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Direct Mail

Make A Point

Direct mail is a personal medium. It comes straight to homes and offices — private spaces — where it then attempts to build connections with ita intended audience. The very nature of direct mail lays the groundwork of how direct mail should be treated. If direct mail campaigns are not getting the desired results it is because the issue of 'personal' is not being adequately addressed.

The primary purpose of direct mail is to increase awareness, distribute offerings, connect with customers, conduct research, and reach a significant number of households and offices. Direct mail also offers organizations a limited opportunity to track the success of their campaigns by measuring the number of replies.

The opportunity to track is limited because many households and offices that have received the information may not contact the organization directly, but would have passed on the information to someone else they deemed would benefit from the campaign's offering. Then of course there is the significant majority of direct mailers that end up in the trash. Again this phenomenon, from box to bin, is the result of a poor approach to direct mail. Most direct mailers are covered with information in every form of type and color imaginable.

Little wonder that people get overwhelmed by the package itself and thus fail to engage with the content. Most direct mail is accessed after working hours, when people are returning home to check their mailboxes.

A lengthy and often tiring work day is hardly the right circumstance in which to flood potential customers with the one hundred and seven benefits of the product and the testimonies of twenty thoroughly satisfied customers.

Added to this, a direct mail package may well be sitting between utility bills or another direct mailer. Yet direct mail continues to be a highly utilized device because at its fundamental level it works very well. Single product or service offerings are perceived as focused and non-intrusive. They are also seen as specific and therefore more serious about delivering the promised result. Direct mail is best utilized when one, and only one, offering is issued.

The effectiveness of direct mail will depend largely on the content's quantity and position. Simple, easy to read words are still the best tools for success.

Readily available contact information and clearly defined benefits go a much longer way than snazzy titles, clever tag lines, and photographs of sweeping landscapes or slick urban sites. The best rule for direct mail is to insert only what is relevant.

A ruthless approach to redundant content will deliver a much higher rate of success. After all, direct mail is still one of the most successful marketing tools in history.