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How a Direct Mail Campaign Can Help Small Businesses

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We live in a digital age, and when you have a business or event to promote, the most obvious way to get your message out to the public and your target audience is via the internet and using digital marketing strategies.

When your business has a website that is optimized to rank highly in the search engines’ results pages, and social media profiles on the various platforms to share information, success should be ever more achievable. However, good old-fashioned direct-mail marketing should not be completely ignored, especially for small businesses. There’s lots of value to be had from the traditional outbound style marketing like direct mail.

For smaller companies who have identified a potential new market or have a new product that they are hoping to sell more widely  a direct mail campaign can be a useful way to trial its success relatively quickly and at a reasonable cost.

Why Direct Mail Works For Small Businesses

Any business using direct mail can realise quantifiable results and for small business it really has several benefits:

  • You can target recipients accurately (geographic area, for example).
  • You can control the response. A digital advert may provoke a large number of responses which you are not equipped to deal with, therefore damaging reputation.
  • Costs are comparatively low, and a campaign can be structured to fit any budget.
  • You can orchestrate a direct mail campaign quickly.
  • You can reuse your mailing list.
  • You can test different appeals to find out the most effective message. Over time, you’ll be able to develop a message that provides a high response rate.

How to run a direct mail campaign

Identify your target audience.

Who are you targeting, and why? The more defined your target audience is, the more successful the campaign will be.

Focus the message to the target audience

The message that you include must focus on the benefits of the product to the specific audience, rather than a list of product features.

Concise call to action

Don’t overstuff the mail with content that dilutes the call to action. Decide what you want people to do and be clear about it. Use language that suggests urgency or a limited number of products to encourage timely action.

Design your mail

Research any cost implications for the size of mailshot you are sending. For example, an A5 size may be cheaper to post than an A4. Do you need to have a glossy finish? If you are able to print your own mail, on your own printer, you will be able to further reduce costs, especially using compatible toner cartridges rather than brand own from retailers such as Cartridge Shop. Tweaks to your designs can save you money.

Include a Tracking code

Use tracking codes to enable you to test and refine the mailshots that you send out. You need to know which version has generated the most leads. When customers contact you, the code that they use will enable you to shape future campaigns with the elements of the most successful campaigns.

While direct mail campaigns have typically been sidelined in favor of digital methods, the data that you can extrapolate from a direct mail campaign can be used to inform all of your integrated marketing strategies.

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