The rise of digital technology has changed almost every aspect of the way brands interact with their customers. One means of communication that has withstood the test of time, however, is direct mail marketing.

Direct mail campaigns continue to be one of the most effective tools in the savvy marketers’ tool-kit. Even in today’s digital age, countless companies and brands rely on direct mailers for long- and short-term advertising campaigns, promotional events and so much more.

Direct mailing is a cost-effective mass marketing technique that allows brands and companies of all sizes to put their messaging directly into the hands of targeted audiences. Even the smallest local businesses can send out high-quality, targeted direct mailers to current customers and potentially interested audiences.

Benefits of Direct Mail

If you’ve never dabbled in direct mail marketing, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Advertising professionals regularly change their tactics and methodologies, so the staying power of direct mailers is truly astounding.

Direct mail campaigns continue to be a mainstay of the marketing world for one simple reason: they’re extremely effective. Here are just some of the reasons direct mailers continue to be prized marketing tools:

·        Personal touch: Direct mailers bring an extremely valuable asset to the world of marketing: personalization. Audiences are much more likely to react positively to marketing collateral that bears their name, or that references details about them. If you can include small, personalized details, like running promos specific to audience members’ birthdays, you’re much more likely to have a successful response.

·        Easy to track: Typically, marketing professionals will include an incentive to bring the mailer into your retail outlet or office. Whether you’re simply tracking the number of mailers returned in total, or are hoping to provide each specific mailer with a unique code so you track which geographical areas responded to your campaign the best, there’s no shortage of valuable data you can glean from a direct mail campaign.

·        In-home reach: Mailers allow brands to bring their imagery and messaging directly into the homes of the audience. This means rather than waiting for your audience to come to a place where they’ll interact with your marketing, you can bring it to them. Direct mail campaigns are one of the only truly proactive marketing strategies savvy businesses can engage in.

·        Less competition for attention: Social media feeds and email inboxes are saturated with advertisements, promotional messages and branded content. This makes it extremely difficult for even the most talented marketing teams to create advertising materials that stand out. Direct mailing campaigns, however, require a small initial investment that many uninformed brands may not be willing to make to reap the benefits.

How to Execute a Direct Mailer Campaign

With the help of an experienced marketing team, direct mail campaigns aren’t just effective – they’re also easy to operate. Here are just some of the basics to keep in mind as you approach your brand’s next direct mail push:

·        Build a list: There are a number of ways you can build a list for your direct mail efforts. If you already have an established customer base, you can begin gathering their mailing information through your customer loyalty program. If you’re just getting started, however, it’s possible to purchase lists from many locally based marketing firms in your area.

·        Outline campaign goals: Every campaign needs a clear, solid set of objectives, or it’s doomed to fail. Before you begin the process of creating and sending out your direct mailers, be sure to have a clear, written-out idea of the ultimate goals of your direct mail campaign. This step will ultimately determine the design and scope of your efforts.

·        Design your mailer: Next, you’ll need to design the imagery and messaging you want to convey on your mailer. You should use a color scheme that’s eye-catching, yet completely consistent with your existing branding efforts. Additionally, the mailer’s messaging should be clearly written and easy to read. Finally, it’s advisable to design mailers that are tactile and uniquely shaped.

·        Test the campaign: Before you begin running the campaign at full strength, you may want to give it a test-run. Try sending out mailers with slightly different images and messages to one geographical area that’s representative of your larger target audience. This will help you fine-tune the messaging you ultimately end up using on your full-scale campaign.

·        Track your success: Finally, you’ll want to keep track of the overall success of your campaign. Using a few relatively simple tricks, you can use direct mailers to glean lots of valuable advertising data about your core customer base. You can track the geographical areas most likely to respond to your marketing efforts, the age range of your customers and even the amount of money they’re likely to spend while visiting your retail space.

AlphaGraphics is a full-service marketing company, design firm and print shop specializing in the creation and execution of effective advertising campaigns. To learn more about ways that AlphaGraphics can help you retain your customer base and grow your business through direct mail campaigns, visit one of more than 260 franchised locations around the globe. Please visit www.alphagraphics.com to find a Center.