This week and next, we’re taking a look at a marketing topic I know really well AND have made millions from: direct mail.
Yeah, I know. Pfui. I just lost about 80% of the readers who saw “direct mail” and went back to scrolling Facebook or Instagram. So sad. If only cat memes put money in the bank…
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have learned direct marketing for prospecting and making sales early in my career, when social media, paid searches and even e-mail weren’t what they are today because direct mail is an excellent disciplinarian.
Get it wrong, and you can lose a considerable chunk of money fast; but, of course, if you get it RIGHT, you’ll have a media to play in that your competitors are too cheap, too lazy and too shortsighted to use.
So first, a SHORT list of the primary reasons why you want to use direct mail in your marketing mix:
- It allows you to reach a prospect that cannot be reached in any other way.
This is a BIG one. Some prospects will never be reached by social media (they aren’t on it), e-mail (you don’t have their e-mail or permission to e-mail them, they’ve opted out, filtered you, etc.), referral (no connections to them), paid search (they might *not* be looking at all right now, or using that medium), canvassing (the gatekeeper isn’t letting you in) or even organic SEO (they aren’t searching actively, and if they WERE, you’re now competing against everyone else).
- It has a MUCH more reliable delivery rate than e-mail.
Delivery, open and response rates are in the toilet for e-mail and are getting worse. You’re lucky if 20% of your e-mails actually make it through, which means 80% of recipients NEVER SAW YOUR COMMUNICATION. If you take the right steps, you can confidently get 99% to 100% of your direct mail delivered.
- It is a TRUSTED media.
E-mail, online ads and even “cold” telemarketing calls have a very low “trust” factor, particularly with people who don’t know you and have no relationship with you. NOTE: This is not to say you don’t use those media; all things being equal, an e-mail and follow-up call can surge response 10X when PRECEDED by a direct mail piece.
- It triggers a deeper level of emotional response.
A study conducted by Bangor University showed that the PHYSICAL materials (direct mail and other printed marketing) generated more activity in the brain, thereby making a deeper, more lasting impact.
These benefits can have a huge impact to your bottom line…when you do direct mail RIGHT. It DOES take extra planning, effort, and of course, money. So be sure to come back next week when I’ll discuss the six most common mistakes I see happening and advise you on how to avoid them.