If you’ve been wondering whether direct mail is even worth your time, this article is for you. The short answer to the question is: yes, it absolutely is, especially so under the current lockdown conditions when marketers need to focus on the most ROI effective channels.
In the contemporary world of all things digital, direct mail may seem old-fashioned and frankly, boring. After all, who uses a pager or fax machine to contact their co-workers or friends these days?
However, direct mail is different from the above for a few reasons. It’s a failsafe way to connect with your audience on a personal level and grab their attention.
For example, a 2016 Data & Marketing Association study reported that direct mail customer response rates increased by 43%. The prospect response rate increased by 190% when direct mail was used, too – compared to the previous year.
The results may seem shocking, but the data doesn’t lie! Direct mail remains a very effective way to communicate with your audience and should be top of the list of ‘things to do’ for any serious marketer.
Now you may be asking one more question – why?
Direct Mail Benefit #1: Direct Mail has a High ROI
Direct mail actually gives you more for your money than paid search and display ads online – this is because direct mail has a median ROI of 29%, putting it third behind email and social media marketing. Social media is ahead of direct mail by only 1 percent!
Direct mail outstrips paid searches, with an ROI of 23% and online display ads with an ROI of 16%, considerably.
What’s more, direct mail has a response rate of 5.3% for mail sent to houses, and 2.9% for mail sent to prospect lists. That’s an amazing response rate compared to email, which has an average click-through rate of 2-3%, and a response rate of 0.6%.
Direct Mail Benefit #2: Direct Mail can be Paired with a Digital Marketing Strategy
“Good marketing strategies should consist of more than one channel – you can’t, for example, only use Instagram Ads and then stop there!” says Callan Bolton, a marketer at Writinity and Last Minute Writing. Instead, you’ll be looking to diversify by running Facebook ad campaigns, paid search campaigns, and using SEO to increase traffic to your website.
You can similarly add direct mail to your marketing strategy.
Some companies have combined the two like so: they send direct mail to all of their clients, offering them a discount code they can scan or input online. You might also want to ask your customers to post on social media about the coupon by incentivizing them with some reward for doing so!
By combining direct mail with digital marketing techniques like social media hashtags, your marketing game will become more successful and your brand will become more personal.
Direct Mail Benefit #3: Direct Mail is Trackable
In some ways, there is no way to track direct mail response rates, ROI, and engagement – a customer might visit your website after seeing your direct-mail piece, and count as a lead from your website rather than your direct mail campaign. Numerous leads can be lost like this in the plethora of marketing techniques you use.
And yet, there are ways to track your results. You can include phone numbers that are unique to your direct mail campaign, or a unique landing page for visitors who are coming from direct mail. This way, you can know for sure what response-rate your direct mail campaign is garnering.
Direct Mail Benefit #4: Direct Mail Stands Out
The reason direct mail stands out is precisely the reason you may have wondered whether it is worth your time in the first place – because it is becoming less common.
The fact is direct mail does work – and the data backs this up. Many people are stopping to use direct mail out of a misplaced belief it doesn’t yield results.
As everyone nowadays is familiar with digital marketing, it’s much easier to do than a direct-mail campaign, too. In fact, direct mail usage by marketers decreased by 2% in 2016.
However, this is good for you and your business! With fewer marketers sending mail, your piece of mail has a much higher chance of standing out.
Another point to note is that the internet – particularly SERPs and email inboxes – is full of marketing messages. Customers’ mailboxes, on the other hand, are not. So direct mail actually works very well in the digital age. It’s less common and this makes it more effective.
Direct Mail Benefit #5: Direct Mail is Nostalgic
There’s something vaguely nostalgic and yes, romantic, about receiving direct mail. After all – who does handwritten letters anymore? If you were to receive one, you’d surely be excited. It’s the same with marketing mail!
Getting mail is exciting – and 73% of people said they prefer direct mail to other advertising methods. People love receiving mail. It makes them feel valued, it’s exciting, and it’s even more effective when it contains something handwritten, like a signature!
Direct Mail Benefit #6: Direct Mail is Tangible
“One of the huge flaws in digital marketing is that customers are liable to completely forget about things they have seen or been sent online. Coupons and vouchers languish unused in inboxes, and offer codes are saved by a screenshot and then never looked at again,” says Shamima Moon, a business writer at DraftBeyond and Researchpapersuk.
Direct mail sends your customers something they won’t forget about, because it’s, well – physical. Coupons can be popped in wallets and purses or stuck on the fridge. This way they actually get used, which means customers remember about your business, spend money at your company, and will likely return.
Numbers on a screen are forgettable. Physical clutter that takes up space will be used!
Direct Mail Benefit #7: Direct Mail is Accessible for All Ages
Another problem with the digital era is that it leaves behind the less tech-savvy portion of the population.
Digital campaigns don’t stand much chance of reaching the older demographic.
As a matter of fact, only 59% of people between 65-69 in America own a smartphone. This percentage decreases more and more, on average, the older the person. Roughly four in ten senior citizens are smartphone owners.
So, including direct mail marketing will include these people in your marketing strategy!
Are you ready to plan a direct mail campaign without leaving your house? Click here to learn more about Inkit’s direct mail automation software.
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Law Assignments and Gumessays.com who has been involved in many projects throughout the country. Mother of two children, she enjoys traveling, reading, and attending business training courses.