5 Strengths Of Direct Mail
Skeptics might say direct mail is dead, but we are here to tell you that is far from the truth. In fact, direct mail has so many strengths that it accounts for over 52% of the national marketing budget. It’s less expensive than broadcast advertising such as radio, TV, or billboards and also costs less than digital marketing, like Facebook or Google ads. The popularity of digital marketing might be on the rise but so is the price.
1. Direct mail is versatile
Direct mail can take many forms. From postcards and product samples to catalogs and tri-fold brochures, the options when it comes to your mail piece are growing every all the time. Design a piece that is memorable with a clear call to action and you’ve hit the jackpot.
There are many reasons direct mail performs so well. It’s interactive, memorable and creative, has less competition and stays in front of the customer longer. How many times have you saved a digital ad? Probably not that many times. How many times has your mail stayed on the kitchen counter for days? Perhaps more often than we would like to admit.
Direct mail also allows a business to keep in touch with its current customers as well as attract new business. A dentist’s office might send a series of postcards to a client during the year: a birthday greeting; reminders of twice-yearly checkups and cleanings; a special cosmetic dentistry offer; and an announcement of a new office, location or service. A heating and air company seeking new business might send mailers to homeowners to remind them to have furnaces cleaned or cooling systems tuned up and educational flyers about the toll that dirty filters take on heating and air systems.
2. Direct mail touches audiences
There is nothing tangible about email marketing or social media marketing. Direct mail, on the other hand, is all about touch and feel. The U.S. Postal Service has asked its customers how they view their mail and surprisingly, in a technological age, people say they still look forward to their mail. In fact, a majority of Americans say they prefer to receive marketing messages by direct mail because they can read it whenever they want to. People like to read mail and, often, they keep it around. An email’s lifespan is 17 seconds, but the lifespan of direct mail is 17 days.
Also, email communications are not always reliable. Firewalls, spam filters and other issues can block the messages marketers send. But direct mail sent through the U.S. mail is reliable. If a mailing list is up to date, a marketer can be assured that a mailing landed in an intended recipient’s mailbox and that they saw the piece.
3. Direct mail appeals to all ages
The postal service found that people of all ages like to get mail. And when the mail comes, it gets quick attention, unlike emails that might go unopened or unanswered. Most people say they make collecting and sorting the daily mail a priority. Studies show a majority of people enjoy getting mail and take the time to at least glance at each piece.
If you want to increase your response rates by up to 500% make sure your mail piece is personalized and in color. People want to feel special and appreciate a message tailored towards them.
4. Direct mail allows for personalization
Targeting begins with mailing lists. There’s a list for almost every audience a marketer hopes to reach. If a company has a new shopping cart to sell to grocery stores, it can buy a mailing list for grocery stores. If a garden center wants to let vegetable gardeners know about the newest in seeds for the summer season, there’s a mailing list for that, as well.
Direct mail is also becoming increasingly personalized because of variable data printing (VDP). VDP allows a marketer to take a mailed piece and personalize it in countless ways—from adding the recipient’s first name in the greeting to changing the picture used on the piece. For example, a restaurant with multiple locations in one city could design a map that would pinpoint a different restaurant location, depending on the recipient’s address. These are things your customers will appreciate.
Variable data printing is an investment that pays. Studies have shown that personalized marketing messages produce profits and revenues that are 31 percent higher than generic messages!
5. Direct mail is a smart companion for digital
Throughout this post, we’ve repeatedly suggested direct mail over digital marketing. That doesn’t mean we have anything against digital marketing – it’s fantastic! However, when you use the two together, you have an incredibly strong marketing strategy.
This strategy is called omnichannel marketing. It’s when you combine direct mail with digital technologies to share the same message. The same message is the key here. That is why this approach is so effective. Campaigns that use at least one digital channel along with direct mail, to deliver a cohesive message, receive a 118% higher response rate. Pretty incredible!
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