Although direct mail marketing in the age of the internet is less productive than it used to be ... there are still times when such an approach can be productive for small business. That said ... here's a few tips for those small businesses using this approach ....
* Get a good mailing list. You can buy lists, but by the time you get it they're usually old and stale. Rather invest time in list building - using google, yellow pages, linked in and networking. Yes it takes longer but you can target your list better.
* You need a name. Any letter addressed to the Managing Director and starting "Dear Sir" will go straight into the bin at reception and not make it as far as the target executive's desk.
* A well crafted and presented letter. If you are going to spend out on direct mail then don't waste your money by having a bad letter. If you can't afford a copywriter, get someone with an English degree to proof read it. Get your staff and partners to read it and comment on it. Think short sentances, short words, no Jargon and interesting for the reader. It should have a hook that engages the readers attention. and write something that is simple, dont use jargon. Read it out loud to yourself and check it makes sense. Maybe use a graphic designer, definitely use good quality headed paper or glossy paper if its a leaflet.
* Follow up. If you can follow up your letter with a phone call then do. If you can follow up by meeting them at a networking event then do that.
* Persistance. You might need to send as many as 7 or 8 letters - different letters! Before you get a result. But each letter needs to be of interest, so send newsletters, special offers, top tips, special invitations, etc.
* Patience. There isn't a silver bullet or magic wand that will make your marketing work. Expect your marketing campaign to take 6 months to show results.
Feel free to comment on the tips as presented ... or contribute your own.