Why Direct Mail is The Way Forward for Businesses and Charities


Few marketing mediums can deliver your message with the laser-like precision targeting of direct mail. You can deliver a highly-personalised, fancy-schmancy, superexpensive box of tricks to a handful of red-hot prospects, or you could mail a handwritten and photocopied letter to your whole list. However you make it work for you, as long as you follow the basic rules, direct mail will reward you with a handsome return on your time and  investment.

Six Reasons Why Direct Mail is so  powerful…

1. It can be precisely  targeted

Direct mail is a sniper, not a machine gun. Unlike newspaper or magazine ads, or even Radio or TV, you pinpoint every single person who’ll receive your mailing; they don’t pick you. This gives you an opportunity to target a group of people who are likely to be interested in what you’ve got to offer with a highly focused message. The more accurately you target, the better your response is likely to  be.

2. It can be precisely  tracked

You can’t afford to waste money on marketing, and that’s where direct mail has a huge advantage over most other media. Not only is it possible to determine your response from every campaign, but also to measure the response from each individual piece within that campaign. Once you’re tracking properly, you can make changes to your campaign to make your marketing budget work  harder.

3. It delivers a quick  response

Most media needs weeks (sometimes months) of planning and waiting before you see any results. Running advertorial in a glossy magazine can take weeks of preparation, and then another few weeks before you’ve any idea how it went. Commissioning a radio or TV campaign is a similar story; it’s a long  haul.

Direct mail is different, it’s as fast as you are:

Sunday 7th
Thought of great idea for campaign

Monday 8th
Written first step, and put printers on standby

Tuesday 9th
All printed and mailed, first class

Wednesday 10th
Phone starts ringing

This isn’t a ‘lovely in theory’ idea – I’ve done this many times before (my team aren’t surprised anymore). What’s more, you’ll typically find that you get 75% of your responses within a  week.

4. It’s physical and  flexible

Direct mail is tangible. Your prospect will pick it up, most likely on its own, and read it. You’ve got a much greater chance of catching and holding attention for a few seconds with direct  mail.

What’s more, you can mail pretty much anything you fancy, giving you the opportunity to stand-out from the crowd and demand attention with samples, free gifts, or fun  items.

5. It’s fully  customisable

“ Design a newspaper advert and you’ve got one, design a direct mail piece and you’ve got a million of  them!”

It doesn’t matter how much you know about your prospects, if you’re trying to target them all with the same advert then you’re forced to make a broad stroke pitch to a  majority.

It’s a different story with direct mail. You can completely customise each mailer, and tailor it perfectly to an individual  prospect.

6. It’s invisible to your  competitors

Unless they somehow get on your list your competitors will have no idea what you’re doing and what you’re up to. If you advertise in the press – they see it. Send 20,000 direct mail pieces next week and they haven’t got a clue – not only about what you’ve done, but they won’t know about the offer you’re making either. It gives you a big competitive  advantage.

A final point worth of note is the length of time people will spend reading a direct mail piece compared to an email. The Daily Mail tells us that on average, people spend nine minutes a day checking e-mails, which when combined with the fact that they receive an average of 50 emails per day means each email only gets a 10 second viewing. Sending a letter to your prospect automatically gets their attention far more than email  messages.