How to Develop a Direct Mail Marketing Strategy

Thanks to the digital world in which we now live, many people assume that having a direct mail marketing strategy is an "old school" approach to advertising that is best left in the past. Recent statistics, however, disagree with that sentiment in a big way. Consider the fact that out of the 150 million pieces of direct mail marketing materials that were sent out in 2015, 42 percent of recipients read or at least scanned those materials. Likewise, 54 percent of people who responded to a survey said that they actually looked forward to receiving physical mail from brands and businesses that they were already interested in.

But direct mail in and of itself is only one small part of a much larger story. To truly unlock the full potential of these efforts and use direct mail collateral to compliment your other marketing efforts, you need the right strategy to act as the foundation from which everything else is built. Developing that direct mail marketing strategy will require you to keep a few key things in mind.

Building Your Direct Mail Marketing Strategy: Important Considerations

The most important step to ensuring that your direct mail efforts get off on the right foot involves taking the time to think about what "success" means. Simply put, what is your ultimate goal for the campaign? What can you get via direct mail either more efficiently than through another medium, or that you simply cannot get anywhere else?

The answer to these questions will vary depending on the organization, but it's essential that you answer them anyway. Your high-level objectives will affect everything - from the type of collateral you create to the audience you choose to send it to. Start with your goals and work your way backwards to your campaign strategy - don't start with a strategy and hope that it lets you arrive at a goal that you're "fine with."

Develop your strategy around the fact that direct mail does give you certain advantages that other techniques do not. With direct mail, it's incredibly easy to laser-focus your attention on specific audiences or even geographical locations. Lean into this and use it to your advantage. Purchase or rent lists and zero in on specific people and target them with surgical precision. Once you begin the conversations offline, you can then use these new relationships to feed back into your online content strategy as well.

Finally, make sure you're devoting the right amount of attention to perhaps the most important element of all: your call-to-action. Direct mail is great because it's not only simple, but tactile as well. Your audience members can hold it in their hands, feel it beneath their fingers and share it with their friends. As a result, every design choice you make needs to create an essential momentum that pushes those audience members towards a clear, direct and concise call-to-action. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to take your desired action and rest assured, they likely will.

As you can see, direct mail marketing doesn't have to be the dusty, archaic approach to marketing that many people in the digital era see it as. It can and should be a viable way to compliment and empower your other marketing campaigns, as the aforementioned statistics go a long way towards proving.

However, though it is a powerful tool, it is still a tool - the same as any other. How you use that tool is the key to unlocking the potential hidden inside, which is why the right direct mail marketing strategy to drive your efforts is and will always be of paramount importance.

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