Direct Mail

Direct Mail Marketing Guide

By 7 February 2024April 19th, 2024No Comments
direct mail marketing

Direct Mail Marketing and How It’s Beneficial for Your Business

Direct mail marketing helps companies generate good response rates and boost return on investment. The physical nature of direct mail is appealing to most people, and they love receiving it in their mailboxes. In fact, 81% of Australians open and read their mail items immediately.

direct mail marketing

Not just individuals, even companies love direct mail marketing services as their top-notch marketing strategy. They can either conduct geographical or targeted direct mail marketing campaigns.

On one hand, geographical campaigns focus on the people residing in specific neighbourhoods. While on the other hand, the targeted campaigns focus on other demographics like age, gender, etc.

Keep reading this blog to know more about the advantages of direct mail marketing, ideas and examples, and how to get started. 

What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail is any form of physical correspondence sent to prospects and customers. Companies can send marketing and transactional items as direct mail, such as postcards, letters, invoices, etc.

Direct mail advertising is a very old marketing channel. Yet, marketers continue to use it as a significant aspect of their marketing strategies.

This marketing form gives you a chance to interact with your target customers personally. Make sure to send something appealing and attention-grabbing that can convince them to buy from you.

Direct mail items come with an offer, a call to action, contact details, and much more. Apart from these, you can also add other aspects to display your creativity.

Why Does Direct Mail Marketing Work?

Why use direct mail marketing? There are several reasons why direct mail is still among the top marketing choices of many companies. Find the reasons below:

Direct Mail Faces Less Competition

In this modern era, people don’t expect to receive things in the mail. Most of the advertisements are shown online, and the masses are used to that.

This is why direct mail marketers need not face any competition, and their marketing items stand out from the crowd.

Direct Mail is Memorable

Direct mail is a tangible item that is sent directly to the physical mailboxes of your customers and prospects. These items can be stuck on a refrigerator or pinned to a board.

Also, they can be passed on from one person to another. Finally, direct mail’s tangible nature makes it memorable and increases brand recognition.

Direct Mail is Creative

You can be as creative as possible with direct mail. Marketers can come up with their own direct mail marketing ideas or take inspiration from elsewhere. Either way, direct mail allows you to get creative and showcase your brand in a good light.

Other reasons why companies should incorporate a direct mail marketing strategy are:

  • Direct mail has a great response rate
  • It is interactive and engaging
  • Direct mail can reach a wider audience, etc.

Benefits of Direct Mail Marketing

High ROI

The median ROI of direct mail is 29%, which is much higher than social media and email marketing. It proves that direct mail offers a great return on investment and is a must-use for every company.

Drives Online Audience

The direct mail marketing industry has also understood the importance of increasing one’s online visibility. Therefore, all direct mail items today have QR codes, pURLs, etc., to help people connect with the brand online.

It helps the brand empower its reputation and awareness and convinces people to move ahead in the sales funnel.

Increased Brand Authenticity

Companies must prove themselves as credible and authentic. Running direct mail marketing campaigns can help you get there.

Direct mail is the most credible marketing channel. 74% of Australians attentively read the direct mail items they receive. It shows that people trust direct mail and consider it a reliable means of information.

Offers a Direct and Personal Approach

There are many customisation and personalisation opportunities available for marketers with direct mail marketing. For example, you can use several variable data tags like name, age, gender, and so on.

Including such variables helps you interact with people on a personal level. You can talk about their current needs and offer them a solution for the same. This direct approach is one of the key benefits of direct mail.

High Response Rate

Now, you must be thinking about what is a good response rate for direct mail marketing.

Well, the average response rate is 9%, but you can do pretty well with a response rate of 2-5%. But, again, it depends on the type of mailing list you use along with your brand messaging.

This response rate is much more than that generated by display ads, online searches, and other digital marketing channels.

Wider Audience

Many people don’t use social media platforms or other digital channels. But, you can connect with such people through direct mail.

Senior citizens love reading your mail items and also tend to engage with them. Nowadays, even teenagers and millennials have started liking direct mail due to the increasing digital noise. Therefore, direct mail helps you reach a broader audience.

Here, using automated tools can help boost your outreach. Tools like PostGrid can help you build targeted mailing lists that enable you to reach more people who match your buyer persona.

Direct Mail Marketing Campaign Ideas and Examples

Postcards

Postcard marketing makes the best direct mail marketing plans. However, if you are new to direct mail marketing, it is recommended that you first print and mail postcards. They are cost-effective and appealing, and a lot of people like collecting them.

You can send postcards:

  • On your prospects’ birthdays and anniversaries
  • To invite people to a trade fair or other events
  • During the holiday season
  • To inform customers about upcoming season sales
  • For introducing new products and services
  • To promote a new store or franchise, etc.

There are unlimited ideas on how to use direct mail marketing effectively with postcards. Find below some examples:

This postcard by Optical was sent to customers on their birthdays. It also offered a 30% discount to them as a gift. It is an exciting way to keep people hooked and encourage them to purchase from you further.

