To misuse a famous Mark Twain quote, reports of direct mail's death have been greatly exaggerated.

While bright young things are dashing around in a frenzy over social media (because it's...like...new..duh!), many experienced and successful business owners are continuing to use direct mail.

Indeed, in our business we have seen an increase in requests for help with mailings. Some clients are saying forget email, just make me a newsletter for printing.

Here are some ways to use direct mail newsletters.

Send your newsletter to your client list

Sending newsletters to your client list is the cheapest, easiest and probably the most effective way to use direct mail.

It's cheap because you are probably not mailing thousands of copies, and yet it's effective because you are sending to people who are already proven buyers.

If you have anything - anything at all - extra to sell to your clients, then it makes sense to keep in touch with them.

For example, if you are a real estate agent who would like a second listing from a client, or an insurance agent who would like to write a second policy (or continue to collect residuals on your existing policies), then it's a no brainer to mail to your client list.

And because (generally) printed newsletters have a better return on investment than email, it makes sense to send your clients something in the mail.

What to do: mail to your clients every month, using bulk mail (if you have more than 250) or first class mail. If you have a small number (around 100), mail them from your office in an envelope. Ask us for a printing and mailing quote.

Send newsletters to leads

If you're always collecting leads (which you should!), it is usually worth sending a printed newsletter to them. However, I always advise people to qualify leads and spend the most on those who are most qualified. Be very aware of the characteristics and behaviors of your ideal clients and spend the most marketing to those people.

Your most recent leads are also worth investing in. People are "hottest" when they first contact you; a cold lead who has taken no action over the months is less worth investing in.

What to do: mail to your leads every month using direct mail, but be very aware of lead quality and behavior and adjust your mailings accordingly. Ask us for a printing and mailing quote.

Send newsletters to potential leads

Until now, I have been skeptical about using newsletters to send to cold prospects. Unless you have a very well targeted database of mailing addresses, you can end up spending a lot of money on printing and mailing without having the results to justify that expense.

However, new products from the post office have made the cost of mailing more affordable.

In the US, the USPS recently launched Every Door Direct Mail, which is a way to send to a group of addresses for a very low price. You can find out more about that and similar products at https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm. In Canada, look into Unaddressed Admail: https://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/business/productsservices/marketing/unaddressedadmail.jsf.

What to do: if your potential clients live in certain geographical areas, consider using these methods of mailing newsletters. Customize your newsletter to include information that is relevant to these areas and to the needs of clients who live in these areas.

Send custom and unusual newsletters

While it's true that printed newsletters can attract attention (and thereby clients) better than other methods, you can go further and really stand out.

We've recently been working with clients to produce truly custom newsletters, either in format or in content. For example, we've helped a real estate agent produce a newsletter for a particular condo in her city in order to attract listings from just that building; we are helping another agent become an expert in his neighborhood by producing a newsletter with market stats and listings. We are also working with clients in a variety of industries to make newsletters about their industry - positioning these clients as true experts.

And newsletters needn't be your standard 8.5" x 11" size. We've recently quoted on producing a newspaper for a client (we'd be perfect to make this, with my background in newspapers and my access to newspaper designers and printers). What better way to stand out?

Basically, we can do whatever you imagine.

What to do: consider how you can make the most of direct mail newsletter. Talk to us to see how we can help you. Contact Frank Barbieri at frank@readytogonewsletters.com or at 877-976-6368.

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