mailing?
Think about your customers or prospects as you're planning your direct mail campaign. Put yourself in their shoes. What would make you respond to the direct mail piece? If the offer or the benefits you plan to mention would not motivate you to come to your shop, it won't motivate your customers either.
Who is your target audience?
What impression do you want to create about your shop with your direct mail piece?
You need to emphasize what makes your shop special or better than your competition down the street. Look for ways that set you apart.
What look would best portray your shop's image?
Is your shop photogenic? Would you be proud to have your shop's picture displayed on the front of a postcard? If so, do it.
How to make it just right!
There are six basics that must be considered as you decide on your direct mail piece. Also, consider the type of direct mail you will use. An oversized postcard is your most economical piece and is easy for your recipient to read. A letter in an envelope will many times be tossed unless the envelope is unique or the address appears to be handwritten. A flier or newsletter that is trifolded as a self-mailer works well. Consider these elements that comprise the look, feel and content of your direct mail piece:
Direct mail is an excellent way to stay in touch with customers, prospects and friends. Whether you use postcards or newsletters, they establish credibility and authority. Direct mail builds customer loyalty if the content is useful to the reader. It can sell your service in a soft way - not a hard sell. Use this tool to announce new services and products. If you set your goals in place, direct mail can work wonders for your business!
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