Direct Mail Outs – Still a Worthwhile Option?

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    direct-mail-outsNowadays you can promote your company via emails and social media with virtually no cost, so is there any benefit in spending some of your tight marketing budget on direct mail outs?  Consider these scenarios:

    You receive an email in your overloaded inbox and don’t recognize the sender.  But it sounds so tempting:  “Exclusive offer”, “Unbeatable Discount”, or even better, “Claim Your Cash Prize Today”. Yeah, yeah, yeah, who is going to send you a cash prize?  You give yourself a mental shake and hit the delete button without even opening it.

    Imagine on the other hand that you collect your morning’s mail and nestled amongst the bills, final demands and another letter from your ex-wife’s lawyer, you see a beautiful postcard.  Taking a peek at the reverse, you see some seriously tempting words, “For a limited time only enjoy 40% off your next holiday / car / computer / suit.”  If this offer matches something you’re already looking for, you’re hooked.  And if not, it might be a gentle reminder that you really do need a new holiday / car / computer /suit.  You carefully put the postcard to one side to read again more carefully at your leisure.

    See how it works? The email didn’t even get an opening.  But the postcard is sitting quietly in the house, just waiting until you come back for a second viewing.  A direct mail out, be it a postcard or flyer, makes an immediate visual impact, and if you like what you see, you’re going to hold on to it for a while and perhaps even make a purchase.

    So in your marketing arsenal, don’t overlook the direct mail out.  You can easily mail out postcards and flyers using the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program from USPS to a selected ZIP code and even choose between targeting residential and /or business addresses.  This costs from only $0.145 for each item sent!

    Once you have decided to go for this approach, do be sure to follow the principles below:

    Get the Right Look - Make a great first impression by having a professional design your mailing that sums up what you are offering. Use an eye-catching photo and don’t forget the power of lifestyle photos which include happy people using your product.  The ‘Average Joe’ likes to imagine himself in their shoes.  And make sure your company name is clearly displayed via your logo and brand colors.  No point designing a great flyer if no-one realizes who is behind it!

    Send the Right Message - The words need to support the visual and be persuasive.  The headline must be short and snappy, and state exactly what you are offering  – remember that the attention span of most people is equivalent to the size of an atom so you’ve got to capture it quickly, or all is lost.

    Offer a Special Something - Everyone loves an offer so include a great discount or unbeatable offer.  Make it for a limited duration - people, who are notoriously bad at making decisions, will be more likely to act now. 

    Call them to Action - Make it crystal clear what you want people to do next:  visit your store, come to your event, log onto your website or become a fan on your company Facebook page.  The position and size of the call-to-action information is key so don’t be subtle – bold and bright will work wonderfully.

    Once your design is finalized, ensure the postcard or flyer is professionally printed on good quality paper or card.  Then sit back, wait for it to drop into people’s mail boxes and monitor the success of your direct mail out. 

    Amanda Kelly

    Amanda is an active writer for J&R Marketing. Covering a wide range of social, marketing and business topics, Amanda also provides consulting services to many small businesses. 

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