Direct mail marketing appears to have fallen out of the limelight in the past few years, with advertisers seemingly believing that digital ventures are the only ones that matter today. However, this is not really the case, as studies have shown that direct mail is still a highly effective marketing tool for many different types of businesses. This is not to say that direct mail marketing tactics common 10 years ago would be ideal today, but rather that the medium is still viable within a branding strategy.
One of the more important matters in this conversation is context; companies must ensure they are crafting effective direct mail campaigns that align with modern best practices and fit into their overall marketing programs. The strongest advertising campaigns will tend to work autonomously, while simultaneously fitting into broader strategies that leverage a variety of channels, platforms and mediums.
In the case of direct mail, massive changes will need to be made to ensure that this traditional medium holds up in the modern age, especially as consumer preferences have significantly transformed in the past decade. The best way to approach this is to first understand exactly what the brand objectives and advertising strategy entails, then work to incorporate direct mail to drive the business toward these goals.
The basics of direct mail marketing are relatively simple, but this does not mean that advertisers can approach the strategy with little thought.
Rather, research and development should be involved before the first mailing is sent out to prospects. As is the case in virtually any branding program, the first step is to know who the audience is, what the customers’ prefer and how best to align the strategy with specific opportunities.
Know thy audience
Insurance News Net recently gave a few examples of how direct mail marketing can indeed be the central and foundational medium for overall brand initiatives so long as the audience prefers this type of initiative. Remember, in many situations, email marketing will act as the foundation for the advertising strategy, but some groups of consumers will be more likely to respond consistently when direct mail is sent.
It is worth noting here that a central medium is essentially defined as being the ace in the hole, or the one that will most consistently engage the audience and work to get the word out about other campaigns and ventures. According to the news provider, one financial firm has seen that its audience, which consists mostly of individuals between the ages of 65 and 80, has had enormous success with its direct mail campaigns.
The success is not necessarily wrapped up in the specific returns and conversions involved in direct mail, as the firm has used it as the main framework that all other campaigns are built off of over time. The source affirmed that Fullerton Financial Planning has found that a mixture of direct mailings and radio show ventures are the most powerful drivers of engagement among their target prospects.
“The two top outlets that get us our best results, meaning reaching our ideal client and household assets we’re looking for, is No. 1, our direct mailer for educational workshops and No. 2, our radio show,” Stephanie Fullerton, the firm’s president and founder, told Insurance News Net.
Later, she affirmed that the successes of these two mediums have not held her company back from embracing new options, as the firm is working to use every resource available to maximize visibility, engagement and subsequent revenues.
Even if direct mail is not the foundational medium for marketing programs, it can fit nicely into a general brand strategy.
Modern branding cohesion
Again, the first step toward crafting an optimal branding strategy is to understand what drives the audience and target prospect pool. Once that has been established, businesses ought to decide which mediums will act as the primary tools to gain visibility, get the word out about initiatives and serve as the foundation upon which every other campaign will be built.
Marketers have likely begun to hear more about multichannel advertising, and this does involve the practice of leveraging various tools and platforms for different purposes, though all underneath a guiding strategy. Should advertisers need a bit more information regarding what it takes to succeed in multichannel ventures, The Financial Brand has a major report available on the topic that can be extremely helpful.
Either way, when businesses are not entirely confident in their abilities to craft and execute a sound branding plan involving direct mail, social media, email and other mediums, seeking out assistance from a professional service provider will likely be the best option.