Why Direct Mail Is Still a Powerful Marketing Tool

by David Frey

Eight reasons why direct mail is still king of the marketing mediums.

Direct mail is perhaps one of the most powerful marketing mediums in use today. Few other marketing tools can deliver your message with exact precision at such a low cost. The amount of mail in your mailbox everyday attests to the effectiveness of this medium (If it didn't work, your mailbox would be empty!)

Here are eight reasons why I believe direct mail is still king of the marketing mediums:

Reason # 1: It works when you're not

Like the old saying goes, "In rain, sleet, or snow" the mail arrives. Whether you're sleeping, vacationing, working, or walking, your direct mail is working for you. It gives your best sales presentation over and over again without you having to be present.

Reason # 2: It leverages your efforts

Do you want to know how to waste your time? Give your best sales presentation to one person at a time. If you do this, you'll only sell one widget at a time. Send out thousands of letters and your best sales pitch is being presented to thousands of people simultaneously. That's called "leverage!"



Reason # 3: Allows you to target with precision

Instead of "spraying and praying" your message to people who may or may not be interested or even qualified to take advantage of your offer, direct mail allows you to pinpoint the people who fit your psychographic, demographic, and geographic profile.

Reason # 4: You get an immediate response

Once you send out your direct mail piece it doesn't take long to get a response. Within one to two weeks you'll receive about 80 percent to 90 percent of all those who are going to respond. If your campaign works, you'll know about it quickly. If it's a bomb, you'll that quickly as well.

Reason # 5: It's easy to track your return on investment

If you're a small business owner you can't afford to waste a single penny on wasteful marketing. With direct mail marketing you can code your mail pieces to determine the exact number of responses you received from each campaign.

And as I said before, the results of your direct mail campaign come back fast, so once you know what worked and what didn't, you can immediately start to "tweak" your mail piece to increase your response and hold your marketing dollars accountable.

Reason # 6: It's relatively inexpensive

With just $.37 (at the time of this writing) you can send out a direct mail piece that includes your full marketing message. It is amazing what you can get into a small business size envelope and keep under the $.37 limit. Photos, newspaper articles, letters, special reports, and more can be put in these envelopes for under $.37. This means you can reach 100 target prospects for only $37. Comparatively speaking, that's a bargain!

Reason # 7: It gets one-on-one attention

One of the best things about direct mail is that it gets one-on-one attention from your target prospect. Unlike billboards or radio and television commercials that get your attention while two to three other things also have your attention. Direct mail is opened one piece at a time and read one piece at a time. It gives you the best chance of catching your prospect's attention and keeping it for a period of time.

Reason # 8: It's something you can touch and feel—it hangs around

Direct mail is something that you can hold in your hand. It's not made of electrons that can be deleted with the twitch of a finger. It's not a radio frequency signal that is here and then gone a moment later. It is physical. It is something that can hang around for a period of time. It has "lingering" marketing effects.

All these reasons I've mentioned make direct mail a very powerful marketing medium that, if done right, can have a very high return on your marketing dollar.

 

About the Author:
David Frey is President of Marketing Best Practices Inc., a small business marketing consulting firm and the editor of the Marketing Best Practices Newsletter. 
 
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