Direct mail – flyers, postcards, introductory letters, coupons, brochures, and other printed matter – lets us target a zip code, neighborhood, income level, age (of people or structure), or other demographic variables for a relatively low cost per contact and potential business lead.
It enables us to put our message in each person’s mailbox that we selected to receive it (likely through a mailing house that specializes in generating mailing lists). We won’t know them personally or we would use another form of contact such a personalized mailing or email. Direct mail strictly is for reaching people who may not know about us or what we are offering. They may be unaware that services such as ours are available to them. They may or may not have a need for what we provide, but we need to put our message in their hands so they can decide.
There are several factors to be considered before undertaking a direct mail campaign, regardless of how many pieces are being mailed or the cost of the campaign. First, as with any print campaign, including traditional newspapers and magazines that are delivered to people’s homes, getting our message into someone’s hands is just the first step. They have to see it in order to be able to act on it. If they discard the postcard or mailing piece without looking at or after briefly glancing at it, that message we sent will yield no return.
Maybe the postcard, flyer, letter, or mailing piece gets carried into the house but isn’t looked at right away. Maybe it gets discarded later, or possibly it sits with other unread advertisements for a while – maybe it earns a place on the refrigerator.
Direct mail is often used as a relatively inexpensive and quick way of getting our message in front of a lot of potentially interested people at one time – either on the same day or within a couple of days, depending on mail delivery.
We also know that in order to make sure the mailing piece (postcard, flyer, letter, brochure, or packet) gets looked at and read so that some action can occur, there must be a commitment to doing several mailings of the same or similar messages in order to get it noticed by those few people will eventually read and act upon it, and there should be enough people receiving it for us to get a reasonable return on our investment.
If we are relatively new to the aging in place service industry, direct mail will help us promote our brand and get people to notice us. On the other hand, if we are a more established company, we might want to evaulate the impact on our brand (positive or less so) before committing to or launching a direct mail campaign.
Nevertheless, direct mail in some form can let people know about us and the services we are offering them to improve their homes and allow them to remain in them with a safer, more comfortable, convenient, and accessible home than what they now and before we conduct our assessment, meet with them to discuss possible solutions, or actually complete a renovation of their living space.
This will help us spread our message faster than other ways because it actually delivers a message to the people we want to receive it. What they do with it after that we can’t control, but we can be confident that we have spread the word about what we offer.