What is Direct Mail Advertising

Direct mail advertising is the most highly targeted and easily measurable type of advertising, delivering your message directly to your customer’s mailbox.

  • printed marketing material like postcards, flyers, catalogs and brochures
  • designed to reach your target audience, your customers
  • delivered via the US Postal Service

Mailers can be tailored to connect in a personal way with your buyers. You can use it to inform your buyers about store events like a store opening, special annual sales, announcing a new shooting range or a special vendor event like RUGER Days.

How do my customers feel about direct mail?

Don’t people just consider it to be “junk” mail? No, on the contrary!

First of all, your existing customers are your best source for sales. Once a customer has established a preference for a business, they are 3 times as likely to return. So if you are regularly sending direct mail that informs your customers about something that you know they are interested in – they will be delighted to see your postcard, flyer or catalog in the mail. It is important, even with your existing customer mailing list, to target them with the right message based on their interests.

Direct Mail – reach your customer and get them to spend their hard earned dollars with you

“Suddenly, a market (including 40 percent more competition) are all now fighting for sales with smaller margins — a huge problem.”*

By Lauren Alberque

Shooting sport retailers have experienced boom times when they couldn’t keep enough in stock, and times like now when manufacturers are laying people off, retail sales are slowing, and smarter decisions about inventory and pricing need to be considered.

In speaking with retailers at the recent Sports, Inc. show in Phoenix, I heard how the recent slowdown has forced some to start selling surplus inventory at rock bottom prices to make room for new, in-demand products. The problem is that they are competing with others who are doing the same thing, and they find themselves trying to keep up with these low prices and stay competitive!

Here are some of the most effective ways of reaching your customer and getting them to spend their hard earned dollars with you.

Direct Mail Advertising to your own customer base

“Despite email being at the forefront of marketing, direct USPS mail is actually still a far more effective marketing tool because now most of us receive little mail and we tend to actually look at it now.”**

As you know, your highest ROI comes from your own database of customers. See our blog, Top 3 reasons that your existing customers are your best source of sales. But a number of the retailers that I spoke to have issues with their in-house mailing lists. Some have “antiquated” systems that do not make it easy to have all of your customers and prospects in one manageable place.

Direct Mail to Prospective Customers

Mailing lists and databases can go farther than just tracking customers who have purchased merchandise in your store. Have you ever thought about the prospective looker who walked around and didn’t make a purchase at the time? I’m sure most of didn’t get a chance to chase them down or somehow track your “window shoppers” or “tire kickers.”

Store owners can put programs in place to obtain prospective customer’s information when they are in your store, regardless of whether they make a purchase. Some ideas are: holding a raffle in the store, maintaining a guest book, asking if people would like to sign up for a newsletter, or for your “insider” sales notifications.  Your website is another “store front” that you can use to collect the names, e-mail address, physical address, and phone numbers of prospects and customers.

If you are doing FFL transfers, it is another way to get additional names on your mailing list.  And while the customer is in the store, you have the opportunity to cross-sell accessories and other items related to their purchase.

We have premium, targeted mailing lists available to augment your own list and attract new business.

5 steps to experiential marketing

Marketing is an ever-evolving field, with new tactics and techniques emerging every year. One of the most exciting trends in recent years has been the rise of experiential marketing. This approach focuses on creating immersive, memorable experiences that engage consumers on a deeper level than traditional advertising methods. In this blog post, we’ll outline five key steps to creating successful experiential marketing campaigns.

Step 1: Identify your target audience

As with any marketing campaign, the first step in creating an experiential campaign is to identify your target audience. Be specific and targeted. Who are you trying to reach with this campaign? New gun owners, women, paddlers, bowhunters? What are their interests, needs, and values? Understanding your audience is key to creating a campaign that resonates with them on a deep level.

Step 2: Define your campaign objectives

What do you want to achieve with your experiential marketing campaign? Are you looking to let people know about a sale, increase awareness of your firing range? Define your objectives upfront so you can measure the success of your campaign and make adjustments as needed.

Step 3: Develop a creative concept

Experiential marketing is all about creating experiences that are different from anything your customers have seen before, with engaging experiences. Think outside the box and come up with ideas that are unexpected, exciting, and engaging.

It is also important that you stay true to your brand. Carefully crafting your concept is crucial because it sets the tone for how customers will interact with your business. A mismatch could cause you to lose out on an opportunity to bring lasting value to your shoppers.

For example: if your creative concept’s vibe is flashy, loud, and exciting, you could potentially alienate mature customers. Consider how you want your customers to feel. What are the key messages you want to communicate to them? What kind of impression do you want to make? What do you want them to tell their friends and family about your store? How do you want them to feel about your staff, and what is the story you want to tell?

Finally, your creative concept should be aligned with your campaign objectives. If your objective is to increase brand awareness, for example, you may want to widen your reach into under-served consumers. Create an experience that generates buzz on social media and generates media coverage for its family-friendly atmosphere. If your objective is to drive sales, you may want to create an experience that allows customers to try your product and make a purchase at the store. Many vendors will let you utilize co-op dollars to provide a professional instructor for your event. Once successful concept that OSM has managed was hosting an “on the lake day” to promote your extensive selection of paddle sports equipment. Customers can try PFDs, paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. Invite food trucks and a band, and create an educational and unforgettable day.

Step 4: Plan and execute the campaign

Once you have a creative concept in place, it’s time to start planning and executing the campaign. This may involve coordinating with vendors, securing permits, and working with partners to amplify the reach of your campaign. Pay attention to the details and ensure that every element of the campaign is aligned with your creative concept and objectives.

