Pros - Direct mail's leading quality is its capacity to target key markets by household income, zip codes, and a store's charge customers. It can ask for the order by encouraging a reader to fill in and return an order blank. As a result, direct mail gets sales results. Flexible, it can vary in size, numbers of pages, illustrations, prices, and descriptive copy. So it can be slanted in format to position an advertiser with an image that will appeal to a particular customer base. Depending on an advertiser's budget, it can be slick, all-color, or a relatively inexpensive black and white piece.
Cons - Direct mail tends to be highly expensive, because of paper, printing, labor, and distribution costs. It requires longer lead time than other advertising media. Every word, price, item must be double-checked. Well in advance, co-pay agreements must be reached, merchandise inventoried, sales personnel notified. The greatest disadvantage of direct mail is its overabundance. Much of it goes unread into the wastebasket. For those who do open and read it (most often the advertiser's current customers—not new customers), it's regularly used for price comparisons. Heavily a seasonal medium, direct mail is in greatest competition against itself at peak selling periods.
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