9 Types of Direct Mail Advertising (With Examples)

Direct mail advertising is designed to “ask for the sale”. It is a kind of printed advertising carried on to have direct contact with customers through postal services. It brings personal delivery. It is normally read indoors.

types of direct mail advertising
types of direct mail advertising

It is the oldest medium of advertising. It is the way of sending sales messages directly to the customers through posts, salesmen or dealers, etc.

In other words, it refers to brochures, letters, postcards, and catalogs that are sent through the mail and are expected to bring an immediate sale or inquiry. It is a direct response advertising.

Types of Direct Mail Advertising

Some of the important media of direct mail advertising have been discussed below:

1. Post Cards

It is the widest form of direct mail advertising due to its high attention value and economy. It gets immediate attention.

Postcards are used to carry a brief message about the product.

Though economical, the message cannot be confidential.

2. Sales Letters

It is also the most widely used form. Sales letters are sent to induce potential customers to buy a particular product.

Their main objective is to arouse interest and create a desire for the product.

These sales letters are speedy, economical and effective in getting immediate action.

Related: 7 Types of Broadcast Media Advertising (With Examples).

3. Circulars

These contain several pages and desirable all details of a product.

These are printed on good paper wit photographs.

These are helpful in emphasizing product features.

4. Stuffers

It gives detailed specifications of a wide range of products.

It is a means to amplify the sales letter by providing illustrations.

5. Folders

It is bigger than an ordinary card. It can be conveniently folded.

It is made off the heavier stock of paper or cardboard.

Thus, it can be posted without an envelope. Folders are prepared in colors.

These are attractively designed to draw the immediate attention of potential customers.

6. Broadsides

These are giant-sized folders. These are designed to impress customers by their size, attractive colors, and illustrations.

They may contain the number of pages to describe the sales story. They aim at wholesalers and retailers.

They may be displayed in retail stores.

7. Catalogs and Booklets

These are illustrative price lists containing the price and features of products. Selling terms are also described in catalogs.

These are sent to business buyers and to customers who enquire about the goods.

Booklets contain helpful reference information, they tell about products of their features. Booklets are sent to usually bulk purchasers.

Related: 18 Aims and Objectives of Advertising (Explained).

8. House Organs

These company magazines are sent to wholesalers, retailers, salesmen, and prospective customers free of cost.

The main object behind a house organ is to increase the sales of the company’s goods by appealing to the customers.

9. Package Inserts

These are small leaflets used to encourage repeat purchases of the allied products.

For example, Colgate Palmolive company prints on the lap of the package” use Colgate brush for better results“.

Advantages of Direct Mail Advertising

advantages and disadvantages of direct mail advertising
advantages of direct mail advertising

Following are the merits of direct mail advertising:

  1. A personal relationship with customers can be maintained.
  2. Detailed information can be conveyed.
  3. The effectiveness of this advertisement can be measured.
  4. It is highly selective. The advertiser can select those persons who are prospective customers for these products.
  5. It is elastic. The producer is free to add or delete names as he chooses. He is free to select right from an ordinary envelope to any costly catalogs.
  6. It maintains privacy. The advertiser can keep his promotional programs secret. Here, he is able to keep his competitors in the dark.
  7. It can be released at the right time according to market situations.
  8. It is specific and punctual. There is better control of the distribution of the materials.

Related: 9 Different Types of Display Advertising (With Examples).

Disadvantages of Direct Mail Advertising

  1. In drafting mail, specialized skill is needed.
  2. It is difficult to main an up to date mailing list.
  3. It is less effective. In many cases, it is thrown into a trash basket after a hasty glance.
  4. It is costlier to reach a thousand people.
  5. Among some people, direct mail has a poor reputation. It is referred to as “Junk” mail.
  6. If the mailing list is not carefully selected, there may be low readership and interest.

Thus, now you know the types of direct mail advertising.


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