Peer review has always been one of the most effective approaches to evaluation. Have you done that in school? If yes, then you know perfectly well that different people are likely to use different approaches to the same task. The analysis of their solutions allows detecting the most common problems your colleagues face and learn from their experiences. This is also true when it comes to a direct mail marketing campaign. A detached view is a useful resource to avoid common challenges and achieve positive results from the very beginning.
Therefore, Inkit has interviewed representatives of various business fields and asked them a couple of questions to find out:
- Direct mail pros and cons
- What worked really well for their direct mail marketing campaigns this year and should be replicated
- What issues they ran into and how these could be avoided in the future.
In this selection, marketing professionals share their opinion to guide those who are about to start a direct mail marketing campaign. We also had Inkit’s direct mail experts add their expert comments and explain how direct mail automation can mitigate the most common direct mail problems.
Question: Why Did You Choose to Run a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign for Your Business? Pros and Cons of Direct Mail Marketing.
Unique Way To Reach a Target Audience
The majority of our respondents have admitted that snail mail is a great way to distinguish yourself from competitors. If properly done, a direct mail marketing campaign can help you build a strong connection with your target audience.
“One of the pros of a direct mail campaign is being able to reach a target audience. With direct mail marketing, you can send information to a specific group that is interested in your product or service and increase your chances of closing a deal (Jake Hay, PopShorts).”
“As the world is becoming more digital, many might think that direct mail is on the way out. However, from my experience, it’s not, and I’ve found that open rates from a direct mail campaign are significantly higher than that of an email campaign. This I believe correlates with the fact that not many letters are sent now in comparison to a few years ago and now receiving a letter through your mailbox is seen as something a little special. However, it is important not to just send out any old letter, targeting your marketing remains crucial even in your offline campaigns so make sure the messaging and design is tailored to each audience (Dan Madden, citrusHR).”
“There are a lot of benefits to direct mail. Done right it can build a bond and establish credibility with a prospect. It’s sticky, meaning I find that my prospects keep my initial mailing piece and the subsequent follow up pieces in a file until they’re ready to make a decision. The stickiness also lets you tell the prospect your story over in my case several months (Dennis Fassett, MetroDetroitHomebuyer.co).”
A direct mail marketing campaign is also an effective way to provide more information about your company. Compared to emails or digital ads, mail pieces have more space for text, images, and creativity.
“Direct mail allows you to provide customers with a piece of detailed information. A detailed letter, event invites, coupons, etc. helps to give a better deal for new customers. Also, companies can provide a picture and detailed information about the product or service in the brochure (Boni Satani, Zestard Technologies).”
“Highly targeted and so more detailed information about your product/ offer can be delivered directly to your audience (Lewis Peters, Online Rock Salt).”
In this case, the views of respondents have divided. Some of them believe that a direct mail campaign is an effective but costly affair. There are also those who consider mailing a great option to cut marketing expenditures and achieve an optimum price-quality ratio.
“Direct mail is really inexpensive compared with other lead generation techniques. I can send a letter for under a dollar, while my colleagues are using google and other online ads and paying 20+ times my cost for each click that they get (Dennis Fassett, MetroDetroitHomebuyer.co).”
“Time and money are two of the most valuable resources and direct mail doesn’t require much of either.
You probably have to buy or rent a list of prospective targets. Direct mail isn’t expensive but this adds to the cost. There’s no guarantee you’ll recoup it as direct mail marketing rarely lands the biggest clients (Morgan Taylor, Let Me Bank).”
“The cons of direct mail campaigns are of course the significantly higher costs of this over online methods, which makes achieving results very highly loaded. There is also the inherent risk involved in ensuring that the company that you entrust with the processing and distribution of your campaign do so properly, and don’t take shortcuts or fail to deliver on time (Mark, English Blinds).”
“The only disadvantage of direct mail is cost. It costs a lot of money to send direct mail in volume. Numerous little organizations spend countless money a month. Postage and printing can be incredibly costly to acquire clients (Boni Satani, Zestard Technologies).”
