Direct mail maintaining its retail relevance

When a marketing method is new, it generates a lot of buzz in professional circles. This is a natural consequence of businesses’ desire to seize any advantage that presents itself. As soon as retailers learn how to send coupons through the Apple Watch, you can bet it will be a headline on every industry news source. There’s a catch, however: This can lead to a lack of attention for the major marketing methods of years past that still have something to offer your company. Your next step may be into the unknown realm of new technology, or it may be an old standby: marketing through the mail.

Direct mail can reach customers with simple calls to action and gift certificates.
Direct mail can reach customers with simple calls to action and coupons.

The case for mailers

Drawing repeat business into your store can be the difference between a disappointing quarter and a major win. A recent overview by Business 2 Community contributor Zack Heller contained several facts about direct mail that could convince you to begin experimenting with it if you aren’t already doing so.

  • Irresistible offers: Mailers give you a chance to give every recipient a gift certificate. Heller specified these types of offers tend to appeal to consumers angling for the best prices. Which tactic the gift certificates embrace is up to you. Want to turn a normal Tuesday into a special event? Go ahead. Prefer to make a seasonal event larger than ever? That’s also a possibility.


  • Simple messages, simple medium: Heller stated the best campaigns are the ones that get to the point. A simple call to action that makes people check out your offerings may stand out in a field of complex marketing messages drifting in from multiple media. A direct mail piece that gets to the point therefore has more potential than an email that hits the digital trash can before the prospect has finished skimming it. Becoming a direct mail leader may mean going for the simple sell.

Mail and email, side by side

Marketing Pilgrim’s Cynthia Boris recently explained local companies are leaning on both email and direct mail, with the latter still more popular. Though this was a cause of some surprise for Boris, who lamented that email is not as difficult to use as many professionals believe, the takeaway from the stats could be that both methods have their place, and can even be used in tandem. The satisfaction ratings given for email and physical mail were nearly identical, with digital a hair ahead in satisfaction but 9 percent less popular. Boris went on to agree with Heller that gift certificates are a merchant’s best friend.

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