Direct mail flyers aren't as common as they used to be, but this is no reason for a small business to eliminate them from its list of tried-and-true marketing techniques. The truth is, the decline in companies using the tactic makes it all the more likely that your flyer will stand out when it reaches the right consumer. This gives a business more bang for its buck than would have been gotten by trying to break through the tidal wave of Internet advertising on major websites.

However, the question remains – how does one know that their direct mailing will be effective? Using these simple tips, an organization can maximize this affordable technique and come out on top of the competition.

Target the marketing material to your ideal customer
Entrepreneur contributor Al Lautenslager wrote a bevy of tips for those hoping to maximize the effectiveness of their direct marketing campaign, the most important of which is appealing to the company's demographic of choice. Most marketing campaigns make it their priority to do research on what corner of society (gender, age bracket, race) their product or service most appeal{s} to, then identify what imagery and techniques speak to those individuals the most.

Lautenslager suggested giving customers an incentive for engaging with the direct mail campaign by attaching a product coupon or offering a continued customer discount. The savings component will make your logo jump off the page and will make consumers pay attention to the remainder of what's listed on the flyer.

If the company is still not sure about what its demographic responds to, it may be in its best interest to survey existing customers for their marketing triggers and what they feel makes for a trustworthy flyer. Above all, an organization wants to avoid having its copy look "spammy" – that is, underdeveloped and without a specific point of view.

Produce a well-developed list of leads to send materials to

Though there can be some positive yield from casting a wide net from a marketing perspective, direct mail flyers aren't the area to use this technique. Ultimately, it will result in a great deal of thrown away material and money lost when one optimistically sends a flyer to someone who simply isn't interested.

According to the Experian marketing blog, there are three types of direct mailing lists that a company can develop:

  • specialty list, which allows an organization to locate its"target audience"
  • custom mailing list, which allows the brand to narrow down those who receive flyers by their individualized needs, and
  • cloned list, a technique that allows businesses to find customers similar to the ones they currently have.

When launching the campaign, an organization must have a clear idea of who it is trying to reach – is it a new customer who hasn't heard of the product or service? An existing customer they are trying to engage with to foster continued patronage? The answer to these questions will inform what the marketing looks like and who it ultimately should reach.