Power of Direct Mail
Direct mail has been proven to have some of the highest response rates. The reasons are simple. It’s a great tactile experience with a long shelf life. The combination of email and direct mail is one of the strongest multi-channel approaches any business can use.
The use of direct mail has changed tremendously with technology. Gone are the days of spray and pray where a business would purchase some ambiguous list, and mail the entire list with a single message, hoping that the single message would resonate with at least a small segment of recipients. Enter the digital world. It’s all about highly targeted lists. Such as, the flooring company that uses new home sales combined with square footage size and the age of the home, along with relative market value to determine the attractiveness of a target. Even the post office has evolved its services to address the needs of marketing teams using direct mail.
A few ways direct mail is used effectively:
- Saturation mail continues to be a very inexpensive way to reach a large audience. That audience may still be highly segmented and targeted, but the saturation approach keeps postage costs to a minimum.
- Targeted mail to individuals. This may be triggered by an action the person took online, in-store, elsewhere, or not at all. For example, this could be a consumer who made a purchase online and now we will email and direct mail the options for warranty services or up-sells. Or, it may be the consumer who has been unseen in 4 months and is typically a frequent buyer.
- Sales team support is one of the most common and growing uses for direct mail. When combining the power of a CRM system, email, and direct mail, you have an incredibly high rate of engagement and conversion. This automation is not hard, and the piece count is exceptionally low per salesperson, typically so very affordable once setup.
- Email systems are wonderful, and every business loves this inexpensive channel. However, non-deliverables, new in-box rules and segregation, and of course spam blockers have changed the game. 2018 saw some of the first declining email response rates, and it will only continue. The dual channel effort of email and direct mail is most beneficial. Know your audience, and automate the decision making for who gets what direct mail.
- EDDM is the tool to use if you simply need to blanket an entire carrier route at the lowest possible cost. By using lists that have little targeting, but saturate an entire area, you can be sure to get the word out fast. Oftentimes this is effective for professional and household services that are purchased in tighter geographies, or where the buzz is simply the best approach. New healthcare providers, gyms, restaurants, landscapers, and many more have used this technique to capitalize on the less than 17 cents per piece rate.
The effectiveness of direct mail is greatly enhanced by the addition of personalization on the piece. Nothing drives higher engagement rates across all direct mail approaches than using relevant personal information in communications. This makes the piece directly related to only the recipient. Imagine a direct mail piece reminding you how long it’s been since your last new car purchase, your current mortgage rate, or simply the points you’ve accumulated in the loyalty program. These are all extremely useful personalization techniques.
From Real World to Digital Realm
No channel stands alone. Just like print is effective for improving email performance, the web visit is essential to direct mail’s success. Utilize personalization to create ‘web codes’ for unique offers and trackability. Get your prospect to engage with you online, and then move to remarketing for your next channel. Many more techniques can be used to drive direct mail to online engagement.
To learn more about the power of direct mail, contact one of TAG’s experts.