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Direct Mail Marketing in 2018

by on October 25, 2018 in Best advertising story, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Retail News, Small Business, Startups

Direct Mail Marketing in 2018

 Direct Mail Marketing in 2018

In an increasingly digital world, direct mail marketing may not be your first consideration when you are developing a marketing campaign for your company.

This is partly due to the many other areas of marketing which have been established and are proving popular due to the internet, including revolutionary platforms such as social media. You may be wondering how you can develop a successful direct mail marketing strategy in 2018.

This post will highlight the benefits of this long-established marketing technique, which has had something of a revival in recent years and still continues to have a response from customers.

What is it about?

Direct mail marketing involves marketing content that is directly sent to a customer mailing list. This unsolicited advertising technique sees you reach out to both prospective customers and potential returning customers through the mail. This physical promotional material offers great scope for your business to both drive business and increase awareness of your business and services.

To capitalise on this marketing technique, it will firstly require a close look at how you approach your direct mail marketing technique, as there will likely be room for improvements that can give this aspect of your advertising campaign a shake-up, and result in a notable response from your mailing list.

Is it still effective?

You may be surprised to learn that direct mail marketing is still a front runner, and is considered an effective marketing technique that can be seen from response rates and statistics collated by DMA, who reported that in 2017, response rates for common campaign methods saw direct mail to household marketing have a response rate of 6%, compared to online display, social media, paid search and email respectively.

However, it is noted that when combined with other methods, response rates can increase up to 37%. Add to this the statistics collated by USPS, that found that 18.4 % of people will respond to mail advertisements from companies they have previously purchased from.

What does this tell us?

These statistics go to highlight that physical direct marketing still works. This is due to the physicality of this type of marketing; a vast majority of people still check, collect and sort through their mail almost daily. This provides two benefits:

  • Firstly, your company can gain more of an immediate analysis of the effect of an advertising campaign. The direct mail you send often remains in the customers household for up to a week, on average. This means you can quickly gain an insight into whether your campaign has been successful with your target audience, due to their response rate and direct action to receiving the mail.
  • The physicality of direct mail marketing is noted to be more memorable. USPS found that millennials are spending time with physical adverts have a stronger emotional response. Through this direct technique which sees your company advertised to them directly, in their home, your business can make more of a subconscious impact, in comparison to a social media campaign or email, which is more likely to be lost amongst the vast amount of information an individual takes in every time they use their mobile phone or computer.

Why it shouldn’t be overlooked

This low tech, and therefore often low-cost marketing technique is still proving effective with digital nomads. The emotive response from receiving physical mail, and the response this evokes due to the personal element of receiving content through their door, does still prove popular. USPS found that:

  • 84% of millennials take the time to look through their mail
  • 64% would rather scan for useful information in a letter than an email.

The debate of direct mail marketing vs. digital marketing can be called into question with this statistic. 2018 has seen digital marketing, and social media, in particular, become extremely prominent, with influencers utilising Instagram and Snapchat to reach out to their followers, for example. Many users of social media can admit to spending hours of their day scrolling through content, which is usually made up of targeted ads combined with content shared by those they are following.

Fear not, however; this works to the advantage of direct mail. These platforms provide users with so much various information that it can actually be less effective to advertise in this way, and potentially very expensive for your company. Your ads can be lost with the myriad of other information constantly being fed to your audience. Companies can, therefore, capitalise on this, through direct, memorable and personal mail marketing, that has proven to resonate more successfully. You effectively have far less competition, and as a result of this, direct mail marketing is the perfect opportunity to get noticed.

The emotional response of receiving post evokes a sense of nostalgia and more of a connection; indeed 87% of millennials like receiving direct mail. Gallup reported that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to receiving post every day. Add to this that 95% of 18 to 29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters, and you already have a stronghold and springboard from which you can form a connection, and therefore, form potential business.

How your company can capitalise on it

So now you are familiar with how successful direct mail marketing can be. This is only half the battle; the important thing to know is how you can capitalise on this technique so that the content you send out is doing its job.

Be personal

Personalised direct mail can prove incredibly effective. This highly-targeted content taps into your consumer more so than merely referring to customers as ‘the homeowner.’ You can create a more emotive and personal connection to your potential clients through the use of first names, as opposed to a slightly detached, removed response of a standard piece of direct mail that is sent to every consumer.

Never underestimate the power of personalising your content. An individualised approach does not have to be limited to directly addressing the homeowner by name, as you can even specify your mail to the location of the recipient, or calendar events or special occasions such as Christmas. Through narrowing down your content, you can make your marketing seem even more personal.

Build trust and rapport with your customers

This point ties in with taking a personal approach to your direct mail marketing. Through personalised content, you can reach out and appeal to customers more directly and succinctly, and this can be taken one step further through incentives and building a rapport with existing customers, for example. According to statistics collated by USPS, 90% of millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable.

With trust already established through a piece of mail being personally addressed to the recipient, be sure to acknowledge the loyalty of these customers through the content you send to their door. Remind them they are important to you; after all, everybody enjoys receiving a letter.

Make it memorable

Direct mail marketing offers more opportunity to create memorable campaigns. Due to the tangible post you are sending out, your company can make more of an impact as opposed to a campaign seen through a screen. Use bold colours, clear, attractive images, and incorporate graphics and text that collectively stand out while conveying the message you want to send out. Personalisation should be considered in the design of the content you are sending out.

Get creative

Creative freedom knows no bounds with what you can send in the mail. Everybody loves receiving post, and if this post is colourful and memorable, you are more likely to get a positive response from your potential customers. Think about postcards with poppy colours, cleverly designed card and even fold-out dimensional post. Just because the content is being delivered through the door, does not mean it has to be less fun or enticing to the customer.

Create intriguing packages that allow the consumer to directly interact with the product; perhaps a novelty envelope, or pull-out feature to attract more attention.

Offer incentives

Offering vouchers and incentives are another benefit of direct mail marketing. Having a physical offer in their hands is more likely to attract consumers to using your services and responding. Many companies again build more rapport and trust with returning customers through offers and reward schemes. Regular mail can remind existing customers they are not forgotten and ensures they feel valued. This technique can also attract new custom, purely through offering slight discounts on their first order or purchase with you, for example.

Form a call-to-action

One final important stage of a direct mail strategy is the call to action. After all, you are sending out content for a reason. Have a clearly defined call to action included in the content, so your audience knows how to respond. This could be through a response via post, email, website, phone, or even through an in-store visit. Provide your audience with all the information, so the next step to take is clear. Customers respond more strongly to physical, printed messages, so if you want to make a long-lasting impact, be sure to include a concise call-to-action in the mail you sent out.

Direct Mail Marketing in 2018 is far from a forgotten form of marketing. By capitalising on the positive connotations your potential customers have with personal, tangible mail, you can see your business gain custom and traction far quicker than you realised.

Along with the other considerations, such as the effectiveness of a memorable, creative campaign, you can see positive results for your business through direct mail marketing sooner than previously thought. So what are you waiting for?

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