How to use the “direct mail basics” in all customer communications...
and avoid “disruption” in your marketing activities.
The name junk mail implied that the receiver of junk mail did not request it. However, companies kept on mailing junk infesting everyone’s mail box about a decade ago.
The US postal service made a lot of money. The largest mail volume for first class mail, was in 2001, when 103,656 mail pieces (to the nearest million) were mailed.
Direct Mail was affordable and some companies had a two-percent open rate of all mail pieces mailed. Direct marketing and direct response craftsmen got people to responded to the offers and many made purchases. Why else would anyone with that low response keep mailing?
The word “Disruption” is a popular again in marketing activities.
The unwanted advertisements led to the regulations to curtail the flow of junk mail. As regulators often do, they added do-not-mail, do-not-fax, do-not-call and junk email, commonly known as spam.
Advertisements spewed all over the marketing landscape back in the day were a form of “disruption.” A lot of money was wasted on mail that apparently no one wanted. Spray-and-pray was another name for “disruptive advertising” using direct mail.
Junk mail was disruptive to many people having a mail box. Why did the mail volume shoot up so fast? Back then companies had to mail because “everyone” was “mailing.” In reality of the junk mailing being disruptive, it also was a reactive form of marketing.
The Direct Mail Basics
So, what about direct mail? People considered the jammed mailbox a nuisance and even considered a do not mail regulation for consumers. Yes, direct mail could be classified as a “disruption” when a letter addressed to a person that is no longer alive. Or misspelling a name trying personalization. Or landscaping offered to someone that lives in a condo or assisted living facility.
To give us some space about disruptive marketing activities, let’s call the former disruption with direct mail as reactionary marketing. Here are a few examples.
Advertising to the multitudes with the hope someone is listening, seeing or feeling is the apparent way to reach customers today. Do you love music but can’t stand listening to the radio? Try Pandora.
Do you like to watch a good drama on television? Probably not on network TV. There is roughly 40 minutes of drama and 20 minutes of commercials. Try Amazon or Netflix.
Direct mail today is an important marketing communication tool in company’s large and small. It is used with other traditional and digital media channels to increase customer connect points. The use of direct mail in multi-channel marketing campaigns has driven companies to use more of these campaigns. Increasing ROI and customer satisfaction are two that come to mind.
Direct mail has all the horses.
Once a direct marketing and mail strategy is completed, each and every detail of the mailing occurs absolutely effortlessly. If the plan calls for mailing weekly, all the details to make it happen weekly are carefully followed. If your plan calls for fulfillment, each and every detail is meticulously followed.
It’s never a bad idea to periodically look at the direct marketing basics in direct mail and in many other forms of marketing communication, including digital. The marketing basics are there for a reason… they work. And they are critical elements to the success of your marketing and sales functions.
For example, this week I received an email from ACE Hardware. It had a picture of a post card within the email copy and said look for this mailer 3 to 4 days in my mailbox. This is a great combination of the two marketing channels. The Postal System could never accomplish that in the junk mail era.
As the line between on and offline marketing keeps getting blurrier, it’s more important than ever to have a strong multichannel strategy. It’s impossible to avoid disruption, but that’s one way to avoid being completely swallowed by it.
Quick tip: Never under-estimate the value of a list containing your direct marketing contacts for any mailing, email or postal assignment. Don’t wait until the last minute to update and clean the mailing list. Do the math – about 22% of the population moves yearly.
This is by far one of the most mistreated basics of direct mail. Here's the solution – data must be recorded, analyzed, segmented and updated.
Great data management eliminates reactive advertising. Understanding and know what your customers prefer, which communication channels, a marketing profile, relevant copy and a stay in touch frequency, is the key to direct and digital marketing.
Please share with others, except of course, your competition.
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