Direct mail marketing is one of the tried-and-true lead generation tactics. However, there’s been some discussion about the continued viability of the tactic. Compared to some lead generation tactics, direct mail is expensive and low-tech. But despite these faults, direct mail still offers ample opportunities for marketers.
Society tends to tolerate junk mail in their mailbox far more readily than unwanted email in their inbox. People perceive junk mail as part of being a homeowner, as opposed to an invasion of privacy. Because of this perception, you can sometimes see a better response rate from a direct mail campaign than you can from an email marketing campaign.
Direct mail campaigns start much like email marketing campaigns. You need to rent or purchase a list of mailing addresses that align with your targeting criteria (demographic, geographic, and behavior attributes). Rented lists tend to be more accurate than purchased lists, because list owners tend to update them more frequently. Once you have your list of targeted names, you can start to design your creative asset, the mail piece.
Because direct mail is one of the few lead generation tactics that benefits from creativity, you have some flexibility with your mail piece. I recommend creating something that stands out from the rest of the mail your potential customer receives. Doing so can greatly improve response rates.
You can also personalize your direct mail pieces, and add an interactive element by including a personalized URL (PURL) or quick response (QR) code that links to an offer-specific landing page. This PURL or QR code can greatly improve the experience of your recipient, as well as boost your conversion rates. Once the pieces are in place, all you need to do is mail and track the results.
There are a number of methods for tracking the response rates of your direct mail pieces, but including a PURL or QR code is the easiest way to get an accurate reading on the success of your campaign. The ability to include these interactive elements is vital to direct mail’s transition from an outmoded to lead generation tactic to one that can compete in our increasingly digital world.