Advertising plays an important role in marketing services or products of companies. Advertising is the art of sending a message, which has been paid for and as a rule is attractive to potential clients on goods, services or opinions communicated by promoters using different media of communication ( Taflinger 7).
Mail advertising is a form of advertising that uses direct mail to send messages to the potential customer or company. The message is intended to reach definite target audience. Direct-mail advertising or simply mail advertising is intended to generate a response from the communique.
For example, an order had been made, appealing for donor aid to support an initiative, an appeal for additional information, or a scheduled time to a place of production or commerce. The success of mail advertising is heavily dependent on a well-organized postal corporation.
Direct-mail advertising encompasses the use of fliers, mail, brochures, reprints, circulars, and any material that is send through the post. As a business, when utilizing this critical advertising medium, particular consumers or buyers of your service or product can be identified with selection, moreover, the outcomes can, with no doubt, be calculated with regard to costs that are used per order or costs per response.
Nevertheless, a direct-mail promotion that produces as modest as 5% as in rejoinder is generally taken to be a big achievement. Besides targeting the customer, the power of mail advertising is that differences in the proffer and bid can simply be put to test; in addition, there are hardly any restrictions with respect to the content or the format of the message.
Practically, each and every kind of business venture can effectively make use of mail advertising. In the USA, it was documented in the year 1998 that mail advertising was the biggest sole means, with cost averaging over $39 billion, or over 33% of the entire nations advertising budgets, and was projected to continue rising at 7.1% per annum.
Clients and companies expended in surplus of over $400 billion in reaction to mail advertising in 1997. Therefore, we can undoubtedly say that mail advertising is barely the sole advertising medium that is likely to get the message to nearly all US families.
How Mail Advertising works
As already mentioned, direct mail advertising is a campaign system whereby companies or individuals send promotional letters, brochures, fliers or communication straight to the consumer. Direct mail is an exceptional combination of marketing and sales. At times, it is also known as direct advertising or direct response advertising.
As the name suggests, mail advertising is a promotional communication which is dropped at potential consumers’ desk by mail. The mail is then opened one by one, and last but not least the message is read. Mailing directly to the clients is a technique of advertising whereby advertisers send print adverts, correspondence or any other solicitations to various categories of customers.
This type of solicitation is applicable in a range of diverse scenarios; the mind of the advertiser is the primary limit of the technique. The phrase mail advertising is thought to have been formerly utilized in1961 in a verbal communication by Lester Wunderman, who first used direct mail advertising techniques with brand names like American Express and Columbia Records. There are two major characteristics that differentiate direct mail advertising from other kinds of promotion or advertising.
Firstly, it is a profitable communication (mail, electronic -mail, tele-marketing) with customers or dealings, more often than voluntary. This characteristic of direct mail advertising involves emphasizing on definite, quantifiable positive reception or correspondence from clients irrespective of the channel employed in delivering the message medium.
The most widespread form of mail advertising is direct mail often known as junk mail-employed by advertisers who mail letters to every clientele who have postal address or to everyone who is on a their directory. While most advertisers are fond of this technique of promotion, a number of direct advertising efforts have been condemned for generating unnecessary solicitations.
A clique of customers are challenging this form, citing confidentiality and ecological issues, which direct marketers, are capable of providing by utilizing “opt out” inventory option. Direct mail advertising is among the most quantifiable means of advertising.
It is gorgeous to scores of dealers, since in most instances its upbeat result can be measured. Up till now, when Information technology came into being, the acid test of Advertising Executives is to be able to track direct advertising responses and appraising outcomes. Generally, it is believed that the message is likely to auger well when the response tool is separated from newspapers, than a section of the leaflet or correspondence.
A critical component of the marketers direct junk mail piece is the response system. Consider this scenario: if a company mails over a million letters by post, and nine thousand clients can be identified as having responded to the advertising, the company can confidently proclaim that the promotion responses are linked to the direct marketing.
On the other hand, appraising of other channels ought not to be direct, because there is no direct reaction from a customer. In junk mail advertising, it is possible to code a marketer’s mail to establish the precise number of replies he/she got from every promotion. Today, many direct marketers have resorted to mail advertising.
In despite of the skyrocketing prices of postage stamps, mail advertising remains a vibrant, resourceful advertising technique and is the commonly employed advertising channel, and its attractiveness keeps on changing day by day (Gina 1).
The Advantages of Mail Advertising
The merits of junk mail advertising are myriad. This unique technique of advertising presents to both big and small business with the capacity to advertise their services or goods to particular and definite customers or clientele at sensible prices. These are the advantages:
First, mail advertising is physically delivered to clients or customers desk. In case the advert captures his/her interest, the client can keep or save it and respond to it later at his discretion. By contrast, radio and TV adverts demand customers to remember the good, service or business in future and heavily depends on the clients’ ability of reminiscence. For example, many times people have imagined this, “That’s a fantastic service.
