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What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

Because the term has been used so interchangeably, the answer to the question, “What is direct mail marketing?” seems to have numerous answers. But this type of marketing is sent directly to the customer’s personal space.

The term “mail” in the phrase is often overlooked and many have come to believe that it’s no longer advertising that’s done strictly through using the post office. Many think that by using the technology available today, marketing can be done through text messages sent to cell phones, letters or postcards mailed to the customer, email or even website ads.

All forms of marketing are not the same, but they all have the same purpose of any marketing strategy – to get the customer to act – to buy the product, send off for the information packet or to click on the contact link.

Marketers today believe it’s vital to focus on their target audience, and they’re right. With the creation of popular online social hangouts like Facebook, a world of opportunity opened up to marketers and created a way for them to engage with customers.

However, this isn’t marketing directly in its truest form. Marketing directly to the customer involves sending the advertisement straight to his or her residence – there’s no middleman other than the post office representative.

Retail stores engage in this form of marketing all the time – and so do companies wanting customers to apply for credit with them. This type of mail is a solicitation for business where marketers send out postcards (the least expensive route to take) or letters. They also use ads – some printed up as flyers and placed in envelopes. Using this strategy is one of the most cost effective ways you can advertise your products and services.

To have a successful campaign, marketers don’t simply send out random mailings hoping for a response. Instead, they aim for a specific group of people – sometimes referred to as a demographic – also referred to as their target audience. While people will ignore unwanted text messages, delete email ads unread and ignore website ads, they will read their mail – or at the very least hold it in their hands and scan it before tossing it.

What medium used in this type of marketing has been proven to have the largest number or responses leading to the most successful campaigns? That would be the postcard sent to the customer.

The postcards are cheap to buy (or to create yourself) and cheap to send. They can be sent through bulk mail and since there’s no envelope to open, the customer doesn’t have to take any further steps to get your ad in front of their eyes. Because space is limited, postcards require marketers to get straight to the meat of the message and this results in a much stronger pitch and a bigger response rate.

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