Step 5: Measure and optimize

After the campaign has concluded, it’s important to measure its success and optimize your approach for future campaigns. Use metrics like engagement, reach, and conversion rates to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign. Take note of what worked well and what didn’t, and make adjustments as needed for future campaigns.

Examples of experiential marketing

To help illustrate the power of experiential marketing, let’s take a look at a few examples from recent years.

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign

In 2013, Coca-Cola launched its “Share a Coke” campaign, which featured bottles and cans of Coke with popular first names on them. The campaign encouraged consumers to share a Coke with friends and family members whose names appeared on the bottles. This campaign was a huge success, with sales increasing by 2.5% in the US and 11% in Australia.

Red Bull’s “Stratos” campaign

In 2012, Red Bull sponsored a record-breaking skydive by Felix Baumgartner from the edge of space. The event was live-streamed online and garnered over 50 million views. The campaign generated massive buzz for Red Bull and helped reinforce its brand positioning as a company that pushes the limits of what’s possible.

Airbnb’s “Night At” campaign

In 2015, Airbnb launched its “Night At” campaign, which offered consumers the opportunity to spend a night in unique locations like a floating house on the Thames River or a treehouse in the Redwoods. This campaign generated massive social media buzz and helped establish Airbnb as a company that offers truly unique travel experiences.


Experiential marketing is a powerful tool for brands looking to engage consumers on a deeper level and create lasting brand impressions. By following the five steps outlined in this post and taking inspiration from successful campaigns like those from Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and Airbnb, you can create your own memorable and effective experiential marketing campaigns.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about how experiential marketing can help your brand, email us:

Re-thinking used bows

“Bows from the 90s don’t compare to today’s bows, but I can offer them to beginners for as little as $75. They can try archery without spending hundreds.”*

Have you ever thought about re-selling used bows?  Outdoor Sports Marketing is always looking to bring you fresh ideas to help you boost your revenue.  Selling used bows is a great idea for the beginning archer and someone working with a low budget.  Store owners all agree its important to check the limb, strings, and cables making sure they are very good condition.

We all want the high ticket but sometimes starting someone with the lesser expensive option is better then losing the sale.  Its also a great way of catering to everyone’s needs and making someone with a few dollars in their pocket feels as important as someone with endless purchasing options.  Don’t forget your customer who bought the used bow might purchase brand new accessories on the spot or might come back into your store to stock up at a later time.

Outdoor Sports Marketing is always available to help you create a successful advertising campaign for your used and new archery supplies!  Give us a call so we can design something unique and profitable for your store!


Family Friendly

  “The family structure is the basis for responsible gun ownership, so discussing family participation across the counter can’t be a bad thing.”*

A lot of people when they think about guns don’t think about the positive correlation between children.  Most people think children are often times victims because of gun violence.  Children and young adults can be taught responsibility, respect and discipline from learning how to handle firearms safely.

Obviously a child can’t go out and buy their own firearm so the experience of handling and learning about a firearm can strengthen the bonds with family.  You might have a fond personal experience of your parent, grandparent, or other extended family member introducing you to your first shooting experience.

Their is a taboo about children and guns out in the world.  You can lock up your guns in a safe and try to hide it’s very existence from your children.  Did that ever work when you tried to hide the Christmas presents from the kids?  Probably not.  Isn’t it better to teach your children how to safely handle guns and take the mystery from the situation.

At the end of the day, Outdoor Sports Marketing wants to help create campaigns to bring everyone into your shop from Mom and Dad, grandma and grandpa, all the way to the kids.  I can’t imagine that most gun shops are kid friendly providing activities for the kids while the adults browse around so why not have a family friendly shooting expo?  This is a great way to bring traffic into your location as well as spreading the word about your store and maybe getting a reputation for being “family friendly.”  Most of the gun shops out there are family owned so why not be “family friendly?”

What are you waiting for!  Give us a call at Outdoor Sports Marketing and let us help you create a unique and family friendly advertising campaign for your next outdoor expo or family festival you would like to create!



Parker Bows announces seventh annual sales incentive program

“It is an excellent incentive program that is designed to encourage sales associates to familiarize themselves with Parker bows and crossbows.”*

Parker Bows announces seventh annual sales incentive program

By Lauren Alberque
I came across this great motivational rewards program from Parker Bows. For those of you who might not be familiar with Parker Bows, they are a leading manufacturer of high quality compound bows and crossbows, and Red Hot Crossbow accessories.
The president of Parker Bows, Tom Woodworth announced the 7th year launch of their reward program which will run from March 1-November 30, 2018. In order for your retail associates to qualify, your store must buy brand new merchandise directly from Parker Bows.
Each Parker crossbow or bow that an associate sells will qualify them for “Parker cash”, which in turn can be used to earn their own Parker merchandise such as compound bows, crossbows, crossbow accessories, gear, apparel, and a chance to win $1,000 cash! You can sign up for the incentive program at
This is a great way to motivate your sales team, increase their knowledge about the  product line, and use as a sales opportunity to create a unique marketing strategy.
OSM can help create a great archery advertising campaign for your store! We strive to make it as painless as possible, and will process your co-op advertising to help you minimize out of pocket expenses.
Give us a call to help increase your return on investments, increase your exposure to the market, as well as showing off your extensive inventory and expertise!
Outdoor Sports Marketing (OSM-USA) is a one-stop shop for your direct mail advertising. We take the work out of achieving maximum exposure for your business as well as increasing your bottom line.