Before You Print: Crafting Effective Direct Mail Copy

If you’re a small business owner, you look forward to it when the weather turns cooler. A nip in the air always means that the holiday shopping season is around the corner. It’s time to begin dreaming up great, effective holiday marketing strategies. One of the most effective of all marketing methods being rediscovered today comes as surprise to many: it’s direct mail marketing.


Why direct mail?


Certainly, email and social media marketing are more modern than direct mail, and even cheaper. Once you have the copy that you wish to use, sending out tens of thousands of emails costs practically nothing. As wonderful as it can be, though, electronic marketing tends to work better when blended with a touch of the old-fashioned. There are number of reasons why this should be so.


One of the most important ones, though, is that email marketing messages tend to land in spam and promotional folders in email accounts, and to never get opened. Since people don’t tend to get much direct mail, they tend to be more enthusiastic about receiving some. Both open rates and response rates tend to be impressive. According to numbers for the Direct Marketing Association, response rates for direct mail are nearly 30 times those seen with email. Direct mail is growing in popularity, as well. These rates have grown 14% over the past 10 years.


And yet, businesses aren’t catching on


Most businesses are thoroughly convinced of this point that they need to move away from direct mail, and embrace electronic methods, instead, none more so than Pepsi. The beverage giant led the charge in this move, and suffered loss of market share as a result; unfortunately most small businesses still haven’t learned. This means that if your small business does begin to see value in direct mail, you will have little trouble standing out. When you do it well, direct mail offers excellent returns on investment. By most accounts, every dollar spent on direct mail generates $2,000 worth of sales. It’s a no-lose proposition.


How do you create the best possible direct mail campaign?


Direct mail is one of the best ways in which to generate new interest in a business, especially during the holidays. One of the simplest ways possible to go about it is to create beautiful holiday cards in-house, print them on your own, and send them out. All you need to do is to get the best printer for envelopes and cards possible, and get down to business. A study done by the United States Postal Service has found that holiday cards tend to get a more enthusiastic reception from recipients than regular direct mail. You need to make sure that you use a simple and classy design.


Make sure that you know what exactly you want your cards to achieve for you


People expect holiday cards to do more than simply come out with a friendly greeting. It’s the season to be generous, of course. It’s important, then, to not disappoint — offering a few discount coupons to encourage future purchase is an excellent idea.


You don’t need to use fancy delivery services


People tend to respond far better to standard USPS-delivered direct mail than private delivery services. You don’t actually even need the post office. Simply stuffing mailboxes is a great idea. It can work very well for businesses that are just starting out, and have a mailing list to build.
Kimberly Barnes is a marketing consultant. She enjoys sharing her insights online. Her articles appear mostly on marketing websites.

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