In This Digital World Why Would Any Business Use Direct Mail?

When used as part of a direct response marketing campaign, direct mail can set your firm apart and attract the right clients.

The key to attracting future customers is creating content that's attractive, pertinent and promotes your brand.  If you think of direct mail as a way of answering your customers most important questions and positions your firm as an expert, it can be an excellent marketing resource. Here are a few reasons to help you create printed pieces that gain the right type of attention:

Direct Mail Works  

Okay, that may sound like a blanket statement, but in this chart, you can see that the numbers prove the point.  In a 2012 study by BIA Kelsey, 43.2% of advertising dollars went to direct mail allocations, taking the largest part of the pie.  That means that beyond email, social media, and traditional forms of advertising such as newspapers, magazines, and television, companies still value this as a place to put their advertising dollars. The National Federation of Independent Business said, “Direct mail can be an effective part of any marketing campaign. Yes, email, Facebook and even Twitter work for some small businesses, but that doesn’t mean tried and true methods like direct mail should go by the wayside.”

You're Creating a Different Kind of Business Relationship

People these days are used to getting tons of emails. They're also used to ignoring and deleting tons of emails.  That doesn't mean that email campaigns don't work.  Architecture and construction, home and garden and professional services have email open rates that range from 22% to 26%. But what about those prospects who never open email? How are you going to build an email list? If you're looking for a way to make a connection with your potential consumers, hard copy mailers that are placed into the hands of your audience enable you to tell complete message and are often saved to be viewed again. Snail mail is often overlooked because of the ease of e-mail but it can be used as a next step in your sales funnel. It's a tactic that moves a prospect towards your goal. Targeted, high quality, well-written, exquisitely designed postcards, letters, and flyers in customers' mailboxes will be noticed. Use those frequently received bank offers or car sales postcards as examples of what not to do. With just a bit more creativity, a catchy headline and an odd size you can surpass that average response rates of direct mail.

Use Real Names not "Resident"

You're using most likely using a purchased mailing list to target the residents in a certain neighborhood or demographic, but they aren't likely thinking of that when they see your name on a mailer.  Rather than addressing the envelope as "Resident" or "Neighbor", only use a list that has names. Addressing your direct mail piece by name is a sign of respect. If you're using an online analytics system that provides data on what pages people are viewing on your website, you can personalize your campaigns to match the interests of the viewers.

Make Your Direct Mail Memorable

TV and radio ads seem to either be really obnoxious or they never quite leave the company name remembered in the mind of the viewer. Don't emulate them. Create a visual design that is neither garish or so subtle that it's never remembered.  If this is a sales letter, lead with your strengths and promote your unique sales proposition. Here's an exercise to get you started. Write a letter to friend as if you just learned about your own firm. Outline what makes your services memorable.  You don't have to worry about leaving a phone number jingling in their heads because you've provided all of the necessary information on your mailing, and you've piqued their interests from the moment they opened the mailbox.

Make The Results Measurable

Add a custom URL. When your prospects go to a landing page on your website you'll know what kind of impact your direct mail campaign had on your audience. Keep in mind that when part of a full campaign that includes Houzz, email marketing and online analytics, postcards or letters will be stowed away until the consumer has time to research your company and contact you on their own time.

Architects, interior designers, landscape architects and design-build contractors  have the advantage of great photographs combined with interesting stories. Prospects imagine themselves living in the places you create. Printed pieces mailed to these prospects will encourage them to consider your firm when the time comes for a new home, renovation or remodel.