Are you considering a direct mail campaign for your business and wondering if it’s worth the investment? Even with the wide range of digital advertising platforms, the benefits of direct mail marketing make it an appealing and extremely viable option.
Direct mail boasts better response rates, greater visibility, and more creative opportunities than online efforts, so it should be a key component of any marketing campaign.
Here are 12 benefits of direct mail marketing:
Direct Mail Offers Great Response Rates
Direct mail has always been a leader in response rates when compared to other marketing methods and has continued to improve in recent years. A study by the marketing and advertising trade association Data & Marketing Association (DMA) reported these rates at 9% for house lists—those previously engaged with a brand—and about 5% for prospects.
Many factors contribute to these spikes, including personalization. Customization at scale has improved dramatically in recent years and has been shown to increase response rates by a factor of 10 or more.
Email can’t even come close to a 5% response. The average click-through rate—the percentage of email recipients who clicked an attached link—is less than 2%.
Recipients Open & Read Direct Mail
Imagine walking out to your mailbox and bringing a stack of mail inside. Do you immediately throw it all into the trash or scan it to see what you received? If you scan or read through each piece, you’re not alone. According to a study by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), 53% of Americans read their mail, while another 21% at least scan it. This means the vast majority of recipients will see your direct marketing message, which is more than other mediums.
Direct Mail Is Tangible & Personal
Many people want to receive mailed marketing messages. According to a study by global marketing company Epsilon, 59% of respondents agreed with the statement “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”
This speaks to the appeal of tangible marketing messages as opposed to those delivered online. For example, physical mail can be put in a pocket or hung on the fridge as a reminder. These are private areas that can’t be accessed by any other means and are invaluable placements.
Direct Mail Is Familiar & Builds Trust
Mail has been around for a long time and is impervious to many of the drawbacks of digital advertising. You can’t infect someone’s computer or home with a direct mail letter. A seedy digital ad? That’s a different story. Who hasn’t been offered a free iPad online?
The familiarity of direct mail creates a sense of security and trustworthiness that resonates with many consumers, especially seniors and those unfamiliar with technology.
Direct Mail Is Highly Targeted
Direct mail is the best way to take advantage of all the consumer information available today. You can buy lists of consumer data that extend far beyond names and addresses to include details about professions, purchase preferences, ages, and much more. This greater personalization and relevance for each batch of mailings enables marketers to define and target their ideal persona more accurately than ever.
Direct Mail Is Highly Personalized
Customer data is valuable, but it’s nothing without personalization. Modern printing equipment has expanded customization options so that everyone can receive a unique piece of mail. No customization is off-limits, from creative to copy.
Personalization can include photos of a hometown instead of a city on the other side of the country.
Scale is especially important since research indicates exponential performance increases with three or more personalization points. In the recent past, each design would require an operator to manually set up a new press configuration, which took time and money. Today, that process has gone digital and presses adapt on the fly, reducing time-to-ship and increasing response rates.
Direct Mail Is Creative & Versatile
Mail offers nearly unlimited creative options, especially when compared to digital alternatives. Online banners and social ads enable photo and text changes. However, the size is standardized, and there’s no tactile element. Email is even worse, with only one line of text visible to users before they click.
This BMW mailer requires that recipients tear the shape of a road in the package to see the ad inside.
Direct mail is tangible and physical, lending itself to more creativity. You can apply textures, change sizes, send creative 3D objects, or even add scratch-n-sniff options to any design. This gives you more opportunities to catch attention, draw recipients in, and delight them while delivering a marketing message.
Direct Mail Is Simple
While all this talk of targeting, personalization, and creativity may make direct mail seem complicated, it’s not hard to do. A basic campaign with a few variables can provide a great return on investment (ROI), and is very easy to execute with a simple design, the right list, and a reliable mailing partner.
As such, this is a great marketing method for all types of businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to local shops.
Direct Mail Is Cost Effective
In addition to simple execution, direct mail is cost effective. According to an annual study by DMA, direct mail has an average ROI of 29%, which is competitive with online media.
Unlike digital campaigns that increasingly require a large investment to see patterns and a significant ROI, direct mail works with even a small list.
Direct Mail Is Highly Trackable
While direct mail might not seem easy to monitor, a variety of techniques can help marketers measure performance for any campaign.
Via a Website
One of the most common methods for a direct mail campaign is to use a custom landing page and list the URL on your mailing. Otherwise, create a custom personalized URL (PURL), which redirects to an existing page pre-populated with recipient data. This makes the experience much quicker and simpler. PURLs help identify landing page hits and recipient actions.
Via Custom Phone Numbers
Unique phone numbers can be created for your direct mail campaign to forward and document calls to your current numbers. This enables you to see what marketing methods yield the best results.
Via Exclusive Offers
You can create an exclusive offer to send exclusively via direct mail. Then, you simply keep track of the number of submissions received for that particular deal.
Easily Ramp Up Back-End Fulfillment
When you launch a direct mail campaign, you’ll have a reasonably accurate idea of when demand will increase and can prepare accordingly.
Online ads, on the other hand, are more volatile. You never know when one will go viral or suddenly become more effective. These require extensive tweaks and testing until the ad clicks and demand explodes, which can also overwhelm fulfillment.
Direct marketing won’t eliminate uncertainty since it doesn’t guarantee success, but it can help combat it so you can ramp up production when appropriate.
Direct Mail Complements Digital Marketing
Direct mail and digital marketing naturally draw comparisons, and they may even seem to be at odds with one another. However, this is not the case. The two work exceedingly well together. Direct mail can be used in any stage of the marketing funnel to achieve the same goals as online ads.
For example, you could send out mailers with a QR code for recipients to scan that will bring them to a webpage. You could also run an online branding campaign and follow up with a direct mail campaign to a small group of ideal customers. The possibilities are endless.
Whatever your goal, direct mail can work with your other marketing methods to enhance overall performance, increase customer engagement, and improve your ROI.
Design Distributors: Your Partner in Effective Direct Mail
Whatever your direct mail campaign or marketing needs, we possess the experience and knowledge to help. Contact us today for a quote on your next project.
[Originally Published: April 9, 2019]