What Is Direct Mail Marketing and Is It Right for You?

Direct mail marketing (DMM) involves sending advertising material to the homes of potential customers. DMM may include sending a number of different types of promotional and advertising material. The idea is to get customers to place an order or otherwise to contact you to learn more about the products and services you are offering.

Learning More About Direct Mail Marketing

DMM takes many different forms depending on what type of business you are running. For instance, advertising circulars with glossy pictures of items you are selling and announcements of a low price or a coupon are examples of DMM. A free trial CD offering the chance to use a new software program is an example of DMM. Even pre-approved credit card offers are a form of DMM.

Direct mail marketing is used by businesses both large and small. When a new local restaurant opens and sends a post card to the nearby homes indicating that the restaurant has moved into the neighborhood, this is an example of DMM. When a huge multi-national company sends out mailers, this too is DMM. Often, these larger direct mail companies will take advantage of low bulk- mail rates available to large-volume customers who send massive amounts of material throughout the mail each year.

Is Direct Mail Marketing Right for Your Company?

DMM works- otherwise some of the biggest companies in the United States would not spend their advertising dollars on it. However, whether DMM will work for you depends on your situation.

The vast majority of businesses can benefit from direct mail techniques since it gets their name out there into different households, introduces products to customers, and entices them to shop or try the product. For instance, a customer who gets a postcard informing them a new restaurant has opened and offering them a coupon for 10 percent off their first meal will be likely to remember that coupon and give the restaurant a try. If all goes well and he likes the food, the restaurant will have a new customer that might never have known about or tried the place without the DMM.

Of course, the success of your direct mail campaign will depend on how effective your advertising material is and, to an extent, how accurate you are in reaching potential customers who might be interested in your product. A new company offering computer software, for example, might not want to send their DMM to an over 55 neighborhood where the seniors might not be as keen on checking out new computer programs. In general, the more specialized your product and the more limited the potential customer base, the more important it becomes to have a targeted list of customers to send your marketing material to if you want it to be a success.

Those businesses with an extremely narrow focus and customers spread across a diverse geographic area might, therefore, not be the best candidates for DMM unless they already have a customer database or have access to addresses of their target demographic. All other companies, however, can typically do well using direct mail methods.