Direct mail and email can be very effective ways of marketing your business, allowing you to reach large numbers of customers at low cost. Email offers immediacy and low cost, while well-designed direct mail can really stand out.
Whether you are using direct mail or email, you need to be sure you are contacting the right people with the right message. Monitoring responses allows you to track effectiveness and improve future mailings.
1. Is it for you?
Establish who your target audience is
Decide what you want to achieve with existing customers
Decide what you want to achieve with new prospects
Identify what the costs would be
Assess likely response rates
Decide whether mailing is the right option
2. Your own mailing list
The quality of your database is the most critical element in achieving a good response rate.
It pays to create your own list
If you plan a significant volume of mailings, use database or CRM software
Your database is a valuable business asset and must be managed
3. External mailing lists
If you want to reach out to a larger slice of the market, renting a mailing list is usually the most cost-effective method.
Many lists can be rented or bought in
Identify your needs, in writing
Shop around until you find the right list at the right price
Check the quality of the list
Negotiate a deal
Do not re-use a list you have rented for one-off use
YOUR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
You must comply with the Data Protection Act
You must not send unsolicited email to individuals
You should not send direct mail to individuals who do not want it
Always allow individuals and businesses to opt-out from future mailings or email
4. The mailing
A well-produced mailing will create a better response rate. Quality is important - you are competing with all the other mail and email that is sent to your target groups.
Choose the right timing
Create a compelling mailing
Plan your follow up
5. Testing and monitoring
A great advantage of direct mail is the ability to test a range of possibilities quickly and simply.
Split test different mailings
Test different offers
Test different sectors of the market
Try different timings
Experiment to find out what works
6. Using a mailing house
A small business can easily handle mailings of up to 1,000 items
Find potential suppliers
Shop around for quotes
Check that the mailing house does a good job
Lisa Hunter is an experienced Marketing, Events and Project Manager. She has over 10 years’ experience working in the IT and marketing industry, delivering strategic marketing support and managing creative projects for a wide-range of clients. In this blog she shares her knowledge and experiences…we hope you enjoy it.