I am a digital girl. I love “techy” stuff. I’m always looking for the latest and greatest products and I love that you can find whatever your heart desires online – even a husband, like I did. Hehe. I can’t tell you how much I love the accessibility of it all and that I can literally become an expert on just about anything for free with just a simple google search. It’s all great – for the most part.
If you’re a marketer, however, and you’re doing everything you’re “supposed” to be doing – you have your google ads and your social media presence and your killer website – you STILL have to cut through all that digital clutter to get your brand or product to stand out, and that can be a huge challenge. Advertisements now flash before our eyes at blazing speeds. Each time we search, stream, watch, read, scroll, click, or swipe, we are bombarded by ads. The average person receives nearly 3,000 in one day alone, to the point that we don’t even notice them anymore. This is what we marketers begrudgingly refer to as “banner blindness”. The phrase “Don’t believe everything you read” has morphed into “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet”.
Enter targeted direct mail.
Direct mail was once the darling of savvy marketers, but with the rise of social media and digital marketing, it has been overlooked for something sexier. The catch is, direct mail is still a powerful tool for acquiring customers, so it’s no wonder that it has come full circle, finding its place back in the modern marketing mix.
I first started to notice the shift to direct mail when I received an American Girl Catalog in 2015 after I had bought my 8-year old niece a doll for her birthday. I vividly remember saying to myself, “How fun! I remember picking out my toys from the catalogs when I was a little girl.” I ended up purchasing a few more items for her from that catalog for Christmas.
Shortly thereafter, I received a monstrous catalog from Restoration Hardware that was the size of an old school phone book. It must have weighed about five pounds, and I so enjoyed just sitting on the couch perusing the pages imagining everything I wanted to buy and consequently making a few purchases throughout the year.
It wasn’t just catalogs either. When we moved into our new home in 2016, direct mail was the key to us finding all of “our places”.
We found our “window guy” from direct mail. Undoubtedly, that small business made a few grand from the forty-cent postcard they sent.
We joined a local workout program because they mailed us an invite to try their built-in daycare service. Parents love that type of stuff.
We found our church because we received a mailer about a family Fall festival they were having and decided to check it out.
Notice a trend here?
Direct mail made it easy. It was in my actual mailbox, not my inbox. I didn’t have to spend hours perusing the Internet. I just received a mailer with a coupon or call-to-action that was relevant to me, checked out their website printed on the card, and the rest is history.
Stop right there.
This is not a piece about whether or not direct mail works. We know that it does. This is also not a piece about how direct mail is still relevant in the digital age. The DMA just published a great piece on that. No, this is a piece about how direct mail works for the digital age – as an extension of your online efforts. This is a piece about direct mail doing the heavy lifting alongside your online efforts. Think of direct mail as another member of your digital marketing team.
Here are five reasons why direct mail is a must for your marketing mix:
- It has a higher response rate. Direct mail household response rate is 5.1% (compared to .6% email, .6% paid search, .2% online display, .4% social media).*
- It is the leading driver of website traffic. 44% of people will visit a brand’s website after receiving a piece of direct mail.*
- It compliments and adds lift to your digital efforts. Direct mail with digital ads yield 28% higher conversion rates.*
- It offers a tangible interaction with your brand. 74% of mail recipients at least scan advertising mail. Most, 53%, take the time to fully read advertising mail.*
- It’s extremely targeted. Put your data analytics to work for you and cherry-pick specific neighborhoods and apartment communites in the areas with the highest digital response.
*Success metrics from the 2017 DMA Response Rate Report.
Direct mail and digital marketing are a winning combination. In today’s heavily digital world, it is important for marketers to remember that online marketing cannot do it alone. Combining traditional print methods with digital methods not only strengthens impact, it gives you higher brand awareness, recall, and increased ROI.
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By Amber Collins