Designing a direct mail marketing campaign is incredibly simple. Easy-to-use design software allows business owners with little tech-savvy to design eye-catching and convincing ads for direct mail marketing campaigns. If you’re looking to spread the word about your business to a local demographic, direct mail marketing might be right for you.

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail marketing is simply the use of mailers and postcards to promote your business. Typically sent through the United States Postal Service (USPS), mailers are a highly cost-effective form of marketing. Depending on your brand and promotional goals, you may want to mail out a postcard, catalog or flyer.

A number of businesses incorporate direct mail into their marketing campaigns. Brands with highly visual content, like real estate companies, for example, often use mail marketing to share photos of homes and products on the market.

Direct mail offers a lot of opportunities to get creative with your campaign. Sustainably-focused companies will send out unique leaflets that contain living seeds, for example, and encourage recipients to plant their mailer after reading it. Your mailer can be as elaborate or as minimal as you want it to be.

How Do Direct Mail Campaigns Work?

Similar to digital marketing, direct mail sends correspondence directly to someone’s home or place of business, allowing you to target people by geographic location or profession. A firmly established marketing strategy in many industries, direct mail is becoming more and more inventive as marketers work to find creative ways to reach potential customers. Some might incorporate QR codes that take recipients to their website, for example. Many direct mail marketing campaigns include some sort of incentive for new customers, like a promotional code or coupon.

To design a direct mail marketing campaign, you’ll start by designing your piece of mail. For those looking for the most cost-effective option, you can take a stab at creating the design yourself using at-home graphic design software.

How Much Does Direct Mail Marketing Cost?

Direct mail marketing is a highly cost-effective way to reach your customers. Because mail is sent directly to home addresses, you simply pay the cost of design, production, and postage. Many business owners who are just starting out with a limited marketing budget will begin with direct mail marketing until they reach profitability. Your design can be as simple as you’d like, featuring little more than your website and phone number so that recipients can learn more about your brand.

High-quality designs can be created on tight budgets and sent out to a limited scope of addresses, or you can work with a design company to create an elaborate mail marketing campaign that goes out to millions of residents.

Does Direct Mail Marketing Still Work?

Direct mail is a great way to reach out to potential customers. Mailing campaigns produce higher response rates than other methods such as social media marketing. Direct mail also produces better results than paid search advertising, but you need to target your audience properly.

  • "Direct mail is a cost-efficient way to reach your target audience."

  • "Direct mail response rates are higher than most marketing channels."

  • "Email has low response rates and click-through rates."

According to MailChimp's 2018 State of Direct Marketing Report, direct mail campaigns generated $15 billion in sales last year alone.

The report also found that direct mail outperformed email and social media in generating leads and conversions.

Direct mail is still a game changer. But marketers should be flexible when adding direct mail to their marketing mix.

How To Effectively Use Direct Mail Marketing

To make effective use of your next direct mail marketing campaign, it’s helpful to go back to basics. Consider your target audience and design memorable or interactive content that will engage them.

Define Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is crucial. If you haven’t determined a target demographic, you risk sending out mailers to hundreds of residents that will simply place it directly into the recycling bin. Consider who your product is best suited for, and where they’re most likely to live. Remember that mail marketing is especially effective for reaching older demographics who are less likely to engage with digital content on social media or email.

Run Tests

Before you scale up a direct mail marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to run several test mailings to gauge the response rate. Make sure these test runs have a tracking mechanism - whether it’s a QR code that you’re asking recipients to scan or a promotional code that they’re given. Directing users to a unique landing page on your website can help you determine how many people are clicking as a result of your mailer. 

Include a Compelling CTA

With any mail marketing campaign, be sure to include a compelling call to action. To be effective, your campaign must have a clear ask. For many companies, the CTA will be to make a purchase, but it can also ask new customers to sign up for a newsletter or otherwise engage with your brand.

Integrate Your Other Marketing Channels

Direct mail is a great way to let people know you’re open for business, and how they can best connect with you. A mailer is a great place to feature your social media content, or encourage recipients to sign up for your email marketing newsletter.

Have a Quality Control Process

When designing mailers, be sure to set up quality control processes. For many companies, this means ensuring multiple people proofread the content. If you decide to send mailers frequently, it’s helpful to put automation to work for you, whether that’s through the use of templates or some other form of quality control. Make sure each direct mail piece represents your brand well.

Types of Businesses That Do Best with Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

Direct mail is one of the most popular marketing services, and its popularity shows no signs of waning. Mail marketing is a good option for small business owners and entrepreneurs trying to keep costs down, and for national companies looking to promote an upcoming sale. Companies that sell a lot of different products often make use of catalogs to share their inventory with potential customers.

Direct Mail Marketing Examples

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