Definition: A marketing effort that uses a mail service to deliver a promotional printed piece to your target audience .

Direct mail encompasses a wide variety of marketing materials, including brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters and sales letters. Major corporations know that direct-mail advertising is one of the most effective and profitable ways to reach out to new and existing clients.

What's the advantage? Unlike other forms of advertising, in which you're never sure just who's getting your message, direct mail lets you communicate one-on-one with your target audience. That allows you to control who receives your message, when it's delivered, what's in the envelope and how many people you reach.

To create an effective direct-mail campaign, start by getting your name on as many mailing lists as possible. That is the beauty of Radius Bomb, because you can scrape addresses by circling your target neighborhoods on the map.  Junk mail isn't junk when you're trying to learn about direct mail. Obtain free information every chance you get, especially from companies that offer products or services similar to yours. Take note of your reaction to each piece of mail, and save the ones that communicate most effectively, whether they come from large or small companies.

The most effective direct-mail inserts often use key words and colors. Make sure the colors you use promote the appropriate image. Neon colors, for example, can attract attention for party planner or gift basket businesses. On the other hand, ivory and gray are usually the colors of choice for lawyers, financial planners and other business services. Find out the colors that your customers will respond to and create a Brand color Palette. I often use a service called Paletton to do this.

Next, read up on the subject. A wealth of printed information is available to help educate you about direct mail. Do-It-Yourself Direct Marketing: Secrets for Small Business by Mark S. Bacon is a comprehensive manual that touches on all aspects of direct mail. Two of the better-known publications are DM News, a weekly trade paper, and Direct Magazine, a monthly.

With any type of direct mail, appropriately timed follow-up is key. Mailings with phone follow-ups are most effective. Don't wait too long to contact your customers after doing your mailing: After several days, call to ask if they've received your card, letter or e-mail. If they have, now's the time to make your sales pitch. If they haven't, mail them another ASAP. Multiple touches are the key to success. 

Did this answer your question?