Is Direct Mail Dead?

Typical advertising mail

Image via Wikipedia

Direct mail prospecting is not dead.  It may not be as popular as it once was but that does not mean that it is useless.

Most state departments of insurance have very stringent print advertising rules that your license depends on.  Violation of those rules, depending on your state, can make you subject to several different punishments.  State departments of insurance do not take kindly to agents flaunting their rules.

Even if your state’s department of insurance has no guidelines on print advertising, your company probably does.  Before you mail out anything, make certain you run it past your company for legal approval.  Their marketing division does stuff other than Photoshop.  They keep track of each state’s advertising rules.  If you use a piece that they have approved you are safe.

Years ago, direct mail pieces, like postcards, brochures and catalogues were the most popular way to use mail to encourage prospects to call you.  Today, if someone wants to see what types of insurance you sell you send them to a website, either yours or your company’s.  They can look at your portfolio and decide whether or not they want to do business with you.

The problem is, once they leave that website, they will probably not think of you again.  If you think that everyone you send to a website will look at it and bookmark it for future reference, there is a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sale you.

The nice thing about a postcard, brochure or catalogue is that if it makes it past the trash can, every time the prospect even glances in its direction he/she will be reminded of you.  That can’t be said of a web site.

All marketing professionals will tell you the same thing.  No advertising campaign will work with just one presentation.  In order for advertising to work its magic it requires repetition.  People have to see your name associated with a product many times before they make a purchase from you.

They all say that repetition of an ad is the key.  Where they differ is in how many repetitions it takes.  I have read some marketing “experts” say that the magic number is as low as 6 repetitions.  After that number of exposures the public will not buy your product without first thinking of you.  Other “experts” I have read say the magic number is as high as 24.

I honestly, do not know who is correct.  What I do know is that it takes time and repetition to your message to cause people to seek you out.

Every time your insurance runs a spot on TV or radio it is building its brand. When a prospect wants their product they will call their local office.  You may get the lead or it may go to another agent.

Your challenge is to make certain that your name and contact information is associated with your company’s advertising campaigns.  You can use direct mail to do that.

Sure, web sites, blogs and emailed newsletters are more efficient and cost significantly less than old fashioned direct mail.  However, there is nothing to prevent you from pursuing both.  A timely direct mail piece, left lying around, could prompt a prospect to either, take a second look at your web site, read your blog, send you an email or call you.

I know, from experience, that direct mail will work.  I have experience all 4 of the phenomenon mentioned above as a result of my mailings.   

There are other techniques used to get a visible presence in the house to remind prospects to contact you or visit your website/blog.  If you use any of them and have had success, please share your experience in the Comments section below.

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About The Insurance Barn

Husband of 1, father of 2, health insurance agent and insurance trainer.
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2 Responses to Is Direct Mail Dead?

  1. Dave says:

    Interesting topic. If we compare direct mail with the digital or email. Both has its own pros and cons. I always say it’s a matter of what the target client needs. Each one has its own advantage. It’s just a matter of knowing your requirements and expectations.
    Well said Direct mail seems as old fashioned but still a very effective tool for targeting right audience.

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