Mailshots were once the most popular way to get information to people about your business. Since the birth of the internet, social media, e-newsletters and online advertising, the humble mailshot has become less favourable to most businesses, viewed as a time consuming old-hat way to advertise.
Although the popularity of direct mail has faded over the years, it can still be a very useful tool to use alongside your current marketing strategy. The mailshot is a targeted, personal and cost effective way to reach potential customers, catching their attention and hopefully encouraging them to buy.
Sending a successful direct mail campaign requires research. Sending out thousands of leaflets, letters or brochures to random houses will most likely see most of them end up in the bin. Generating a targeted list of customers and potential customers will help you to receive a better response.
1. Where do I start?
Decide what it is you want to tell your customers in your mailshot. Are you selling a product or service? Are you telling them about changes in the business? What is the key action that you would like them to take?
2. Who do I target?
You may want to target your existing customers, or generate a focused list of potential customers based on particular criteria. Check out my post on A Simple Strategy For Building A Targeted Prospect List for some pointers.
3. When should I use a mailshot?
Usually a mailshot is sent when a company has some exciting news, a special promotion or to announce a new product or service. But remember that it should always be combined with some sort of follow up strategy, as part of a wider marketing campaign.
So are mailshots still relevant? Should you include them in your marketing strategy? Still unsure? Here is a list of some of the pros and cons to help you to decide if mailshots are for you:
- Easy and cost effective way to reach potential clients
- Can do small-scale testing before rolling out
- Can be very targeted
- Can be outsourced
- You have total control of your message
- Can measure results using discount codes or special phone numbers
- Possibility of direct sales
- Increases brand awareness
- More expensive than email newsletters
- Takes longer to organise and send
- Often associated with junk mail
- Can be thrown away easily
- Difficult to track your campaign open rate
- Can be time consuming to follow up
- Less green than online methods
Mailshots can be very successful if done correctly and sent to the right target audience. Good research of target households and businesses is vital to a successful mailshot campaign.
So what’s your view? Are mailshots still relevant in today’s business world? Do you use mailshots? Let me know in the comments!