Sunday, January 17, 2010

Direct mail marketing

The most common form of direct marketing is direct mail, sometimes called junk mail, used by advertisers who send paper mail to all postal customers in an area or to all customers on a list.

Junkmail

Any low-budget medium that can be used to deliver a communication to a customer can be employed in direct marketing. Probably the most commonly used medium for direct marketing is mail, in which marketing communications are sent to customers using the postal service. The term direct mail is used in the direct marketing industry to refer to communication deliveries by the Post Office, which may also be referred to as "junk mail" or "admail" or "crap mail" and may involve bulk mail.

Junk mail includes advertising circulars, catalogs, free trial CDs, pre-approved credit card applications, and other unsolicited merchandising invitations delivered by mail or to homes and businesses, or delivered to consumers' mailboxes by delivery services other than the Post Office. Bulk mailings are a particularly popular method of promotion for businesses operating in the financial services, home computer, and travel and tourism industries.

In many developed countries, direct mail represents such a significant amount of the total volume of mail that special rate classes have been established. In the United States and United Kingdom, for example, there are bulk mail rates that enable marketers to send mail at rates that are substantially lower than regular first-class rates. In order to qualify for these rates, marketers must format and sort the mail in particular ways – which reduces the handling (and therefore costs) required by the postal service.

Advertisers often refine direct mail practices into targeted mailing, in which mail is sent out following database analysis to select recipients considered most likely to respond positively. For example a person who has demonstrated an interest in golf may receive direct mail for golf related products or perhaps for goods and services that are appropriate for golfers. This use of database analysis is a type of database marketing.

1 comments:

NMOA said...

When using direct mail, or any marketing tactic, make sure you have an idea of what the Long Term Value of a new customer is, and what is an acceptable cost to acquire these new customers. Some people new to direct marketing use direct mail one time and say it didn't work for them because the amount of initial sales from new customers didn't pay for the mailing. Yet if they figured in how much a new customer would spend over the next year or years, they may find out that the effort was hugely successful.

If you are looking for direct mail marketing statistics to plan a successful marketing campaign, two studies are available from the National Mail Order Association, NMOA. They are, the DMA Statistical Fact Book, http://www.nmoa.org/catalog/dma/dma_stats.htm and the Response Rate Trends Report, http://www.nmoa.org/catalog/dma/dma_response.htm