How to use Direct Mail in your business with Carl Quested


Before the internet Direct Mail was probably the best ROI you could get on your marketing spend. How does it stack up now in a post internet world?

Well it actually still stacks up pretty well if done right. And here to tell us some of the things you need to get right in order to make the direct mail marketing channel work for you is Carl Quested. Carl is the author of an upcoming book Alpha Mail around the topic of direct mail and the owner of AgentMail, a direct mail business based in Redcliffe, Qld that services Australia.

All the things that we aim to achieve online with our marketing strategy – targeted audience, split testing, open rates, conversion rates, copywriting, sales funnels, multiple touch points – where for the most part born out of the experience of professional direct mail marketing. The internet just provided a lower cost and more scaleable platform.

Counter intuitively we are now at a point where the internet channels are becoming a little more crowded and massive demand for online ads are pushing prices up, while our physical mailboxes are getting emptier, that for the right type of business direct mail starts to look interesting again.

When you combine it with a digital sales backend you start to leverage the best of both worlds.

Its not just a case of dropping $50 on a whim like you can on Facebook ads – so its important that you listen to the information and steps that Carl walks us through in this interview.

00:25 Customer coverage
00:51 Carl’s background – sales, mail machines
02:10 What is Direct mail(snail mail)
03:10 Trans-promo, marketing, transaction mail
04:22 Variable data publishing
05:50 Direct mail is dead, long live direct mail
08:37 Mail stats in Australia
10:20 Effectiveness of direct mail as more businesses go online communication
11:20 Right right type of business – lifetime value, high ticket price
13:10 Step 1 – Contacts and lists, list brokers, target markets
19:10 Step 2 – Content, message, outcome, offer, copywriters
21:50 Step 3 – Creative, images, branding, style, design
23:12 Step 4 – Circulate – paper types, printing, stamps, envelopes, folding, mailing
33:40 Step 5 – Follow up – phone contact, 5x conversion rate, use multiple channels
35:26 Step 6 – Conclusion – review, measure, identify changes
37:20 Split testing – reference number, coupon code, 1300/1800 phone numbers, different email addresses
39:55 Lumpy mail – aim to stand out, multiple pages, physical item (marbles, key rings, dice)
42:50 Direct response vs branding
46:05 Flyers/leaflets vs direct mail
48:30 Multi-channel, integrated marketing
49:40 Carl’s book ‘Alpha Mail’ targeted to the real estate market but covers direct mail in depth
52:38 Marketing a direct mail house – book, speaking, networking, livechat on website
57:45 Mailing costs – dollars and time to budget
58:40 Contact Carl [email protected]

Got a question that we didn’t cover fully in the episode? Use the comments below to continue the conversation.

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  • Luke Moulton

    So glad you covered this Mick. When a massive company like Google are still doing DM’s for B2B lead gen, then you know it works.

  • Tim Reid

    This is really timely, Mick. I’ve had two listeners in the past two weeks ask that I do an episode on direct mail. I don’t know about you, but my letterbox is chockas each and every day with crap. I’m fascinated to know that it’s a strategy that still works. We need a third box – given the letterbox and inbox are both full!

  • Lindsay Spencer-Matthews

    Great interview – its nice to see Carl tapping into counter-intuitive trends. His knowledge in direct mail is fantastic.

  • Greg Provians

    Thanks for this Mick. In the age of the internet, I’ve always thought that money spent on direct mail marketing was getting flushed down the toilet. Definitely something to look into – not sure whether it is an option in a small town like Innisfail but could be targeted to the right areas.

  • Julia

    Great reminder. In the early days of business I made a post card and ‘left it’ at cafes in the fashion district of Melbourne. I had people for a couple of years tell me that they had that post card on their desk for 6 months and had intended to ring me. It was a long term stategy that social media does not seem to reach these days. Thanks for the post.
    Also, I have tried to find your podcast but I can’t seem to find it.