Shop Talk

Column: Send direct mail straight to target market

It seems that these days it’s all about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Because social media is all the rage, many businesses sometimes overlook the power of direct mail marketing. Even in today’s digital world, direct mail can be a powerful tool and produce solid results. And the biggest advantage is that you can narrow your focus to your exact target market.

“The mailing lists we provide for our clients can be filtered to the exact type of client who is most likely to use their service,” said Adam Tartaglia, owner of LimeLight Marketing, a Raleigh firm that specializes in direct mail. “If you are a private school or daycare, you should use a list of people who have young children and then target those within a specific age range. Every dollar you spend will be directly invested to your target market and only your target market. You aren’t hoping that the right people will see your message, you are putting it in front of them.”

Direct mail isn’t as expensive as many think. Tartaglia says that the average campaign his firm runs costs between $2,000 and $4,000. The return on investment, he said, is that if you send out 10,000 postcards, owners will most likely get between 25 and 1,000 responses.

“The price point (of what you’re selling) can make a difference,” he said. “If you are offering buy one, get one free pizzas, then you will get a higher response, but if you are selling boats then you will get a lower response rate.”

It’s essential to track the actual response rate. By knowing your actual return on investment, you can make necessary tweaks in campaigns, repeat successful campaigns and make informed decisions regarding your advertising and marketing budget.

For calls to action, such as offers and coupons, use a unique code that will allow you to track the response to each specific direct mail piece.

If the call to action is a phone call, train employees to ask new customers how they heard about your business and note who became a customer due to the mailing.

Since 99 percent of those who receive the mailing are going to throw it away, Tartaglia said owners have five seconds to get the reader’s attention.

Here’s how Tartaglia recommends getting people to read your mailings:

• Use high-quality glossy thick card stock and full color so that the images pop on the page.

• Know the card’s purpose. Are you highlighting a grand opening, a new service or trying to increase sales on a specific product?

Design your mailing with this goal in mind.

• Have a simple headline and use text sparingly. Make the card easy to read with an obvious message.

• Create a powerful and enticing call to action. It could be an offer, event or a coupon.