What are the benefits of direct mail postcards?
Are direct mail postcards really such a good idea? You bet! When was the last time you received a postcard or letter with an offer you thought “wow, I could really use this!”? If you’re like many people, they are few and far between. This is where direct marketing innovation for your business comes in. With even the smallest offer, the right people will ‘bite’. When coordinated well, direct mail – like a postcard, letter or game piece can prove highly effective.
There is one catch though: planning. This includes timing, targeting and willingness to ‘offer a deal’.
With an increase in email marketing, companies are sending less paper mail. In fact direct mail is on the decline from even a couple of years ago. THIS can be a huge advantage for your business because fewer papers landing in mailboxes means a higher chance YOUR direct mail postcard will grab attention.
Don’t get us wrong, online communication is great in many ‘right’ circumstances, but for all its positives, it can also have quite a few negatives. It’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of online marketing because that’s where utilizing direct mail can set your business miles apart from your competitors.
Let’s have a look at why:
First off, when you receive a piece of paper mail – you pick it up. You hold it in your hand. You don’t overlook it. It has a much more tangible quality to it than anything you do could possibly do online. Think about this: With email, you’re able to overlook a message without a second thought. It may even go right to spam. But with paper mail, you sort through it. You’ll pluck out the bills and tax documents or notices – you’ll sort the greetings – you’ll poke through the ads and coupons – all to see if there is anything important – anything you mustn’t miss.
Then, there it is: A simple yet eye-catching postcard. You think, “Hmm, $24.95 express oil change? I kind of do need that oil change I’ve been putting off.” Who is getting that much needed maintenance taken care of this weekend? You are – all because of a simple postcard that stood out. When sending out direct mail offers, you can say a lot with your design, or with the quality of the print. This can have a positive effect on the credibility of your business. For example, surveys have shown time and time again that people tend to trust offers they get through the mail much more than those they get via email. (The two can even be combined, but that’s for another topic.)
What is my marketing competition?
Truth is, there isn’t much competition in direct mail right now. Before the boom of email advertising, you may have received a direct mail promotion that would be competing with probably 2 or 3 other offers in the mailbox on that same delivery day. Today, you might see one or two competing offers in a month because businesses just don’t see the hidden value in ‘snail mail’ in this digital age.
Online advertising competition is fierce! When a business sends you an advertising email, you’re also getting between 10 and 30 OTHER emails from competitors on that same day. Additionally, if your business runs a basic online ad campaign, your prospects will likely see a large number of other ads before yours unless you’re spending big. (Yes, we offer a way around that big-spend too, but that’s covered over here.)
Is direct mail worth the investment?
Direct mail definitely has a strategic advantage, but there’s also a slight downside: Postage and printing costs.
Thanks to inflation, postage costs have almost doubled from even the 1990’s. So have printing costs. This means that businesses have to really think hard about whom to target and why.
We hardly ever recommend blindly mailing promotions to just anyone. Why? Direct mail is far more effective and a lot less expensive when you are extremely selective with your prospects. When precise targeting is used, the ROI can be quite favorable and well worth the investment. For this, you must create and build a list strategy.
For those new to direct mail advertising, cost and simplicity are why we’re focusing primarily on direct mail POSTCARDS in this article. Whereas a well designed letter and envelope – or really nice self mailer – may be tough to think about starting with if you’ve never considered mailing before, the postcard is a budget friendly and good ‘new to direct mail’ way to test the waters for your business.
Now of course, for your direct mail postcards, you can’t just throw together any old thing and hope it will get people to call you! You’ll need a solid plan from demographic model to target list to design & offer to mailboxes. If you need help with any (or all) of this, give us a call today to get started and our professional account managers will team up with you to assist every step of the way!
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