Mailing campaigns are one form of direct marketing strategy.
American mail boxes image by painless from Fotolia.com
According to the Direct Marketing Association, the industry trade group for direct marketing, the definition of direct marketing is: "an interactive process of addressable communication that uses one or more advertising media to effect, at any location, a measurable sale, lead, retail purchase or charitable donation, with this activity analyzed on a database for the development of ongoing mutually beneficial relationships between marketers and customers, prospects or donors. " Direct marketing is a very large and important part of the spectrum of business marketing techniques. In fact, $149.3 billion was spent on direct marketing in 2009, according to the DMA. Of course, when done appropriately and correctly, direct marketing can produce significant returns on investment.
Perhaps the most common direct marketing strategy remains mailers. Whether in the form of letters, postcards, pamphlets or advertising circulars, getting your message out by mail "directly" to your target audience can be very effective. You're probably very familiar with this strategy as it's what people commonly refer to as "junk mail." However, not every piece gets treated as junk and if you have the right look or message, someone will give it a look. They key is that as people sift through their mail, their eyes gloss over each piece for just a second - so your mailer has to be able to capture their interest in the moment to get them to read more.
In the age of electronic media, many companies use email the same way that they use mail. Distributing a message by email avoids the costs of printing and mailing, and therefore is cheaper than a print mail campaign. While email can get right in front of your target's face, it also has a decent chance of being filtered out by junk mail and spam filters. This can be somewhat remedied when consumers sign up for your emails and they have elected the messages.
Fliers And Door Hangers
If you have ever come home to a flier, menu or ad hanging from the doorknob of your front door, then you're familiar with a common form of local direct marketing. Because of the labor involved in delivering messages directly to homes, this form of direct marketing is usually used within a business' local area. However, some national chains with locations all over, such as the big pizza franchises, make use of this technique too.