DIRECT MAIL AS ADVERTISING MEDIA - MARKETING MANAGEMENT



DIRECT MAIL AS ADVERTISING MEDIA

BY

SMART LEARNING WAY

CONTENTS      

DEFINITION OF DIRECT MAIL
FEATURES OF DIRECT MAIL
FORMATS OF DIRECT MAIL
FORMS OF DIRECT MAIL
ADVANTAGES OF DIRECT MAIL
DISADVANTAGES OF DIRECT MAIL
DIRECT MAIL ADVERTISING VS DIRECT MAIL SELLING
CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY



DEFINITION

Direct mail is the letters to customer. The letters can be crafted with a personalized formats and approach. They sometimes take the role as the chosen media, especially in high value personal products like digital diary, PC, and service industry offers like from the hotels; airlines etc. care should be taken to ensure that the direct mail letters look like a normal business communication, otherwise there are chances that the letter is put in  waste paper basket. With a excess of mail received by executives, they read only ones which look business- like and are readable.
           
When printed matter is delivered directly to the customer, it is called direct mail. These could be offered at the following locations
@ At homes
@ At retail shops
@ On the streets
@ Sent by mail
           
Direct mail gives the reader the best possible way of knowing about the product, with all the colour, graphics and data given in the direct mail.
           
In direct advertising the advertiser has several options like size, costs, formats, that could be used.
           
The cost  of direct mail can be quite varied on the basis of quality of material and size of mailing list. Since direct mail is targeted at only real consumer with no aberrations, they can be focused and personalized, making the readers feel important.
           
Care should be taken to ensure that even from the envelope the mailer gives the impression of a personal letter. Else the direct mail has the possibility of being consigned to the readers waste paper basket.
           
As most corporate buyers get hundreds of direct mailers daily, they have to select just a few for their examination. Hence even with its close contact with the customer direct mail remains a back seat media.

FEATURES
           
Direct mail offers pinpoint selectively. It can be directed to specific individuals or markets with greater control than any other medium. Direct mail does not have to compete with another advertisement, or with other editorial or program content for reader’s attention. People like to receive mail. Most people read each piece of mail thoroughly. The advertiser has a wide choice of formats.
           
Direct mail offers unique opportunity for experimental research. With split-runs and split mailing you can test different offers, different formats different copy and illustrations, different timings among matched samples of recipients.          
                                   
Direct mail that elicits inquiries or request for additional information is an effective device for developing sales leads, thereby increasing the efficiency of the sales force.

FORMATS
           
In direct advertising the advertiser has several options like size, costs, formats, that could be used. Different formats commonly used as follows:
           
A leaflet  This is a small printed paper, which could be printed on both sides, in color and with as much details about the products as possible while keeping the aesthetics in mind.
             
A booklet is a small book which gives a lot of information about the product.
           
Brochures are better made leaflets in colour and mostly they are glossy. It can be in booklet format  also as it gives a good impression

FORMS OF DIRECT MAIL
·         LETTERS
·         SELF MAILERS
·         CATALOG
·         FOLDERS
·         BOOKLETS
·         MAILING CARD
·         POST CARD
·         MAGAZINES
·         SALES MANUEL
·         INFORMATIVE MANUEL
·         PRICE LIST
·         CHARTS
·         POSTERS

LETTERS

            Letters are the most personal and intimate of all forms of advertising. You address your customer or prospect individually by the most important word he knows-his name. The letter can be warm and friendly or businesslike and authoritative. If it address the prospect’s self interest.

SELF-MAILERS

             Self-mailers do not require an envelope. The address of the recipient and the postage are placed on the mailing piece itself. The simplest self-mailer is a postcard. Or it can be a single sheet of paper folded once or more times, a folder, brochure, or catalog.
           
            Direct mail is an advertising medium but mail order (or direct response) is a form of distribution that is, training by mail whatever medium is used for advertising sales offers. Consequently direct mail is not limited to direct marketing: a retailer can use direct mail to attract shoppers to his or her store.

ADVANTAGES OF DIRECT MAIL 

 The medium offers a variety of formats and provide enough space to tell a complete sales story.

 Because Direct mail has little competition when it is received, it can engage the reader’s attention.

Because of the use of data base it is now possible to personalize direct mail across a number of consumer characteristics, such as name, product, usage, purchase history and income.

Direct mail is particularly conductive to marketing research and can be modified until the message design matches the needs of desired target audience.
 
Direct mail allows the marketer to reach audiences who are inaccessible by other media.

DISADVANTAGES OF DIRECT MAIL 

            The main drawback of using direct mail is the widespread perception that it is junk mail. About 46% considers them an invention of privacy.

            Direct mail has a higher cost per thousand than mass media. A great deal of this high cost is a result of postage.(however it reaches more qualified prospect with less wastage.)Another cost factor is the maintenance of the database.

            To deliver an acceptable response rate, the quality of the mailing list is critical. It must be maintained and updated constantly.

            Because of changing nature of mailing lists, as well as the difficulty of keeping relevant data in the database, the response rate can be as low 2 or 3 %. Even with that low response, however database, markets can still make money.

DIRECT MAIL ADVERTISING VS DIRECT MAIL SELLING
           
Direct mail advertising is often refered to as direct mail selling . the actual difference is that the former makes known through advertising literature and the later actually gets the order
Direct mail actually covers all forms of sales literature booklets, leaflets, catalogues, folders, letters, etc. designed to create goodwill or affect sales.
                       
The best method of selling is by sending salesman and sales selling by word of mouth.
The best method is the written word.
           
The most effective form of direct mail advertising is the letter personality is dictated and separately typed. The sales letter need not be clever. It must be sincere and must attempt to sell.
           
It should convey a message and be concise as well as simple in language. Sales letter are generally used accompanied by other literature which completes the appeal or story.

The AIDAS formula or the 5 p’s can be used in drafting the sales letter

AIDAS FORMULA

·         ATTENTION
·         INTEREST
·         DESIRE
·         ACTION
·         SATISFACTION
 
5 P’s

·         PICTURE
·         PROMISE
·         PROVE
·         PUSH
·         PREVAIL

The letter should be drafted in such a style as to hold the attention of the recipient at the outset  arouse his interest by giving interesting facts , create a desire in him to possess the article by stressing the selling points or advantage and end by bringing the desired action.
           
If these steps are taken and throughout the benefits are emphasized to customer, the final step of satisfaction will be automatically reached.

CONCLUSION 

We understood that direct mail means the letters of advertisement that are normally sent to our house. We have also seen the benefits and disadvantages. The various forms and formats of direct mail have also been discussed.

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

1.)    International Marketing Analysis And Strategy
·         Jhon J.Shaw

2.)    Advertising Management
·         U. C. Mathur

3.)    Advertising Principles And Practices
·         Wells William And Others

4.)    Advertising  Theory And Practice
·         Kim Rotzoll

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