I’llll consider that,” just to fade away in 30 seconds soon after the advert is over. Or maybe the client memorized the manufactured goods and the advert but cannot recollect minor particulars such as the mobile phone or telephone numbers or probably the location of the business organization (Deiterich Ann).
Second, mail adverts target specific audience. Direct marketers mostly identify specific audiences for their products or services. This is not true or television and radio adverts. The message is send out to hundreds of thousands or even billions, however, the direct mailer exercises no control over who ultimately has heard or seen the adverts.
The recipients of the communication perhaps could be advertisers’ perfect customers or they could just find the information less attractive. Mail advertising, on the contrary, can be directed to marketers’ ideal customers.
Direct mailers can come up with mailing directories depending on the population characteristics or even psychographic data they have. For example, it bits logic to advertise farm produce to athletes. This does not make sense because their interest might be a bit different from the farmers’ interests. In other words, knowing your ideal audience is huge boost- mail advertising offers this.
Third, direct mail enjoys the advantage of customized message. The aspect customization has been made possible by the developments in computer technology, especially the developments in digital printing. This technology has enabled direct mailers to customize their message so that it suits specific audience and target the right audience. Apart from creating ads that are customized, audience specific, digital printing enables direct mailers to create additional mailing information such as the audience addresses.
Having such data in the databases of mailers, coupled with modern print technologies, they are capable of customizing the message to every addressee and scale up or improve their advertising. For instance, farmers and fishermen require special inputs to boost their activities. Having such information in mailing databases, marketers can develop customized messages for the two and advertise to them saved in the related mailing.
Fourth, mail advert is faster to generate. Direct mailers are able to plan, organize and send any advertisement quickly. The time taken can range from several days or weeks as opposed to months. This advantage makes mail advertising, just right for evaluating prices, titles, promotions, and prospective target audience. More detailed and well organized targeted advertisements often take much longer time to plan, however, they normally need a shorter lead time compared with conventional methods.
Fifth, the response rate is rapid. As was already aforementioned, advertising through mail is faster to plan and organize, in addition to being quicker; on average, the response time is faster. Hence, the marketer is in a position to prospect the ultimate outcomes of a mailing swiftly and precisely compared to other conventional advertising.
Sixth, it is less expensive, particularly for minor trials. Applying electronic machines such as computers, one is capable of designing marketing advert sales mails. Dealers who have used this system can attest to this advantage of direct mail marketing. Customized adverting has been done with cost being only that of postage stamps and sending envelopes for the mails (Deiterich Ann).
Seventh, direct mail rarely needs more resources in terms of the time in designing the letters or correspondence. In simple terms the method is less time consuming. A uniform or identical mail designed (correspondence, response card, directory or flyer, and return envelope) is not hard to plan and generate compared to a publication advertisement or audio-visual commercial.
Eighth, mail advert is capable of targeting as well as reaching nearly every customer or clientele. The advertising company or dealer can segment the market based on the user profile, the geographical location one deems is suitable for the product or service. The method allows sellers to select their prospective buyers, hence, choose their letters or brochures more cautiously. This is almost impossible with other media. But this does not completely rule out other media as obsolete in advertising.
Ninth, it reaches to wider audiences. Mail advertising enables one to reach out to the customers perceived to be inaccessible. Using this model approach, it is much easier to sent convincing messages to clients who cannot be reached by any other medium of communication or marketing. For example, Rodale Press sold more than million copies of their books stocks, thanks to the efforts of mail advertising.
Tenth, the medium is flexible. Once a promotion is tested, a company can modify nearly everything immediately. You do not need to wait for any changes to be made. Change is instant. The point is that marketers have ultimate power over the channel, the addressees, and the promotion (Sunanda 2).
Eleventh, the method is detailed. The technique permits promoters to enclose more and more information to send in single envelope, which is hard to accomplish with any other media of advertising. All this can be achieved within a span of five to almost one hour for the print and audio-visual means (Sunanda 2).
Twelfth, direct mail has few competitors. Mail advertising rarely competes with other advertising information. Nonetheless, editorial issues cannot crop up. For example, when a mail has been read, it is difficult to compete with other rivals. Moreover, junk mail is more personalized. Mail-merging procedures allow one to personalize mails and use less formal communication in drafting a mail. The mail can address the exact areas that interest the audience.
Thirteenth, it helps to generate an inventory of clients who are loyal to the company products or services. Junk mail enables one to generate and keep a record of primary projection for his/her potential clients for services and products. Indeed, it is easier to respond to mail advertising. For example, when a company includes an invoice or a return envelope, this relives the customer the burden of responding to the advert. Finally, can be kept for future reference, used as a test tool and changes can be made.
