Posted By Seamus Barton
How To: Advertise With Direct Mail
The world of marketing and advertising is always buzzing with new ideas and techniques to attract the attention of consumers. Oftentimes, the tried and true advertising methods, including direct mailing campaigns, are the best ways to reach your potential customers.
The practice of purchasing email addresses and collecting as many as possible to contact has now resulted in overloaded virtual mailboxes, leaving most online advertisements completely ignored.
With the overload of media, including online newsletters, virtual receipts, promotional emails, and other spam, many emails get deleted before they are even opened. However, irrespective of other technological advancements, direct mailing remains an effective, simple, and fun advertising method.
Due to the relatively small amount of physical mail that we receive, direct mail is more likely to be viewed than a digital message. With the right approach and a little bit of research and planning, direct mail marketing can successfully spread your message and catch your potential customers’ attention.
What is a direct mailing campaign?
Direct mailing campaigns involve any physical correspondence that is sent to potential customers to help advertise your business. Common types of mailing campaigns include postcards, letters, brochures, or flyers, but direct mailers can be designed in many unique ways.
There aren’t many restrictions when it comes to direct mailing campaigns, and designers aim to create unusual and eye-catching mailers that grab the reader’s attention. The basic aspects of a direct mailer include:
- A message about the business or service
- A call to action
- Contact information for customers to reach out to you
Other than those key features, there is a lot of flexibility and room for creativity for direct mail design. If your direct mailer is memorable for its readers, it will spark their interest, and your business will also be remembered.
Types of Direct Mailers
The stocks, styles, and designs used in direct mail marketing campaigns are abundant, and new ideas continue to add a new flavour to this advertising route. Your direct mailer’s format and style should be based on the marketing campaign you are launching. Some commonly used mailers include:
- Postcards with perforated coupons
- Personalized letters or letters with additional inserts
- Brochures with a price list
- Specialty envelopes for a seasonal touch
- Gift card mailers for limited-time offers
Although the configurations of advertising mail are virtually endless, postcards remain one of the most simple and effective direct mailing types.
Create a Targeted Mailing List
The more people who receive your flyer, the better, right? Unfortunately, this is hardly the case, and to save your time and money, it’s important to research and create a mailing list before sending out your direct mail advertisement.
A good direct mailing list should include a combination of former customers or clients and new potential ones. By sending your direct mail to former clients, you are essentially sending a greeting, and a reminder of your presence and services if they wish to pursue them again. Alternatively, you also want to contact potential new customers to introduce yourself to them and convince them to accept your call to action and reach out to you.
Regardless of how good your service or product may be, not everyone will be interested in reaching out or purchasing from you. It’s important to understand your target demographic and focus your direct mailing efforts on making sure that your direct mail advertising reaches them.
For this reason, a targeted direct mailing list will save you the time and money of mailing advertisements to individuals who will throw it directly into the trash. The first step to doing this is by understanding your target demographic, including your intended household demographics.
Make sure you select a wide range of recipients for your mailing list and select people and organizations similar to your existing customers. Understanding who your target demographic is and where they live will help you create an accurate direct mailing list. Alternatively, many companies offer mailing lists to take the work off your plate.
Personalize Your Direct Mail Marketing
Personalizing your direct mail marketing increases the likelihood that your recipients will open and read it.
Neighbourhood Mail (formerly Unaddressed Admail) includes pieces of mail that are bundled together before moving through the postal system, like flyers or brochures. Personalized Mail (formerly Addressed Admail) generally refers to addressed promotional mail with a sales-oriented call-to-action.
Regardless of the type of mail or how you attain your direct mailing list and/or targeted geography, make sure the data is accurate and up-to-date to ensure that your direct mailer won’t unintentionally end up in the trash.
Design to Impress
In the past, direct mail advertising full of information was considered the norm. This is no longer the case, and advertisements that still follow this model have a greater likelihood of ending up in the trash.
When designing your direct mail advertisement, whether that be a flyer, a postcard, or a brochure, consider what information is important to include and what can be left out. Overloading your advertisement with information could be the reason your direct mail ends up straight in the trash.
Be sure to include images or graphics of high-quality, matched with a bold font type, and a unique pallet of colours. Additionally, consider the last time you stopped to read a flyer or postcard. What did it say? Chances are high that a clever play on words was able to catch your attention.
In addition to your direct mail marketing content, the material itself, such as the thickness of the stock, the size of the advertisement, and how it is folded plays a great deal in how well it will be received.
Thicker and larger card stock is relatively more expensive than lighter ones, but it is usually worth the extra cost to use higher-quality paper for letters and flyer printing. Thicker, heavier cardstock is usually given greater value — usually on a subconscious level — than thinner, lighter cardstock.
Finally, a discount or promotion is usually a great way to convince your potential customers to cash in your offer, pay a visit to your store, or make an online purchase. A coupon or promo code is a great way to make sure your advertisement is saved, used, and trackable on your end.
Print Your Dream Design
Once you’ve put in the time and effort to design your direct mailer carefully, it’s time to print your dream design. Don’t skip this stage as it’s important to take the time and ensure that your mailer is printed according to your final vision.
It is wise to print a sample or mock version of your direct mailer to ensure that all text and images appear the way that you want, and your mailer can be folded according to your design without affecting any of the content. Printing your mailers with a professional direct mail printer, such as Troi Mailing Services, is usually the best decision. We can provide physical proofs as well as e-proofs.
With the right effort and time, direct mail advertising can be an excellent way to promote your business or service and create a good first impression on potential customers. Unique design work and an effective call-to-action is the best way to keep your direct mailer from racing to the trash.
With the right tips and tricks, you can create a direct mailing campaign that helps your business grow and thrive. Pair your direct mail marketing with relevant digital advertising, and you’re well on your way towards success.
To learn more about direct marketing and direct mail printing, call Troi Mailing Services in Toronto at 1(866) 486-9350 or contact us here.
About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.
You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster“
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