It’s the most wonderful time of the year – marketing-planning time. And in this most unusual of all years, it’s vital to choose marketing tactics you can trust. Here’s why one of those tactics should be direct mail.
Now, it’s likely that some of you already have direct mail in your 2021 marketing plan. Congratulations. (And if you’re looking for ways to maximize your direct-mail investment, give us a shout. We’d love to work with you.)
For the rest of you, when your marketing planning gets down to the point where you’re deciding what’s going to get in front of people and deliver your message in an impactful ways, direct mail has several big advantages that warrant making it a part of your marketing mix.
In no particular order, they are:
- Direct mail has multiple ways of making an impact.
Direct mail has so many parameters that you can customize to deliver the most impactful message. Depending on your goals you can modify:
- Paper stock
- Page count
And that doesn’t even take into account the actual appeals you make on the package and in the piece. You can add pictures and other graphics, QR codes and other tracking mechanisms, and even physical objects like gift cards, pull tabs, and product sample packets.
Digital media can show pictures and videos, and alter colors and layouts, but lack direct mail’s control over multiple facets of design and presentation.
There’s a reason why direct-mail response rates are five to nine times higher than that of email, paid search and social media. Consumers respond best to an offer when it stimulates multiple sense – and nothing does that like direct mail.
- It demands physical interaction.
That previous point about the most successful marketing appeals stimulating multiple senses extends particularly to materials that demand physical interaction.
Here’s an easy way to think of this: What’s better – a present you have to unwrap or an unwrapped present that’s handed to you? Even something prosaic like socks or tennis balls takes on a new level of importance and mystery when it’s wrapped and presented to you.
Direct mail is like that. An effective direct-mail piece can be like a present that has to be unwrapped. It enables you to incorporate two of the most effective emotional appeals in modern marketing – surprise and delight.
What’s in the envelope? What’s this special offer just for me? Assuming you incorporate value into your appeal (a key component of every effective direct-mail campaign), you can surprise and delight customers every time through direct mail.
Results like those are not nearly as easy to achieve with digital media.
- It can tie together all your digital efforts.
As marketers, we sometimes fall into the trap of treating each medium as an independent silo. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Every marketing medium, from outdoor to email, needs to work together to deliver a consistent and coherent marketing message.
Direct mail plays an important role in that effort because it can refer to previous digital efforts and send people back to the web to complete the marketing loop.
Suppose you’ve started a marketing campaign for a new product on digital media. You’ve used product teases, paid and unpaid social, and blogs (like this one!), and created white papers to establish thought leadership. Now it’s time to take it to the next level.
You send top prospects a well-crafted direct-mail piece that gives additional details on the product and sends people to a PURL – a personalized URL that includes more product details as well as an easy path to purchase.
Without the direct-mail piece to grab people’s attention, the entire campaign is sort of flat. By taking the campaign offline for a portion, customers can be truly engaged in something that sticks with them longer than an average email.
It’s no wonder that, according to DemandMetric, more than three-quarters of marketing and business executives agree that branded, personalized, and integrated direct mail is highly effective.
Direct mail makes digital better. If for no other reason, that’s a compelling argument in favor of direct mail.
- It’s as trackable as any digital medium.
In the previous example, you can not only tell how many people went to their personalized website, but exactly who they are.
Technological “crossovers” like these make direct mail super-trackable – good to know when your bosses are looking for ROI on your various campaigns.
Speaking of which, direct mail’s ROI of 29% trails only email and is neck-and-neck with social media for effectiveness – and you don’t need a lot of fancy tools or consultants to tell you if direct mail works. You can see for yourself.
- It plays right into the current stay-at-home status of most consumers.
Several years ago, it seemed unlikely that people would ever again look forward with anticipation to the daily mail delivery. Total mail volume had declined 30% since 2006, and was continuing to slide.
These days people look forward eagerly to receiving mail – not only items they’ve ordered, but all manner of communications. They’re more open than ever to direct-mail appeals.
It almost seems strange to say, but people are waiting for you to contact them via direct mail. What are you waiting for?
JHL Digital Direct has been helping marketing people just like you find innovative ways to add direct mail to their marketing mix, and maximize the value of every piece you send.
If you’re thinking of making direct mail part of your 2021 marketing plan but don’t know where to start, contact us. We’d love to talk with you.
10/8/20 by Jim Felhofer