What is Direct Mail?

by Cassandra Moffitt on

Direct mail is a term used by marketing agencies to refer to any sort of marketing collateral that is mailed to someone’s home or business. This can (and does) include things such as postcards, newsletters, self-sealed brochures, product catalogs and general advertisements.

As with any piece of marketing, there are pros and cons to think about when considering running a direct mail campaign. The first step is to evaluate who your target audience is, and if you think they would be listening and respond well when communicated in this manner. For example, the 18 - 25 demographic has been raised in a digital world and are not accustomed to being introduced to products or services through mail advertisements. They are, therefore, much less likely to spend time reading or considering your message when reached out to this way.

However, the older, retired demographic (55+) are perfect candidates for direct mail, because they often enjoy spending time each day reviewing the mail they received, and are much more likely to give your piece of marketing their time and consideration.

The second step is to consider what other pieces of direct mail your demographic is likely to receive. You need to make sure that your piece is unique, attractive, and isn’t putting across the same message as something else that was delivered that day. For example, if you are sending a postcard to homeowners offering your landscaping services, chances are that homeowner has received the same or similar every day since spring began. Your piece, therefore, needs to offer something different than everyone else - perhaps that’s a discount, a free consultation, or a package deal.

Third is to have your piece professionally designed. It’s incredibly important that you make the most out of every one of your marketing campaigns - and direct mail is no different. If you commit to the cost of producing and mailing your piece, you need to put your best foot forward and send a design that is attractive, effective, and clearly puts across your marketing message. Don’t undercut your own returns by cutting corners on this step.

Lastly, you have to take into account what the cost of mailing your piece is going to be. The United States Postal Service has strict guidelines about the size and thickness of mailable items, and (typically) the bigger or thicket the mail, the more expensive the cost. At Grid, we suggest you have a professional mailing house handle the actual postage and mailing of your piece. They can handle the stuffing, labelling and mailing of your piece, all at a lower cost than you could on your own (often by using their license to mail “bulk mail” at a lower cost than regular rates).

If you’re thinking about sending a direct mail campaign, reach out to Grid! We can help you get the right messaging, design, mailing list (targeted specifically to your demographic), and facilitate sending the final product.

Product courtesy of flickr user Judith E. Bell.