Unaddressed AdMail: Old School?

August 2, 2011

SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Networking, and Google AdWords - some of the most talked about topics in marketing in the last 5 years. Remember “direct mail”? Is it still effective?

Perhaps not as sexy in name as the electronic terminology mentioned above, but direct mail has been a workhorse at getting people to pick up the phone and call. Not only does it allow you to target specific geographical areas but it also allows you to spend as much or as little as you like over any given period of time. Canada Post, to the surprise of most, offers some fantastic tools that allow you to target any neighborhood you want. 

Here’s just one example showing just how specific you can get in your targeting:

Branding in Nanaimo with GeoPost

You’ve started a new business in Nanaimo and you want to introduce your business to everyone, well, almost everyone. Your product is really targeted towards higher income people who have homes built in the last 10 years, just in Nanaimo. You submit this request to Canada Post (with the help of a Canada Post representative to whom you would be assigned) and they crunch the numbers, give you the postal walks (neighborhoods) that best meet these criteria, and bingo, you get a weighted average of homes that best match your request.  

How does Canada Post know this information? Through the sharing of information with Census Canada, of course. Yes, even Canada Post knows about you.

“I never read that crap; I just throw it straight in the garbage”. Well, some people read it, and on average the response rate is 2-3%. 2 or 3 people out of 100 will take action after receiving your direct mail piece. 
Like the Yellow Pages and newspapers, the older demographic still responds to this medium. These are the folks that drink their coffee at a table compared to those who drink theirs in a car or while walking. This is the demographic that has time to sit down and read the paper and sift through their mail and they’re used to finding buying opportunities within it. While the rest of us rely on a screen to find what we are looking for, the older generation is still reliant on and trusting of these paper-based mediums, the ones they have grown up with.

Overall I’d have to say that Unaddressed Ad Mail (general delivery to mail boxes and no stamp required – around $.14/piece delivered plus printing) is a cost-effective means to get the phone to ring. The tangibility of this tool is the main reason it’s successful in my opinion – people have to touch it and look at it even it’s only for a split second and even if they are moving it from their hand to the recycle bin. Combined with Radio, TV, or internet marketing, I truly believe this old school medium to be one of the best returns-on-investment (if not the best) out there still. 

Better Mousetrap Marketing is a full-service marketing agency serving Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, Nanaimo, Parksville and Victoria, BC. We also have clients in the Lower Mainland, BC. As a full-service marketing company, we design, produce and prepare unaddressed admail campaigns for our clients.

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