While some businesses see direct mail marketing as a thing of the past, the numbers speak differently. A study done by Marketing Sherpa revealed that 76% of consumers trust direct mail when purchasing. Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, as compared to only 20% of emails. Also, modern direct mail strategies use variable data printing technology for personalization and hyper-targeting that is measurable. Additionally, response rates can be as high as 30% on mailings of just 2,500 hyper-targeted pieces. Even though it costs more than digital advertising, direct mail outperforms digital advertising for its tangible capabilities and personal engagement qualities.
Starting a direct mail business requires a few steps and tips to become successful. These steps include:
1. Understanding print marketing in today’s marketing strategies
Print marketing should be a part of any multichannel marketing plan. Surviving the deluge of digital marketing, by remaining true to itself, print marketing has evolved from a general way to reach people that wasn’t measurable, to a highly effective touchpoint in the customer journey that can be personalized and measured. Direct mail marketing is the starting point for many online shopping journeys because:
- A physical piece of advertising that consumers can hold in their hands provides a welcome relief from the onslaught of digital advertising. There’s less competition for consumers’ attention in the personalized print advertising market, print advertising generates a higher response rate than email marketing does.
- Augmented reality enhancements, such as QR codes are changing the face of print marketing, as more consumers expect it and want to engage with it in their online shopping journeys.
Once you have decided the direct mail business is a good fit for you, should you purchase a franchise or create your own brand? MoneyMailer franchises offers turnkey opportunities to get your direct mail business up and running in a fraction of the time it takes to start a direct mail business from scratch. With tried and true processes and the infrastructure of a successful brand in place, franchise partners can focus on growing their businesses instead of creating a new brand. However, if you must, here’s how to start a direct mail business.
2. Business plan
Before you get started in any business, it is advisable to know if your business is feasible or not. There are factors involved in determining if your business will be viable and successful. These include:
Direct mail is one of the most profitable and effective ways to reach out to new and existing clients, and the capital to get your direct mail business up and running is less than other businesses. Once you have a business plan in place, raising the necessary capital to support your new venture can involve:
- Applying for business grants
- Applying for a business loan from your bank
- Raising capital from investors and business partners
- Selling shares to interested investors
- Selling personal stocks and properties
- Using personal savings
- Sourcing loans from your family and friends
The direct mail business is unique and different from all other forms of advertising because it allows you to communicate one-on-one with your target audience.
Who do you see as your target audience for the print mail services you are offering? Will the majority of your clients need B2B marketing, or will your potential customers largely consist of businesses targeting consumers or B2C clients? Generally, consumer demographics are broken down into age groups and often income focused groups.
Targeted mailing lists
For many businesses, their customer base can give them a solid foundation for their direct mail database, as long as they keep good records and update their CRM files often. Businesses can also collect more info from their databases using surveys and other data collecting methods. In order to market to potential customers, businesses need accurate mailing lists from various databases that reflect their goals in a direct marketing plan. Acquiring or developing databases of targeted people for a particular business will give you an edge on your competition.
Before you start your direct mail business, research your competition. Find out who their clients are and if your area can support another direct mail business, although you can establish customers anywhere on the globe, in time. Starting a direct mail business from scratch can prove successful, if you don’t need a lot of structure or capital to create your own brand.
3. Create your own brand
A memorable name that reflects your brand is essential, along with an attention-getting logo and content that clearly explains your services to potential customers. Your website should include CTAs and/or offer an incentive to potential customers, such as a discount on first orders or coupons to use whenever customers want to. Your corporate identity should reflect your brand in choice of fonts, colors, and logo design.
4. Legal requirements
In addition to your business plan, in order to get your direct mail business up and running, certain legal documents are required including:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License and Certification
- LLC Operating Agreement
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement
- Insurance Policies
- Consulting contract documents
- VAT Registration
- Federal tax identification number
To solidify your credibility and professional stance in the direct mail industry, it helps to acquire education and certification as a Certified Direct Mail Professional.
6. Intellectual Property
As a direct mail business, you may not need to protect anything other than your logo and name as intellectual property. Apply for trademark/ intellectual property protection, at www.USPTO.gov.
Promoting your direct mail business is important to establishing and growing your brand. You can do this by advertising in publications your likely customers read as well as promoting on social media.
MoneyMailer franchises offer a low-cost way to start your own home-based direct mail business, taking advantage of the effectiveness of direct mail combined with convenience of digital advertising methods to help you market like a professional to local, small businesses in your area. Contact MoneyMailer to learn more about joining our team of marketing pros that help grow local businesses.