When it comes to marketing for your start-up business, direct mail is a traditional but still successful way of attracting the attention of customers. Using a personalized touch, direct mail is personally addressed to the customer and delivered by post. Contrary to emails, direct mail does not compete with other messages in the recipient’s inbox nor sent to the spam folder.
Benefits of Direct Mail as a Marketing Tool
- Targeted. Other forms of mass adverting, such as TV, radio, newspaper, etc., can be expensive for a start-up business. Direct mail lets you focus on a smaller, more focused target who is more likely to respond to your advertisement.
- Personal. You can talk to the customers by name and persuade them of your product or service better when you can show that you understand their needs. Done the right way, you can make a personal connection with the customer using emotional copy drivers effectively. These seven copy drivers are further explained in this article, “Use Direct Mail to Generate the Emotional Response”.
- Flexible. Mail can come in different forms, such as postcards, brochures, letters, and other affordable and easy formats. You can also provide a free sample or special offer in the envelope to increase the impact of your campaign.
- Tangible. The customer can physically touch your message, which can make a memorable impression, especially if you add some interesting elements like stickers, coupons, and samples.
- Measurable. You can count the inquiries you received or count the coupons redeemed. When you track and analyze the results, you can see which part of the campaign is working and which needs adjustments.
- Affordable. As long as you have the know-how in computer design or word processing software, you should be able to create your own mailpiece without the help of an expensive marketing company.
How to Prepare a Mailing List
Much more ideal than a rented mailing list is having your own list of ‘warm’ prospects to achieve better response and conversion rates.
- Work with what you have. Start your list based on your existing customers, prospects, and names in your sales inquiry records. To look for prospects, get help from your own customers and suppliers who may be able to give you new contacts.
- Do your own research. Find other possible outlets for your products using web searches. Online directories and trade publications are also possible rich sources of prospects. Visit your town council and ask for a list of individuals in the area.
- Try cross-selling. You can join forces with another company selling a different but related product to yours. For example, you sell shirts and the other company sells ties. Mailing your campaign together can halve the mailing costs. You can also try swapping customer lists but make sure that the customers have given their consent first.
Being new to the direct mail business can be overwhelming, but there are organizations to help you figure it out. An important name to remember is the U.S. Direct Marketing Association (firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-768-7277), the world’s leading independent organization for data-driven marketers. They will be happy to answer your questions and provide you more sources of specialized information if needed.