Direct mail marketing is not dead, and you should be using it

Everyone and their grandmother is selling stuff on the internet. You wish there was a place to market yourself that’s not over saturated. In other words, you probably haven’t tried direct mail marketing yet.

My husband will trudge through our yard (in flip flops) through a 2-foot snowfall in the winter to check the mailbox every single day. I can assure you, he is not as determined when it comes to the promotions tab of his inbox. Be honest, how many times do you open your own promotion tab?

I get hundreds and hundreds of emails a day. I’m sent multiple marketing messages on any social media network I’m on.

My mailbox though? It usually remains empty. This is completely backward from the way it used to be.

Direct mail marketing, then and now

When the internet first came around, email inboxes were empty. It was the wild west where everyone wanted to get on email.

If you had a website, or the opportunity to promote via email, you were making bank because nobody else was doing it. Everybody was sending direct mail or even faxes.

We’ve come full circle, and it’s back to the way it used to be. Mailboxes are sitting empty. Everyone is selling over email.

So when people get mail, they are excited. It’s something out of the norm. 

Think about the last time you got a letter, holiday cards, or even a vet reminder for your cat. I get eight of those a year, if you were wondering.

All of them get read, whereas emails are very quickly ignored.

Imagine your customer. They’re sitting in front of their computer, sighing as they – AGAIN – have a full inbox with tons of emails they’ll never read. Then they get up, go to their mailbox and there’s a letter. A REAL LETTER, addressed to them. Not a bill, not a grocery store flyer… but something that’s applicable to them and interesting.

What are they going to get more excited about?

Doesn’t it make sense to show up where nobody else is?! Doesn’t it make sense that you’ll use a marketing channel that ISN’T crowded in order to stand out?

How to find people

Getting started with direct mail marketing is easier than you think.

You can start with your own house list, or you can rent a list.

There are list providers or list brokers that will help you find the right people to mail your stuff to.

There’s also Every Door Direct Mail, a United States Postal Service that will allow you to choose a geographic area.

If you’re outside the US check to see if your local Postal Service has a similar offering.

When you have your list, start working on your campaign. Send out the mail. This is actually the hard part, I’m going to make it sound easy because everybody’s situation and needs are different.

I personally use and love Handy Mailing – they’ll help me source a list, print my stuff AND send it all out. They’re very knowledgeable. (If you want a direct referral, please just let me know and I’m happy to introduce you.)

Make it eye catching

Direct mail marketing is very similar to a landing page. Both are written with the aim of making readers take action.

One of the things that I always recommend doing is paying attention to how your mail looks. If it’s in a regular what’s called number 10, envelope, which is your standard business envelope, and it’s boring, it may not even get opened.

Because even though mailboxes are sitting empty, people are still savvy. When you send to businesses, you should remember they have a million other things going on.

But that’s where something called lumpy mail comes in. This is when your direct mail marketing doesn’t only consist of solicitations. Instead, you also go to the effort of including an additional object in the envelope.

I love checking out what they’re doing at 3D Mail Results. They’re super knowledgeable, amazingly helpful, and will even give you some campaign ideas. 

But if you already have a campaign idea… check around to see what little lumpy items you can add in.

Include something in your package to make it more interesting. You can use anything from a stress ball to a toy car. 

I bought bunches of those fun little keys you get carved at the local home improvement store. I include them in my direct mail marketing packages, because you know, the key to success.

Make it a little cheesy. Make it a little fun. Add some personality.

Some of the negatives about direct mail is that it’s a little more expensive than just tossing a landing page up. Postage, paper, printing, and envelopes are all going to take some dollars from your pocket. Lumpy mail will probably cost more.

But if you have a targeted list, if you have an offer that you already know works, direct mail marketing is the way to go. It’ll put you in front of people you would struggle to get otherwise.

Hyper personalization

The other way I like to use direct mail is hyper personalization.

I once saw a speaker on a stage with whom I had something in common. I wanted to write for her. 

I sent her a little gift with a handmade card that said something like, “Hey, I want to write for you.”

It worked. She hired me.

That kind of thing really stands out. It’s interesting, it’s going to get opened, it’s going to get read, and it’s going to capture attention.

Tip: Check out “Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful” by Bill Glazer. He goes into detail about direct mail, and how you can really make it work for your business.

Direct mail marketing is universal

Not everyone is on social media – and even if they are… do they check it every day? Are they all on the platform you’re on? Are they all following you? 

Everyone (at least in the US) has a mailbox. 

Most people around the world have the opportunity to get mail in some fashion. That’s why direct mail marketing is an amazing tool in your arsenal. It’s definitely one of the platforms that you should consider using if you’re marketing your business seriously.

I’m always happy to help you figure out how you can do that.

If you want to talk about how we can leverage direct mail marketing in your business… let’s chat. We’ll brainstorm, come up with some ideas, and I’ll share how I can help you make it happen.

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