Top 7 Direct Mail Strategies to Expand Your Business
By Keturah Whitaker
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In today’s highly competitive economy, it is essential that you promote your business with marketing materials that strategically position your business for increased customer traffic, expansion and growth.
A key ingredient for successful business growth is direct mail advertising. The success of your direct mail advertising will be highly dependent upon the “perceived” quality of your business, the design, the type of paper, the message you’re conveying, and your special offer, using this advertising strategy. The combination of these factors determines if your direct mail piece will get read or tossed aside.
- Customer Mailing Lists -
To get started, you will need to compile and develop a database for your customer mailing list. If you are targeting different customer segments, then you should have a separate database for each targeted market. Also, your direct mail offer should be designed specifically for each market. For example, if you are targeting age groups 15-20 and 50-65, your direct mail piece for your 15-20 target market must be designed differently than your 50-65 target market. The term for this aspect of marketing is called differentiated marketing.
There are multiple sources for locating potential customers for your direct mail campaign. Excellent sources to search for your potential customers are the yellow pages, white pages, newspapers, trade publications, the local Chamber of Commerce directory and you may want to consider contacting mailing list companies for list building. Before you develop your lists and leads, it is vital that you conduct research to “know” who your customers are so that your direct mail offer is tailored to their needs and preferences.
- Direct Mail Postcards -
Postcards are great because your message is short and sweet. Postcards are successful as direct mail pieces because they immediately advertise your new products and services. Postcards are great for announcing a new store location or can be used as a reply card to a simple survey. Postcards can also cross sell your other products and services to your existing customer base. A postcard should not be used when offering high end products and services or when your message is lengthy. The sales letter mailing is the perfect direct mail tool for high end products and services and lengthy messages.
- For the cost conscious and those business owners operating with a limited budget - postcards are inexpensive to have printed and mailed. Many Internet based printing companies offer really great deals on printing and delivery is right to your doorstep. A postcard size must have the following dimensions: 3 1/2 inches and 4 1/4 inches in height, and must be between 5 inches and 6 inches in width. If your postcard size has larger dimensions, the US Postal Service may charge a higher rate. The standard paper stock that you’ll need for your postcard campaign is 12pt stock and coated on both sides with an aqueous finish to add a scratch resistance gloss to seal the text and graphics.
- Sales Letter Mailing -
This mailing consists of an introductory letter introducing your business or your promotional offer and will include a flyer or sales brochure that will highlight your business services and products. This method has proven to be effective when you are offering high end products and services. The costs involved using this direct mail strategy, are far more expensive than using a direct mail postcard.
- The type of paper stock used for your introductory letter, should complement your flyer or brochure. The paper must be of high quality and non-transparent.
- Business Newsletters -
Newsletters are the perfect way to notify your customers and potential customers of your current business news, introduce new services, promote new products, communicate special offerings, and demonstrate you are an established leader in your industry and community. Newsletters also make excellent handouts for business meetings, off site workshops, trade shows, networking seminars and community events.
- A direct mail newsletter does not require many pages; 1-2 sheets, a double-sided self-mailer will be excellent for your promotion. The standard paper stock you’ll need for your newsletter is either 100lb gloss or 70lb matte text.
Keturah Whitaker is the CEO/President of CoreNet Imaging Solutions®, an Atlanta based design firm that provides business owners and non-profit organizations, with graphic design services for brochures, newsletters, newsletters, direct mail, flyers, pamphlets, business cards, business forms, and print media ads. For additional information, please contact CoreNet Imaging Solutions at 770-953-0252 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Article Submitted On: March 18, 2005