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With advances in marketing, are businesses still using direct mail?

DATE PUBLISHED: March 29, 2011
You bet they are – and if done correctly, direct mail really works. But forget about sending out a coupon every few months or mailers that are addressed to, “occupant.” They’ll hit the trash faster than you can say, “I just wasted a ton of money.” But the more sophisticated direct mail pieces are working – and working well.

You’ve probably even received a mailer recently. Did you notice that it had your name on it? Welcome to the world of Variable Data Printing. It’s all thanks to technology, and now people are expecting their direct mail to be tailored and personalized. And with Variable Data Printing, you can produce one-of-a-kind digitally printed pieces using a database of many different “fields.” Those “fields” are pictures, names, text and graphics that can all be changed on each piece and customized for your particular needs. And the entire reason to utilize more relevant information is to achieve a higher ROI.

It’s all tied to “fragmentation” that is occurring in the media world right now. While magazines like Time and Reader’s Digest are struggling to maintain circulation levels, newer and more targeted publications like “Wood Working For Left Handed People” are soaring. Ok, I made that one up. But you get the idea – and there’s probably a market for that one!

So how can you put this new technology to work for you? Direct mail is one of the most measurable forms of marketing that exists today. You need to think in terms of cost per response instead of cost per thousand. Think a “rifle” approach and not a “shotgun” approach. Target, target, target! And direct mail lets you target effectively.

Like other media that includes print or broadcast, direct mail requires frequency. You have to “hit” the recipient multiple times with your message if you really want your campaign to be effective. And while coupons are really a thing of the past, a really good offer will up your response rates considerably.

Speaking of offers, with variable data printing, you can test several different offers to the same list. Split the list and send one offer to one-half, and a different offer to the other half. See which offer pulls better. Next mailing – use the offer that pulled – and your ROI will soar. So will your response rates.

Contact us for a free consultation!