Direct Mail: The Walking Dead

  • Kecia
  • 19 May 2015

Like a Zombie, it Keeps Coming Back—and Still Delivers

If I told you that 65 percent of consumers made a purchase as a direct result of this marketing medium—what would you think? What if I told you that this platform is direct mail? That’s right, direct mail. The one thing you’re probably not doing.

In the days of mad tweeting, blogging, Facebooking—it’s hard to believe that what’s still considered a “dinosaur” in the marketing world by some—is basically gold sitting in your customer’s mailbox.

According to a survey conducted by Target Marketing Magazine, direct mail is the one channel that delivered the strongest ROI for customer acquisition for B2C marketers, and scored the highest for customer contact and retention.

In fact, J.C. Penney recently announced it would bring back its print catalog after being dormant for five years. According to a recent article on NPR, a spokesperson for the retail giant says the catalog is making a comeback because of its popularity with customers, and its ability to drive traffic to its online site and its stores.

So why not add direct mail to your online engagement strategy? With email inboxes full, and traditional mail volumes down, you have an even greater chance of getting your message noticed by your prospects and customers.

According to a report from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), response rates for direct mail to an existing customer average 3.4 percent, stating that while direct mail costs are higher, the cost per lead and cost per sale across direct mail, email, and paid search are about equal.

Simply put—people still genuinely like to receive and read mail.

By integrating direct mail into your omnichannel efforts, you can get more eyes on your company’s brand, and then drive home your message with a follow-up email campaign. It’s a one-two-punch.

According to the study by the Harvard Business Review, when both channels are used together, the response rate is 25 percent, an uptick of 1 percent had it been a solo direct mail project.

And the same goes on an international scale. A recent study by Royal Mail’s research agency, Quadrangle, reports larger increases in customer engagement through the use of both mediums together. The report states a 13 percent uplift on driving consumers to a website; a 22 percent uplift on a purchase; and a 34 percent uplift on using a coupon.

Without a doubt, while both mediums are effective on their own, using them together as part of an overall integrated campaign can significantly boost customer loyalty and ultimately, drive more sales.

The Future of Direct Mail

According to consulting firm, Winterberry Group, direct mail spending is said to have surpassed $44 billion in 2014. And it stands to grow even more this year, especially with the rise of new and innovative technologies.

These up-and-coming technologies allow marketers to add more of the wow factor to their direct mail campaigns, and actually extend its shelf life. For example, most marketers combine their direct mail efforts with mobile phone technology such as QR codes or SnapTag (a barcode similar to QR codes) to direct consumers to landing pages with relevant information.

Some take it a step further with the use of augmented reality (AR), which allows marketers to tie in a direct mail piece with video or computer-generated 3D graphics to improve engagement through a more personalized and compelling digital experience—think virtual shopping trip or game.

Another technology—near field communication (NFC), the wireless touch-to-transfer technology—will help direct mail remain a relevant marketing vehicle in the years to come.

It would enable marketers to deliver content through an NFC chip, so when a user touches a smartphone to marketing collateral—there’s an instant connection.

Direct mail will continue to be a workhorse for generating leads, traffic, and sales, while your other media will help drive interest and awareness.

Getting Started

So, whether you currently use direct mail (or are considering it), contact us to learn how our tools can help you get the most out of your campaigns. A successful direct mail effort starts with a clean and up-to-date mailing list, personalizing your mail, and knowing exactly who to target with valuable demographic information.

To get a jump-start on your direct mail efforts, call RT Marketing today 828.328.8956

–Guest Article Courtesy of Author, Abby Telleria. Published by Melissa Data.