What is Direct Mail?

The world of marketing has put a huge emphasis on online strategies and tactics within the last decade. However, that doesn’t mean that traditional marketing methods have completely fallen by the wayside.

Many of them are still incredibly useful and integral to any great overall marketing strategy.

Enter direct mail. Direct mail is any physical advertisement that is sent out en masse to the homes of potential customers. Direct mail comes in a huge array of forms.

Some are elaborate brochures, printed on glossy paper with a huge marketing budget behind it. Some are simple letters, printed in black and white ink and created on a printer in a humble home office. Some direct mail comes with a tiny gift for the recipient, such as pre-printed postage labels or refrigerator magnets.

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Although the importance of a strong online presence has shifted the world of marketing, don’t count out the value of real world marketing tactics like direct mail just yet. Here’s everything you need to know about direct mail in Chicago.

Direct Mail Is A Direct Correspondence

Let’s say that you set up a website, blog and create a few pages across a variety of social media platforms. While your efforts will certainly pay off at least somewhat, there is still the issue of the fact that the customer has to come to you. As in, they have to search for a company in your industry and then somehow make their way to your website.

Direct mail allows you to skip the part where the customer has to discover you on their own. Instead, you create a direct correspondence where your message is sent directly to the potential customer.

Some might wonder why they can’t save money and just send out mass e-mail marketing campaigns instead. After all, direct mail can cost money to produce, whereas e-mails are free. E-mail marketing can be beneficial, but there is the issue of most people having spam filters on their accounts, designed specifically to filter out all promotional messages. However, people can’t create filters for their physical mailboxes. Whatever is sent to them is what they receive.

Don’t Confuse Direct Mail With “Junk Mail”

When considering a direct mail campaign, many companies worry that the materials that they poured their budget into will just be tossed aside, dismissed as “junk mail” by the recipient. It’s true that some people do instantly toss aside any correspondence that isn’t personal without ever opening it.

However, a significant chunk of the population will at least take a glance at the direct mail that they receive and will continue to read if something about it entices them.

This is why successful direct mail has two components. First, it’s typically printed in color with imagery that is enticing and encourages the recipient to want to read more. Second, great direct mail typically announces a sale or promotion, rather than just informing the potential customer that the company exists.

Direct mail can be a successful marketing tactic if employed correctly. Unlike other marketing efforts, it’s always guaranteed to reach its intended target. When executed wisely, a direct mail campaign can be extremely beneficial to any company’s bottom line.

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