According to recent research by Forbes.com, direct mail has a 10-30 times higher response rate than email marketing. Although the benefits of automated direct mail marketing are obvious, many companies still hesitate about such campaigns. The usual questions are: Where do we start? What return on investment should we expect? What are the do’s and dont’s to make direct mail marketing work? What about design, printing, and mailing? Fortunately, direct mail marketing experts can easily help you with these questions. If you don’t want to hire them in-house, consider outsourcing your direct mail marketing efforts to a third-party.
A good direct mail automation platform should offer a number of available integrations with popular CRMs, SMS & push notifications, and email marketing tools. Ideally, it should also have in-built features to simplify the design process, implement A/B testing, audience segmentation, and ensure worldwide delivery. Look for ones that offer customer support. Direct mail experts who work with campaigns everyday will be able to help any business by providing advice to promote your brand and generate leads.
The most important criteria to assess a direct mail service are the level of customer support and recommendations the service can provide. Direct mail automation allows any business to control the mailing process without wasting time on routine tasks. But marketing campaigns used for small businesses, large enterprises, and NGOs differ.
Here is a brief guide on how to develop a cost-effective direct mail campaign customized for your company and chosen target audience, what challenges to expect, and how to successfully overcome them.
Automated Direct Mail Marketing for All Company Sizes and Target Audiences
One size fits all? Not necessarily. To make direct mail marketing truly effective, you will need to adapt your marketing campaigns and automate them. Depending on your goals and target audience, you’ll need to decide on the most relevant type of direct mail – should it be a postcard, a leaflet, or a letter, maybe? You will also have to decide on the right call to action and content to ensure, sure people are interested in reading it.
The most effective (and recommended) use of mail automation depends on your company’s industry and size. Here are the primary distinguishing characteristics of direct mail marketing and mail automation for the most common types of organizations.
Large enterprises usually require a lot of printing. If you are a large enterprise owner or marketer, you have probably used direct mail marketing. Without automating your direct mail campaigns you are likely losing time, money, and effort. Automating direct mail campaigns reduces human error and manual work. This affects the return on investment and eats into your marketing budget. Automated solutions are the perfect solution to make your marketing efforts more cost-effective and cut unnecessary expenditures. Third-party direct mail automation platforms offer the optimum price/quality ratio based on their substantial expertise.
Large enterprises provide a wide assortment of products and services that are not always interrelated. As a result, large companies need more than one piece of direct mail. This may lead to constant design issues and additional expenses. The use of automated direct mail tools solves both of these problems. Specialized automation software provides numerous easily-customizable templates so you can add your phone number, email address, social media, and other relevant details. Specialized software enables marketers to create a broad range of customized mail pieces – eliminating the need to hire a designer.
Large companies deal with big data and have to serve disparate groups of customers. They may provide services to thousands or even millions of users. Hence, they send direct mail marketing materials to recipients located within an extensive area. Automated solutions help optimize this process with CRM integration. You will only need to upload or select the relevant mailing list, and let the software do everything else for you. Thanks to automated printing and shipping, nationwide or worldwide delivery is now much faster. For example, with Inkit, you only need 3-6 business days to deliver your mail worldwide.
Medium and Small Business
Compared to large enterprises, medium and small businesses have a lower need for printed materials. In this case, customization enters the picture. For instance, you may need to send a few different mail pieces to several people to validate their effectiveness. Inkit offers unlimited batch size to send a variable volume of direct mail for the same price. Thus, thanks to direct mail automation, you get a unique chance to experiment and be creative without sacrificing on price.
SMEs are mainly focused on one or a few products/services that supplement each other. The use of an automated tool will allow you to create a uniform mail marketing strategy uniting all of them. Such a marketing approach is highly effective to boost your brand image and make your company more noticeable among competitors. Automated mail systems offer numerous professional direct mail templates, including postcards, brochures, yellow letters, collaterals, etc. Based on the ready-made templates, you will be able to create a unique design to promote your brand image and increase the mail response rate.
Medium companies and small businesses usually target fewer customers compared to large enterprises. Sometimes, smaller companies don’t have a full-time in-house marketing specialist or designer. At the same time, a single mistake could turn into a disaster for your company’s emerging reputation. This means you’d better launch your first direct mail campaign under the guidance of an expert who’s done this before. The use of specialized automated solutions can mitigate all the related risks. You will be able to A/B test your direct mail, regulate the batch size, and, most importantly – benefit from the continuous expert support. Third-party direct mail marketing services will guide you and share their experience and direct mail marketing ideas to help your business grow.
In the case of nonprofit organizations, the mail volume is quite unpredictable. It often depends on the scope of the project and the number of people you want to reach. Consequently, flexibility is very important. With an automated mail service, you won’t have to invest in costly equipment or hire a team of designers. This way, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to the ever-changing market and industry conditions. In addition, direct mail automation will cut NPO’s expenditures freeing more funds for important social initiatives.
While for-profit enterprises trade their products or services, nonprofits promote ideas and social campaigns. For non-profit organizations, the power of the word (especially, printed word) is crucial. Their work is based on information sharing, so the content must be high-quality and convincing. In this respect, automated direct mail marketing services offer a bunch of best practices. You won’t need to rack your brains over direct mail marketing ideas, the optimum print layout, amount of text, and other design related matters.
For nonprofits, direct mail marketing is a chance to engage more people convincing them to donate or provide their support. With banner blindness making modern consumers insensitive to online and offline ads, direct mail is taking the lead. Printed materials have proven to be highly effective for social campaigns. Receiving a piece of mail is considered a pleasant surprise for a recipient, so it’s easier to invoke an emotional response. With automation and CRM integration services, your direct mail will be sent to the right people at the right time.
Regardless of the company size, direct mail automation has much to offer in terms of cost-effectiveness and flexibility. With Inkit, you can start benefiting from seamless automated printing, surprisingly fast delivery, and direct mail customization right now.