It may be a digital world, but in this age of devices and technology, direct mail still lives strong. With statistics proving it’s far from dead, it would be a serious oversight not to make use of this powerful means of advertising. Though the upfront costs are relatively higher for using direct mail, the return on investment (ROI) is strong for well-targeted markets. In fact, many trendier businesses that previously didn’t use direct mail are now jumping on the bandwagon, as they’ve found the higher success rates well worth the cost. So how do you best make use of this tried-and-true method in your business?
Direct mail is engaging Americans now more than ever.
Find The Value
Despite the bulk of mail received annually, direct mail is engaging Americans now more than ever. Though the general volume of direct mail has decreased, its percentage of overall mail has increased. People are receiving less and less mail today as email remains an alternative means of communication. This decrease in other clutter increases the effectiveness of direct mail.
Statistically speaking, direct mail remains a highly effective strategy of overall marketing. US households received 121.1 billion pieces of mail in 2017, yet despite the bulk of mail received, 42% of American still read catalogs received via direct mail. This was excellent for conversion, as over 100 million US adults made a catalog purchase in 2016.
Customer response rates increased by 43% year-over-year, and prospective response increased an astounding 190%, more than doubling. With such a positive increase, it’s easy to see why businesses with no direct mail marketing are now mailing with urgency. So, why do we see such drastic trends in direct mail during the digital age?
- Research shows that reading on paper sticks in a person’s mind much better than screen reading. Paper drains fewer cognitive resources and allows for easy information retention.
- Touching marketing material allows for a deeper experience that engages the consumer.
- This tangible aspect is inescapable; physical content is more easily digested and “mapped” by the brain.
In a world of direct mail, how do you stand out and get consumers to open your mail? Here are some tips you can employ to foster success:
- Be visually compelling: The brain processes visuals at a much faster rate than it does text. If you want to make a quick sale, using graphics is a must. Humans only have an eight-second attention span. Be bold in your marketing and grab their attention.
- Keep it simple: Direct mail is not the place for complex thoughts or extensive copy. Keep your message simple and easily understood to increase cognitive fluency.
- Oversize it: Oversize envelopes have a 37% greater ROI than other mediums such as postcards or letter-sized envelopes that follow at 29%. If you want to increase the likelihood of customers opening your mail, oversize it.
- Personalize it: Adding a person’s name to direct mail in full color can increase response by 135%. A more personal approach warrants a more likely response from people who feel like it was written for them.
While direct mail seems vastly different from digital marketing, the two work in conjunction. It’s difficult to track direct mail response rates because 90% of customers visit the website to learn more about the product or service before calling. Thus, direct mail starts the process and leads to further avenues of marketing through digital means. Marketing campaigns are much more successful when they combine direct mail with digital media, experiencing a 118% increase in response rates when compared to those who use only direct mail.
Additionally, multi-channel marketing is one of the critical developments of the digital age.
A business needs 18 to 20 touch points to reach a customer for the first time. Direct mail is a part of those touch points, but so are emails, social media, TV, etc.
When you employ all these marketing powerhouses together to create the necessary touch points, you’re channeling something more significant than anyone means of marketing can accomplish. Only 11% of businesses use one method of marketing, because they know the power of multi-channel impact.
There are many statistics and reasons for using direct mail as a part of your marketing strategy. Understanding consumer responses to direct marketing are imperative for forming the correct approach. Whatever your strategy, one thing is sure – direct marketing is here to stay, and it’s making a colossal impact on the sales of those who implement it well.