Advertising and Promotion
DIRECT MAILINGS AS AN
by Julie Leones1
S ending information by mail to
previous and potential future
customers can be a very effective
advertising strategy for direct farm
marketing and agricultural tourism
operations. It is especially effective if you
create your own database with the names
and addresses of previous visitors or if
you know the zip codes of your previous
and potential customers.
Advantages of direct mail advertising are
that it is more personal and targeted than
advertisements in newspapers or on radio
stations. It is also easier to track whether
or not the ad has been effective, especially
if you require customers to bring in the
mailing to take advantage of a special
offer. The main disadvantage is that it
can be costly. Mr. Baird who teaches a
course on direct mail at GateWay
Community College estimates that it
typically costs $ .50 to $1.00 per piece.
One way to keep cost down is to use a
postcard format, but this also limits the
information that you can provide. Another
disadvantage is that it requires more work
than placing an ad in the newspaper.
Creating an effective direct mail
advertisement requires a few key
First, keep your message simple.
Second, make an offer to your
customer (e.g., 10% discount on
purchases), but make sure you
indicate when the offer expires.
Ask the customer to bring in the
direct mailing to get the discount.
Including a free sample in the
mailing can also entice
customers. If you are sending a
postcard, make sure that the offer
is highly visible on the card. If
you are sending a letter, make
mention of the offer on the
envelope. You don’t need to
give away the farm in your offer.
You might, however, offer a
discount on specific types of
products which are particularly
abundant that year or for products
that seem to be selling slowly.
Third, in a direct mailing letter
people are most likely to read the
headline, bullets and p.s. Make
sure the same message is being
conveyed in all thr