The Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Mail

The advantages of direct mail advertising are many. Direct mail offers both large and small companies the ability to market their services or products to specific and defined markets at a reasonable price. Coupons or special offers can be offered to a company’s client list or potential client list. Alternatively, mailing lists segregated by many types of demographics can be purchased from various sources. The costs of direct mail are a major advantage as well. When compared to other mediums of advertising the price tag can be kept relatively low. In addition to low per copy costs, the total expenditure can be limited to any budget by reducing or expanding the number of mailings. The price of individual mailings can be kept low by ordering in bulk and reusing the same mailer for multiple mailings. Turnaround time for design to production is a key component to the success of direct mailings as well. The process can be as short as 1 to 2 months, which allows a time sensitive opportunity to be taken advantage of before it passes. Direct mailings can also be used to research a current or potential niche in the market.

As mentioned before the price is not as restrictive as with other types of advertising. Combined with the abilities to manipulate the “offer” to fit the customer and to isolate various segments of the population, direct mailings can provide invaluable data for planning future mailings as well as other types of future marketing. Some disadvantages of direct mailings include the fact that many people view direct mailings as junk mail. Also, there is no shortage of competing articles arriving by mail, so the advertisement may easily be overlooked or discarded. This fact makes the likelihood of a single mailing less probable. A longer more sustained campaign may be necessary to garner the desired results. Price can be prohibitive as well. Although the costs can be an advantage, they could also become excessive the more creative and extravagant the mailer. The balance between costs versus creativity is a crucial part of the equation to launching a successful direct mail advertising campaign.