Direct mail is a type of direct marketing where tangible promotional goods are sent to the potential as well as the current customers of the company for the sake to accede to their business or to enrich an ongoing relationship. In other words, when a company sends advertising mail(s) in order to attain new business or communicating relevant information to their former or current customers. It customarily comprises an offer to attract the recipients to reach out.
Types of Direct Mail
- Shared Mail
Shared mail, also called as marriage mail, is a kind of a direct mail where numerous organizations share their advertising agenda on the same mail piece. The cost of postage is then divided between each advertiser, which makes it highly cost-efficient.
Examples of shared mail comprise: coupon envelopes, advertising circulars etc.
Pros of Shared mail are as follows:
- The reach is mostly estimated to be broad because the advertising mail is sent to everyone in a particular area.
Cons of Shared mail are as follows:
- Since it provides a range of ads from multiple companies, your ad may get lost in the shuffle.
- You’re quite prone to appear among your direct competitors.
- Limited or no personalization.
- Low response rate.
- You cannot send the advertising mail to a targeted set of audience.
- Standalone Mail
On the contrary, standalone mail is a kind of direct mail where other organizations do not share any advertising space on the same mail piece; which makes it more costly than the former as there is no dividing the costs with other advertisers.
Examples of standalone mail are direct mail postcards, informational brochures, credit card offers etc.
Pros of Standalone Mail are as follows:
It provides a means of one-on-one communication with the customers.
- A wide variety of format and presentation options to choose from.
- Provides an option to send the advertising mails to the targeted set of audience.
- Unlimited personalization (for example, when mailing postcards, you can customize its look by whichever way you want it to look.)
- Higher response rates.
- Broader reach than shared mail.
Direct Mailing Strategies and Delivery Methods
Now that we know what is direct mail, let’s read further on how these mails end up the customer’s post-box. There are two types of direct mailing strategies.
- Saturation Mailing – When the company wishes to send the advertising mail to an entire ZIP code, saturation mailing is the most helpful direct mailing service there is. Mostly the sorting in this type of strategy is done by walk-sequence order and meet the 90/75 rule. Also, the mailings are dispatched in bulk via Marketing Mail or the USPS’ Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) program. Saturation Mailing is only suitable for entities like restaurants, gyms, and home service providers.
- Targeted Mailing – As the name goes, when the company strategizes to send its advertising mails to the customers segmented according to demographical, geographical psychological filters etc. Since the targeted mail is more relevant to the customers, it is prone to generate more response from them. On the other hand, it is much expensive than saturation mailing, keeping in mind the strenuous segmentation and research.