I believe direct mail is an important way for businesses to reach out to potential customers.
The big advantage is that it can be very carefully targeted to a tightly defined group of recipients with a tailored message.
However, when people think of direct mail, they may not appreciate the different types of direct mail that can be used to:
- Attract new prospective customers
- Convert prospects into customers
- And encourage customers to buy again
The 9 Types Of Direct Mail
- The standard personally addressed letter. These are usually one to two pages long but can be much longer.
- The printed letter. These are usually long (8 pages plus) and commercially printed and may be sent with a personally addressed introductory letter.
- Postcards. A short, simple message requires little effort to read and usually promotes an offer on a website address for more information.
- Catalogues / catalogs and brochures. Often best sent with a letter.
- Magalogs. This is a sales letter disguised as a magazine with different articles. These can be used to change beliefs.
- Newsletters. Regular information sent to develop the relationship between the business and the (prospective) customers.
- Lumpy mail. Marketing trinkets can be used to make the envelope/package look more interesting and the letter more intriguing. It’s best if the trinket has a connection to the offer and will be kept.
- Valpak coupons and postcards. Your offer is sent together with offers from competing or complimenting firms to reduce the mailing cost per business and to create something that is intriguing to receive.
- Gifts. Calendars, wallcharts etc that are designed to keep promoting your brand and offers.
If you’re planning to use direct mail to promote your business, I recommend that you think of a multi-mailing approach.
It usually takes more than one contact to get the best response. Some experts say you should have a three letter sequence, others say use seven.
I don’t think there are hard and fast rules. Plan to use multiple mailings that reference the previous one (like debt collection letters) and write the best copy you can to get the action you want.
Then test and see what your economics say. If there is a fall off in response after one particular letter, improve it or replace it with another.
How To Learn How To Use Direct Mail Effectively
There are different types of direct mail.
While direct mail is effective for reaching customers who are hard to reach in other ways, it is expensive because of the postage and production costs.
If you’re going to use it, it makes sense to learn how to do it effectively.
I had great success after reading these two books:
Dan Kennedy – The Ultimate Sales Letter