Don’t Eliminate Direct Mail, Just Reduce Its Cost: Four Tips

mailbox307By Bruce Browning | OlleyMay

As postage prices continue to rise, it may be tempting to ditch some of your direct mail campaigns in favor of email and online promotions. But think again.

Statistics continue to show that people like receiving direct mail, and respond to it in high-enough numbers to make it well worth your while to keep mailing.

In fact, 50% of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail to email, according to a recent study by Epsilon, and 25% of recipients felt direct mail was more trustworthy than email.

So don’t mail less in 2012, just mail smarter.

Here are four tips for saving money upfront on direct mail promotions – and reaping a higher ROI.

Segment. Drill down deeper into your mailing list, and segment your customers’  buying behavior. Develop smaller sub-groups based on key buyer preferences. Use factors like purchase history, birthdays, even geographic location, to create specialized lists.

Target. Now target buyer preferences in each one of your segmented lists. Today’s digital technology lets you individualize each mailing piece to speak directly to your customers’ preferences. Use it! A targeted customer is more interested – and more likely to buy.

Reduce. When you target your message, you can say it with fewer words. That translates into smaller mail pieces and lower costs. And you don’t have to shout! Consider reducing your type size, too. A targeted message is often more effective when it’s up-close-and-personal.

Add. Consider just sending a brief message by mail and adding an online component to it. Direct your readers to your site for special savings, exclusive “first looks,” a quiz, a contest. Then complete your sales message there.

Remember: People still like holding a friendly note in their hands. With a little creativity, you don’t have to give up that personal touch.