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Types, Tips and Tracking

Direct marketing is a type of advertising campaign used by companies that seek to obtain an action from a very targeted group of consumers. This action could be visiting their Website or physical store location, placing an order or simply requesting more information. The main difference between direct marketing and other promotion is that you can closely qualify your audience to deliver a message that appeals to their specific needs.

The value of mail is still strong. The USPS publication, Memo to Mailers, published results from a recent research study. Highlights from the research included:

  • 98% of households bring mail into their household on the day it’s delivered.
  • 75% of consumers will start to use their mail the day it’s delivered and almost all will sort their mail the day it’s received.
  • Consumers valued mail for 3 primary functions: browsing new consumption, managing household consumption, and managing the household finances. Consumers indicated that the Internet could not replace these functions, as it doesn’t offer the same reliability, convenience or privacy as mail.

Direct marketing communication itself may be in any of a variety of formats including:

  • Broadcast e-mail
  • Broadcast fax
  • Postal mail
  • Telemarketing
  • E-mail marketing
  • Point of service (POS) interactions
  • You must identify your target market and understand their needs.
  • There must be a compelling offer and the offer must be based on the needs of your target market. Almost every significant purchase made involves either saving money or time. If you can include one, or better yet, both of these powerful motivators in your offer, you’re success rate will likely increase. (Example: free trial size of new product and you may also want to limit the time on the offer)
  • A successful direct marketing campaign must have great creative, something that makes this piece stand apart from the others. The consumer must be intrigued to open what is sent.
  • Realize the importance of ego. Personalize the offer if you can.
  • Dramatically increase your odds for a direct mail response by including a self-addressed, stamped or postage paid envelope if the offer needs to be mailed back.

Ultimately, tracking provides critical learning, which can be used to optimize campaigns and maximize your results.

  • Tracking and measurement strategies must be organized prior to launching the campaign
  • Measurements can include calls, clicks, sales and revenue.4
  • Individual 800 numbers and unique URLs are recommended.
  • Look to capture potential and existing customer information on your site or through other means to build a mailing list of qualified recipients.
  • Continually optimize the campaign based on what is learned through measurements. In short, it is not one thing alone that makes a direct mail campaign successful, but rather a combination of things that must be both considered and executed. Proper research and planning are what will assure solid results for your company.


Randi Aileen Press
President and CEO
External CMO

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