Direct Mail: FAQs and Misconceptions

Direct Mailing (the sending out of printed advertising material) is still one of the most effective ways to get your company’s products and services in front of the people who matter. In such a competitive marketplace Direct Mail is a fast, simple and cost-effective way of getting your company’s profile noticed by people who have a history of interest in the kind of service you offer. A Direct Mail campaign can boost your client base, inform people about changes and improvements to your business strategy or introduce new products or offers that your company is putting forward. Direct Mail is the perfect way to make contact with new customers and spread the word of what you have to offer, when integrated into the overall marketing mix of your business, it’s another channel that can prove successful in attracting new clients and customers.

However, to some, Direct Mail is a confusing marketing method and many people do not understand how it can aid their business. This article will (hopefully) shine a light on any existing misconceptions regarding Direct Mail as well as confronting the negative stigmas attached to the Direct Mail method.

Won’t the people that I contact ignore the mailing believing it to be ‘Spam’?

Spam is an unsolicited mailing that comes through your letterbox or is sent to your office uninvited. The top Direct Mail companies use lists of people that have opted-in to receive information from certain specified categories of products and services. The great thing about a quality mailing list is that the people on the list have already shown intent towards what you are approaching them with – this is half the battle when trying to sell to new customers.

Is Direct Mail only useful when trying to contact new customers on a Business to Consumer level?

Direct Mail is a very effective way to attract new customers to your company and Business to Consumer mailing is a huge worldwide industry. However, most Direct Mail companies can offer campaigns that allow you to contact businesses as well. If you are looking to establish relationships with other businesses and expand your client base then a Business to Business campaign could be very worthwhile.

Good Direct Mail companies will be able to provide lists that will allow you to really focus in on your target audience whether this is consumers or businesses – the Private or Public Sector etc. Decide what you need before contacting the Direct Mail companies, get in touch, and see what ideas they have for your campaign.

I only want a small list - maybe 100-200 contacts. Can the Direct Mail companies help me?

Yes and no, some Direct Mail companies will allow you to focus in and target very specific geographical areas or customers and do not have a minimum order. Whereas others will only deal in bulk lists – with these companies, we are talking lists of thousands, rather than hundreds of contacts. Before buying your list it is important to establish exactly what you want to achieve, your budget and most important the value of each new customer. Bear in mind that Direct Mail is often most effective in bigger campaigns. You may have to send out 10,000 letters or emails in order to secure 200 responses. This may seem a lot, but if you can turn this interest into 100 new clients the process will have paid for itself many times over.

How specific can a Direct Mail campaign really be?

This depends entirely on what kind of list you are looking for. Be as a specific as possible when requesting the data and the Direct Mailing companies will do their best to match a list to your requirements. It is sometimes possible to request contacts by individual postcodes, or by type and size of business if you are looking for a Business to Business campaign. Many options are available so get in touch with the Mailing houses and see what they have to say.

Common Misconceptions: Direct Mailing

Direct Mailing is all ‘Spam’ that only serves to annoy people and never gets read.
This really is not the case. The vast majority of Direct Mail companies work with what are referred to as ‘opt-in’ lists. These are lists of people who have actively chosen to receive the type of information that you will be sending through your Direct Mail campaign. They therefore have a genuine interest in the products and services that you will be letting them know about.

Direct Marketing and Email Marketing are the same category.
Whilst some Direct Mail companies may offer both Email and Direct Marketing campaigns, they are two very distinct categories and require very different skill sets. The vast majority of companies specialize in either one or the other.

Nobody reads Direct Mail correspondence.
Direct Mail is an incredibly effective marketing method. The industry is growing and an increasing number of companies are employing the services of Direct Mailing houses because it is such a quick and effective way of reaching new clients and customers. Not every piece of information will be read, certainly, but a big enough campaign is extremely likely to bring in a wealth of new business.

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