If you are like me, then you rely on spam filters to weed out half the stuff companies send you. When my phone rings, I look at caller ID, and if it’s an unknown number, it gets sent straight to voicemail. So, what about direct mail marketing in the digital age? Does it go straight to the trashcan? How does it perform against email and telemarketing efforts? Should you invest in direct mail or email?
According to the USPS, 57% of the mail that gets delivered comes from direct mail marketers. If they consider the prevalence of “free” digital mail, businesses must realize significant results on their investments to keep using direct mail. The truth is that the email is not “free” and the return on investment dollars is greater with direct marketing.
According to Direct Mail News, in 2012 the average response rate for direct mail was 4.4% for both business-to-business and business to consumer mailings—considerably higher than industry expectations, and surging past electronic mail’s response rate of just 0.12%. Yes, you read that correctly, direct mail outperformed email by over 3000%.
Direct Mail Marketing on Its Own
Here are just a few statistics from the latest Direct Marketing Association Statistical Fact Book that indicate that direct mail in the digital age is still relevant.
- Money spent by businesses on direct mail has stayed consistent for the past five years
- Nearly $10 billion was spent on targeted mailing lists in 2015. This is an increase over the two previous years
- More than 40 percent of individuals read or scan direct mail pieces
- Over 14 percent of people in the 45-54 age group respond to direct mail.
Knowing that direct mail works as a strategy is the starting point. However, you should also realize that direct mail marketing in the digital age works a bit differently than the mailings of years ago. Just as our computers and phone have become integrated, so too, have our most effective marketing strategies.
Too often businesses make the mistake of not taking an integrated approach to their marketing and communication efforts. There are several channels available for reaching potential customers:
- Direct Mail
- Social Media
- Publication Advertising
- TV Advertising
You can even go so far as to vinyl wrap your car with the company logo. The point is that any one of these methods will reach a certain percentage of your potential clients. However, if you employ more than one of these methods, you touch a larger audience. By integrating that message, you provide a consistency that helps build brand recognition.
Direct Mail Marketing in the Digital Age Does Work
Most direct mail campaigns that don’t work are due to faulty planning. You CANNOT send out a blanket mailer and expect to see significant results. Those days are past. Instead, you need to target your audience and fine tune your mailing list. Then, you need to craft a compelling offer that meets the needs of your customers. Use Variable Printing to customize each piece of direct mail and then make sure you test your direct mail campaigns.
As stated before, direct mail marketing in the digital age requires an integrated approach. You can refer customers to your website or social media in the copy of your direct mail piece. On your website, you can have clients sign up to receive direct mailings or coupons. The use of QR codes in direct mail campaigns has proven results.
The possibilities are only limited by the imagination. The point is that you should integrate your marketing strategies, so they complement one another.
Direct Mail Marketing in the Digital Age Requires Follow-Up
Seasoned salesmen can tell you that follow-up is the key to closing the sale. Both online and offline marketing efforts require follow-up. The beauty is that you can use online to follow-up on the offline and vice versa. A secondary mailer can job their memory or encourage them to take the next step in the buying journey.
The line between direct mail and digital marketing continues to blur as new technology becomes available. It should no longer be looked at as a choice between old and new marketing methods but rather new ways of integrating the two. If you need more information on how you can incorporate direct mail marketing into your overall marketing strategy, give us a call – or email, or send a video, or contact us on Facebook. You can even write us a letter. We respond to all our communication channels.