Digital Advertising. Pay-Per-Click. Email. Video. Social Media…
With so many cutting-edge options to include in your marketing mix, why would you consider an old-school medium like direct mail?
Because it works.
Digital marketing strategies are certainly vital to most growing companies in just about every market sector these days. There’s no disputing the critical importance of online strategies. We don’t just go online these days… we live online.
But that’s just it. We spend so much time in front of screens these days that we’ve all devised ways to remove the clutter in the blink of an eye. We use spam filters, we delete promotional emails by reflex, we hit “Skip Ad” without a thought. The savvier we get, the harder it is for advertisers to get our attention through digital means.
It’s almost always a good idea to have a balanced marketing mix —and balancing high-tech with traditional media is a strategy that’s more important now than ever to reach your target audience. Consider these five reasons to include the traditional channel of direct mail as part of your next campaign.
#1: Direct mail gets in the door.
The US Post Office reports that 98% of us bring our mail in the day it’s delivered, and 77% of us sift through it immediately. A piece of mail doesn’t carry the threat of a computer virus, so we’re more willing to open and read a message from an unknown sender. And just like that, a brand’s message is in the door. Even if we don’t spend much time with it, we’ve looked at it, touched it, and made a decision about what to do with the information. For advertisers seeking brand awareness, a mailer gets noticed and remembered, even if on the way to the recycle bin, and that creates familiarity — which opens the door for other forms of advertising to resonate.
#2: It hangs around.
Compared to an email or online ad, a direct mail piece has a fairly long lifespan. A postcard is often left out on a countertop, allowing all members of a household to take in its message. A catalog is likely to hang around even longer, especially at peak shopping times of the year. In an office setting, a mailing might be passed among colleagues and filed for future decision-making. In general, the chances of your message getting through to your audience is higher with direct mail, simply because it tends to linger longer.
#3: It’s flexible.
Your direct mail campaign could take a variety of forms — an introduction to your company, an event announcement, a short-term promotion, a reminder, a survey — and you don’t need to be hemmed in by size or word count. Whether your goal is to generate quick sales or build a brand, you can get a lot of meat into your message. With online media, your message must be extremely brief, and with email your message often doesn’t penetrate past the subject line.
#4: It gets to the right people.
Successful marketing campaigns hinge on the ability to reach the right target market. With direct mail, you can easily target your most valuable recipients. You can mail to your own personal list, or purchase a list by selecting a geographic target, demographic group, or specific consumer crowd. And you can personalize your message, making it even more effective.
#5: It boosts other media and ultimately makes sales.
Not only does direct mail compel action on its own, it plays well with other media by directing consumers to those venues. The Direct Marketing Association reports that the use of two marketing channels increases customer value up to 60%, and when communicating across three channels, up to 125%. The USPS reports that catalog recipients account for 22% of web traffic and make 15% more purchases than those who do not receive catalogs. So, include your web address, Facebook page, and upcoming email promotion in your direct mailer, and you can increase your ROI on those efforts — ultimately converting your targets into paying customers.
Despite the onslaught of digital marketing options out there, direct mail still continues to deliver. When planning your next marketing campaign, give this old-school method a try. It really can boost your bottom line.