Step 1: Understanding the Market and Your Audience 

For several years now, direct mail has taken a back seat to email – at least, that’s the popular belief. While our customers have continued to succeed with direct mail in spite of the rise of digital communications, it’s true that the volume of mail has decreased. At the same time, the volume of email has increased – exponentially. Because email is so cheap, marketers have been sending it out with little regard to purpose or efficacy. For most consumers, that has caused a serious case of inbox overload; and now, many people feel the same way about email as they used to about direct mail – most of it goes into junk.

For direct mail marketers, this represents a great opportunity to really stand out in a physical mailbox that is not nearly as full as it used to be. (We guess that’s why so many young people – yes, young people – report that they really enjoy getting mail.)

Still, in order for a direct marketing campaign to be successful, it has to be done right. This article is the first in a seven-part series where you’ll learn how to make direct mail an integral part of your sales program.

Step 1: Get to know your audience and your market

In order to successfully sell through direct mail, you must understand your audience. Who is your audience? (What is the demographic you are targeting – homeowners, households with small children, professionals, stay-at-home parents?) What does your audience want/ need? What can your audience afford? 

Once you have that information you can create a mailer that caters to – and will resonate with – your audience. Let’s say you own a company that sells life insurance. You have a much larger demographic, but you want to target people who need insurance most or people who may need more information about the process of buying insurance. That may include people who got married within the past year, people over a certain age, or new homeowners.

You also need to know your market. Who else is providing the same or similar products or services? What are they charging? How are they marketing? For example, if you own an indoor trampoline park and you are running special summer promotions, your audience could be households with children and young adults. By comparing your prices to other similar companies you can offer your prospects a rate that is fair and affordable. 

Without getting to know your audience and your market you could end up spending much more time and money than necessary by sending out mailers to people who don’t need and won’t buy what you’re selling, and/or by sending out mailers that can’t compete with what your competitors are offering, or how they’re offering it. By having a complete understanding of your market and audience you can develop direct mail that attracts your demographic and make it easy for them to take advantage of what you provide.

For more on how to sell through direct mail marketing, stay tuned for step 2 in next month’s newsletter. Until then, we are available online at or by phone at 1-866-665-2787.