Direct Mail Services
The pros and cons of direct mail services
Direct mail services may have a bad name among consumers but their cost effectiveness and successful return rates make them a popular choice among advertisers - and the largest component of direct marketing campaigns. These contrasting reputations give an idea of the dual nature of the direct mail services industry and the inevitable pros and cons of marketing your brand in this way.
Direct mail services pros
- With media channels fragmenting and whopping numbers of consumers signing up to the Do Not Call register, traditional forms of advertising and telemarketing have lost their effectiveness. Direct mail, however, is turning up very positive returns on investment.
- Direct mail reaches your customers quickly and well-designed mailings are a sure way of driving traffic to your website.
- Improved database technology and specialist software now allow for much more targeted and cost effective direct mail campaigns - increasing your return on investment and providing a better service and standard of care to your customers.
- In comparison to telemarketing or email campaigns consumers prefer direct mail as a marketing tool. In a survey carried out by Infotrends 69 percent of consumers said they preferred direct mail over email (at 28 percent) and telemarketing (at just three percent).
- Advances in digital printing technology mean that direct mail can now use high-quality color images and text personalized for individual consumers. The cost effective nature of digital printing means that these highly personalized, individually addressed mailings can produce above average response rates for little more than the cost of a traditional generic campaign. Digital printing also allows for faster turnarounds than offset printing and economical short-run test series for new concepts and campaigns.
Direct mail services cons
- With the introduction of the Do Not Call register businesses can no longer cold call to find new customers, and must work harder with existing customers and previous consumers who didn't complete a purchase to create new markets. Your direct mail campaign and the databases behind it need to be stronger than ever to do this.
- The volume of direct mail has increased dramatically in the last decade, and as consumers become more irritated by the pile of 'junk mail' on their doormat it takes increasingly sophisticated campaigns to grab attention and give you any return on your investment. Most consumers automatically trash direct mailings without even opening the envelope.
- Even if your marketing material is contained within a mailing a consumer is guaranteed to open, such as a bill or statement, you've no guarantee a customer will do anything other than trash the marketing portion of your mailing immediately. Getting a consumer to read your marketing material is harder than ever.
- As consumers become more sophisticated you may be forced to hire professional designers, copywriters and art directors to improve your campaign tactics. These creative professionals will add value to your campaign but come at a hefty cost.
- Pitching your campaign wrongly or inundating your customers with direct mailings can backfire badly. Your so-called marketing initiative can become a marketing nightmare if your begin to alienate loyal customers or get a beating in the press for inappropriate materials arriving through a door.
- It's very difficult to successfully promote low cost items through direct mail. If your products costs less than $35 and your response rates are less than three percent the mailing will cost far more than you can ever hope to bring in. For low cost items email marketing solutions are a much better bet.