In summary, the lower expense incurred in mail advertising is a key boost to this tool of marketing. Furthermore, compared to any media of advertising, the costs can be minimized.
Apart from the lower price per mail, the overall expenses can be restricted to any costs by limiting or increasing the volumes of mails. The fee of individual mailings can maintained low by putting huge orders or reuse similar mailer for several mail adverts. The lead time for design to production is a critical factor in achieving the objectives of mailings too.
Direct mails can also be employed to carry out a research on an existing or potential product in the marketplace. As aforementioned, the cost is not a limiting factor like any other kind of advertising. Coupled with the capabilities to modify the “promotion” to suit the client and to segregate a variety of segments of the populace, mail marketing can offer valuable statistics for scheduling future mails and other kinds of future advertising (Bizinfonetwork 3).
Disadvantages of mail advertising
Marketing experts have opted for direct mail advertising as their principal advertising tool. Conversely, other external forces have forced them to adopt other media of advertising. Organizations appear to be skeptical on the cost in millions of pounds that are believed to be wasted on mail advertising with no invaluable sales being realized.
Nowadays, the major undoing of using junk mail is the exorbitant money and timing of the mailings. Let us examine the major drawbacks of junk mail. First, mail advert is seen as junk mail. When prospective clients view direct mails as junk, the chances of the mails achieving objectives are slim or zero. Therefore, when people receive promotional ads in their mail, they are bound and delete or discard them almost instantly even prior to opening the letter.
Second, it is theorized that there are more than enough mails or brochures sent via post, hence, the possibility of throwing away or ignoring the mail advert are very high. Keeping this in mind, an individual mail sent cannot bring any tangible result. It is imperative to have multiple or more offers and promotions to eliminate this major setback.
Thirdly, costs can be exorbitant too. Even though the costs can be a benefit on one hand, the prices can also become too much especially if the direct mailer introduces creativity or becomes a spendthrift. In order to counter this drawback, the mailer should strike a balance between expenses and creativity.
Being creative can be attractive to prospective clients; however, it must be approached with much caution. It is a fundamental aspect of the subject to introducing an unbeaten junk mail advertising promotion (Bizinfonetwork 2).
Fourthly, a lot of resources must be allocated in the maintaining the lists, because the ability of this type of marketing achieving the objective heavily depends on the worth of the marketers mailing register (Bizinfonetwork 3).
Fifthly, generating junk mail resources calls for increased expenses in terms of making use of different experts; one will need copywriters, artists, photographers, printers, and so forth and so on. This eventually raises the costs, based on the market segment, or the quality of the catalog and size of the promotion.
In the long run, the price tag per thousand is bound to be much higher compared to the other conventional advertising tools like TV, radio, newspapers, billboards or any mass media. Even though, this method minimizes the level of wastage, to some, junk mail is wastage. Huge volumes of paper are discarded.
Lastly, the approach is prone to the threat of alienation. A number of customers or clients dislike direct advertising being “coerced” on them, and shun away from businesses that employ this technique of advertising. Besides, some customers go an extra mile by resorting to court Orders restraining enterprises from mailing to them materials they deem disgusting.
Advertising with junk mail is promising and vibrant in spite of the ever increasing shift to more advanced forms like the Internet, social marketing, and televised advertising.
This is evident particularly with the mails that fill people’s inbox and mail boxes almost on fortnight or monthly. To that note, it is paramount to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of mail advertising in order to find out if it is perfect for a particular business venture.
Junk mail functions as a target salesperson. Many marketing experts reckon that response advertising gains the top notch effect. There are numerous explanations why people opt for mail advertising. One of the reasons why businesses go for direct mail is to promotion of commodities.
Usually, a business is likely to bring in an aspect of rush into its brand when it is offering at an exceptional price or service. A major setback to this unique way of advertising is that junk mail in juxtaposition with a time-conscious advertising is that several of the specific consumer addresses may be inaccurate or most of the people may not collect the mails.
In conclusion, in most cases, most people rarely check their junk directly, reserving it for another day. Lastly, businesses mail are direct because of the proclaiming a change in commodities to the clients. This information normally reaches the recipients in a more formal way and elaborates how the commodity has been altered (Gina 1).
Bizinfonetwork, Media Advantages and Disadvantages. Accessed on 2 March 2012 from
Deiterich Ann, Advantages & Disadvantages of Direct Mailers Accessed on 2 March 2012 from
Gina Rugusa, The Disadvantages of Direct Mail Advertising. 1999. Accessed on 2 March 2012 from
Sunanda Chavan, Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Mail, 2010 Accessed on 2 March 2012 from
Taflinger Richard, A Definition of Advertising, 1996. Accessed on 2 March 2012 from