What is Direct Marketing?


Direct Mail Marketing is a strategy that takes the form of a physical, highly personalised piece of content delivered to your customers, prospects or new business. In the age of digital marketing, it can be a creative and unique way to engage your target audience. Once the practical means of communication, receiving letters and packages is now quite the novelty. 


And it delivers great response rates too, if done right. The typical response rate for direct mail marketing is 1-2% but some figures show they can rocket to 9%, as oppose to email which is typically 1%. What’s this down to? Well it’s certainly true that email inboxes get clogged up very quickly compared to the amount of physical mail we receive. 


Great direct marketing campaigns show creativity, they’re personalised to their target audience and are delivered at the right time with the right copy to bring that target back as a conversion.



Examples of Direct Mail Campaigns


  1. KitKat



In this campaign KitKat mirrored a ‘Sorry we missed you’ type letter enticing people to go to their local newsagents and redeem a KitKat Chunky bar with an attached voucher.


  1. The Economist



Offering food for thought, The Economist sent readers balloons with brains stamped on them. When you blow it up with air, the brain appears to expand. This represented the ‘mind expanding’ qualities of the broadsheet. 


Or you could consider things like…


  1. Fake newspaper/press release
  2. Toys and gimmicks 
  3. Personalised merchandise or stash


Does it Replace my Marketing Efforts?


It certainly doesn’t replace marketing, but complements your other efforts. You still need inbound marketing to provide additional avenues and to keep the brand awareness up; Direct marketing is a way to put your brand at the front of mind for your target audience.


Our top tips for an ABM Direct Mail Marketing Campaign


  • Understand the goal

Goal setting is always important, but because you have other marketing efforts playing a part, your direct marketing campaign either needs to feed into this or be a campaign in itself. Determine your marketing objectives by looking at your business and sales objectives. 


  • Narrow down your audience

With every marketing activity you do, you want to maximise your returns, so that means boosting your conversion rates. If you’ve decided to go down the ABM path with direct mail marketing, ensuring that every contact fits your objective is key. With ABM, there’s more emphasis on the personalisation – each contact will receive a slightly different package because of what you know about them. That could be a personalised newspaper cover highlighting their main challenges and the sector they’re in, or if they’re customers, it could be that they’ve hit a certain amount of usage if you’re a SaaS platform. 


  • Evaluate your data

You need to make sure that you have no gaps in your understanding of the target audience. If you’re sending physical packages, there’s one crucial element: addresses. If you want to be specifically targeting contacts with data that’s relevant to them, you need to collect data based on those needs. Using a sales intelligence tool like Zint can support your direct mail campaign by generating companies in a specific territory, the addresses of these companies, and any underlying details you want to add. You can also find a wealth of insight on existing customers. 


  • Get creative 

The best direct mail marketing campaigns captivate their audience. You want to tell a story to your audience and have some fun whilst doing it to show your brand off. Making people think is an underrated marketing skill – tap into the consumer behaviour and psychology that marketing is all about!


  • Test the campaign first

Send it to loyal customers or employees first to gain key feedback on how it’s been executed, the quality of it and whether it gets the reaction you wanted. There’s many reasons why you might do this: you don’t want your target audience to report back mistakes, you could think of something to add/replace before the launch or you could find out that what you’re creating is over budget or severely under. 


  • Add more bite to it (promotion, incentive etc)

When you’re targeting people with creativity and you’ve executed it well, you have their full attention. If it’s highly personalised, they’re feeling great and thinking about you. To make it easier for your audience to make the next step easier, add in a promotion or incentive. Doing this while you have their undivided attention will make conversions more likely.


  • Don’t forget to prompt people to share on social media

Don’t think that the engagement is purely during the opening of the package. Encourage your audience to share on social media using a dedicated hashtag and adding your social media handle. It’s the best way to add to your social media strategy, build followers through social awareness and connect your brand to other people. 


Want to learn more about how Zint can help your marketing efforts? We’re a sales intelligence platform that helps your sales teams, but can also clean and optimise the data you have of your customers and buyer persona for better insight.



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