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Graham and Kevin discuss the place of direct mail in a world of internet marketing and interview Tony Kemp, Managing Director of
DM Print, on the golf course.

Tony has developed a new online digital direct mail design system called Hello Market. Tony is a 20 year direct mail veteran. Tony reviews his product against Royal Mail’s new Mailshot Maker. He recognises the strength of Royal Mail, but considers Hello Market to be significantly better. It is a completely dynamic direct mail design tool. Allows you to tailor every single offer. They can vary every picture in flight.

There is a lot of ignorance about how to create great direct mail. Hello Market helps you if you are making mistakes with your mailing.

Online v Direct Mail?

Tony’s experience is that some digital agencies tend to focus on the millions of people you can reach, rather than the 2,000 you really want to reach. The businesses who needed the help of Hello Market.

Direct Mail is all about making the communication relevant. The place to start is getting the right list.

The best way of doing this is to take a forensic look at your customers: line them up in order of monetary value, frequency of order or in order of how recently they ordered. Blend all three gets you the best way to structure your customer base. Pick the top 20% of customers. Then get data vendors to profile these 20% against their data to find lookalikes.

Making mail relevant – ‘Welcome Pack’ – why tell them about ALL products when some are irrelevant to them. Make every communication relevant that that person is interested in at that time.

Tony described an optician who recorded everything about him. They wrote to Tony, a 56 year old male (dubious, looks more like 60 to me! J), with a mailing that mainly featured a young female in her twenties. Tony argues, that had little relevance to him. Why not make the mailing about him and his issues? Ditance viewing problems for example.

Timing in direct mail. Get the right time. Responsiveness increases at different times of the year. In the summer months, direct mailers drop their mailings. This reduces the amount of mail on the doormats of the country. Other mailings have a bigger say. And as a consequence are more responsive. Generally, now is a great time to invest in direct mail. Why? Because your competitors are online competing with each other, leaving other powerful media with fantastic opportunities to get your message across.

Timing is not just about speed. If your car service is due in January, don’t write in February, you’ve missed the opportunity. DM is more trusted than email.

DM is about building relationships. Use mail to reaffirm your relationship. Send a birthday card. Consider lumpy mail. Add a grabber. An involvement device.

Tony stresses that DM doesn’t have to be a hard sell. An anniversary card. Build your relationships. That means your relationship last longer.
Cost of Direct Mail versus Email. Consider the number of emails that you send that DON’T ACTUALLY GET OPENED? Probably, 10% of a prospective emailing. So how expensive is email?

Tony mentioned the optician. If that optician mails 20,000 of the same mailing to different people, some 22-year-old females and others 56-year-old men, then it behoves the sender to address both with a relevant, tailored message.

Wrong images, wrong offers, wrong association = no empathy with the communication.

David vs Goliath, the competition in digital direct mail

Tony has to compete against a large company, Royal Mail. David versus Goliath. Royal Mail is a massive company, with thousands of customers. So lots of power. But a positive view is that Royal Mail will actually grow the market itself. Getting to market is his biggest problem. It is incredibly difficult to break through. Especially when Tony knows that modern direct mail can improve most businesses.

Direct Mail has faded in the last half generation. It has been replaced in some budgets with online media. There is a training need with digital direct mail.

Tony recognises that too many buyers just do not understand direct mail. Tony recommends small businesses should produce tailored communications at the right time with the right products that create empathy.

Tony says it is not just ‘direct mail’ it is “sophisticated direct communication sent at the right time”.

Discover more about Hello Market: