Direct Mailing: Yea or Nay?

direct mail As a freshly minted small business owner it may seem a little daunting to try to find a way to muscle yourself into the crowded scene of advertising. Advertising is a necessity especially if you are a new entrepreneur, nobody ever gets business sitting in the corning just waiting for the phone, if you do you might be waiting for a long time.
Everyday people are bombarded with advertisement.  Driving to work there is advertising on the radio and giant billboard signs on the road. Opening up a website or your email inbox and BAM you are hit with various companies selling something.  Then of course there is good ol’ fashion postal mail advertising. Some critics may say direct mailing is a dead medium for advertising and is no longer effective, but I believe direct mailing is alive and well and is just a matter of your tactics used which effect the results derived. According to Supermaket News writer  Elliot Zwiebach, gourmet supermarket chain The Fresh Market is expanding its direct mail offers to increase store visits due to positive response from their recent mailing test runs. The Fresh Market president Craig Carlock expects annual unit growth anywhere from 12 to 15 percent per year.
So if you do decide to use direct mail as a means of advertising, don’t forget to creating a compelling call to action and a reason to response immediately. Give your target market a reason to not only want to do business with you over the competition, but a reason to do it right away because you do not want there to be an option to sit around and wait on the decision. The more time people have to think about making a decision, the more time people have to forget to make a decision, and forget about your company altogether. I also recommend utilizing a form of priority coding to differentiate where your sales are coming from if running multiple different advertisements through different mediums. This will also help to allow you to keep track of the ROI (Return On Investment) for your mailing campaign.
Also, the key is to distance yourself away from the “common” junk mail that never gets opened.  This type of mail is sent out in bulk with meter postage and is the cheapest way but highly ineffective. That is because people can spot a lazy, cheap, mass advertisement with no heart a mile away. Most of the time these bulk mail offerings do not even get opened so you lose the battle before it even begins.  Instead utilize the personal approach I have found to be most effective by handwritten addressing, live stamp affixed, and with your personal name on the return address ( or no return address at all) for your direct mailing.  Marketing consultant and author Dan S. Kennedy states that with this method you have a 98% chance the mail is actually opened far higher than any bulk mail. This is due to the personal touch as if sent by a friend as opposed to an unwanted random bulk solicitation. Don’t forget that promotional products, also known as advertising specialties,  (merchandise imprinted with a company’s name, logo, and/or information)can be used as part of advertising campaigns. Using a promotional product in a direct mail promotion increased the response rate by 50% (PPAI – L.J. Market Research Study). They are an excellent incentive to quickly get sales.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ack_pic Michael Ackendorf is the president of ACK PROMOTIONAL, LLC. Michael has worked under small business entrepreneurs, freelance marketers, and fortune 500 corporate leaders. His experience, diversified skill set, and personality is instrumental in helping ACK PROMOTIONAL, LLC and its clientele ascend to new heights of potential. He authors the ACK PROMOTIONAL NEWS blog/newsletter along with being the writer, producer and host of the video blog ACK PROMOTIONAL TV. He has appeared on the popular Tampa radio talk show “That Business Show” With Jamie Meloni, providing his expertise on small business marketing.

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Sources:
http://supermarketnews.com/retail-financial/fresh-market-expanding-direct-mail-effort