Expert Opinion: How Direct Mail Automation Can Cut Expenditures
Most people who complain about the cost of their direct mail campaign should consider automation. The likely reason is that they waste extra time and money on printing and mailing chores. Luckily, there are numerous tools that minimize the human role in mail delivery and optimize the process. Third-party providers know how to print and mail with maximum efficiency. In particular, Inkit provides a custom postcard builder with ready-made templates that can allow you to save on professional design. Besides, thanks to automated printing and delivery, you won’t need to look for a printing house or go to the post office. Therefore, automation is the key to getting the most out of your direct mail campaign.
Response Rate and ROI
Similarly to the cost, there are different opinions on direct mail campaign effectiveness. Although all respondents have stated that mail marketing generates positive results, their estimations of response rates and ROI differ. Let’s see what they think:
“The cons of direct mail campaigns is that the response rates are fairly low. Some recipients lump direct mail with junk mail, and if they don’t recognize the return address, your email could get lost (Jake Hay, PopShorts).”
“True, it is more expensive than simple Email Marketing, however, the benefits greatly outweigh any cost. Firstly, individuals are much more likely to open a personalised piece of direct mailing compared to a, in some cases, spammy looking email.. As a result of this, there is an increase in return on investment, as the direct mailing is more likely to get a response from the customer (Katherine Rowland, YourParkingSpace.co.uk).”
“The main issue with this is that it’s a lot more effort than typing since you have to make sure you’re writing neatly, with the same low response rate as an email marketing outreach. Writing a letter takes more effort, but it can lead to better responses overall (Max Falb, Fueled).”
Expert Opinion: How Direct Mail Automation Can Improve Mail Effectiveness
Remember that any statistic is an average rage based on multiple direct mail campaigns. If you design a mail piece tailored to your target audience and identify the right volume and timing, you can achieve a significantly higher ROI than other companies. Make sure to test your mail pieces before investing in large batch sizes. A/B testing is the simplest way to increase your direct mail effectiveness and allocate your budget wisely. You can organize printing and mailing on your own or find a vendor with unlimited batch size. Whereas the United States Postal Service usually imposes strict limitations on the minimum and maximum mail volume, a third-party company like Inkit can offer you customized services. Using Inkit, you can send several postcards with different designs to see how they work and easily switch to a larger volume for the same price.
Tracking and Measurement
Analytics is what often scares people who are about to launch a direct mail marketing campaign. Those who have already figured out how to measure direct mail marketing results know that it’s easy. Still, many businesses hesitate about using direct mail because of the tracking issues:
“The difficulty we had to test around was the exact window post-move in which we would send. Are prospects engaged from the first week that they move? Or perhaps they have already acquired their must-haves such as beds and a sofa in the first week, and we should target them with more accents and home accessories in the ensuing weeks? These are questions that we hope to answer with more testing of both content and send dates in due course (Nathan Thompson, Pavilion Broadway).”
“Direct mail marketing is easy to track. It allows a company to figure out their return on investment (ROI). Companies that generally send direct mail include an order form or application. If the company generates leads by mail, the company needs to have the order form or application. It will help the company to know the number of sales from the letter, subtract expenses and calculate their profit (Boni Satani, Zestard Technologies).”
“Tracking results is also very easy and insightful when linked up to Google Analytics and your email management software’s campaign reports. These come as standard with platforms such as Inkit and Sendgrid, both of which are excellent tools for conducting email outreach. Using these means that you can track data such as open rates and click-through rates – key metrics for determining the strength of your subject line and email copy, respectively. Additionally, using Google Analytics can allow you to monitor user journeys throughout your site after they have clicked-through from an email link. This can help you piece together the actions your users are taking in the run-up to a transaction before working to optimise your site to streamline this journey (Scott Littler, Twinkl).”
Expert Opinion: How Direct Mail Automation Can Be Used for Tracking
In addition to the recommendations provided by the respondents, it’s worth mentioning the use of CRMs. Customer tracking becomes much easier when you rely on detailed and continuously updated data. Moreover, CRMs are necessary to fully automate the mailing process and personalize a direct mail marketing campaign. You will be able to see which of your marketing strategies is the most suitable or promptly adapt the marketing approach based on emerging needs.
Inkit hopes that the experience of our respondents has helped you better understand direct mail marketing in action and answer some of the questions of your own. Note that direct mail automation and the right software can solve the majority of common marketing problems. Visit this page to learn more about direct mail automation functionality.