Direct Mail Marketing

Direct-mail marketing involves sending an offer, announcement, reminder, or other item to a person at a particular physical or virtual address. Using highly selective mailing lists, direct marketers send out millions of mail pieces each year—letters, catalogs, ads, brochures, samples, CDs and DVDs, and other "salespeople with wings." Direct mail is by far the largest direct marketing medium. The DMA reports that direct mail (including both catalog and non-catalog mail) drives more than a third of all U.S. direct marketing sales.7

FIGURE I 17.1 Forms of Direct Marketing

Author I Direct marketing is rich in Comment | too|Si from traditional old favorites such as direct mail, catalogs, and telemarketing to the Internet and other new digital approaches.

Direct-mail marketing

Direct marketing by sending an offer, announcement, reminder, or other item to a person at a particular physical or virtual address.

What these many diverse marketing tools have in common is that they reach selected customers directly, and often interactively, building close, one-to-one relationships. V_____

Customers and prospects

Direct-mail marketing

Online marketing

New digital technologies

Kiosk marketing

Direct-response television marketing

Direct mail is well suited to direct, one-to-one communication. It permits high targetmarket selectivity, can be personalized, is flexible, and allows easy measurement of results. Although direct mail costs more per thousand people reached than mass media such as television or magazines, the people it reaches are much better prospects. Direct mail has proved successful in promoting all kinds of products, from books, music, DVDs, and magazine subscriptions to insurance, gift items, clothing, gourmet foods, and industrial products. Charities also use direct mail heavily to raise billions of dollars each year.

The direct mail industry constantly seeks new methods and approaches. For example, CDs and DVDs are now among the fastest-growing direct mail media. One study showed that including a CD or DVD in a marketing offer generates responses between 50 to 1,000 percent greater than traditional direct mail.8 New forms of delivery have also become popular, such as voice mail, text messaging, and e-mail. Voice mail is subject to the same do-not-call restrictions as telemarketing, so its use has been limited in recent years. However, permission-based mobile marketing (via cell phones) is growing rapidly and e-mail is booming as a direct marketing tool. Today's e-mail messages have moved far beyond the drab text-only messages of old. The new breed of e-mail ad uses animation, interactive links, streaming video, and personalized audio messages to reach out and grab attention.

E-mail, mobile, and other new forms deliver direct mail at incredible speeds compared to the post office's "snail mail" pace. Yet, much like mail delivered through traditional channels, they may be resented as "junk mail" or spam if sent to people who have no interest in them. For this reason, smart marketers are targeting their direct mail carefully so as not to waste their money and recipients' time. They are designing permission-based programs, sending e-mail and mobile ads only to those who want to receive them. We will discuss e-mail and mobile marketing in more detail later in the chapter.

Although the new digital direct mail forms are gaining popularity, the traditional form is still by far the most widely used. Despite the clutter, traditional direct mail can be highly effective, especially for reaching certain segments that don't get as much direct mail as the general population. For example, direct mail plays a big role in pitches by P&G's Tremor buzz-marketing unit to teens:9

You'd expect any marketing program for teens in the twenty-first century to be heavy on digital and light on most forms of old media. But P&G's Tremor found direct mail works particularly well with teens. "What we found was that teens don't get much mail," says a Tremor executive. "So they actually appreciate it when they get it." As a result, Tremor has made direct-mail product information, offers, and samples a cornerstone of its program, although the online component remains substantial as well.

Advertising With Circulars

Advertising With Circulars

Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.

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