6 Reasons Why You Should Use Direct Mail in 2022
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – marketing-planning time. And as we inch back towards normal, or perhaps a new normal, it’s a good time to look long and hard at the marketing tactics we’ve used over the last two years and make some modifications.
In our opinion, one of the modifications you should make for 2022 is a move back toward direct mail.
It’s all about your customers
According to a recent research report from Ascend2, personalization is the No. 1 goal of data-driven marketing – and face it: We’re all in data-driven marketing, whether or not we like to admit it.
We use information about our customers to sell to our customers, and we have for years. Whether it’s someone in auto sales asking a customer why they want a different vehicle or a fitness studio choosing a social-media channel based on its demographic profile, we’re making marketing decisions based on information – data.
Direct mail slots right into a data-based marketing program in two ways: as a tool for using data you’ve collected, and as an important tool for collecting more data.
Throughout 2021 marketers have faced the loss of third-party online data. The most important workaround that’s emerged to date is first-party data – your own data on prospects and customers.
Direct mail is one of the most effective ways of leveraging first-party data and reaching customers with powerful, durable messages. And on the data-collection side, direct mail can be loaded with QR codes, forms, and reply cards to help you collect even more customer data.
Your 2021 marketing plan needs to be more customer-focused than ever. Direct mail can help you speak to your customers directly and get measurable results.
Here are some additional advantages direct mail has that warrant making it a part of your marketing mix.
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.
You can surprise and delight customers every time through direct mail – and 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.
Especially in 2022, every marketing medium, from outdoor to email, will have to work together to deliver a consistent, coherent, and personalized 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.
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
If you set up your direct-mail campaign correctly, you can not only tell how many people clicked on a QR code or 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 open rates can approach 90%, blowing email open rates out of the water – and once they open, well, the rest is up to you.
It plays right into our continuing current stay-at-home status
Face it: The office is never going to be the office again. Gartner forecasts that 51% of global knowledge workers will be remote by the end of 2021, while Forbes projects an overall doubling of remote workers by the end of the year.
Regardless of the final total, a significant number of people who used to go somewhere for work will be staying home – and for them, checking the mail is still a big part of their day.
It almost seems strange to say, but people are waiting for you to contact them via direct mail. What are you waiting for?
JHL has been helping marketers bring their direct mail concepts to life since 1985. If direct mail is in your 2022 marketing plan, or if you’re thinking of adding it and you need a print and mail partner, contact us. We’d love to talk with you.
By Jim Felhofer 10/18/21