Recently, I’ve been discussing with a number of clients the merits of direct mail and it’s made me do some serious thinking, hence this article.

If your email inbox is groaning under the weight of messages – both genuine and spam – as mine is, you’ll be well aware that it’s becoming increasingly hard to get across your marketing messages in an online environment that has become so completely saturated. So it’s interesting to see evidence that direct mail is currently enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Once considered the lowest of the low, the very scourge of marketing communications, direct mail is proving to be effective.

Yes, there’s plenty of direct mail that is junk and utter rubbish – that will never change, I’m sure – and my recycling bin gets quickly filled with it. But there are also some well-considered pieces that make me stop and pay attention. Take Brookson Accountants for example. Now this particular piece has employed some very sound direct marketing techniques that are designed to get results.

Four steps to direct marketing success…

1. Personalisation

It’s personalised and the message is relevant to me. Brookson has rightly identified that I am self-employed, so they’ve clearly done their homework and targeted an specific audience, rather than simply buying a data list that is unqualified.

2. Design for impact

It’s well designed and very definitely not typical of a firm of accountants. The envelope is intriguing enough to make me want to open it and discover the contents. And it made me smile.

3. Well chosen words

The copy has the perfect balance of ‘we’ and ‘you’ and suggests that they understand exactly the sort of issues I may be facing. It’s compelling and makes me want to read on.

4. Added punch

Facts give extra weight to the message. Including just that one statistic from YouGov research demonstrates the importance of having a good and proactive accountant and reinforces the company’s core messages.

I never thought I would get excited by a firm of accountants (sorry all accountants out there!), but I think Brookson has done an excellent job. That one piece of direct marketing has ensured that the name of Brookson is now front of mind. The company has successfully differentiated itself from its numerous competitors, and – in my opinion – deserves to get further consideration. Which is after all, the first step in the marketing and sales process and exactly what this piece was intended to do.

So what do you think of direct marketing? Have you seen other good examples that we can all learn from?