What is Direct Mail?

Posted by Wes Powell

Dec 29, 2016 6:53:00 AM

What-is-Direct-Mail.jpgIf you type “Direct Mail Companies Colorado Springs” into your browser, TMR Direct is the first company to come up in the organic search. That’s great, but just what is direct mail and how can it help companies and organizations that are trying to find new customers and stay in touch with existing clients?

Let’s cover some of the basics first. Direct mail is one marketing tool that lets businesses and organizations interact directly with their customers and prospects. Businesses craft a message and this message is sent (through the United States Postal Service) directly to the consumer. If someone chooses to respond, they do so directly with the business or organization that contacted them. The goal of a direct mail service (such as TMR Direct) is to get that message to the desired recipient as quickly, effectively, and inexpensively as possible.

Why does that matter to your organization? Organizations (whether for profit or non-profit) need to stay in touch with existing clients and they need to continually look for new clients. Direct mail is a time-tested way of doing just that.

Ah, you may be thinking, but we live in an online world. Who needs direct mail when you have instant access to millions of people at the click of a button? Try a little test. It’s the same one we used at the beginning of this post. Type your industry (i.e. “homebuilding” and then your location “your town’s name). Then look for your website. Did it pop up in the top ten?  Is it anywhere on the first page? If not, the people you’re trying to reach probably aren’t finding you.

That’s where direct mail can be a business lifesaver. With direct mail (done properly) you don’t just send a message out into the ether and hope that some of those millions of people online find it. You target a specific audience; you craft your message and your package to appeal to them; and you send your message directly to them. It’s a specific message sent to a specific audience and it asks for a specific response.

Why does direct mail work? There are a number of reasons why direct mail is still effective in an online society. For one, a piece of direct mail is a physical object. It’s something someone interacts with. We’re tactile creatures. We tend to respond to things we touch. And if the piece does its job properly, the recipient may set it aside to think about later. It’s a physical reminder—something that’s called “stickiness” in the industry because it sticks around. That doesn’t generally happen with emails.

Another reason direct mail works is because it’s invasive. That doesn’t sound like a good thing (and nobody likes unrequested “junk mail”). But quality direct mail has the ability to interrupt in a good way and make people pay attention.

Today, however, direct mail needs to integrate with your other (online) forms of marketing. You’ll want to pull your recipients back to your website for additional information and to give them an easy way to respond. Direct mail’s job is to grab your prospect’s attention and then pull them to your website where they can get the information they want. That’s the basic idea behind Inbound Marketing, and in today’s marketplace you need both conventional marketing efforts (that push readers to respond) and inbound efforts (that pull readers into your site).  Click here for a free eBook that talks about how to use both push and pull marketing efforts to maximize your marketing effectiveness.

Direct mail is just one (very effective) way to get people to your website.

Growing Leads with Direct Mail

Topics: direct mail, Direct Mail Tips, What is Direct Mail?

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