Direct Mail Overview

Unlike many other industries, your prospects and customers are part of a fairly specific demographic and geographic group.  Almost everybody buys soft drinks or fast food.  Not everybody buys lawn or landscape services and of those that do, you are only interested in marketing to the ones within the geographic area you can efficiently service.


Besides living within this specific area, your prospects and customers are generally homeowners with discretionary income and higher educations.  They are most likely suburban families whose home values are higher than average.  They are most likely between the ages of 35 and 70.  In order to reach these prospects without wasting advertising dollars, your options are limited.  Direct mail is the most effective way to target your marketing efforts to those prospects that are most likely to buy your service.



Isn't Direct Mail obsolete because of the internet?


No!  It may become obsolete at some point – maybe soon – but it’s a very effective marketing tool right now.  Can you use email and other forms of DIGITAL ADVERTISING as part of your marketing efforts – YES.  Can you generate enough cost effective sales to sustain the growth you want in your business using only digital platforms and social media – I’ve yet to see that work in this industry.  There are a couple of obvious reasons.   The internet is not limited to geography and you are.  Also, a lot, if not most, of your customers and prospects are older.  They trust direct mail and are used to it.  While they may use computers for commerce to some degree, unlike millennials, it is not what they grew up with.



Using Direct Mail


To use direct mail effectively takes years of research, testing and experience.  Anyone can put a stamp on a post card and put it in the mail, but does that really work?  How do you know?


The best way to find out how to get the best return on direct mail for your company is through testing - extensive testing.  That means tracking results for every part of a mailing campaign.  Does this lawn care headline work better than that headline?  Does it work better in bold yellow type or soft blue type?  Does “feature” copy about your company and all the services you offer work better than “benefit” copy about what the prospect will gain from using your company's services?  Does a fold out self-mailer work better than a post card?  Does a letter work better than the self-mailer?  Does a new mover list work better than a list targeted to high home values?  Is it better to mail in February, March, April or May?  Should you mail every reasonable prospect once or only the best prospects multiple times?  How much does it cost?  What can you expect in response and closing rates?


The answers to these questions are always changing.  Markets change and so do buying behaviors.  That’s why you must test and retest everything on an ongoing basis.  However, I am happy to share with you our most recent findings in regards to some of these questions.



Read: Direct Mail Programs, Costs, and Results



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