Many small businesses ask me what they can do to get in front of their target audience when they don’t have a huge marketing budget.  One of the first things I typically suggest is a direct mail campaign.  Sounds old school right?  Well it sort of is but guess what, direct mail works!

MailboxAccording to a survey conducted by cmocouncil.org65% of consumers from all age groups made a purchase as a result of a direct mail campaign!  Many consumers actually prefer direct mail because it is convenient.  It comes directly to their door step and they can look at it and deal with it when they have the time.

Now, let me address the elephant in the room.  I know some of you open your mailbox and toss every piece of mail that you weren’t expecting.  Of course that is going to happen.  It happens with every form of advertising you pick.  If you do a TV commercial, your target can change the channel, same with a radio ad.  If you do a print ad, you can very easily be overlooked.  Even if people do throw it out, you are still getting in the hands of other potential customers that DIDN’T throw it out!

If that’s not enough to sway you, here are a few other reasons I like direct mail.

1.  You Can Target – When you buy a list to do a direct mail campaign you can target the criteria by which you pull the list.  You can use criteria like age, household income, children in the home and more so it really gives you the ability to reach your best customers.

2.  You Can Do a Few at a Time – While direct mail can be more expensive than some other forms of advertising, mainly because of postage costs, you have the ability to break a list down and send to as many or as few contacts as your budget allows.  You are ultimately in control of what you spend.  Of course the more you mail to the better response rate you’ll likely get but you have that flexibility should you need it.

3.  You Can Improve Your Results by Doing Cross Channel Marketing – Direct mail campaigns can be even more effective when you do some cross channel marketing around your campaign.  With that you really have control over how successful your campaign is.

4.  Track-ability – There are some services now that allow you to track when your direct mail campaign is delivered.  This is great if you are doing a fundraising campaign or mailing about a time sensitive offer.  As soon as you know when the piece has been delivered you can follow up with a call or an email blast to remind customers of your request or offer.

The key to an effective direct mail campaign is knowing your audience and developing your message accordingly.  You also need to include a clear call to action.  Tell your recipients what you need them to do and they are more likely to do it.

Do you have success using direct mail?  If so, post your experience in the comments below.  I’d love to hear how you use direct mail to achieve your marketing goals.