Direct Marketing Advertising:101

Direct MarketingIf you’re looking for effective ways to reach out to new clients or connect with old ones, direct marketing advertising can be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Unlike more passive forms of marketing, such as television, radio, or newspaper ads, direct advertising specifically, targets individuals or organizations who are more likely to engage with your product or service. Planning and implementing such a project may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of professional direct marketing firms and other specialists, you can be as involved in the process as you wish.

Targeting Your Direct marketing Advertising Campaign

All effective advertising campaigns start by knowing who your audience is and where they’re located. With direct mailers, that literally means where they live or do business. You may already have a list of addresses you want to send your mailers to, but if you don’t, that’s no problem. You can start building your list by focusing on the businesses or individuals who are most likely to buy your product or service. Let’s say your business sells gourmet baked goods. You can start building a list of grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and any other establishment that may benefit from having your goods at their store.

If you don’t have the time or resources to cultivate your own list of targets, direct mailing companies can create a list for you based on the experience and data they have about your industry. No matter how your list of addresses is created, however, it’s unlikely to be perfect the first time. That’s why you’ll need to make adjustments to your target list continually as your direct marketing advertising campaign proceeds. The more you learn about who your customers are, the more likely you are to find new ones in previously unknown locations.

Choosing the Type of Direct Mailer

Once you have an idea about who you’ll be targeting with your campaign, it’s time to choose a type of mailer that will help you best reach your goals. Each mailer has a set of unique advantages that you may or may not need, so you’ll need to examine each one carefully to make the right decision. Your choices include:

  • Postcards are best for reaching out to previous customers who already know your products and services. A concise and purposeful message can tell these customers that you’re still around and better than ever. Postcards are one of the most affordable ways to directly connect with your targets, so they can be a huge return on investment.
  • Catalogs are a great way to show off your company’s products and services through colorful pictures and detailed language. While they can be expensive, they can really get your customers excited about what you’re selling. That’s why you should limit catalogs to targets who you know are very interested.
  • Self-mailers exist in a space between catalogs and postcards. These are single page brochures that can include valuable information about your company or your political candidate. These are a great way to introduce your organization, but they can also be used to reinvigorate previous leads.
  • Coupons create an opportunity to businesses for certain targets where no other type of mailer would. People love great deals, and their introduction to your product through savings can create a customer for life.

There’s no reason you have to adhere to any specific type of mailer. You can combine several different qualities into a custom mailer that will get the best response from your targets. Maybe you want to show off one of the best qualities of your baked goods, their look, while offering a discount for first-time customers. Combining a coupon with a colorful self-mailer could be the perfect option.

The Design of Your Mailer

Once you choose the type of mailer you’re going to use, it’s time to create the design. Once again, you’ll be wanting to think about your target audience when choosing the layout, colors, and font. You want this mailer to pop out and grab their attention. Being immediately engaging is crucial, because if your mailer ends up in the garbage, it will never get read. This is the time to be inventive and creative. If you don’t want that responsibility, there are many creative professionals available who can help.

After you grab the attention of the target, you want your mailer to guide them toward a call to action. Your call to action can be anything from visiting your website for a quote, to calling your office for an appointment. The design should naturally point your target in the right direction by appealing to their emotional, intellectual, or even subconscious curiosity. You may already have a design that you know accomplishes this goal, or you can hire an experienced direct marketing advertising designer who knows how to get people to act.

The Printing Process

You’ve got your list of addresses, your mailer type, and your mailer design, and now it’s time to print. You could try to print your mailer out through that consumer printer you have in your office, but it’s unlikely you’ll be pleased with the results or the speed at which they’re printed. That’s why taking advantage of the advanced printing technology at companies like Caldwell is a popular option for most organizations with direct marketing advertising campaigns. Offset printing equipment can help you create a high volume of quality mailers quickly and at a reasonable price.

Offset printing is great for a large group of mailers that all have identical information, but you may want to customize each piece to match your specific target. Let’s say you want each of your mailers to include the target’s name and maybe a unique piece of information somewhere in the content. With variable data printing, each element of the direct marketing advertising mailer, including text and images, can be modified from one piece to the next. This is the way to get truly personalized mailings, and personalization is one of the best ways to get targets to act on your calls to action.

Delivering Your Mailers

Once all of your mailers are printed, it’s time to get them delivered to your targets. This means making sure each piece is properly addressed and has the right postage. You could write all the addresses on labels, buy and apply a bunch of postage, and then bring all your mailers down to the post office. You may, however, want to make mailing a lot easier by taking advantage of the streamlined systems professional direct mailing companies use. You can even save more time, and potentially money, by having the same company print and ship your mailers. This can alleviate you from taking up valuable space in your office and valuable time from your employees.

The Full Service Experience

Direct marketing advertising involves many different steps, and you have the opportunity to decide how involved your organization is with each part of the process. Some companies try to do everything themselves but are usually unsuccessful because they are too large of an organization with lots of staff and lacking high-tech printing and mailing equipment. Your company, especially if you’re just starting out, will find success by hiring a professional direct mailing company like Caldwell for at least part of the process.

Direct mailing companies like Caldwell have years of experience handling every part of the direct advertising marketing process. The advantages of giving your campaign to a full-service company include:

  • Faster print times
  • Professional design consultation
  • Direct mailing marketing expertise
  • Less hassle and confusion

By hiring a full-service company to take on your marketing project, you can focus on what your company does best. You won’t need to invest in brand new equipment, hire new employees, or waste your time handling processes that can be automated elsewhere. Specialists from Caldwell can work directly with you to make sure your high standards are met no matter the scope of your mailing campaign.

Adjusting Your Strategy

Learning and adapting is a big part of any direct marketing advertising campaign because it’s impossible to know exactly who your perfect target audience is and what they’ll respond to most. If your first round of direct mailers don’t meet the expectations you were expecting, there’s nothing wrong with adjusting your strategy. That may mean making adjustments to the design, changing the type of mailer, or shifting your focus to different demographics. Your organization and the full-service direct mailing company you work with can collaborate to find just the right direct marketing advertising strategy. Learn more by contacting Caldwell today.