Here’s another example by NatureBox:

There are many things to note about this postcard, such as:

  • The use of bright colours helps your postcards stand out from the other mail items in a mailbox.
  • You can print your artwork in both landscape and portrait orientation. Make sure the layout fits with your messaging.
  • Printing on both sides of a postcard helps you get added coverage.
  • Always add an offer and CTA to fulfil the purpose of your mailing.

Letters

Letters have more space than postcards and also look more professional. So, if you want to talk about your brand in a little more detail, you can use marketing letters. Many successful direct mail marketing campaigns involved the use of letters.

Find below the marketing letter printed and mailed out by Domino’s Pizza:

This letter was sent to all their valuable members and regular customers as a gesture of appreciation. It also aimed at increasing its online sales.

As you can see, letters can be more personalised and make people feel special. You can add in other customizations as per your messaging. Below are some ideas:

  • Include real-like stories and testimonials.
  • Use a handwriting font to increase the appeal of your letter.
  • Add some infographics to support your message.
  • Mention a postscript at the end of the letter.
  • Talk about your product’s benefits and uses, not features.

Press Releases and Newsletters

Companies can draft weekly or monthly newsletters and mail them to their target audience to keep them engaged. Add your company’s latest achievements, future plans, and other news in the newsletters. Make it fun, engaging, and persuasive.

You can also send press releases to your customers. It is a great way to talk about your brand and make people have an interest in you.

Content Kit

Direct mail marketing for insurance agents can work great, but they need to break down complex ideas into simple terms.

For that, most companies from the insurance industry and other similar industries put together ebooks, whitepapers, and reports. These informative pieces help prospects understand their operations better.

They can also print their case studies, reports, etc., and make a content kit to mail to their audience. This way, they can educate their audience and help them make the right decision.

Corporate Gifting

Another idea for conducting the best direct mail marketing campaigns is corporate gifting. For example, you can select merchandise like caps, t-shirts, notebooks, bottles, etc., and send them to your prospects as a gift.

Companies print their logos on such items and usually send them along with a postcard or small note.

Also Read: Ideas and Examples of Postcard Marketing Campaign

How to Get Started With Direct Mail Marketing?

A lot of people are confused about the functioning of direct mail marketing and how to get started. So, keep reading below to know the steps to conduct a successful direct mail marketing campaign:

Build a Mailing List

If you ever conducted an email marketing campaign, then you are already aware of the term “mailing list.” All direct mail and marketing campaigns need a list of targeted prospects.

So, your first step is to put together a mailing list. Keep your customer profile in mind and make sure to only include relevant prospects in your list.

There are many different types of mailing lists like:

  • Behavioural
  • Demographic
  • Geographic
  • Firmographic
  • Psychographic, etc.

Mailing lists are based on location, age, gender, income level, number of children, etc. These characteristics or aspects help you understand your relevant audience so that you can conduct targeted marketing campaigns.

Create Your Mail Pieces

Come up with a direct mail item idea that suits your campaign purpose. For example, you can use postcards for a giveaway or announcement, and letters for invitations and other purposes.

Focus on your mail design and include a relevant CTA and offer. Once the design is final, you can send your items to a printer or print them yourself.

Don’t make it too messy. Make sure that all your mail items are easy to read and interactive.

Develop a Response Mechanism

The most common response mechanism is the use of trackable phone numbers. But, QR codes and pURLs have gained a lot of momentum recently.

That is because QR codes can help you take people to your website or other pages easily. All your recipients have to do is scan the codes and avail of their offers by visiting your website.

Try adding codes and links that are unique to your campaign. It makes tracking easy and fast.

Test and Modify

Before printing and sending out your mail items in bulk, it is essential to test their performance. Therefore, you should first send two or more items to different segments of your audience.

Record their reactions and note down the responses. It will tell you which items perform better than the others.

Run Your Campaign

Once you decide which is the best version of your direct mail items. you can finally run your campaign.

Australia Post can help you mail your items to your recipients. But, you need to write the correct mailing addresses on every item for smooth delivery.

PostGrid’s address verification API can help you standardize and verify addresses before mailing. Hence, it enables you to reduce wastage and induce fast deliveries.

Handle Responses

Once your direct mail items are delivered, you are going to start getting responses from the recipients. Therefore, companies need to be prepared to handle these responses and help the respondents move ahead in their customer journey.

Train your staff to handle calls, emails, and in-store visits well. For that, they should be aware of the campaign and its offers to properly assist the respondents.

Analyze Campaign Results

What is your direct mail marketing success rate? You can never know that unless you count your total responses and conversions.

PostGrid’s print and mail API can help you analyze your campaign performance. You can also access the insights and reports through your dashboard. These analytics can help you understand why your campaign worked or didn’t and what changes you should bring in next time.

Direct Mail Marketing Best Practices

Create Attention-Grabbing Messages

Choose words that are informative yet convincing. You should pay close attention to your marketing copy, especially the headlines.

Use bold and upfront headlines that can sum up the purpose of your mail.

Don’t spread your message into lengthy paragraphs. Instead, use short sentences and crisp bullet points to convey your point.

