Oct 15 2008

The Failures of Direct Mail: How to Burn Through a Chunk of your Marketing Budget

Category: pay-per-click advertisingJon Davis

As a marketer I am constantly evaluating how companies are attempting to market their products and services as I go throughout my day.  Sometimes I am impressed, more often I am amazed at how basic common sense and simple marketing logic is disregarded by companies.  In these times of increased economic concerns I just don’t understand how these companies don’t see that they could use their marketing budget more effectively.

So-Called “Value” Packs
Let’s look at one example that I recently came across.  The other day in the mail I received one of those Valpaks, which is basically an envelope packed with various coupons for local businesses and restaurants.  While sifting through the coupons I noticed a lot of the coupons are for things like handyman services, house painting, air-duct cleaning services, etc.  I found this strange because I live in a rented property and I have a handyman provided by my landlord that does all these things free of charge.  Then, I thought back to when I was living in a large apartment complex and received the same flyers along with the other hundreds of people who lived in the complex and had free maintenance services provided to them.  It hit me that these companies offering their home maintenance services were paying to be included in these mailings and their coupons were probably being sent to thousands of people who under no circumstance would ever use their services because they already get them for free.  As an internet marketer, naturally, I began to compare the direct mail campaigns to online paid search campaigns.

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