The Definition of Direct Mail

What is the Definition of Direct Mail?

Direct mail is a type of marketing that posts various forms of promotional literature via the Royal Mail to past, current or prospective customers.

What is Direct Mail Used For?

Any business can benefit from direct mail because of its broad marketing potential. Direct mail’s strongest asset is that it allows you to communicate with your audience one-on-one, creating a personal and physical interaction between business and consumer. All direct mail campaigns are used to target audience demographics with products, promotions and opportunities that are of interest to them. This means you’re in control of who receives your mail, when it’s delivered, how it’s created and your reach.

Why Not Email Marketing?

While email marketing is arguably easier and cheaper to invest in, its success rates have recently come under fire, especially in relation to direct mail. The main reason is because consumers are becoming more aware of the scams and phishing tactics associated with email marketing. In fact, Scam Watch reports that over £94 million has been lost due to scamming, with phishing taking up £578,542 in 2018 alone (January to October). Not only does this mean that consumers aren’t opening third-party emails, it’s likely they’re never seeing them due to their spam and email security settings.

Budgeting your Direct Mail Campaign

Email marketing, despite its flaws, is known to be cheaper than direct mail. However, budgeting with direct mail comes down to knowing your brand and how to effectively target your audience to get the most out of your direct mail campaign. There are various direct mail options to consider regarding budget (more on this later), but with our prices starting at just 22p per item, we can send out hundreds, if not thousands of personalised mail to your target audience. Or, depending on your budget and campaign structure, we can structure campaigns to target smaller, more specific audiences with highly personalised mail. Such options include:

  • Litho printing - from letterheads and postcards to die-cut self-mailers and inserts, our lithographic printing allows us to create stunningly finished perfect bound and staple bound magazines, catalogues or brochures.
  • Digital printing - we design paper stocks including silk, offset and gloss finishes.
  • Envelope printing - we can print on C6 to C4 in full colour, engaging your audience before they have even picked up your mail.

What Types of Direct Mail are there?

There are several different types of direct mail, which we’ve outlined below:

  • Dimensional mail - viewed as an ‘upgraded’ version of leaflets and brochures. These types of mail are usually highly interactive and entice the user to do something physical with the mail (run it under water to uncover a hidden message, build a radio from scratch etc).
  • Catalogues - primarily used by companies that sell products, or restaurants/cooking companies offering new foods, ingredients or recipes.
  • Brochures - used to attract all audiences and doesn’t necessarily require an envelope. They are particularly good at engaging new or prospective customers because they deliver information in a colourful and bitesize manner.
  • Postcards - like letters, postcards are colourful, simple and cost-effective. While you can’t detail all the ongoings of your service on them, they’re great for reminder promotions. Plus, they don’t require envelopes, meaning your audiences sees your mail immediately.
  • Letters - the oldest and still the most popular direct mailing option. Letters can be highly customised, include a good chunk of information about the service or company and they’re the most cost-effective mailing option.

The Advantages of Direct Mail

What’s becoming more prevalent as society becomes more digitalised, is that ‘old hat’ mailing techniques are finding new ways to stay relevant. Direct mail is also thriving for millennials, with 90% of them believing direct mail is still more reliable than email.

Direct mail is also winning the GDPR war, in that you don’t require permission to promote your service (generally speaking). Of course, you will still require ‘legitimate interest’, which is defined in detail on ICO’s website. Direct mail is able to bypass the strict rules enforced by the GDPR, which has led many business to alter their marketing and outreach tactics to keep their audiences and customers up to date with their offers.

If you’d like to learn more about how our direct mail services can help you promote your business, get in touch with one of our mailing experts today.