Direct mail has long been an effective, relatively cost efficient way to reach buyers. But many small businesses simply fail to see its value. Maybe that’s an honest mistake. After all, you can tell from all of the direct mail you receive, and then promptly discard, that most of it’s pure junk.

The watchword of reaching buyers today isn’t as simple as some business owners believe. The solution isn’t Facebook. It isn’t Twitter. It’s not print advertising or blogging. No the solution to reaching and influencing a maximum number of qualified buyers is in multi-channel marketing.

And direct mail is a channel that should have a greater role in many businesses’ overall marketing strategy, especially businesses with a local customer base.

Four ingredients for direct mail success

Direct mail is another way of reaching buyers. But there are four aspects your direct mail will need to have to be effective. It has to be creative, compelling, and provide a call to action.

You and I both know that most direct mail is short on these vital ingredients. That’s why it doesn’t work.

But when it’s done right, direct mail does work. It’s certainly worked for me. Some businesses launch wildly creative direct mail campaigns that get you to stop and pay attention. Sometimes these are creative postcards or envelopes. Other times they’re dimensional mailers that tell a story. Either way, it makes sales. It works.

And the call to action, the offer, the hook – it’s incredibly important. Give them a fabulous reason to buy from you, not just to hear from you. Direct mail as branding is a waste of money. Use the opportunity to reach the buyer and incentivise them to action!

The single most important part of direct mail…
But wait, I did say there were four aspects in direct mail success. What’s the single biggest, most important factor? The LIST.

Who you send mail to matters more than anything else.

A buyer, is a buyer, is a buyer. So I send all of my direct mail to buyers – people who have bought from me before. The day I worked this out my response rates sky-rocketed, and my return on investment went through the roof.

It will for you too.

If you are just starting out with direct mail then I urge you to mail your existing customers first. Make them an offer, give them a reason to come back and buy from you again. Many of them will – if you do it right.

As I said previously, if your database isn’t in excellent condition, you’re losing money. You’ll never know how many potential pounds are evaporating – every day. Poor quality data is so costly. Nowhere is this truer than with direct mail. It’s essential that your database be in pristine condition.

Don’t be one of those business owners who invents reasons for not reaching your buyers and not doing direct mail. Don’t make excuses, make money!

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