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Although certainly not a new marketing concept, there are some areas where direct mail marketing may be of benefit to you. Direct mail includes postcards, flyers, or letters mailed directly to a potential buyer, reviewer, or trade show group. Direct mail has pros and cons just like any marketing medium and must be evaluated in the context of your particular app.

Pros

First, the pros of using direct mail:

• Direct mail can be persistent, meaning that if you send out a postcard mailing, the recipients may put it on their desk and read it several times before deciding what to do with it. You may get multiple opportunities for them to pick up the postcard and act on it.

• Getting a reader to look at your ad more than once is obviously a very positive thing and can be cost effective if it leads to the desired behavior.

Cons

We have to look at the cons also:

• Direct mail is expensive and difficult to track response rates. Postcards are generally the least expensive route, with letters being the most expensive. A postcard printed in four colors front and back will cost you around 50 to 65 cents (including postage) for an average mailing of 1,000. An envelope, letter, and postage could easily cost you $1 per recipient to send out.

• Your app will have to be priced much higher to absorb the cost of sending out a mailing. I don't recommend doing a letter mailing for your app under any circumstance. It's just too costly and you won't see the return on your investment in terms of app sales downloads.

Now, before you dismiss postcards completely, there are a few possibilities that you should consider in your marketing plan. First, if you plan to attend trade shows where you have the opportunity to showcase your app, you can print off 50-100 postcards inexpensively by using a site such as www.vistaprint.com. It's always a good idea to have something printed to hand out to remind people how and where to get your app. Second, as you solicit reviewers for your app, you can send the reviewer (or reviewing company) a postcard showcasing your app. This just might nudge them to take a look at your app in the sea of apps they have to review. Sending the reviewer a postcard will help you to stand out in the crowded field.

Getting a reviewer or industry expert to review your app is much like getting a company to notice your resume. Most employers want you to submit your resume electronically for tracking and filtering purposes. However, it doesn't hurt in some cases to also send them a printed resume to increase the likelihood that you'll get noticed by the hiring manager. Similarly, your app is vying for attention in a very crowded field and you want to stand out. Sending a postcard to a reviewer gives your app that little edge that might make the difference between getting noticed or ignored.

Another use of direct mail is to do a promotion for your new app via a monthly newsletter or a targeted piece designed specifically for a campaign. If you can locate a newsletter that might be willing to carry the announcement of your app, this is the best approach. I would be willing to bet that very few Android developers have tried this approach yet. It is crucial to always create a compelling call to action and a strong offer whenever you use this type of approach. You must give your audience a reason to respond. Direct mail generally nets a 1%-3% response rate.

Email is generally the most inexpensive form of mass marketing to reach large audiences and with somewhat predictable results. Industry averages say that emails have an open rate of 20%, and then 5% will click through to your website. Like regular snail mail, email also has it pros and cons.

The pros of email include the following:

• Email is great for building relationships and keeping your app buyers up to date with offers, information, and newsletters.

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Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.

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