Direct Mail Is an Effective Way to Distribute Promotional Items

Direct mail has been the traditional way of communicating with customers and clients. Though its use has become restricted due to the shift towards online marketing, it is still considered to be an important marketing tool today. Direct mail or marketing by snail mail became redundant because of the faster means of communication, e-mail, which is quicker, easier, and almost inexpensive. Even though mostly all businesses use e-mail for their marketing purposes, direct mail still continues to be an effective marketing tool when used correctly.

Online businesses usually do not use direct mail in the initial stages if the marketing plan. Direct mail comes into use when a firm or a business needs to follow up with their customers to keep them updated about promotions, trade shows, conventions, seminars and new product launches or to follow up with prospective clients who are yet to purchase something. For all types of businesses, direct mail allows you to reach specific markets with geographical and demographic targeting. Many companies take the help of direct mail companies who not only craft your messages to establish contact with your clients but also print them and mail them to the desired addresses. They also e-mail to your potential clients without violating any anti-spamming laws.

You can increase your company’s market reach by sending appropriate brochures, newsletters and leaflets about your company to increase your sales and client recall. Watch them stop at your booth during trade shows and fairs and collect their personalised items which will increase your sales and client recall. You can also use software used to send mails in bulk to keep your client well-informed about your company. After you have informed your customers through direct mail, you can plan an effective strategy to lure your customers to main events by distributing promotional items. And whenever you need to select the right promotional item best suiting your company image, online suppliers are at your service with an extensive range of high quality items at cost effective prices.

Many companies in UK are still using direct mail as a means of increasing brand awareness amongst their clients. It has in a way become an effective method to distribute printed items to capture potential clients. The changing face of the business world means appeasing the clients and employees. This is done by distributing promotional items and corporate gifts and the best way to create your own space in the market is informing them about the main events when your firm will be giving away these gifts, beforehand.

For more information on promotional gifts, printed products and printed items check out some of the leading online suppliers today where you can tap into their wealth of experience to ensure that your next marketing campaign is well targeted and sets off on the right footing. You can make massive savings simply by requesting a quick quote for particular items in order to get the right idea about the costs for promoting your business or for giveaways at your next trade show.

Better Marketing Results With Integrated Multimedia Direct Mail

Direct response marketing campaigns using targeted postal mail campaigns are well understood and have been successfully utilised by many companies across various industries for decades now. Why, because it works and it will continue to work within a well structured formula for success. What is not so well known and understood is that direct mail using integrated multimedia technology will significantly increase your response rates!

Let us review what makes direct mail campaigns successful:

  • Addresses a specific group of people or targeted audience
  • Uses creative to cut-through the clatter of the mail box
  • Offers a personalised message that communicates a compelling benefit
  • Creates a sense of urgency and excitement with the mail piece
  • Provides a your clear and visible ‘call to action’

The above points have been demonstrated over the years to achieve superior response rates from direct mail campaigns.

Now let us look at how the use of integrated multimedia dramatically improves results from direct mail campaigns. Integrated multi-media campaigns significantly power-up direct mail when the following factors are included in the campaign:

  • Personalise all communications with the recipient across the different media
  • Using several multimedia channels in the promotional campaign
  • Letter, postcard or mailing piece
  • Mobile phones and other smart mobile devices
  • Web landing pages with personalised URL
  • Email marketing and auto-responders
  • Using a QR image ( QR Code define ) image to support the ‘call to action’

Essentially, an integrated multimedia direct mail campaign allows a one to one personalised engagement with the recipient. It has the ability for the recipient to immediately accept the offer or secure additional information with readily available technology such as their mobile phone or access to the Internet.

What is a QR code? A QR code printed on the direct mail piece becomes interactive when it is scanned by a smart mobile phone to connect to a web landing page, a video, addition information or delivery of a discount coupon or voucher to the mobile phone for redemption at a retail location. This coverts the direct mail piece into an integrated campaign. The QR code is the integration that brings print, mobile and web landing pages together to contribute to increasing the response rates of the direct mail piece.

