Direct Mail: Does It Still Work?
Direct mail has had a long history of success. But it’s interesting to see the disconnection between data-driven digital natives who claim that direct mail is dead and the facts that clearly show how direct mail is still producing significant ROI, profits, and response every day. Certainly, direct mail has evolved like every other marketing medium, but it’s hardly dead. Let’s consider what has enabled it to live so long and prosper.
What many forget is that today’s online response marketing is based on the same three principles that have driven traditional direct mail campaigns for decades. Direct mail allows you to:
- Make a relevant offer to a specific target audience. The offer in any direct mail piece needs to be compelling enough for the reader to STOP and take notice. There are all types of offers out there, ranging from discounts, free gifts, and low rates to charitable appeals, BOGO deals. Decide on the best offer you can afford that has relevance to the product or service and don’t forget to give that offer an expiration date. Immediacy will create demand.
- State that offer in a compelling way via well-constructed and tested creative tools. Don’t be afraid to be BOLD. And don’t shy away from writing extensive copy to explain your situation; fundraisers have been doing it successfully for decades. Clients often say that no one reads copy anymore, but if you have something to say and it is meaningful to the reader, they will read on and take action.
- Aim that offer carefully through thoughtful list selection and testing. Understanding your target, your territory, and your geo-target sphere of influence is critical. You need to be mailing to the most targeted group of identified prospects, customers, or members as possible. Do your homework—talk to these audiences from a base of knowledge and experience. Make your message clear and simple.
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