As our time on the internet grows, and our screens shrink to pocket size, many advertisers are left wondering, “What about TV? What about radio?”
“And what about mail?”
With so much focus on the latest digital platforms, direct mail can seem antiquated and dull.
Yet, it is still a great way to introduce your business to customers and connect with your audience on a personal level. Direct mail marketing recipients purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more than non-direct mail recipients.
Impressive statistics, for a tactic considered by some to be a has-been. The data is undeniable; direct mail remains an effective way to generate new customers and keep existing customers coming back more frequently. Here are 8 of the many reasons why direct mail should still be an integral component of your marketing strategy.
People still enjoy getting mail. When it’s relevant, timely, and personalized, they’re more likely to pay attention. The trick is to go beyond the technology and develop a message that resonates with your audience. By knowing what matters to your prospects: their concerns, and their goals, you can create mailers addressing what’s important to them.
Additionally, adding a person’s name, full color, and their sophisticated database information can increase the response rate by up to 500% vs. not doing any of these things.
Target Only Your Best Prospects
Marketing is all about compelling communication with the fundamental rule: reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right offer. Direct mail is no exception. You choose who to send it to, how often and when your campaign will run. Your pitches can be focused and targeted to individuals who will most likely respond to your offer and do business with you.
Accomplish this by analyzing your existing customers, building buyer personas, and competitive research.
Investing only in direct mail may limit your potential to find opportunities, so you should consider it to be a part of your marketing arsenal. By taking a multi-channel approach, you can yield up to a 28% higher conversion rate. Integrating direct mail with online channels enables measurement and accountability.
To do this, incorporate a landing page link on your mailer, then run a Facebook ad to visitors of that page -or- send an email blast to remind customers about your message -or- target the same audience that your mailing to with an Instagram ad.
Form a Tangible Connection
Even the tawdriest junk mail has something that other marketing will never possess: the reality factor. Your message arrives in a recipient’s mailbox, where the buyer must see it, touch it, and decide to open it, save it, or throw it away.
When a prospect picks up your mail and opens it, they are forming a physical bond with your business. Therefore, when that prospect is considering making a purchase, they are likely to remember your company. Because direct mail is tangible and can be personalized to resonate with readers; it sticks with them, as long as you put the time and effort into creating an amazing piece.
And by including a special offer in your direct mail piece, most people will save it for future use and will not quickly forget it, as it occupies up physical space. As a result, about 66% of people have purchased a product because of direct mail.
Increased Purchase Desire
According to the wildly popular blog, Neuroscience Marketing, mail outperforms digital advertising in several important metrics. Remember, the primary goal of advertising is to increase awareness, drive desire, and stimulate purchases. That’s what makes the neurological effects of physical mail so compelling.
Postal Service Office of the Inspector General commissioned a study comparing how digital ads perform versus print ads. While consumers expressed no preference between digital and print ads, and both ads had similar engagement-levels, mailed print ads had a slight edge.
People spent time dissecting the print ads, looking over them carefully. The physical ads caused a more significant response in the parts of the brain where value and desire are believed to be. There was a higher emotional response, and a week later, test subjects recalled the content of the ad with greater clarity.
Highly-Coveted Millennial Demographic
The perception of millennials is that they would never be interested in anything as old school as postal mail. Shockingly, 87% of millennials enjoy receiving direct mail. More importantly for business owners, 77% of millennials react to direct mail advertising. Gallup reported that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day.
Notably, this generation will wield a combined $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, as speculated by Accenture.
Tracking your results is about understanding every element of the mailing you just sent out, so you can refine your campaign for future endeavors. It’s the only way to improve systematically as you grow your business. As Peter Drucker famously advised, “What gets measured gets improved.”
Studies have shown for every $167 spent on direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods. To measure the results, count the number of inquiries, coupons redeemed, landing page visits, etc. from a given mail piece. While your response rate is important, on its own, it is too simplistic and provides very limited scope for analysis.
Take into account the immediate monetary gain from the particular campaign, and the Customer Lifetime Value (CVL) of customers who are acquired through the campaign. CVL is an often-overlooked metric that can accurately predict how much your customers are really worth, providing insights into how much money you should be spending on acquiring your them.
As a business owner, your goal should be to acquire the right customers that will do business with you for years to come, not a coupon shopper looking for the latest deal.
Are you curious what your direct-mail ROI could be? You can go here to calculate it.
Direct Mail is Becoming Less Common
In 2016, there was a 2% decrease in direct mail delivered, compared to the previous year. But that is a good thing for your campaign. Since email inboxes and social newsfeeds are now fuller than most of your customers’ traditional mailboxes, there’s an easier path for your company to sail to top of mind. Since this strategy takes more work than posting a status update on Facebook, it’s less common and thus increasingly effective, as there is less competition in the mailbox.
With 81% of business owners using social media to build awareness, you cannot be faulted for looking further than your laptop for brand building tactics. Think about how many people wished you “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, compared to the number of cards you received in the mail—there were probably many more online. This makes each piece of mail exciting and special.
While your competitors are just sending online messages because they’re low cost, you show you care by including physical mail as part of your marketing efforts.
In the end, direct mail is powerful because it’s different from the digital way of doing things. To stand out in a world gone electronic, consider complementing your digital marketing strategy with a direct-mail campaign. It’s the missing personal touch in an incredibly busy world.
And as every great marketer knows, being personal pays off.