For business marketing, email marketing has proven hugely valuable for literally decades now, and it's still an incredibly powerful business tool to this very day. However, as valuable as email marketing is, there is still a place for direct mail in this day and age, and if used correctly, direct mail can be just as effective, if not more so, than email marketing.
Direct mail for customer data – to offer your customers the best services and products that money can buy, you need to know a little more about your customers and potential customers in the first place. The key to success is ensuring you get the relevant content in front of the right people. For example, if you offer meat-based products, getting your content in front of vegetarians will be a total waste of time. Getting it in front of BBQ enthusiasts and meat-eaters however, well, obviously that will be much more effective. With direct mail, you will already have their name and their addresses, plus you will likely have permission to contact them directly. If you lack contacts, for around £500, or thereabouts, you can purchase a list of prospective buyers from mailing list brokers (if you would like a recommendation for a list broker contact me). They can also offer you business contacts, and much more besides. Some businesses opt to create consumer lists from scratch, which is a lot more difficult and time-consuming. Because of this, it can sometimes be simpler to purchase a list from sellers, or contact customers who have openly stated that they would happily receive marketing content from you.
How to produce direct mail – Producing direct mail is a lot harder than it sounds. It could simply be a leaflet or flyer, or it could be a sales letter. Rather than making them yourself, it is best to hire a copywriter who writes for a living or a Marketer, as they will know exactly what to put, and how to make it sound professional, engaging, and friendly at the same time. Do not try creating your own unless you are highly confident in your abilities, as a poorly constructed direct mail marketing leaflet or flyer could potentially damage your reputation.
Follow up on leads – Remember, you are not the only business making use of direct mail, so if you want to stand out from your competitors, you need to ensure that you are willing to follow up on your leads. If a person receives 3 flyers from 3 companies, including yours, if you follow up with a simple phone call or email, they are more likely to engage with you, as long as you handle things respectfully. Never be pushy, don’t try calling at unsociable hours, and try not to be too formal as this is likely to annoy people. Be open and honest, be respectful and polite, and don’t take it personally if people hang up on you mid-conversation.