Social media and web marketing may have their names in lights at present, with a lot of focus shifting to digital marketing. But that doesn’t make it the best option for every audience. For example, only 45 percent of seniors have Internet service, while those who do use email have become savvier at filtering sales messages. Because people readily abandon email accounts due to spam overload, today’s solid email leads can become tomorrow’s waste of time.

But next to the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing stands that old faithful: direct mail. Direct mail is a proven, reliable method that employs time-tested practices to generate substantial results. If you can craft a message that creatively places the right information in front of the right person, direct mail can deliver a powerful return on your investment.

Here are the three basics of successful direct-mail marketing:

  1. Make your list and check it twice. Just buying lumps of leads won’t give you the same results as building your own direct-mail campaign. Expert list technology, which filters data based on your specific needs, will produce more refined results than a random blast of data you can only hope is current and correct. “Pray and spray” marketing will never be able to compete with a thoughtfully planned-out campaign designed to target a specific group of people with information that interests them.
  2. Make it personal and engaging. Direct mail doesn’t have to be a boring, impersonal card or letter that’s destined for the trash. Thanks to sophisticated marketing software and digital printing, savvy marketers are personalizing messages and engaging prospective customers in new and creative ways. For example, there are envelopes that catch the eye and engage the reader with customized teaser copy, highly customized pieces that can include the addition of handwritten notes and vivid brochures or inserts that showcase the in-depth details of your message.
  3. Offer incentives. High-quality direct mail is not only packed with relevant information, it also entices the reader with an irresistible deal. By adding value with a discount, bonus gift or free trial, a good piece of mail focuses on the recipient and encourages him or her to say yes. This tangible, real-world value adds weight to any offer and makes a bigger impact than can be achieved through a strictly digital approach.

Just because direct mail isn’t the newest technique in the book doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. It can be a fantastic way to reach prospects who are difficult to reach via email. Even though online marketing is new and shiny, direct mail — that old reliable — is still an impactful way of putting your compelling sales message into your prospects’ hands.  

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