Within the 18 to 34 year old age group, a physical piece of mail makes a longer-lasting impact than its digital counterpart, says Lisa Formica, president of FMI, a direct mail marketing and advertising firm. In an era of digital marketing, some proclaim that direct mail is dead. But the sometimes impersonal approach of digital marketing continues to make the appeal of a postcard or brochure with a coupon a welcomed advertising approach.

Targeting Your Most Likely Customers

While companies continue to collect your personal data online, direct mail database companies have been creating targeted customer lists for years. You can send your message to thousands of uninterested consumers online, or use a very targeted mailing list to connect with just the right prospective customers. Targeting new prospects is easier with direct mail customer lists.

Direct Mail Offers High Tech Options

No longer the low-tech marketing option, new postage equipment adds high-tech enhancements to allow you to fully customize your mailings. For instance, the Pitney Bowes DM 125 Postage Meter lets you print logos, seasonal greetings and QR codes on your postcards. Print discount offers to get the reader’s attention right away. Customizing your mailings this way engages your customers to open and read promotions and announcements.

Extending Customer Engagement

One effective use of direct mail is to introduce new products or services to existing customers, says the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). You already have a connection with your customers from a previous purchase. The direct mail approach to saying “We think you may also be interested in this” comes across more personally with direct mail.

Event Driven

Direct mail that is connected to a particular event is much more effective than a random advertisement. A seasonal sale, clearance event, grand opening or announcement of a new product or service are great tie-ins to a direct mailing. Send a direct mailing to announce a new store opening a month or two ahead of time. Send another mailing out two weeks before the opening with any special offers, door prizes or other incentives. You can use direct mail to create anticipation in your customers that will make them put your event on their calendars.

Refresh Your Customer List

Forbes also found that direct mail works well to bring back old customers who haven’t purchased from you in awhile. Spend some time to create a “We haven’t forgotten about you and hope you haven’t forgotten about us” letter to recreate the connection you had with past customers. This personal approach is difficult to do with digital advertising. The letter on the desk of the customer will serve as a reminder, more so than an email left in their inbox.

People Look Forward to Their Mail

Getting physical mail is still a positive experience for many people and finding bargains in the mail is still a thrill. Direct mail coupons convert people into customers, especially if they are timed correctly. A 20 percent off coupon that’s good indefinitely has less impact than 20 percent off if redeemed in the next 30 days. A person on the fence about making a purchase may get just enough incentive to follow through when they receive a coupon in the mail.

Direct Mail Fits Small Business Budgets

With direct mail, you have the choice of sending letters, brochures, or postcards. You can even send product samples. A small business can scale up its marketing effort depending on its budget and growth cycle. Direct mail items need not be expensive. A simple postcard with an enticing offer can be a good investment for someone with a small marketing budget.

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