Integrate Direct Mail With Online Marketing

Direct mail works great as a standalone marketing strategy. But, it works even better when used in conjunction with other marketing forms.

If you want to increase your coverage and get more responses, combine direct mail and digital marketing.

You can run a direct mail campaign with simultaneous social media ads or conduct an email drip campaign immediately after a direct mail campaign.

Either way, the plan is to reinstate your message through several channels to increase awareness.

Make sure to keep your messaging and offers consistent across all channels.

Keep Your Mailing Lists Updated

Always keep your data fresh and updated. If you send items to an old mailing list, there are chances that many of your shipments will be returned.

It is because a lot of people move every year. Also, not all postal addresses in your mailing list are correct and standardized.

You can use the services of direct mail marketing specialists to verify your lists. PostGrid offers both on-demand and bulk address validation api to help you keep your database clean all the time.

Use Mail Personalisation

Sending generic marketing items can help you get responses to a certain extent. For example, suppose you are a local restaurant. In that case, you can send non-personalised postcards to all the people in your neighbourhood.

But, people like getting things with their names on them. So, they are more inclined towards reading and responding to mail that has their details printed on it.

Therefore, it is recommended to personalise your items. It can help you get more engagement and increase your ROI.

Do’s and Don’ts of Direct Mail Marketing

Find below some guidelines that can help you conduct better direct mail campaigns:

Do’s:

  • Use a compelling call to action
  • Pair your call to action with an exciting offer
  • Add reviews and testimonials
  • Test your market
  • Segment your mailing lists
  • Have clear mailing objectives

Don’ts:

  • Print anything without proofreading
  • Forget to ask your sales team to follow up
  • Add too many details and words in your mail
  • Forget to drive online traffic

Automating Direct Mail Marketing

Automated direct mail helps you get rid of the manual processes involved in direct mail marketing. For example, medical, real estate, educational, and insurance direct mail marketing can all become more manageable with automation.

You need not create, print, and mail items on your own. All you have to do is find an automated direct mail platform like PostGrid and let it handle everything.

Designing Items

Not all automated direct mail service providers offer design services. So, you should consider your needs before selecting the right vendor.

PostGrid has several pre-built templates to help you get your mail items designed in just a few minutes. This way, you can avoid hiring a designer and design your mail.

Printing Services

PostGrid has partnered up with several reputed printers across the country. Hence, you can get your items printed in high-quality at very reasonable rates.

By outsourcing your printing tasks, you can skip buying perishables like paper and ink. You also need not purchase a printer or let your employees spend days loading and unloading papers to print your marketing items.

Mailing Services

There is no longer the need to calculate postage, affix stamps on items, or carry them to the post office.

PostGrid takes care of all your mailing activities. We can help you presort and add barcodes to your mail helping you to track your items and avail of huge postal discounts.

PostGrid’s direct mail automation API can also help you:

  • Track your mail items
  • Get periodic campaign reports
  • Integrate our API with your CRM for easy mailing

Also Read: Top 7 Direct Mail Examples to Inspire Your Next Marketing Innovation

Direct Mail Vs. Digital Marketing

The direct mail vs. digital marketing debate has seen a lot of popularity in the past few years. Some companies claim that direct mail works the best for them, whereas others have solely committed to digital marketing.

As we said above, direct mail has a response rate of 9% and yet, digital marketing has a click-through rate of only 0.1%. Moreover, the average number of ads that a person sees every day is 5,000. So, in this scenario, it is easy for people to ignore emails and online display ads very quickly.

Talking about the ROI, direct mail gives an ROI of about 29%. On the other hand, digital marketing can generate an ROI of only 16%. This is because targeted digital marketing plans can cost a lot.

Also, there is a lot of flexibility for direct mail marketers. They can choose precisely whom to target when to target, and how to target. But, things are way too complex with digital marketing as it does not offer a lot of flexibility.

Direct mail and email marketing can both be personalised. But, after receiving 100 emails per day, people tend to skip reading them and move them to the trash box.

Direct Mail Marketing FAQs

How Can Direct Mail Marketing Support My Business?

Direct mail marketing can help you reach your prospects and communicate about your brand. This way, you can generate more leads that can eventually convert into customers.

Do Personalised Direct Mail Items Work Better?

Yes, personalised direct mail items have a better shot at getting noticed. People like to be appreciated and special- making it essential to customize your items according to them. Moreover, it helps you convince them to buy from you.

What Are the Direct Mail Marketing Costs?

Direct mail marketing does not have to be expensive. You can start with a small campaign size and work your way up.

All costs depend on your campaign size, choice of mail items, type of mailing list, design, and copy.

Does PostGrid Offer All-In-One Direct Mail Services?

Yes, PostGrid can help you with all your direct mailing activities. From design and printing to mailing and tracking, you can use PostGrid for everything.

Also, we offer these services at competitive prices. There is no minimum pricing or commitment involved.

Want to conduct a productive direct mail marketing campaign at low costs? Try PostGrid’s print and mail API and platform to help you skip the manual effort and increase productivity.