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4 Things You Need To Know About Direct Marketing

2013 May 2

Why should a business consider investing money on running a direct marketing campaign? Quite simply, because they work.

Direct Marketing Generates Leads that Result in Sales

Although there are many ways to generate sales leads, direct marketing is still one of the most powerful tools, according to MarketingProfs. Not only is direct marketing a reliable way to reach prospects, it can be quite simple to launch and is proven to get attention. With a response rate of around 3.4%, direct mail has a 30 times greater chance of getting a response as email marketing, which generates a response of only .12%, as reported by Neolane.com.

Some of the most effective tools in the direct marketing arsenal include the sales letter, marketing postcard, business flyer, booklet, or newsletter. When used in conjunction with other types of marketing such as social media and online content, direct marketing can be the catalyst that takes a prospect online where a business can build an ongoing, meaningful relationship with them.

People Prefer Physical Mail to Email

Epsilon’s 2012 Channel Preference Study revealed some surprising findings: 62% of Americans enjoyed checking their physical mailbox for postal mail, 51% said they paid more attention to postal mail than they did to email, and 73% responded that they preferred direct mail to other types of marketing because the information could be read at their convenience.

The Epsilon study found that although there has been dramatic growth in marketing via social media and mobile devices in the past few years, marketers shouldn’t focus solely on those channels and ignore direct mail. A multichannel strategy is preferred to improve the experience of customers, build a business’ brand, and achieve higher response rates.

Direct Mail Is Effective When Done Right

According to marketing expert Glen Anderson, the purpose of a direct mailing is not to make a sale, but to get prequalified prospects to visit the website of a business, where the sale is often made. The most effective direct mail pieces are conversational, and read as if the business is talking to the customer in person.

While direct mail can be expensive, a targeted list and an attention-grabbing mailer can generate a greater return on investment than an email or social media marketing campaign. Other features, including a well thought-out concept and a good design, are also important to the overall success of the campaign. YourAdTeam.com identifies the two most important aspects of a direct mail campaign as the ability to get your prospects to actually read the mailing, and whether or not your offer is strong enough to get the desired response.

Most Businesses Don’t Appreciate the Value of Direct Marketing

The 2012 Small Business Marketing Survey released by Pitney Bowes found that 80% of businesses that run direct mail campaigns do nothing to track the performance of their marketing tools. As a result, they are in the dark regarding their campaign’s response and conversion rates, and how much each lead they gain actually costs them.

The reason more businesses do not track their metrics may be that they think the process will be burdensome and complicated. However, simply adding a coupon or coupon code to a direct mail package and logging the number of prospects who claim it is one simple method that a business can use to track performance.

Another significant finding in the Pitney Bowes survey was the fact that many businesses concentrate on just a few marketing channels, as opposed to taking a multichannel approach to increase response rates and boost sales. According to the 2013 Big Data for Marketing survey from the Aberdeen Group, 30% of those surveyed said they didn’t understand the benefits of multichannel marketing and were having problems finding the right people with the proper skills to run this type of marketing campaigns.

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Jan Hill is a freelance journalist who writes for Vistaprint, a leading provider of custom business postcards and other marketing products to help businesses connect with customers. Jan has has covered marketing, networking and direct mail topics for many newspapers, magazines and business publications.

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