Help Is Here –– Direct Mail And Your Small Business

Published January 15, 2016 

In the Internet age, it can be tempting to believe that emails, tweets and various other social media have trumped all other methods of communication. But direct mail companies still have an edge when it comes to marketing businesses big or small. If you're new to marketing your business, you might be wondering what direct mail can do for you, and what types of marketing services are out there.

Marketing as a Necessity

To maintain your business, you need to establish your company as a reliable source for the product or service you offer. You need to be able to deliver your message quickly and effectively at the right moment. Responsive marketing is a necessity, not a luxury.

What Do Direct Mail Companies Offer?

Unlike many of the other services available, direct mail marketing companies deliver tangible items to customers. Billboards are enormous, but drivers do not always have the chance to absorb important information as they fly past the advertisements on the freeway. Television and radio ads can be iconic, but they are also transient. Some direct marketing services produce email campaigns; unfortunately, these are frequently blocked or diverted by junk mail filters.

On the other hand, direct mail companies produce an item that’s tangible, even if it eventually goes in the recycling bin. It has to pass through your potential customer's hands and is inevitably scanned by a pair of eyes. Examples of items created by direct mail companies include:

  • Letters and postcards
  • Self-mailers
  • Catalogs and brochures
  • Coupon mailers
  • Packages

Even if they are not kept, most direct mail items still get the opportunity to make a visual impression. As a result, direct mail campaigns offer a highly effective way to deliver your message to a targeted group of consumers. In fact, direct mail currently has the highest return on investment of any advertising method.

Marketing Considerations

Before building a direct marketing campaign, it is important to identify your current customer base, as well as a prospective target. Direct mail companies can help you develop an effective mailing list:

  • Custom mailing lists can be created to your particular specifications
  • Specialty mailing lists are created to target a specific consumer genre
  • Cloned mailing lists can be created by analyzing your current customer base and targeting similar individuals

Software programs like QuickBooks® can help you calculate your mailing list costs, as well as other accounting costs and variables.

If you choose to use a direct mail company, it may be possible to outsource almost every stage of the production process, including the mailer design. Direct mail companies can even send the materials for you. 

If you want to remain closely involved in the advertising campaign, you might prefer to develop a concept yourself, or assign its development to staff members. From there, printing or production can be outsourced or completed on-site.

The outcome of your first direct marketing campaign can help you tailor others to improve results and help make subsequent campaigns even more successful.

Now that you know what direct mail companies can do for you, you can assess which skills you already have in-house and what you need from the outside. With this in mind, you’ll be able to find the right direct mail marketing company for your business.

Ready to start your own campaign? Learn more about how Staples can help.

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