There’s no denying that today’s marketing and advertising landscape is primarily digital. In fact, digital marketing experts estimate that the average American is exposed to anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day. It’s no wonder that consumers are feeling fatigued with digital marketing efforts and are becoming very choosy with the brands they want to engage with.
A constant barrage of online messaging and the thousands of ads we scroll through daily has also led to a revolt and consumers are gravitating towards more offline experiences. Factor in the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 and how we’re constantly on some form of the internet now, most of us are just looking for a little human interaction.
That’s why many savvy businesses have pivoted their strategy to include a tried-and-true marketing method that is, at its core, interactive — direct mail marketing.
Direct mail is not dead
In fact, direct mail is more important than ever. It might seem outdated but direct mail has one important quality that just can’t be replicated in digital marketing, it has an element of physical touch.
The impact of the pandemic has created a unique environment where consumers are captive audiences and they are actively forming new purchase behaviors and relationships with brands while at home. In these times, direct mail might be the most effective way to introduce a new product or service and start a conversation with the customer.
Direct mail will offer brands a way to level-up their relationships with consumers and break through the digital clutter. Businesses are looking for ways to provide unique offline experiences to their customers. There’s no doubt direct mail will play a major role in these types of integrated multichannel campaigns in 2022 and might stay pace with digital marketing efforts.
Direct mail vs. digital advertising
Does anyone dread opening their mailbox more than their email inbox these days? Not likely. Many of us look forward to checking for mail now. In 2021, direct mail response rates were nearing 90%. When you compare that with the roughly 20-25% open rates for emails, it’s a no-brainer why businesses are sticking with direct mail.
Let’s explore the advantages that direct mail offers over its digital counterparts:
- People prefer print – Not only do consumers like checking mail but science suggests we might even be wired for print. Turns out our brains prefer those glossy brochures and flyers and these pieces even test better for brand recognition. Direct mailers require far less cognitive effort to process making them easier to understand and more memorable.
- Directly aimed at your senses – Because of its tactile nature, direct mail offers more chances to engage your recipient’s senses than digital marketing. You can really get creative with direct mail too. For example, a Brazilian gym gave out calendars to their customers with cutouts in the shape of a man and a woman. As they flipped back each month, the silhouettes of the people got slimmer, imitating the effect of consistently working out.
- There’s not as much competition – Many businesses jumped all in on the digital wave and so there’s less competition in the direct mail space these days. That means a colourful, creative piece of mail has a much better shot at standing out in a mailbox than yet another ad on Google. Plus, people sift through mail during downtime so there are even less distractions.
Get your direct mail strategy started
Now you know why it’s a great idea to incorporate direct mail into your businesses’ marketing plans but where do you get started? First, it makes sense to think about who you want to send direct mail to.
The key to any successful marketing plan is reaching the right prospects at the right time with the right offer. Before kicking off a direct mail campaign, consider the target market and select the audience based on demographics (age, gender, income, location, etc.) that are well-suited for your brand or business.
Consider too that direct mail isn’t just for new customers. These campaigns can work very well for generating repeat business and re-engaging previous customers, plus it gives you an opportunity to personalize your offering.
Customers love advertising that has a personal touch. Turn those repeat customers into loyal ones by experimenting with a postcard campaign for a special invitation to an exclusive offer.
Figuring out the right mailing list is a great starting point but you still need to design an engaging piece of mail and avoid the dreaded “junk mail” bin.
Design a piece that stands out by incorporating great copy that has gripping headlines and subheads. Be short and concise in your piece and focus on the benefits the customer will receive.
With design, use high-resolution imagery and invest in better paper and ink quality to withstand mailing wear and tear. Avoid using backgrounds that are too busy and might take away from the key message. Include your logo, offer, contact information and social media channels.
Packing and sending
The big question remains of how much a direct mail campaign costs to send. On average, direct mail campaigns can cost anywhere between 30 cents and $10 dollars per recipient. These costs can fluctuate depending on the medium, design costs, distribution, and so on.
According to estimates, a direct mail campaign sending postcards to 1,000 recipients can cost about $1,150 or $1.15 per recipient.
For businesses based out of the US and Canada, both national postal services have created useful and cost-effective direct mail programs. Canada Post’s Neighborhood Mail allows you to save big on postage rates by doing it yourself or offers expertise in the form of a partner program that can walk you through the entire direct mail strategy. The USPS put together the Every Door Direct Mail program with an easy online tool to map neighborhoods and zip codes built with demographic filters to drill-down into your target audience.
Learn more: Mailing services from The Printed Image
The future of direct mail
Direct mail is certainly trending upwards as clever marketers and businesses put a new twist on this classic channel. Using it with smart tech and digital marketing data is also a winning combination like using QR codes in the mail you send to lead consumers to your website. Now is the time to create some killer direct mail campaigns and start sending print communications to boost your sales.