So, when’s the last time you got a letter in the mail?

If you’re like most people, the answer is not often. That’s not conjecture either. As I’ve written about elsewhere, the “amount of mail sent annually in the United States declined from 213.1 billion pieces in 2006 to just 154.2 billion pieces in 2015. That’s almost a 30% drop inside ten years.

That decline means opportunity, for you, as a business owner. If you need some additional convincing, here’s why you should start sending your prospects―regardless of your industry―some good old snail mail.

  • Highly targeted – Direct mailing is highly targeted. As such, you can obtain mailing lists of prospects through mailing list distributors such as Dataman Group Direct in Boca Raton. For example, a beautician can order a list of people who buy beauty and health products and prepare a direct mailing in hopes of persuading prospects to visit her spa. A home improvement company can target homeowners with homes over $250,000 that are more than 15 years old.
  • Cost effective – Direct mailing adverts are less expensive compared to print media, television, and radio advertising. Back when I used to run my former fashion accessories brand, I used PS Print for catalogs, hang tags and the like. The beauty of direct mail is any small business owner can easily design eye-appealing letters and have thousands of copies printed at a low cost. Interestingly, a company can mail out few adverts as a test. If the first mailing succeeds, a company can increase its direct mailing adverts in the subsequent mailings.
  • Flexibility – Small businesses use direct mailing adverts due to its flexibility. A company can use postcards to market its products and services at a lower cost. Furthermore, you may include free samples of products in your direct letters. Furthermore, you can include as much information as you desires in direct mailing adverts.
  • Highly customized – Direct mailing can be highly customized. With direct mailing, you can address customers by their names. As such, the message of an order form or brochure is directed to a particular demographic. According to the U.S. Postal services, as many as 55% of Americans are eager to read their letters. Addressing potential customers by their names could persuade some to buy your products.
  • Highly measurable – Direct mail marketing is―contrary to popular belief―highly measurable. You can easily measure the results of a direct mail advertisement by counting the number of coupons used during a campaign, for instance. For example, a small chemist may place an ad in inserts and coupon magazines that are distributed to hospitals. He could also include an expiration date on the direct mailing adverts. If you mail out a customer, you could keep a reference address to help keep track of responses to each mailing. Direct mail works great for big ticket items―like a chemist selling to hospitals.
  • Changes brought about by the decline in direct mailing – Direct mailing has gradually declined over the past decade. Nonetheless, more marketers are incorporating it into their integrated marketing mix. Although the cost of snail mail marketing may be high, the return on investment remains strong. There is no doubt that snail mail marketing is under an evolution. The addition of web browsing has enhanced the connection between online and offline marketing techniques. Engaging customers on websites is increasingly becoming popular for it is quick and cost effective. Additionally, the internet has reduced the lag time between visiting the site and dropping a letter.  It is undeniable that technology has caused a decline in snail mail marketing. However, it has not damaged it completely. It is not certain to what extent the web technology has impacted on the direct mailing. In fact, web technology has enhanced direct mailing in many ways. You may use direct mailing to encourage online shopping and collect information from potential customers. Although direct mailing is the most measurable marketing technique, it may not work alone these days. You need to incorporate other marketing channels such as digital channels.

Thank you to Brian J. Roberts for this post – he is a writer who’s been featured in CNBC, Time, Inc. and the Huffington Post.