Direct Mail and How it Has Changed Direct Marketing

Direct mail marketing and its advantages and disadvantages have been studied, analyzed and criticized and hailed many times over by experts in the field of marketing. Though direct mail has been around and has been used with varying degrees of success within diverse businesses for marketing purposes, its significance remains unquestionable.A couple of decades ago the use of mail strategy in marketing was just gaining attention. It was mostly used to sell products to people living in remote areas where buying the latest products available in the market was a challenge due to the lack of modern supermarkets and malls. The mailers that offered the recipient the choice of ordering a variety of products via mail using order forms was a very promising prospect back then.As consumerism grew by leaps and bounds in the past couple of decades, the uses for direct mail in marketing changed too. Direct mail began to be increasingly used in targeting specific groups of people for the sale of certain products. It was in your face advertising at its best. Compared to ads on television, radio and news papers, advertising using direct mail was more personalized and found to generate more sales leads for the companies who were using such campaigns to promote their products.Before the advent of direct mailing, direct marketing was conducted by sales persons who engaged in door to door selling of products. Though the success rate in this form of marketing was as high as 2 leads per every 10 houses visited, it was not a viable option as there was a limitation to the number of people that were targeted through this form of marketing. The cost associated with this type of marketing also was quite high.Another method was to distribute leaflets from house to house which contained details about a product and listed its merits. This method was largely found to be ineffective and was relegated to the background. The advantage associated with direct mail marketing is that compared to other forms, it has a wider reach. If the target recipients are chosen after a careful filtration process to weed out prospective dead ends in terms of lead generation, then the success rate of this strategy is also highly desirable. The cost associated with direct mail marketing was also considerably less than the traditional methods cited above.The higher rate of lead generation also ensured that there was return on investment. It was an ideal strategy for small business to adopt in order to propel their growth. For established businesses it meant expansion. Though direct mail marketing has faced competition from newer marketing strategies such as online and email advertising and marketing campaigns, it still holds its sway.

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