If two words that send Direct Mail marketers into a panic, it’s these two: junk mail. Nobody wants their campaigns to be in the same league as spam. Unfortunately, many marketers and advertisers throw around the words “direct mail” and “junk mail” interchangeably. Because of this, many people who aren’t already using direct mail campaigns are scared to give it a try.
We don’t want you to fear direct mail; we want you to see just how impactful it can be for your business. However, we also don’t want you to throw together a campaign that has any junk mail traits. To steer you in the right direction, we’re explaining the key differences between direct and junk mail. Keep reading so that you can successfully execute campaigns without a single doubt.
Junk Mail Is Random, Direct Mail Is Targeted
Direct mail is only successful with a targeted mailing list. Any direct mail piece could be viewed as spam if sent to the wrong consumer. Companies that send out junk mail don’t take the time to buy a quality data list, segment it, and make sure that mailers are only sent to their target audience. Instead, they buy low-quality lists and send mailers to as many people as possible. They have a go big or go home mentality and think that reaching a huge audience is the best way to increase their chances for generating responses. Direct mail marketers have an understanding of their consumer base, and only send mail to people who meet that criteria. Instead of reaching the masses, their mailers reach people who are in need of their product or service.
Junk Mail Is Generic, Direct Mail Is Personal
A consumer knows a mailer is spam just by looking at the envelope. A legitimate direct mail piece is addressed to the recipient. Junk mail, on the other hand, is addressed to “Homeowner” or “Current Resident.” Personalization is key in direct mail, as it makes the recipient more likely to trust your company and read the mailer. Consumers like to feel appreciated, and writing their name on the envelope is a personal touch that will set your mail piece apart from your competitors.
Junk Mail Is Gimmicky, Direct Mail Is Authentic
Copy on junk mail always sounds misleading and too good to be true. Often the advertiser will use phrases such as, “Our lowest markdown EVER,” “Special offer just for you,” and other slogans that sound like scams. Your prospects are intelligent and simply won’t buy those false claims. Direct mail copy should explain the offer and the value it adds to the consumer’s life. A good offer doesn’t need a snake oil salesman pitch; it just needs to be well-written in an honest tone.
Junk Mail Is Abrasive, Direct Mail Is Convincing
You’ve probably seen spam mail that has headlines that read “Urgent! Read immediately!” or have multiple exclamation points. Chances are, you didn’t enjoy reading these mailers because it felt like it was yelling at you to take action. The goal of any direct mail campaign is to drive action and get people to respond. Direct mail generates responses because of an enticing offer and a strong CTA. Pressuring people to read or respond isn’t necessary, and will only make people discard your mailer instead of taking the time to read it.
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