The recent explosion in digital transformation has reshaped how companies perceive marketing. Digital technologies such as address verification software, database systems, and the internet as a whole have brought about faster and more efficient marketing than ever before. As a result, many believed that traditional direct mail marketing was dead.
The truth is, direct mail marketing is very much alive. Direct mail marketing strategies and tactics have been - and continue to be implemented - by mail companies and businesses of all nature because they still work amidst the overwhelming digital transformation. Here’s why:
According to a Fundera direct mail statistics overview;
- At least 42% of direct mail recipients open and read the contents of a direct mail,
- Direct mail encourages 39% of consumers to try a business for the first time,
- Approximately 54% of consumers want brands that interest them to send direct mail to their doorstep,
- Direct mail open rates can hit as high as 90%,
- American marketers spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail, which returns $2,095 per person.
Not only is direct mail marketing alive, but it also works far much more effectively than other types of direct mail marketing. Email (the digital equivalent of a direct mail marketing campaign) sees a 16.97% open rate across all industries.
Direct Mail Marketing Definition
A direct mail marketing strategy refers to a marketing tactic where companies send flyers, coupons, postcards, newspapers and physical packages directly to the customer's mailbox.
Here's a brief example of how direct mail marketing worked magic for a world-renowned footwear manufacturer, Nike.
Nike's stadium shoebox campaign is one of the most unforgettable and creative direct mail marketing ideas. The campaign was designed to encourage kids to take up athletics. The company sent beautifully designed, premium edition shoeboxes to a select group of customers. Whenever customers opened their new shoeboxes, they were greeted by a printed image of a stadium and a special sound of the crowds cheering.
Combining visual and audio enabled the company to evoke an emotional response that spiked action from customers.
How to Set Direct Mail Marketing Goals
Before designing a direct marketing strategy for the company, marketers must first identify what goals need to be accomplished. Unfortunately, that's where many fail the test. Here are a few ways to set direct marketing goals for the next campaign:
- Identify the problems/challenges
Businesses face a wide variety of challenges. Small enterprises, for instance, face issues such as:
- Lower visibility
- Lack of resources
- Smaller customer base
- Extreme competition from the industry giants
Larger businesses also face challenges, such as customer satisfaction, CRM issues, financial issues, and challenges in coordination between different departments.
Before setting your direct mail marketing goals, the sales and marketing teams need to be well acquainted with the problems they could face along the way.
- Identify the possible solutions.
With a clear picture of the problems, you can map out all the possible solutions. For instance, customers may have a wrong perception of your business or feel that your products are way too expensive.
A possible solution would be to invite them to check out different products at the physical store. Catalogs and other print marketing copy can showcase what you have and clear the doubt.
- Set SMART goals
Smart goals are all there is to modern marketing. SMART stands for:
- Specific. Set specific goals and avoid ambiguity. "Increase sales," for example, is not very specific. Instead, you can say: "Increase sales by 10%". Such a goal is much more specific and paints a clearer picture for the marketing department.
- Measurable. Set measurable goals that can be tracked with data tracking software. Direct mail marketing ROI, for instance, is a key metric used to measure the success of the campaign. Remember, data-driven marketing insights drive more results than unmeasurable goals.
- Attainable. Marketers should set realistic goals. Realistic goals mean goals that can actually be achieved within the given time frame. Avoid unrealistic expectations that only lead to frustration in the end.
- Relevant. Your goals should always be relevant to the company's objectives. They should also be aligned with the customer's expectations by the end of the campaign.
- Timely. Marketers should always assign a time frame within which their SMART goals should be achieved. This helps a lot in planning.
- Consider the customer journey
Your goals should be closely tied to the customer journey. Each step of the customer journey has specific goals. For example, at the introduction stage, the main objectives entail creating awareness before capitalizing on income. At the interest & consideration stage, marketers can capitalize on converting prospects to leads through valuable content. At the very end of the customer journey, marketers can aim to increase sales, upsell, and cross-sell.
How to Build Up Effective Direct Mail Marketing Campaign: A Step by Step Guide
A well-thought-out direct marketing campaign receives more response rate. Here's how to do direct mail marketing the right way.
- Identify the main objectives of the campaign.
Every marketing campaign has an end goal to create awareness, increase the customer base, boost revenue, or generate more leads. The goal of the strategy should fall in line with the company's end goals. Ask these questions:
- What is the campaign intended to achieve?
- Where is it taking place? On a local or global scale?
- How will it be executed?
- When should it start?
Such information enables the marketing department to design a winning strategy.
- Gather as much information about the customer as possible
Every marketing strategy requires true and accurate information about the customers. Marketers should be able to identify who their exact customers are. Collect demographic data such as:
- Marital status
- Employment & income
- Cultural background
A clear definition of who the customer is enables marketers to design strategies tailored to their needs.
- Identify the required resources and budget wisely
Companies waste 26% of their budgets on ineffective marketing channels and strategies. For small businesses, the lack of financial resources cripples the marketing budget. Every coin must be planned wisely before spending.
- Analyze the overall performance
The success of a direct mail marketing strategy is measured by the end result. If the marketing department intended to increase revenue, the numbers should show it at the end of the campaign.
Cross-checking the end results with the expected results pinpoints what works and what doesn't. It also enables the company to design more efficient and effective future strategies.
Direct Mail Marketing Tips for 2022
Although direct mail marketing has proven effective, it still faces challenges that limit its performance. Lost packages and limited acceptance by younger generations are two challenges marketers are yet to overcome. With that, here are a few additional direct mail marketing tips to overcome such issues.
- Gather accurate customer data. Direct mail marketing begins with a clean list of verified customer addresses. 1.7 million packages go missing every day, translating to over $25 million worth of goods lost daily. Incorrect customer addresses contribute to the problem. Having a database of verified addresses can help solve this issue.
- Include a CTA in your direct mail. Once your customers open your mail, they need to know what to do next. Include a CTA to call them to a specific action, e.g., sign up for an upcoming event, visit your store, etc.
- Track the results at every stage of the customer journey. Measuring essential business KPIs against the marketing campaign paints a clear picture of where the company stands. It also saves countless hours of ineffective marketing.
- Target high-value repeat customers. Direct marketing works for new and old customers alike. However, if the business is tight on resources, targeting repeat customers is less costly than acquiring new ones.
- Offer personalized mail. Customers enjoy personalized mail. Add a handwritten signature, and include personalized offers to prompt the customer to interact more with your mail.
- Integrate and automate. Integrate direct mail cma
There is no secret recipe on how to succeed in direct mail marketing. A ton of resources and effort go into every strategy because the results are well worth it. For more information about direct mail marketing, get in touch with an expert today.