According to an article on the website www.thebalance.com, direct mailing is defined as a form of direct mailing in which letters, postcards, or other marketing material is sent to past, current and future customers in the hopes of obtaining their business. In many of these cases, the mailing is to a specific, identified, target audience. The audience includes consumers, as well as other businesses.
Advantages of direct mail campaigns:
- If the piece is well written and targeted, there is a good chance you will receive a positive response in return;
- Bulk mailings are cost effective in that they are less in the per-piece cost versus the United States Postal Service mailing costs.
- Direct mail is perceived to be “junk mail” and thrown away once received;
- Expensive if no response in the form of a purchase is made.
Using Kent’s Camera Castle, the AIDA concept is shown:
What might be mailed out to the targeted market? Those items include discounts and specials, useful items (calendars) or tips, reminders (a tax preparer may send out the upcoming tax year tax credits), samples and announcements. Another form of direct mailing may be a newsletter announcing the upcoming events in a business and may include discounts and coupons for services.
How do you determine what a business may need to do in a mailing? The steps are as follows:
- Decide your goal of what the receiver will do once they receive the mailing.
- Determine what type of mailing will be mailed out.
- Create your mailing by writing directly what your goal is.
- Have your mailing professionally designed and printed in order to get the customers in your door.
- Identify your target market audience for your mailing campaign.
- Contact your local post office about using bulk mailing, which is the most inexpensive way of mailing a direct mailing.
- Do a test run of your mailing by sending to a select number of your target customers in order to evaluate the message that is being mailed? If you receive the response you would like, send to the remainder of the target customers.
- Prepare your mailing and take it to the local post office.
- Track responses to evaluate if direct mailing is effective in reaching your market.
- Are we done now? No, to be effective, you need to hit a customer more than once with your direct mailing campaign. And what better way is to start planning the day after you get a mailing done!
The Costs for Direct Mail:
Design Costs $0-$100
Marketing Copy Costs $0-$100
Mailing List Costs $0-$.30/record
Printing Costs $.03-$2.00 person
Distribution Costs $.25-$2.00/piece
In using this information, I feel that the cost involved is worth a mailing to several target markets for Kent’s Camera Castle. The primary group would involve the professional photographers and the secondary group would entertain the photography buffs who want to enter the professional market. What would be my message? A camera, information to gain interest and a possible discount to get the customer in the door. While the project would prefer to not utilize a discount, I feel a small one would gather enough interest to get the target audience in the door. A picture is worth a thousand words and this sample would garner interest. And once in the door, what else might they purchase?
The misconception I had about this assignment was that for such a small budget, a direct mailer would inspire 60% of the recipients to take action. As this is over 50%, it would be worth looking into. And according to huffington post, 41% of those over the age of 65 do not use the internet and they would benefit from the direct mailer.
According to fitsmallbusiness.com., “Among U.S. respondents, 59% said that they enjoy receiving postal mail from brands and 70% feel that mail is more personal that the internet.”
“Direct Mail Defined”, http://www.thebalance.com/direct-mail-defined-1794410, Retrieved 11/2/2017.
“Direct Mail Marketing-The Ultimate Guide for Small Businesses”, fitsmallbusiness.com/direct-mail/, Retrieved 11/2/17
Taylor, Scott., ’Why Direct Mail Marketing is Far From Dead”, www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-taylor/why-direct-mail-marketing_b_10627116.html, Retrieved 11/2/2017
Bruce, Jenna., “How Much Does Direct Mail Marketing Cost”, www.mediaspacesolutions.com/blog/how-much-does-direct-mail-marketing-cost, Retrieved 11/2/2017