Is direct mail marketing still effective?

Traditional English postbox

Direct mail marketing has become less popular since the advent of email, meaning consumer letterboxes are becoming less crowded as inboxes become increasingly full. See the opportunity here?

Do you remember the postman? He is the guy that comes to your house (or PO Box) and brings bills, letters, postcards and presents. I think he is still out there, but getting less and less work because emails are dominating. I really miss going to my letterbox and receiving things in the mail.

So let’s look at how we can keep the postman busy by using direct mail.

What is direct mail?

Direct mail is one of the oldest yet still most effective marketing strategies for small business owners to attract new clients. It’s a marketing piece that is delivered by the postman straight to your target audience.

The good thing about a direct mail campaign is that while our email inboxes get more and more crowded, our letterboxes aren’t.

Let’s take this concept a step further and look at targeted ‘lumpy mail’. The difference is that the envelope comes with an object in it making it ‘lumpy’.
‘Lumpy mail’ can be really successful because it stands out from all the other mail (and doesn’t look like a bill!).

Depending whom you are targeting, something quirky, cheeky, funny yet professional could work well.

Let’s look at the three basic steps to get you started with your own lumpy mail:

1. Find a gift that ties in with your marketing message. Rather than just sending a random gift that doesn’t make sense, select a gift supporting your message.

A couple of examples of successful campaigns we’ve done with some of our clients are: A children’s play house sending stress toys to vacation care centres inviting them to bring their kids and de-stress, a business coach sending five dollar notes promising to make more of these if working together.

Depending on your business, instead of sending a ‘lumpy mail’, you can also make your mail stand out by sending it in a coloured envelope with handwritten address on it (you might need somebody with nice handwriting if you do this).

2. Get a targeted list of people in the industry or demographic you want to work with. You can either buy a list from a list broker (just be sure it is a high quality list), get your assistant to compile a list for you or send it to your existing database of prospects.

Send your mail only to a small segment, then test and measure your results so you can track your success and do the next batch.

3. Well done! Now you MUST give your recipients a follow up call! This is absolutely crucial and can increase your conversion rate massively. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses never follow up because they are either scared or don’t know what to say on the phone. The good thing about sending your prospects a gift first is that you have something to talk about!

This is called ‘warm calling’ rather than ‘cold calling,’ and is much more fun and effective.

Do you also miss the postman? Please share your thoughts and opinions below.

  • I couldn’t agree more regarding the effectiveness of Hand Addressing your Envelopes. In fact, our company published 8 case studies back in 2008 which showed that “real” hand addressed mail got opened, read and responded to with a 3 to1 advantage, over mechanically addressed mail.

    If anyone is interested in a summary of these case studies, I can be reached at: ted@thinkinkmarketing.net or (888.808.2161 x910)

  • I couldn’t agree more regarding the effectiveness of Hand Addressing your Envelopes. In fact, our company published 8 case studies back in 2008 which showed that “real” hand addressed mail got opened, read and responded to with a 3 to1 advantage, over mechanically addressed mail.

    If anyone is interested in a summary of these case studies, I can be reached at: ted@thinkinkmarketing.net or (888.808.2161 x910)

  • I couldn’t agree more regarding the effectiveness of Hand Addressing your Envelopes. In fact, our company published 8 case studies back in 2008 which showed that “real” hand addressed mail got opened, read and responded to with a 3 to1 advantage, over mechanically addressed mail.

    If anyone is interested in a summary of these case studies, I can be reached at: ted@thinkinkmarketing.net or (888.808.2161 x910)

  • I couldn’t agree more regarding the effectiveness of hand addressing your envelopes rather than “lumpy mail”. Like Ted, our company published a few case studies which showed that “real” hand addressed mail got opened, read and responded significantly more over mechanically addressed mail.

    If anyone is interested in a summary of these case studies, I can be reached at: brian@maillift.com or (888-247-9309)