Being Direct on Direct Mail

Lets face it; Direct Mail has been around a long time. We recognise it in many forms, from your local newsletter through to a gimmick piece with a fancy little toy on it that you just can’t resist playing with.

How you achieve that is the real challenge. Most people experience direct mail in the form of the junk mail that clogs up our letterboxes, or that is desperately handed out to us every time we walk past a discount place or small shopping arcade.

Perceptions on how and when direct mail is being used are doing an about face and many brands are starting to shift away from electronic mediums and towards a form of direct mail.

So what is the actual definition of ‘direct mail’? Lets break down the two words.

The definition of the word ‘direct‘ is ‘without intervening, persons, influences or factors, something that is immediate and personal’. The definition of the word ‘mail‘ is ‘letters and packages conveyed by the postal system’.

With this in mind, the objective then for direct mail is simply to convey something that is immediate, personal and without influence of intervention. According to the Oxford Dictionary the definition of ‘direct mail’ is ‘unsolicited commercial literature sent to prospective customers through the post’.

So with this in mind, how would a direct mail piece work for your brand or your business? Lets explore some of the direct mail options.

A direct mail piece can be a one-off promotional item or piece of collateral (such as a postcard, poster or small package) sent to an existing database of prospects or an unknown list of prospects.

If you are sending more than one direct mail piece over a time period, then this is considered to be a direct mail campaign.

Direct mail pieces are no longer limited to a basic postcard or DL pamphlet, in fact the more successful direct mail campaigns often engage your other senses within the piece itself. This could include something tactile to play with or untie; it may even feature an element that you can smell or taste too.

There really is no limitation to what you can do either, creating direct mail packages or samples is a brilliant way to get your product into the hands of your prospective customers – think about how many times you were handed a tester version of a product, only to go into a retail store any buy the full branded item.

Budget doesn’t have to be a limiting factor. There are some clever campaigns that use recycled paper with black ink but have a different way that the item folds or opens out.

All you need to do is think a little differently… Start by thinking about what product or service you want to promote and think about the best way to say this, without using too many words. You’ll have the basis of a great direct mail campaign.

Of course if you are stuck and would like some help to develop a direct mail strategy that you can manage yourself or you would like an agency to develop a campaign (end-to-end) for you, then give us a call at Stella Design.

So, tell us what is the basis of your great direct mail campaign?

Comments (1)
  • Brian Q October 22, 2014

    Thanks for the good ideas.

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