One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways for your business to reach its target market is by using direct mail. According to Business2Community, an ExactTarget study found, "65% of people who receive direct mail have made a purchase or engages in a different marketing channel as instigated by the sender, placing in at second behind e-mail (66%)." Not to mention it can be much simpler than online marketing. Business owners can send out letters, postcards and brochures to a select target market to personalize ads for products and services and to offer specials and discounts to get people in the door. Despite the recent turn to electronic ads and email marketing, direct mail remains and effective method for business promotion. In fact, a recent survey by Target discovered that the strongest channel that delivered the strongest ROI for customer acquisition for B2C marketers was direct mail. Direct mail marketing companies can provide design, production and mailing services, or your business can handle everything itself using the latest software, depending on the budget you have to work with. Interested in other marketing opportunities? Take a look at our . Monitoring News and Trends Before proceeding with your campaign, it’s a good idea to seek out direct mail news and trends to discover what advertising strategies are currently making an impact on consumers. For example, there are 5 million stay at home moms in the US - can your brand appeal to this group of people? Consider the resources you can use to get this important information. Locate collections of marketing articles- Many websites offer collections of articles that provide information for success with direct mailers. These sites allow access to multiple articles in one location so that you don't have to search all over the Internet for information. Subscribe to blogs with advertising tips- Many blog writers provide tips and tactics on a regular basis to help you make the most of your direct mail business strategies. These blogs may contain anything from how to have more success with your business mailers to what you need to consider when hiring direct marketing companies. Access marketing magazines for up-to-date advice- There are many Internet magazines and newsletters to which you can subscribe and receive periodic emails with marketing information and trends. Preparing Your Direct Mailings Once you have done your research about the latest mail marketing trends, be sure to compile an extensive customer mailing list and put together an effective design that is both informative and aesthetically pleasing. Some details to consider when putting together your direct mail campaign: Brand: Be sure that the design is compelling but stays on brand. You want your customers to know the mail is from you just by looking at it quickly. Engagement: Online marketing and social media marketing is successful because customers can interact with the content, the brand and other customers. Consider including a QR code on your direct mail piece for customers to scan; this can take them to your website, social sites, a particular landing page, sales products, etc. Sending: Avoid outrageous postage fees by purchasing a postage meter for your office. Whether you pay as you go or set up a monthly set allowance/payment, you can save time and money. Analyzing Your Final Product Once sent, you’ll want to understand how well the campaign worked. While online marketing offers the features of online analytics, you’ll need to employ a variety of other tactics for your offline campaign. Promo code: Include a promo code for a discount, sale or VIP exclusive. This allows you to see how many people used the code, giving you a good idea of how successful it was. Direct mail marketing can be just as effective, if not more so than its electronic counterpart, and rest assured that it won’t end up in a spam folder. Just like online, be sure you’re staying on brand, following best practices and trends and following your results for improved performance in the future. If you’re interested in direct mail marketing, you should also consider .