Identifying the Benefits and Limitations of Direct Mail Marketing

Direct Marketing - Is It For You? 1 Direct mail marketing is an efficient use of mailers such as postcards, letters, or brochures to keep existing customers, gain new customers, and generate leads. Direct mail is mainly about conveying the right message to the relevant target audience. However, it can take a long time for direct mail to generate results not to mention it can be expensive to carry out a direct mail campaign in some cases. If you are thinking of trying direct mail campaigns for your company, you need to weigh the benefits and disadvantages to make sure it is the right fit for you. Here are some pros and cons.

Very Informative

Direct mail marketing offers the reader lots of valuable information, which is not the case for other kinds of advertising. Companies sending out individual mailings will include all relevant info in as small of a package as they can. This is your chance to tell the potential client how the company’s services or products will benefit him or her. The key is grabbing attention, you want people to notice you and think of you down the road. Don’t go too crazy with graphics, have some information that people can actually take in!

Easy to Track

It is very easy to track direct mail and this enables companies to compute their Return on Investment/ROI easily. If you’ve ordered a package recently, chances are good you’ve tracked it while waiting. Well, as a business you can essentially do the same with your mail campaign. Tracking is important so you know who you’ve advertised to, who you still can advertise to, and more. Having records is invaluable.

Extreme Targeting

Direct Marketing - Is It For You? 3 Direct mail campaigns are highly targeted making them very beneficial to companies that are aware of their intended audience. Direct mail allows companies to send targeted mail to certain purchasing groups depending on essential demographics such as profession, household size, household income, age, and gender. As a business, it’s beyond important that you understand your key target audiences, if not you’re certainly missing out on business with your marketing campaign. Now we’re going to hit some of the cons.

People Don’t Always Respond to Direct Mail

Even though the response rates vary for direct mail, small business owners and entrepreneurs have reported that the typical response for such is 1 to 3 percent. Targeting existing customers or certain prospects usually brings a return of about 3 percent. Thus, paying about $1 to develop and send direct mail to customers probably will not buy or respond means you are wasting your money. But of course, it’s different for everyone. This again just speaks to the importance of knowing your target markets and advertising to them.

Bad Mailing Lists

Technology might have enhanced the efficiency of mailing addresses but you will still find contact lists with lots of errors in the addresses. Having a good list is your main starting point. Such issues include mismatched zip codes, states, cities, street numbers and names and these errors usually occur when employees input their details incorrectly or gather the wrong information. It could also happen when your company buys mailing lists from an untrustworthy third party. These lists are pricy too, a bad list can be a huge loss.


This is one of the biggest disadvantages of direct mailing because it is a bit expensive to send direct mail out in high volumes. Most small companies will mail out thousands of pieces monthly and the printing and postage costs can be quite high. Companies using direct mail regularly on repeat customers will end up spending more per lead or order in obtaining customers.

In the end it all comes down to your business, the area you’re in, your specific needs, and so much more. The one thing we do know for a fact is that if you work with Carolina Direct Mail, your chances of success have instantly gone up.