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Do You Think Direct Mail Marketing is “Old Fashioned”?

With the ubiquity of email and social media, some marketers may think that direct mail marketing is old fashioned and less effective.  Some may believe that digital-only campaigns save money and reach more people.    Think again!   First, email is often deleted without even being scanned. Or, it may end up in a spam folder, and the potential customer may never even know you sent them anything. Additionally, people are saturated with emails and social media messages.   Do you read every email that hits your inbox?  Do you read all the posts written by your connections on social media?  Often that good “old fashioned” piece of paper, which the target audience can touch, hold and even set aside to read later, actually gets a better read rate than digital communications.

The Statistics

Here are a few statistics gleaned from a number of direct mail studies.  A reported 79% of US households either read or scan the direct mail sent to their homes. The United States Post Office notes that over 60% of households receiving direct mail will go to a provided URL related to the marketing if it’s relevant, or at least visit the company’s website. Even better, direct mail that provides a personalized URL will receive an increased response rate of 30% to 40%. Also, including a map on your direct mail marketing will help increase your response rate by 40% when compared to campaigns without a map included. These are just a few of the statistics that demonstrate how a targeted direct mail campaign can improve your business and maximize your advertising dollars.  The more you “touch” the customer with direct mail, in combination with complementary digital messages, the higher effectiveness you will have in eliciting a response.

The Method

We believe a good cross media campaign should target 10 touches of your potential customer.  Ideally, direct mail marketing should provide three to six of the touches in a given campaign.   Either send the same message with different graphics and personalization, or send a progressive series of messages, each building on the last, like a puzzle. In addition, complement direct mail with digital.  One option is to provide a personalized URL and offer a promotion, such as a gift card, coupon, or contest entry. Additionally, don’t forget to plan ahead and know how you will track your campaign. You must track the number of people clicking on the PURL, entering their email address, and calling as a result of the campaign. This is imperative to help assess what worked and what needs to change for the next campaign.

Finally, and most importantly, follow up with those who contact you. It may seem obvious but it is more common than you may believe that marketers spend the money to generate leads and then to not close the loop with proper lead follow up. You must have resources and a process dedicated to email or call those expressing an interest in your products and services in order to close the sale.

Real Life

Recently I had lunch with a customer who was trying to generate interest for a booth at an upcoming trade show.   They were envisioning an all-digital campaign to publicize their booth.  We ended up building a direct mail campaign to supplement their digital efforts.  The customer called me last week to say how ecstatic they were with the results of the postcard campaign. They were surprised at how many customers showed up at their booth, postcard in hand. Our customer signed up a significant number of new retail customers at the show. It’s just one example of someone who now realizes the value of “old fashioned” direct mail!

To develop a direct mail marketing campaign that is best suited for your business, give us a call.  We have two convenient locations in the Twin Cities, one in downtown Minneapolis and another in Apple Valley.  At both locations, you’ll find knowledgable, experienced professionals ready to help your business get noticed and get business.

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  1. […] you reconsider a direct mail campaign but if you need more convincing, read our previous blogs, Do You Think Direct Mail is Old-fashioned? and The Benefits of Variable Data Printing and Personalized Marketing.  Pairing a mail campaign […]

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