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Direct mail marketing used to mean sending out a mass-mailing to everyone and hoping someone who cared about your product would first read it, and second, care enough to keep the mailing for future reference. Today, direct mail solutions start by defining the target, continue by creating a powerful message, get into gear with the delivery and finish by evaluating the entire effort.
Step number one is understand how to aim for your ideal customers. If you can describe your typical customer in terms of age, gender, locale or any other defining characteristics, you're halfway there. Work on more detail on who your target customer is and you'll then be able to purchase a mailing list customized for those demographics.
The second step is to make use of professional services at every stage in the process. Working with direct mail is not a do-it-yourself project. We've already mentioned buying a customized mailing list -- make sure your source is dependable and ready to meet your deadlines. Check out the samples and references from printers before committing to a print run.
The next step has to do with the content of your mailed message. Besides being compelling, your direct mail item should always include an action item for the receiver to do. You should also set a deadline by which the action item must be done, even if there is no such deadline. After all, you're not going to turn away a customer if they take the time to come to your store. Also include within the mailings a way such as a numerical code to identify customers who are responding to this specific mailing. It might be on the coupon a customer uses to get their free gadget or discount.
The fourth step is all about the timing. Will there be a special event occurring at your business? Any mass mailing describing the event must then, of course, be sent out and received before the event occurs. If a sale is revolving around a seasonal or holiday theme, then you do not want the mailing to be received after the special day. Direct mail solutions do not solve anything if they're received late. Be sure the company you hire for your direct mail projects knows the dates by which the work must absolutely and totally be completed.
The final step is to track your results. You must know if your direct mail campaign brought customers into your store or inspired them to call your toll-free number or prompted them to ask for a free consultation. This is the point where you use that special code you had printed on all the mailings sent out within this effort. Again, this is a time to use the professional services of a company experienced in providing direct mail solutions. Tracking and evaluating the results is just one of the many tasks these companies do as part of their normal client services.
Direct mail marketing done the right way will be a cost-effective and time-effective means of getting your message out to those customers you know are just waiting to hear from you. The right direct mail solution will help your business to make more money, a goal with which no one can argue.
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