Mailing Lists Do They Help
When it comes to marketing, there are lots of ways you can reach your target market. Social media is becoming the prevalent means of getting messages out and bringing in traffic to your site, and for even more targeted messaging you can of course have an email list people can sign up to from your site, or by handing in cards at your physical place of business (a method of gaining subscribers that works very well in restaurants and bars). These are really great approaches, and for many businesses they have completely replaced keeping records of potential customers' home addresses to send mailers through the post. So, are there any benefits to doing this anymore, or should you keep your contact with your audience purely digital?
There are a few drawbacks to doing marketing by physical mail, and it is best to address these first. First of all, naturally it costs a lot more than marketing via email, Twitter or Facebook, which ranges from 'cheap' to 'free' depending on what you do. You have to pay for postage, and of course design and print out the things you send, and so you may be limited by your budget in terms of how often you can mail things out. If you have email marketing and social media, you can send things out as often as you want.
Another drawback is that it is a one way form of communication. Your audience can read and absorb your message, but unlike with digital communications, they can't comment, reply, like or share them. This can actually be preferable with some things, for example if you just want to send out some news of an offer or an invitation to a sale and don't really want to get into dialog with hundreds of people about it, but it can be less engaging for other kinds of news.
A third drawback is that people can be more reluctant to give out their home addresses to subscribe to something than their email addresses, so you may find the only people you get on your mailing list are people you have already done business with, for example because you have sent them a product and they have checked to go on your mailing list with their order (as they had to give their address anyway).
There are, however, a few positives. For one thing, people receive less mail than they do email, and are therefore much more likely to pay attention when you contact them via the post. Additionally, if someone is interested enough in your business to give you their home address and allow you to send them things they can be considered warmer leads than your social media contacts or email subscribers.
Essentially, as long as you have a good strategy for what you send out and when and you use a cost effective commercial printing company, you can actually get a very good return on investment from mailers, but it is important to consider how you use them carefully.