Pros and Cons of Direct Mail Marketing

By Lanee’ Blunt
Direct mail marketing may work
for your small business--

Direct mail marketing is a form of advertising that is sent through the mail and reaches prospective buyers on an individual basis. The advertising communicates to the customer with marketing techniques such as sales letters, announcements, enclosures, booklets, catalogs  price lists, samples, fliers, calendars, brochures, novelties, package inserts and postcards. The small business may develop a mailing list or may purchase a mailing list. Most small businesses don’t use direct-mail advertising exclusively but rely on other forms of advertising to market their product or service.

Targeted Messages
Direct mail media has certain advantages. They can be regulated to certain members of a target market. The material can be addressed to lawyers, accountants, doctors, or farmers. When direct mail is used properly, being addressed to the correct target market it is able to do the selling for you. The results of the mailing can be studied and controlled so that you will be able to improve your results.

Messages are Personal
Another advantage of direct mail is that the messages are direct and personal. You can use an informal tone in your letter writing. The message doesn’t have to shout for attention, because it is alone with the reader. It can be directed to their specific interest. It has the advantage of showing your personality beyond the limits of cold impersonal contact and has the ability to create confidence and trust in your product or service.

Not Targeted
Direct mail has the disadvantage of being a money waster if your mailing is not targeted. Direct mail must be targeted in order for the mailing to be successful. It is a disadvantage to send out 10,000 pieces of direct mail and reach some potential customers, but you waste a lot of money reaching other people that were in your geographic area but were not specifically targeted that won’t buy from you.

Boring Content
Direct mail has the disadvantage of being considered junk mail. A lot of readers tune it out. Your letter must gain the reader’s attention in less than ten seconds. If your letter can’t do that, and if the reader finds nothing of interest after scanning the letter, even if you use full color and different sized fonts, he will throw your letter in the trash. The direct mail must do its job by gaining the attention of the reader or you will just waste a lot of money.

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