Overview of Direct Mail
Direct Mail is a form of “Direct” or “Direct Response” marketing. In effect, it is simply a customized piece of mail sent only to targeted consumers. It is called “Direct” because it circumvents traditional mass media and goes directly to the home or office of the consumer. Although measurements vary, it is generally considered to be either the third or fourth largest advertising medium behind TV, Newspaper and, sometimes, Radio.
Upside of Direct Mail
Some of the upside I mentioned above, but there are a number of very good reasons why direct advertising can be advantageous.
- The format is extremely flexible. There are few rules or limitations beyond good taste and your budget.
Downside of Direct Mail
Direct advertising is not without its pitfalls, though, and while there aren’t very many of them they are significant.
- While the printing and mailing can be inexpensive, building a good database can be both time-consuming and expensive.
- A campaign consisting of only direct mail is somewhat limited. It is better when used as a component of a larger campaign.
- Direct mail pieces generally arrive uninvited and are very easily discarded. They’re often seen as “junk” mail.
Main Thing To Know About Direct Mail Advertising
Like OOH, Direct Mail is generally not a great option as a stand-alone medium. It is a very good complement, though, to a multi-faceted campaign. The best part about it is you can really customize the format to align well with your brand. The next best thing is that it can work with any budget. It is literally as big or small as you want it to be. If you’re going to do Direct Mail, spend your money on two things. Number 1: Build the right list. It may cost more but the increased response is worth it. Number 2: Do a high quality piece. If your piece doesn’t make your brand cut through the clutter it ends up in the trash without a second look.