May 22, 2009

Mistake #1: Not doing any direct mail marketing at all

eLearning Series

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1. Not doing any direct mail marketing at all

While online marketing, including email campaigns and search engine advertising, is extremely cost effective, the fact is that some people respond better to a printed piece of information than an email.

Why? Here are some of my favorite reasons: If you drop a postcard on the floor, it’s usually still readable. The same is usually not true with most laptops that land on a concrete floor. You don’t need to be online to read a direct mail piece. Have you ever caught yourself reading something else while your computer takes 3-5 minutes to boot up (or restart)? The resolution is better. Computer monitors display 72 dots per inch, while printed pieces have much higher resolution (1200 dots per inch is common for a printed piece). There’s less strain on the eye when reading something that’s been printed on paper. You can take it with you (even to the bathroom), or tape it easily to a bulletin board. Something that arrives via the post office is usually hand-delivered to a person. With email, sometimes you have to worry that your message was sent to a person’s junk mail folder. With recycled paper and other eco-friendly printing techniques, there are many cost-effective ways to responsibly market via direct mail,

that weren’t available even a couple of years ago.

Two Types of Direct Mail Marketing: There are two main ways businesses and organizations use direct mail effectively: retention (stay in touch with existing clients) and acquisition (get new clients). With retention marketing (existing clients), direct mail can be another way to get in front of customers who aren’t responding digitally. You can supplement your online email campaigns with print mailings to reach current customers and bring them back into the organization. From an acquisition marketing perspective (getting new clients), direct mail marketing can help you reach people you otherwise couldn’t get in front of online. For example, if you want to reach a specific business niche such as people who make purchasing decisions for large buildings, there are lots of options for a direct mail list. Or, if you were looking for a specified demographic of consumers,

such as women over 35 with a specific household income and are afflicted with a specific disease, you can get a list for that as well. There are many cost-effective list rental options for direct mail, but not as much for online emailing. Why? People are much less tolerant to unsolicited email vs. unsolicited postal mail, so email acquisition lists tend to be much more expensive. We’ve found that direct mail campaigns, even when you add in postage, printing and mailing costs, can often outperform an email list rental program from a cost per customer acquisition standpoint.