The web is incredibly important in marketing today. People are using resources online to find local businesses and look up reviews. It’s very important to have the right business infrastructure on the web so that when someone does a local search, your website will be on the map and ready to deliver the information they’re looking for.  However, is it worth it to go a step further, spending a fortune on search engine optimization or keyword-based ads?  You might be better off aiming your advertising dollars straight at your local market by using direct mail. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of direct mail marketing and online marketing. 

  • Web-Based Advertising Has Some Major Disadvantages = When you advertise on the web, it’s difficult to target people who live near your business. Most advertising methods are scattershot, based on keywords and guesses. If your target market is local but larger than a single town or neighborhood, then web-based advertising becomes even more difficult. It’s hard to capture local searches for five, ten or twenty place-names, and an increase in website hits doesn’t always equal a proportional increase in new customers.
  • Direct Mail Works For Local Businesses = Best way to let local people know about your business is to advertise locally, by direct mail. Why not put your information straight into your potential customers’ mailboxes? With direct mail, you can target specific zip codes, specific blocks, or even households with specific demographics. Demographic information is available by address, and that makes it possible to send marketing materials to, for example, families with children, older adults, or people with specific hobbies. There’s a wealth of information you can use to get your message to exactly the right people.
  • Plastic Cards Work For Direct Mail =If you do direct mail right, your information will not end up in the recycling bucket. Plastic discount cards are perceived differently than traditional paper coupons and flyers. While a cutout coupon seems old fashioned and awkward to most young and middle aged people, and might even be embarrassing, a plastic discount card is a completely different animal.

The web is important, but if you’re a local business, advertising online may not be the best use of your limited marketing budget. Direct mail is still the most targeted way to reach local customers.