In all its forms, direct mail marketing is the mainstay of many business marketing strategies.

Direct mail marketing paired with other marketing elements can make your sales leads soar. Your success or failure as a marketing manager often depends on putting your company’s printed sales materials into the hands of the right prospects in your target market.

What is direct mail marketing?

A direct mail marketing effort that uses a mail service to deliver a promotional printed piece to your target audience. Direct mail encompasses a wide variety of marketing materials, including brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters, sales letters, among others.

Whether it’s a high-volume mailing piece sent 1,000 to 100,000 prospects using a rented mailing list, inexpensive and personalized, or a highly targeted direct mailing distributed to a small target segment for testing.

A carefully chosen list of CEOs among your company’s best customers, or postcard mailing to existing customers announcing a new product promotion. Direct mail marketing projects are sent to your target audience, personal communication to an individual in your company’s marketplace who may be a buyer of your company’s products or services.

In planning and executing direct mail marketing projects, your job as a marketing manager is to determine the cost-effective approach in marketing deliverables needed to persuade these individuals to take action. Begin by calling your company’s sales reps for more information. And ask them why do customers buy your company’s product for the first time, to place a reorder or respond to a special promotion.

best marketing plan template

Advantages of direct mail

Direct mail offers many important advantages to your marketing program.

Control

More than any other marketing activity, direct mail marketing gives you a high level of control. Unlike a trade show booth or a display ad in a trade publication, you control your product sales message in the direct mail package. Your product sales appeal is not obscured by its placement in a magazine, by another competitor’s larger ad, or by poor booth location at the trade show.

Unlike print display advertising, direct mail marketing can be executed anytime, anywhere, without regard to publications closing dates or its printing schedules. If you have a mailing package and a mailing list, you can get a mailing out in a matter of days.

Cost

Unlike advertising and trade shows, there is no minimum buy-in cost to put out a mailing. You determine the number of pieces to mail, and the cost of each piece, whether it’s a thousand or a hundred thousand mailing pieces.

I want you to develop the direct mail package that works. You can achieve big savings by printing higher quantities, in advance, for the printed pieces you use in your direct mail programs.

Flexibility

You can develop specialized direct mail packages to exploit, or respond to, virtually any new marketing situation or opportunity. You can put out a mailing designed to stimulate sales during a slow or to respond to a competitor’s price cut with a special promotional offer.

Speed

A direct mail marketing project can be developed and produced in a very short time. Any competent and dedicated digital marketing agency or marketing consultant can turn out a direct mail package, start to finish, in a week or two at most.

This fast turnaround lets you enter new markets quickly and respond to marketing emergencies faster than any other marketing method. When do you develop an array of individually printed marketing deliverables, you can increase your company speed of execution even further?

direct mail activities

For example, an arsenal of printed pieces like direct mail brochures, reply cards, standard cover letters, and envelopes. These can be quickly modified and reassemble into a new direct mail package for a quick test in a new market. A fast mailing to a promising new prospect list, a mailing to kick off a new joint business relationship, or any other promising new business opportunity that needs to be acted upon—fast.

Personalization

The more you can personalize your direct mail pieces to your prospect, the better your response. Database software and digital printing technology offer a wide range of personalization options to give your prospects highly targeted information on your company’s products.

Precision

The technology of direct mail allows you to build a direct mailing list of prospects by business size and type, the number of employees, past purchases, or any other available field in your marketing database.

The same profiling options are also available from a rented mailing list of potential prospects, available from outside sources. Today’s high-speed digital printing technologies enable you to tell your sales message on the outer envelope, cover letter, and brochure direct mail package to appeal specifically to smaller and smaller groups of prospects.

advantages direct mail
Source: Pixabay

Unlimited creativity

In direct mail marketing, there are virtually no limits to size, color options, individual printed elements, or other print or production-related options. Your materials can be as simple as or as elaborate as your budget and judgment allow.

Testing and predictability

You can test a small portion of a mailing list and predict and the results.

You can also create a response curve to predict the final response of a mailing list, based on the small number of initial response has received during the first several days of a mailing.

And if you receive a favorable projected response to a mailing, you can start sooner to plan your follow-up mailing to larger portions of the list.

Conversely, if you receive a poor projected early response, you can make plans to mail to other potentially more productive, list, or move on to other more productive marketing activity sooner.

Source Pixabay

Applications

The two major applications for direct mail marketing in business-to-business marketing are:

  • Market coverage. Generating new inquiries and sales leads for your company sales reps, through a program of regular, systematic mailings to both self-compiled mailing list, endless rented from outside sources, such as trade publications.
  • Sales support. Using mailings after the sales call to shorten the sales cycle. This involves close coordination with your companies sales development representative and using a CRM system to time a series of regular mailings to prospects, designed to help your sales reps turn prospects into buyers. This may be just one follow-up mailing package, or it may be a series of two or more. This may increase the complexity, based on my prospects qualifications, and personalized as a result of your sales reps last sales call to that prospect.

There are also no limits to how and where direct-mail can be used in your company’s marketing programs. Here are some examples:

  • Reach CEOs with a highly personalized direct mail package, specially tailored to each recipient
  • Reach key distributors or dealers with new product announcements, new pricing options in ordering plans, or new product features and enhancements
  • Communicate with your customers on a regular basis. Do this through your company’s printed (or email) newsletter, focusing on the latest industry developments and providing a helpful product application advice, weaving promotional information on your company’s products or services into the content of these communications.
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Wrap-Up

Direct mail marketing is the mainstay of many B2B marketing activities. Your success or failure depends on putting your company’s printed sales materials into the hands of the right prospects, at the right time, in your market segments.

If you integrate your direct mail marketing programs into other activities like content marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click ads and watch your sales response soar.

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