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11
Jul

IS DIRECT MAIL MARKETING DEAD FOR THE FOOD INDUSTRY?

Posted by Scott Smith

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Digital marketing folks will tell you that print is dead, while print marketers will insist their medium is alive and well. Whether using coupons, incentives for product samples/trials, market research data/feedback and sales tracking by zip, direct mail can provide a direct channel to your customer.

A highly targeted approach using a quality list will allow you to speak directly to the consumers you want to reach – your target audience. Spending a bit more to develop a quality or purchase an accurate list will greatly increase your response rates. To keep things economical, your direct mail partner can use their permit number and pass the postal savings on to you. They can also help you choose sizes and formats that mail at the least expensive rates. Different than targeted lists, the US Postal Service has launched a program called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) that allows small business an on-line mapping tool that gives them access to address data selection. Making it easier to reach consumers based on the demographics of particular neighborhoods.

Emails are easy to delete, and even correspondence you’re interested in often gets lost in the inbox. Direct mail is memorable: an intriguing offer will end up on the kitchen table or desk for that second or third look. An interactive approach includes attention grabbing images, an easy to remember URL, and QR codes that link to your site or a particular offer, message or video.

Crafting Your Message

Make sure your message is timely, unique to what’s going on right now. Try to think in terms of starting a conversation, using real words, simple explanations and true reasons to try your product. If you make an offer, make it creative and consider including a deadline for their call to action. And make sure to highlight and dramatize the benefits of your product. Your message will have more of an impact.

Direct mail can even be more useful and have a higher response rate with more personalization and programs that tailor the message to the age or gender of the recipient. The cost per piece is higher but so is the ROI compared to more traditional mailings. The price range for direct mail could be as low as a few hundred dollars for a thousand or so mailed through EDDM to over a thousand dollars for a larger run. It’s up to you to decide which approach is best based on your product. Continually “tweaking” the program to make it work better for you is all part of the process. In the end, direct mail is the channel many B2C (business to consumer) marketers cite as delivering the best “bang for your buck” when marketing your product.

Scott Smith is an account executive with Vision Graphics/Eagle:xm, a Denver based company that leverages data intelligence and marketing automation to enable right time dialogues between companies and consumers across the spectrum of digital and print channels.  A life-long print professional, he realizes the importance of supporting local natural foods companies. He can be reached at 720-308-7333.

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