Thursday, January 03, 2013 4:34 PMPosted By: Erik Stafford
Here at ISOOSI we focus on Search Engine Marketing, but as a full-service agency, we often get called upon for branding, web design, and even Direct Mail projects.
Direct Mail is often an overlooked, misunderstood form of marketing…
Probably because most people do it wrong!
Done right, Direct Mail can be incredibly effective.
Here's how to launch a quick test Direct Mail campaign:
1. Get a list. Before you can do anything, you'll need a Direct Mail list. We work with a dedicated list broker, who provides us with large and small lists in tons of different markets.
It's quite easy to get started without a dedicated broker though. Simply hop online and look for a company that sells lists.
Here's some places to start:
2. Run a count, and see what sort of list you can dig up. You can target people by race, color, sex, geographical location, industry… The options are endless. For best results, try to find lists that include people who recently bought something similar to your product or service.
3. Create your campaign. You can mail almost anything, from flyers to postcards and even long-form letters… Just keep your mailing costs in mind. Here's a couple more tips to help you get started:
Studies have shown that most people sort their mail over (or near) the trash can. Stuff that looks like personal letters, bills, and other types of notifications get a closer look. Stuff that looks like advertising or junk mail typically gets immediately dropped in the trash. If you want your Direct Mail piece to make the cut, keep it simple. It's no surprise that the most successful campaigns we've run didn't have flashy design, glossy paper, or beautiful stock images.
In keeping with the first item (above) our best campaigns have been mailed in plain white envelopes, with the address written in a blue, hand-written font. Again, this makes your piece look more like a personal letter. We like to mail first-class, just because people tend to pause when they see the postmark.
Lumpy mail works great! Put something in each mailer, if your budget allows it. We've mailed keychains, USB drives, even hunks of rock for a client who specializes in rare stones and minerals. It works like crazy! Human Nature simply won't let people throw your envelope in the trash without first checking inside to see what you've sent them.
4. You'll need to mail your campaign. Work with your list broker (above) or find a local company that can stuff envelopes, print labels, and handle bulk postage. When your campaign finally goes out, it will be an exciting day indeed… But not nearly as exciting as when you get that first sale!
5. Test small and track carefully. Start with 500-1,000 pieces max. Once you've found an effective list, and a campaign they're responding to, you can then roll out a full scale campaign.
How do you tell if your campaign is successful?
Take all of your costs (the cost of the list, the cost to create the mailing, the cost of having it prepped, and the cost of postage) and add them up. Then, measure your response against your hard costs.
I encourage you to explore the mysterious, profitable world of Direct Mail. I hope this post has helped inspire you to get started!
Now I better get back to work :-)