Did you know that in the past seven years, the consumer response rate to direct mail advertisements has increased? Consumers are now four times more likely to open a direct mail ad than they were in 2010, and that means that this old marketing tool is primed and ready for your business to work with. One key thing to remember with your direct mail advertising is that it’s more than just blasting the locals with mailers. Here are some key facts about direct mail advertising that can help you be strategic in your planning.

What Type of Direct Mail Should I Send?

There are five main types of direct mailers:

  • Oversized envelope mailers
  • Postcards
  • Dimensional mailers
  • Catalogues
  • Letter-sized mailers

Out of all of these, oversized envelopes and postcards get the highest response rates, but the type of mailer that is right for you will depend on several factors. Your budget will be a big factor. Oversized envelopes are one of the more expensive options, because they take more design work to develop, and they are heavier to ship. What works for your brand will be another factor. If you offer a very serious service, such as legal advice, a postcard may not be the most appropriate option. Finally, who your audience is will also play a part in your decision. If you are targeting new customers, for example, you’ll need a bit more room to explain your services or products.

What is the Goal of Your Direct Mailer?

If you want an effective response from a direct mailer, you need to know what your goal is for that specific mailed advertisement. Are you trying to sell products and services, or are you trying to get customers to enter a contest? Do you want to direct customers to your online store, or are you trying to lure them into your brick and mortar location? Knowing exactly what response you want will help you design a better mailer. Generally, a mailer should do four things:

· Grab their attention
· Pique their interest
· Get them wanting more
· Spur them to action

Being Strategic with Direct Mailers

There are a few things to incorporate with any strategic mailer campaign. The first is consistency. You can’t simply send out one mailer and hope for the best. In order to measure results, you’ll need to consistently send out marketing messages to various audiences, in different formats. Remember that you are combating the many other distractions people have at their homes where they get mail.

The second is focused targeting. Be sure that you are sending specific messages to specific groups of your audience. New customers may be getting coupons for their first buy, while existing customers may be getting invitations to loyalty-based programs. Different generations respond differently to various types of mail, so consider testing groups to discover which areas of your audience respond to which types of mailers.

Let your customer success stories shine

Another great way to stand out with your local mailers is to highlight customers and let them tell your story. Just like online reviews, leveraging customer testimonials in print can help you standout and be the trusted business locally. It’s also a great way to highlight customers.

Overall, direct mailers can have a big impact on your local business, and can also be used to reach out to a wider audience and point them to your online store. Use this marketing tool effectively, and you can see big results.