Direct Mail Marketing & Why It Works
April 8, 2020
Direct mail is a marketing strategy where physical materials or products are sent directly to the homes of previous or prospective customers. Direct mail examples would include postcards, coupons, product catalogs, and free samples among other items. Direct mail appeals to a wider audience than digital marketing options and has less competition these days. People still enjoy getting things in the mail and with the flood of digital marketing options and resources, it’s time to recognize how important utilizing diverse marketing methods has become.
Your brand becomes real
Tangible means being remembered in a way that digital marketing still can’t compete with. Research strongly suggests consumers are more likely to trust a brand they encountered with direct mail more than digital ads. While there isn’t an exact number, some research suggests over 40% of consumers read or scan a direct mail piece. Brand awareness drives a customer’s decision-making process so ensuring your brand is the one they remember has never been more important. Increased sales and credibility are some of the benefits of solid brand recognition.
It can be highly personalized
The ability to customize direct mailing pieces with consumer names and other data means a much higher response rate. On average, a piece of mail is kept for 15 to 20 days. That means for over two weeks, your brand is circulating in a household speaking directly to your customer. Taking things one step further with a handwritten signature on direct mailing pieces may not always be achievable but it’s a personal touch that can’t be achieved in the digital world and it’s not easy to ignore.
The method is highly measurable
Utilizing coupon codes or asking customers to bring in the direct mailing ad for a purchase or discount makes it a highly measurable method of marketing. Business owners are able to collect those responses and run the numbers to calculate profitability. Social media marketing and direct mailing ROIs are often neck-in-neck with one another. Add on the fact that direct mail has a response rate of around 5% while email on average has a response rate less than 1%, it’s safe to say that direct mail is still a competitive method of marketing.
Execution is a cinch
Direct mail doesn’t require you to be an expert in marketing nor does it require a major investment to be effective. Having an existing list of customers, purchasing a mailing list or creating your own with United States Postal Service (USPS) is the first step. The second step to a successful direct mailing is ensuring that mailing gives value to your consumer. Take some time to look into mailing costs before design starts because s makes all the difference in pricing. USPS now offers a tool called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) to aid companies in direct mail marketing. Once you decide on a size, it’s time to work on design. Putting together a design can be daunting, so consider utilizing a graphic designer to create an eye-catching mailing piece with a clear call to action. Often times, local commercial printers offer graphic design services for a better price when printing with them than utilizing a freelance designer. Then it’s as simple as print and send!
Pairs well with other strategies
Direct mail marketing works well paired with other marketing strategies. This practice, known as multi- or cross-channel marketing strategies, offers balance by eliminating such heavy reliance on digital-only options. The point of cross-channel marketing strategies is to increase your visibility to your customers and potential customers by being where they are. And they are everywhere. Utilizing a direct mailing to direct customers to your website or storefront by offering a discount code for a purchase is one way to integrate marketing strategies. Offering multiple touch points for customers to interact with reinforces brand recognition and helps your business become visible by customers previously missed.
Making smart business decisions is more important than ever because there is more competition than ever. Utilizing every avenue available to get your brand recognized is a key part of business growth. Whether a business uses direct mail for follow up with a previous customer or to welcome a new one, to remind a customer of online-only offers or direct them to social media platforms with exclusive offers, the options are limitless. The versatility of direct mail allows for a personalized, tangible connection with a prospective or repeat customer than can’t be achieved otherwise. Don’t leave direct mail out of your marketing strategy!