You may be familiar with the term ‘direct mail’ and how much it can cost to send individual letters to potential customers (usually with a promise of a great deal if they decide to purchase your product or service). Well, many non-profits, religious institutions, political organizations, and businesses can also benefit from a direct mail strategy. In fact, it’s possible to have one that’s both effective and profitable.
So what exactly is a direct mail program?
Simply put, a direct mail program is when you send out a mailing list of people who want to hear from you. The purpose of this mailing is to get the message to the actual human being who will eventually make the decision to buy your product or service.
The list will typically contain a variety of options so that you can target the right person at the right time — whether they’re in the mood to buy a car or have just made the decision to adopt a dog. Furthermore, you may want to consider making an impact with your target audience by customizing the letter with a compelling benefit or incentive.
Why should you bother to do all this?
You may be wondering ‘Why should I bother to send a mailing list or make a phone call to someone who’s not going to be willing to listen to what I have to say?’ The answer is simple: research shows that up to 70% of people are more likely to purchase a product or service from someone they’ve heard of. And if you want to stand out among your competition, you’ve got to be able to reach more people.
The truth is that it’s not always easy to gain name recognition over a phone line or social media. But with a solid direct mail strategy, you can gain credibility with your customers by being the go-to source for information about your niche. You can also utilize your list to promote other products or causes that you’re passionate about.
The Biggest Advantage of a Direct Mailing List
One of the biggest advantages of a direct mail list is that you know exactly who you’re sending the letter to. There’s no guesswork involved. You also know how many people you’ve got to work with to make sure that the letter gets delivered.
With a direct mail list, you can determine if the letter gets opened and if the person is even interested in what you have to say. In other words, you can use data to track the success of your campaign.
On the other hand, if you were to send out a broadcast email – which we’ll discuss next – you’d be shooting blind. You don’t know if your email will be seen by anyone or if they’ll even be interested in what you have to say. If, however, you were to send an email to a select group of people on your email list, you can bet they’ll be seeing it.
Broadcast Email vs. Direct Mail
So, what is a broadcast email?
A broadcast email is when you send out an email to a large audience that may or may not be interested in what you have to say. The idea is that the email will reach as many people as possible and hopefully make the person reading it decide to take action (e.g., buy your product or service).
If you’ve ever shopped at an online store, you may have received an email with an offer that can be used to promote a brand or product. These emails are often delivered to groups of people who’ve opted in to receive them, with the hopes that they’ll make the decision to purchase what they’ve seen advertised.
Broadcast emails work exceptionally well when you’re trying to promote a new product or service that you think might be of interest to your audience. In these cases, you may want to consider using email marketing platforms like AWeber or Marketo to send out your emails. The upside is that you can get started for free, and the downside is that you don’t know how many people will actually see your email.
Make An Impact by Customizing Your Letter
One way to have an impact with your target audience is to customize your letter. This is particularly useful when you’re sending out a large number of letters because it saves you the cost of buying pre-designed forms and stationery.
When someone decides to purchase a product or service from you, they usually end up on a website or calling a customer service line. In either case, after they make their purchase, they receive an email from you thanking them for their business and asking them if they’d be willing to provide some testimonial or feedback.
If you want to stand out among your competition, you’ve got to be able to reach more people. One way to do this is to make an impact with your target audience by customizing the letter with a compelling benefit or incentive. For example, let’s say you’re a pediatrician trying to gain credibility with parents-to-be by offering free consultations on prenatal vitamins. In this example, you can tailor your letter to be more appealing to pregnant women by offering them free prenatal consultations at the end of each month. This can provide some great value to the customer and make them remember your name when they’re deciding what medicines to buy during their pregnancy.
Last but not least, we want to mention how cost effective a direct mail list can be. With a direct mail list, you need to consider how much your audience is worth. In other words, how many people you’re willing to spend to gain credibility with your target audience.
Obviously, the cost is determined by the number of people on your list. So, if you plan on sending out a mass email and have a large list, it may be cost effective to do so. However, if you’ve got a smaller list or want to try a different tactic, it might not be the best idea. To cut down on your costs, you can send out a digital version of your printed letter. This could be an email that’s also sent out via paper mail. Or, you could simply design a cool email that will attract your audience and make them interested in what you’ve got to say. In any case, be sure to consider your target audience when making this decision.
Hopefully, you’ve found this information valuable. With a little planning and research, it’s possible to send out a direct mail program that will have an impact on your target audience and ultimately help to gain credibility and sales.
Always be sure to follow up with a phone call to a lead that’s opened your letter. This will help make sure that they’ve actually been exposed to your message and decide to give you their business.