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January 10, 2012

Even with the explosion of the Internet and all the different electronic and mobile marketing techniques there are today, direct mail is still a very important part of any marketing plan. Why? Because it’s direct. It speaks directly to your customer:  someone you know who fits your target audience and may very well want or need your product or service.

Any good direct mail campaign must possess the following:

  • a good understanding of the target audience
  • a promotional message that appeals to that audience
  • eye-catching graphics to grab the reader’s attention
  • and a strong offer to encourage them to take action.

Using cross media (multiple advertising, marketing and PR touches) in one campaign can help reinforce your message and, thus, gain you a higher response, as people remember and respond differently to each medium. Plus, it will generate more brand awareness.

According to a survey sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association and Pitney Bowes, 39% of respondents said they tried a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising, and 70% said they renewed a business relationship because of a direct mail promotion.

The great news is, the tactics used in direct mail can not only lead your audience to other media (e.g., e-mail to a website), they can also be replicated in other marketing channels. For example, email has probably become one of the most important mediums. This is great as you can also personalize your message and customize your offer specifically for the reader. Also, just like printed direct mail, email can include variable images and text to tailor it to a specific audience.

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Learn how to execute a winning strategy with Direct Mail

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Remember, however, that on average, customers view physical mail as “less intrusive” than telephone calls or email because they can view the messages at their own convenience. So, how do you make it relevant?

Your contact database is a great place to start. It contains all sorts of demographic statistics (or it should) that can help you tailor the right message for your audience. The effectiveness of a direct mail piece (just like the effectiveness of an email campaign) is measured by the response it generates. When using direct mail, consider using a QR code or personal URL (PURL) to enable readers to take quick action and enable you to track those specific actions.

A postcard is an ideal direct mail piece for this kind of fast, reliable and trackable method. Its size is perfect for a sales message and call to action, yet it doesn’t need to be opened for the message to be seen. If sending the reader to a landing page through a QR code or PURL, make sure to keep them there by personalizing that content, too, making your visitor feel like you truly understand their world.

What kind of direct mail campaigns have worked for you? Share your experiences with cross media, relevance and response here.

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