Sometimes it pays not to follow the crowd…

but fortunately for you, it’s your turn to lead.

Here’s how.

Overall, the direct marketing mail business is reporting that the volume of mail pieces is still down. Granted, they may never gain the record volumes of direct marketing mail achieved in the early 2000’s, but smart marketers realize direct mail has advantages which are overlooked by others.

For example, I see this great wisdom – as a sign of better planning and direct mail deployment. The reason for my belief – is a direct marketing strategy used to solve a company’s toughest marketing problems.

The strategy means mailing an optimal amount of mail pieces to reach a company’s toughest prospects who are the best-qualified. In other words, a mailing which includes good, viable, tested, proven, verified, and qualified prospects.

This idea is worth your time in direct marketing planning.

If you are a marketing manager today you are under tremendous pressure to generate results. You may have annual quotas, quarterly goals and an increase in competition.

I hear these challenges all the time from small biz managers and owners. And I say, “you must mail smart.” Eliminate extraneous or questionable prospects from your data base. For example, eliminate people who stopped doing business with you years ago. It means not mailing to customers who generate less profit in a year than you spend to mail to them.

Another shot of reality.

Someone in a Forbes article, said their social media metrics data reminds everyone the social space has a lot of noise. We are living in a disruptive world. Technology is everywhere providing a slew of options and yes, even opportunities.

How much are you willing to pay for unreliability?

Look at the customers in your database. Go to the top of your list and make sure all the customers are in your database. Go to the bottom of your customer list. Determine the future value of the business that’s likely to come from that segment.

Look at your prospect list. Determine how long prospects have been “hanging” around. Are they likely to become a customer within the next year? If not, remove them now and replace them with prospects that better fit your active customer profile.

Direct marketing mail is a great option for you to consider.

Go check out your mailbox or what the mail person drops off at your office daily. Look at an envelope. Today’s mailers know the importance of personalization. As you open a personalized envelope, remember – there’s no competition. Just you and the content. Then consider, almost 40% of promotions received from advertisers, do not interest the consumers.


Start to develop a plan for what you will mail, to whom and when. Keep in mind, each individual mailing you do may be smaller than it used to be.

Set priorities. You may have an offer to test. How about another marketing communication channel? Or, dig deeper into your direct marketing and sales analytics.

But in the long haul, you’re reaching more valuable customers and prospects with a greater likelihood for a response.

If you liked this post, here are two other articles you will find helpful.

How to Use and Build the “Other” List…

How to turn your customer list into a dream list…

The articles in each issue of Direct Marketing Success are ready to help you acquire new customers, and get your existing customers to buy more. To get your copy today, click here.

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

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Teaching and Coaching – It’s what I do.



Mike Deuerling

aka: MarketingDoc

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About MarketingDoc 398 Articles
30+ years in marketing. 30+ years as a small business owner. Love music, photography, gardening and just about anything outdoors!


  1. Great Post!!

    An impressive and unusual title to start with and you explained how direct marketing is evolving and helping your business to grow in the industry, you also put up a question to the marketers about how much you are willing to pay for your direct marketing plan and ultimately you provided a good idea of direct marketing to businesses looking for more success.

    Thanks for sharing a useful post!!

    • I prefer to use “direct marketing” vs. just marketing. Direct marketing means direct to your customer. A small biz has all the tools or if not, they are easy to acquire. It’s a big commitment in time and money to make, but it’s the best way to grow a small biz. Thanks for your comment!

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