We see much less of “junk” mail these days. Digital marketing has largely taken over, save where retail catalogs and niche publications are concerned. But direct mail can still be a cost-effective way to get your message out, especially when your offer is highly specific (e.g. a complimentary consultation for a limited period of time).
As for the format, I prefer postcards for consumer prospects, as they are entirely visible to the recipient and does not involve an “open rate” unlike marketing collateral mailed in envelopes. They are also generally cheaper to print and mail – bulk mail postage (USPS) usually starts around a minimum quantity of a few hundred. And there are many vendors (including some that I use regularly) who can provide excellent economies of scale. If you do it right, mailing a single postcard can cost you less than $1 in printing and postage costs.
Of course, the challenge lies in the limited space for your copy content, and having eye-catching graphics (as regards this, I highly recommend using your photograph which pulls the reader’s eye and which has a humanizing effect). And of course, your call-to-action (e.g. “Book your 1-hour complimentary consultation now at our website www.aptomarketing.com”) should be specific, provide a valuable benefit and and is easy to execute.
Direct mail only ever really works when you’ve done it at least a couple of times. I would recommend at least three mailings, a rule of thumb for what it takes to get results. Your recipients often need to see your marketing piece a few times before they register its contents. Industry standards vary, but generally, a 1% response rate can be considered fairly decent.
But remember also that as always, the quality of leads count – can you nurture that lead and convert it into a valuable connection i.e. the person or business becomes a client, and can provide repeat business from time to time, as well as referrals.
(For some ideas on what you could mail to potential clients, see Apto’s portfolio).