Why Direct Mail Is Still Cool

Disclaimer: The author is not sponsored by Dominos, nor does he officially endorse them … he just likes eating their grub!

Why on earth would I use direct mail in my business as a social and digital marketer?

For people like me, stamps, envelopes and that horrible glue taste on your tongue should be things of the past – shouldn't they?

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

But I've seen and heard such compelling evidence about this marketing strategy recently that I can ignore its super powers no longer!

And we all have Dominos to thank for that.

I'm not a super regular pizza orderer, but on those days when we just need to get the family fed fast I'll jump on the PC, click a few buttons, and literally faster than we could cook it ourselves, Dominos are at the door with a teatime treat that is devoured by the entire family.

But hang on a minute, isn't this an online service?

I know that some people still telephone Dominos, but to be very blunt, that's pretty crazy these days when you can have the entire thing done-and-dusted online in less than 2 minutes.

Dominoes last order

I log in to my account, head straight for the ‘Click to view your last order' button, make an adjustments to our regular order – a bit of chicken here, a bit of sweetcorn there – get it all paid for and we're off.

It's the perfect digital experience, and I love it.

And what's even cooler is the order progress screen that you get with your email order confirmation.

Thinking about it as I'm writing – and I may be wrong here – I'll bet that's not even real, my guess is that it starts to kick in so many minutes before your requested delivery time and it just kids you that some pizza chef is pressing ‘progress' buttons as he or she frantically prepares your food.

Please feel free to put me right on that one if you know better!

Dominos countdown

However, I've been fooled hook, line and sinker with that one … it builds the anticipation of your pizza arriving and makes sure we get the table set for tea before there's a knock at the door.

So this is why I use Dominos:

1) It's fast

2) It's reliable

3) I don't have to use the phone

4) Ordering online barely interrupts my work

5) It means I don't have to cook the tea

6) It's automated

7) It's 100% online

So why are you sending me stuff in the post?

A few weeks ago, after a break of only a few weeks since my last pizza delivery, I get a piece of direct mail through the letter box:

Direct mail

Does it get my attention? Of course it does!

It's eye-catching, humorous … and completely different from the usual junk that drops through my letter box.

So all of a sudden, Dominos is front of mind once again … and when we'd over-run a bit doing some jobs on Sunday, and it was a bit late to get tea on, who did we call?

No, not Ghostbusters, try and keep up will you?

Dominos of course!

Only, I don't call them of course, I'm on my PC and we're ordered within a few minutes.

But guess what arrived in the post yesterday?

Dominos Meal Deal

Dominos are at it again – maybe two weeks after the last mailshot – and they're making me sweet offers, reminding me how I can contact my local store and basically letting me know that my valued custom has been missed.

Even Google has gone offline!

I've even received direct mail from Google recently – and I'll hope you'll note the irony of that from the world's number 1 online destination – but I'm afraid I filed that somewhere before I had the presence of mind to scan it and turn it into a blog post.

So here's the big question …

Why are all these businesses using direct mail when their main offering is online?

And the answer is very simple … because it works!

‘Hang on!' I hear you cry, there's a recession on, we can barely feed the kids (oops, can't get away with that one having just ordered a Dominos!) let alone afford a direct mail campaign!

But can you afford not to be marketing, that's probably the more pertinent question?

Meal Deal wizard

And if mega-successful companies are spending money doing something, isn't that a pretty good indication that there's some pretty high ROI to be found in that technique?

So, to help you on your way with direct mail, here are 5 Things To Think About When Sending Direct Mail:

1) Select the best people to send it to … this is generally previous customers, not general prospects.

Testing shows that you'll get better returns from people who have spent money from you in the past.

2) Don't assume that people will read your stuff. Remember, you're competing for a prized place on my doormat, if you look like a boring bit of insurance or double glazing marketing, you're in the bin … alongside the Dominos pizza crusts from last night 🙂

3) Provide a great incentive for your previous customers to get in touch … 5% off won't cut it these days, come up with a sexy offer (not literally, unless you're Ann Summers of course) and make it stand out!

4) Use great envelopes, real stamps and hand written addresses. Seriously! We're trying to differentiate ourselves on the doormat here.

If you got a hand written envelope on which was placed a real stamp you'd wonder who it was from wouldn't you?

And you'd open it in a rush, just like I would …

Would you approach a bit of sales literature with the same level of enthusiasm?

‘Nuff said 🙂

5) Send your direct mail out First Class (what does 2nd Class say about your business?) and on a Friday.

Why Friday?

Letters on the doormatWell, when posted on a Friday your direct mail lands on the doormat on a Saturday. .. which means for most people, that's not a work day.

And that in turn means it gets much more attention and is more likely to get read over a lazy breakfast, compared to during the week when it is much more likely to get thrust in the bin due to a lack of time.

I'm in, what next?

I've been amazed to find out how cheap direct marketing can be, printing costs are very reasonable these days.

In fact the postage is likely to be more of a concern than the mailshot itself … but remember, no Second Class stamps!

Finally, you can get a lot of tips about direct marketing from Royal Mail (remember them?!) and after all, let's face it, they ought to know a thing or two about it as they deliver millions of mailshots every week.

Check out their advice here.

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