It is highly recommended to utilise unique QR codes so that each recipient will be directed to their own personalise web landing page. At the recipient’s landing page additional information and messages for the individual will encourage the desired conversion. The main purpose of the direct marketing piece is to encourage the recipient to take the ‘call to action’ and the objective of the personalised web landing page is to engage with a one-on-one dialogue to secure the conversion.

Lastly, the use of a personalised web landing page will allow the campaign to be tracked and measured for results! The unique nature of the QR Code and personalised web page provides the capability to track recipient’s responses to the direct mail piece. This valuable marketing intelligence information can be used for targeted follow-up action or to refine and adjust future marketing campaigns.

Another marketing benefit is that the recipient can be encouraged to keep and use the mail piece a number of times. The web landing page can be updated and modified as often as desired. The update can include offers for gift vouchers, coupons, discounts or specials that may be relevant to the recipient. The direct mail piece becomes a useful long-term item as compared to a one-off point of contact.

Any business of whatever size can initiate an integrated multi-media direct mail campaign by following the suggestions and recommendations in this article.

Online Marketing Essentials – The Customer Funnel

There are basically four methods

Direct to vendors sales page web site
Direct to the purchase page
Via your own squeeze page
Via your own website
Lets look at these in more detail
If you send the customer directly from your ads to the customer sales page you have no need for your own website. This means no hosting fees and no web skills required, hopefully the vendor sales page will do the selling and result in sales. This is good if you have no web skills at all or want to get started quickly. Although most web hosting companies now offer ‘no skills needed’ template built web sites. On the downside you have no opportunity to capture the customer or offer the customer any additional products. Also if you use affiliate links to the product they will clearly be seen by those in the know. There are ways of ‘masking’ your affiliate link but none are very good unless you have your own website. One quick option you do have is to simply buy a domain name. You can then set ‘forwarding and masking’ on your new domain name so that you can use that in place of your affiliate link to get to the vendor sales page. If you want to get up a running swiftly then this is a good option in the short term.
Sending traffic directly to the purchase page is pointless if the customer has not already been given the guided tour of the product and set up ready to buy. For new starters this not a realistic option. The reason for sending directly to a vendors purchase page is to bypass his sales page if it is not converting customer leads. You will then have to convince the customer to buy the product yourself. You will need to do this either on your own website or squeeze page. (See 3&4). This is an advanced marketing technique but not for a new starter.
Sending traffic to the vendor via your own squeeze page is a good idea. What you effectively do here is pre-qualify your leads. The better qualified your lead the better chance of a successful sale. If your squeeze page is very good you may bypass the vendor sales page altogether and go straight to purchase point. Worth offering the option on your page! You will also use your own domain name to get to your squeeze page and not your affiliate ID URL. On the down side you need to host your squeeze page in the same way as a web site. You also need to ensure that your page enhances your sales and not reduces them using a continuous improvement process.
Sending traffic via your own website is a great idea. You have the opportunity to mask your affiliate ID and you can capture customer details for ‘back end sales’. Long term this, or a squeeze page, must be your options. Also you can sell your own products from a website if you have them and offer content that will draw the customers back to view the website again, giving further opportunity to sell. With a web site you can also start to create your own brand and have a domain name and corporate image to use in all communications. Long term this creates recognition and more customers confidence which results in more sales. The downside is that you really need some skills in web site creation but there are plenty of tutorials and new applications that make it very very easy – honest!
Domain Name and Hosting
You will need a domain name and a hosting account if you going to put up a website or squeeze pages. You really can’t beat VodaHost at this game. They have the simplest and cheapest way to get a professional website up and running. They give away their BlueVoda (check out the video) web site creator which is absolutely the easiest one on the planet and it is not limited in functionality either. You simply buy the hosting and everything else, including your domain name and unlimited web space and bandwidth, is free so it is likely to be cheaper than other hosting companies who end up charging you for all the separate bits which can often come to quite a large monthly sum. Another big plus is that everything is integrated and I do not think any other hosting has this. i.e. you create your website in BlueVoda and you can upload it with a single click. No need for third party FTP or slow web based file managers.