We often discuss the fact that social media, email and other web-based technologies are integral to an organization’s marketing plan, but it is wise to include more traditional communications in a multichannel strategy as well. Direct mail is a time-tested option for marketing that has lost attention because of the rise of relatively inexpensive email. However, studies have proven time and again that direct mail is effective and delivers a high return on investment, which may be reason enough for you to include it in your next marketing campaign.

Design. Test. Send. Repeat

The ability to narrowly target a field of prospects is one of the reasons that direct mail is so valuable. By analyzing the profiles of your ideal clients, you can create messages and packages that speak directly to their interests and concerns.

When designing the message and layout of your direct mail piece, try to focus more on what your specific audience wants to learn rather than what you wish to tell them. In the same vein as writing a blog post or recording a podcast, it is essential to offer direct mail recipients valuable, actionable content, not a thinly veiled sales pitch. Since people typically make a decision about whether to open direct mail in the first few seconds, make sure your piece grabs their attention and stands out from the junk mail that may be cluttering their mailboxes.

Before sending out thousands of letters, test the efficacy of your mail piece on a smaller group of people. Measure the response rate and adjust any aspects of the campaign that did not work. Once you are confident that you have ironed out the kinks, your campaign will be ready to go.

For those committed to building their brand and looking to expand their service market area, we recommend our clients enlist a direct mail organization with a proven system for success such as RME, where response, marketing and excellence are a top priority.

Following Up

A well-thought out marketing plan outlines the initial contact with a prospect as well as the strategy for following through with that lead. The conversion process for turning a prospect into a client can span months or even years, so it is essential that you have mapped out how you will drip on your pipeline and gradually move them toward the end of the sales cycle: buying. The direct mail piece and subsequent communications should invite prospects to visit your website, encourage them to ask questions and to contact your office. It is important to create opportunities to demonstrate your expertise and to gain more information about each person’s interests and backgrounds. Doing so will enable you to qualify the lead and tailor future marketing communications to be even more effective.