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Build Connections with Direct Mail


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Build Connections with Direct Mail," showcases how brands can reach people at home with one of the most effective marketing tactics in use today.  With more of us working from home, including employees, customers, and prospects, there's never been a better time to send direct mail messages.  The benefits of sending a direct mail piece to anyone's home gives the sender a chance to connect, remind, build, and reestablish relationships with their customers.  Can we also tell you that people, and that includes every industry and sector, love to receive beautifully crafted messages?  The only question is, what message will you send?  Direct mail pieces can be short and sweet, such as a postcard; or they can reflect a longer message such as a newsletter or catalog, or even target specific occasions such as a sale, Prime Day, or Black Friday.

Quote of the Day: "To write is human, to receive a letter: Devine!" ― Susan Lendroth

What Are Your Objectives?

Before you begin a direct mail project, outline your objectives.  Knowing and stating your goals is the best place to start the process as it will help you determine the type of direct mail format that will best achieve your objectives.  Base your decision on your objective and your customer.  If you are alerting people about your holiday novelty items, a catalog would be the best format.  Likewise, if you are announcing a clearance, a postcard will more than likely suffice. Again, it depends on your objectives, your resources, and your target market.  Frankly, either format can be useful and move the awareness and sales needles, so it depends on your customer and objective.

Direct Mail Formats

According to USPS, 98% of people check their physical mail every day, compared to 20% who open their emails.  That statement alone indicates that people like to receive mail and, more importantly, will engage with their mail.  The primary questions become what format you should send. Direct mail marketing can come in multiple formats; however, the most popular direct mail formats are the following:

1. Full Dress Package

A full dress package includes much information with space for unique calls to action.  It is also highly produced in terms of overall quality.  A high-quality package not only reflects well on your brand but signals to the recipient that they are important.  Examples include automotive offers, credit card applications, and luxury real estate offers.

2. Periodicals

Periodicals help to up-sell and cross-sell your brand.  These types of messages and offers can be well branded and help to boost your brand's credibility.  Examples include booklets, magazines, catalogs, yearbooks, and journals.

3. Self-Mailers

Self-mailers work well when resources are limited.  A self-mailer is any promotional message that you mail without an envelope.  You can produce more for less, send out short burst messages, and minimize the time spent on creative.  Examples of self-mailers include flyers, brochures, pamphlets, non-profit solicitations, and postcards.

4. Envelope Mailers

Envelope mailers are designed with confidentiality in mind.  Think transactional documents, personalized mailings, and confidential information.  Depending on your relationship with the recipient, you may or may not choose to include branded information.  Examples include bank statements, health insurance information, and credit card statements.

The Power of Direct Mail

The power of direct mail lies in its ability to connect with the recipient. You can target people who are either customers or who are likely to become customers. It is personal, targeted, and more effective than traditional advertising.  Further, direct mail offers a tactile connection and, more importantly, a certain level of trust.  The sender has the opportunity to break through the tsunami of digital information and place the message directly into the hands of the recipient.  That connection is powerful, now more than ever.

Given that we live in the age of COVID, organizations are looking for ways to connect with customers.  With face-to-face engagement limited, placing vital pieces of marketing collateral into a person's hand helps maintain and curate relationships.  You can improve the tactile experience with inks, paper choices, design, die cuts, packaging, and more.  The key is to pay attention to individual preferences based on the data.  Personalized communications that speak to the customer in terms of communications, colors, and graphics deliver a more meaningful and relatable message.  As well, people tend to hold on to direct mail, with a shelf life of up to 17 days.  Further, by paying attention to individual preferences, you have an opportunity to build trust.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's that information must come from trustworthy sources.  Brands can build trustworthiness by understanding who their customers and prospects are.  When you know who your customer is, you should know how to talk to them; you more than likely know their interests and understand their concerns.  Then you will be able to create content or stories that they relate to and trust.  Relatable, trustworthy content can help you build long-term relationships.

The Net-Net

We may be living in the new normal.  If this is the case, brands have a tremendous opportunity to reach people in the comfort of their home, where they are most receptive to messages.  If you have the data, your direct mail marketing can start long-term relationships that reflect growing, profitable returns.  If you need a direct mail partner, contact us. We're here to help you move your messages forward. Thanks for reading Build Connections with Direct Mail!

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