Direct Mail For Advertising in a Competitive World

Direct mail is a marketing concept which is also known as ad mail or junk mail, though many postal services refrain from lending credence to the latter. Direct mail evolved as a new avenue in advertising which sought to target a particular group of individuals. It was originally successful among the rural population in most demographics, who had limited access to many popular products owing to their isolation. Mail helped these rural consumers order products using order forms and price catalogs that described the qualities and attributes of the products as well as listed out the prices.

Direct mail traditionally consisted of consumer centric mails that were sent out to a target group of people who had previously ordered or inquired about a particular product via mail. Mailing lists were made and addresses of purchasers were procured. The information that was already available with the advertisers was used to determine which products would sell best with a particular group of individuals, and the targeting was done accordingly.

The advance of technology has seen a lot of changes happening in the field of marketing and advertising, and it has also affected the direct mail marketing. Traditional modes of sending paper mails that sometimes also included an option to try out a sample of a product or included CD’s were quite popular and remained so until recently with the introduction of direct email marketing which involved sending electronic mail instead of paper mails to target recipients.

Many studies have been conducted to determine which of the two mediums are most effective and the results are not conclusive enough to permit a ranking. The direct mail marketing technique that sends out mails to people’s mailboxes has the added advantage that it is seen and sometimes opened before being chucked away into the dustbin or ideally generates a lead. The direct email marketing technique on the other hand does not even get a chance to be viewed by the recipient as it gets automatically filtered by spam filters that are very common and used by many popular email service providers.

The advantages of using direct mail for advertising is the personal touch that it lends. The advertiser can choose to address it to the recipient, customize the text contained within the mail with respect to the recipient and tailor the contents to suit the possible consumer needs of the recipient. The inclusion of website addresses or toll free numbers that the consumer can call up and place an order on instead of actually filling out a form and posting it, also help reduce the effort involved, thereby making it an attractive proposition. The good thing about direct mail marketing from an advertisers perspective is that it helps focus on particular target groups that are more prone to purchasing a particular product. The advantage it holds with the consumer is of ease of access to the product of their choice and a wide choice of products. Usually the products sold through direct marketing, live up to the expectations of the consumers.