Chances are you must have come across the assertion that "Direct mail marketing is dead." And that the internet killed it. A direct mail marketing strategy has a median ROI of 29%, compared to paid search and online display with an ROI of 23% and 16%, respectively.
While we may brag about the benefits that come with digital marketing, direct mail marketing is still a reliable channel to connect with your audience. 41% of people enjoy checking their mailbox every day.
Direct mail marketing has always been a direct response channel for generating leads and sales. And it is still very effective with a 9% response rate. Modern technology additionally boosts its efficiency through more personalized approaches.
In this article, we'll cover the ways direct marketing strategy works and how innovations change
a contemporary direct mail strategy.
What is Direct Mail Marketing Strategy
Businesses employ various marketing strategies to get the desired action from their clients or prospects.
Direct Mail Marketing Strategy is a type of marketing that involves sending physical products or materials to a customer's home. Examples of direct mail include letters, brochures, postcards, and more.
You may have come across these misconceptions about direct mail marketing being time-wasting, hard to track ROI, and so on. If for any reason that's valid, it's definitely not in the digital age.
Because with the presence of marketing automation platforms like Inkit Send, creating, printing, and sending out direct mail is easy. Companies get a chance to implement the best direct mail strategies and make them automated.
Innovations and Changes in Modern Direct Mail Marketing Strategy
Direct mail marketing has evolved just like every other marketing strategy thanks to automation software and technology. We can proudly assert that direct marketing is now smarter than ever.
Here are some innovations marketers can jump on to get the best from direct mail marketing.
With mail automation tools, marketers can send customized mail pieces based on triggers. They create workflows where mail delivery is a part of a marketing sequence. After completing the selected action (e.g., cart abandonment), specific users get personalized mailings. Thanks to automation, marketers only need to control the process, whereas direct mail becomes time-sensitive.
Advanced visibility feature allows marketers to monitor their direct mail campaigns. Once a customer receives a mail piece, the marketer is automatically notified. With direct mail automation, marketers can change how they handle and execute their direct mail campaigns.
Use of Multidimensional Mail Pieces
Traditional direct mail pieces were flat and one-dimensional. Advances in the print space have changed the game. Now, it's possible to create direct mail pieces with unconventional shapes that go from flat to interactive when opened. This innovation is helpful to businesses as it increases engagement. Compared to the traditional flat envelopes, multidimensional direct mail will nudge the customer to go check the offer.
How Does Direct Mail Marketing Work?
The introduction of direct mail automation platforms has changed how businesses execute their direct mail campaign strategy.
However, while direct mail marketing has transformed over the years, a lot has remained the same. Let's look at the different ways direct mail marketing can benefit your business.
1. Direct Mail Marketing Strategy is an Excellent Tool for Lead Generation
This is one of the things that has remained unchanged about direct mail marketing. Almost every direct mail campaign strategy aims to drive leads and sales for businesses.
While direct mail is the most effective for B2C businesses, B2B can also leverage the best direct mail strategies for lead generation and establishing relationships with enterprise customers. Direct mail best practices benchmarks and strategies give an irresistible offer, a compelling CTA, and a great response tracking system.
2. Top-Of-Funnel Content Delivery
The Top-Of-Funnel (ToFu) is the first stage of a sales funnel. It has three primary goals: to reach the target audience, offer a memorable introduction, and inspire the prospect to take action. At this stage, a company reaches out to a broad set of prospects and attracts them with a had-to-resist offer, called a lead magnet. It can be a free sample, case study, guide, etc.
Especially in the B2B scene, direct mail is a perfect channel for TOFU content delivery. Your lead begins the buyer's journey here as a contact in your mailing list. You don't know whether or not they are interested in your product or service.
Because the top-of-funnel marks your first relationship with your prospects, content is usually educational or informative. Using direct mail marketing takes your content straight to your prospects' mailbox and increases your chances of being considered.
3. Middle-Of-Funnel Warm-Up
This is where you tell prospects what, how, and why you do. At this funnel stage, your organization needs to nurture prospects with information.
And direct mail is a convenient way to engage them in a conversation by asking questions that will stimulate a response.
However, on the B2B side, where transactions involve a vast amount of money, it gets more critical, and you must convince stakeholders to purchase your products.
The content at this stage is designed to be put as a top choice for your prospects. You should send Newsletters, White papers, Product guides, and so on.
4. Direct Mail Marketing Strategy for Bottom-Of-Funnel Sales
Here your direct mail marketing starts to pay off. At the bottom of the funnel, you turn interested prospects into happy buyers.
There are varieties of bottom-of-the-funnel content, the majority of which would be super effective when delivered through direct mail. BoFu content that can go through direct mail includes case studies, reviews, testimonials, user documentation, etc.
5. Maintaining the Customer Relationship
It will be a pity for your business to engage a new customer only to lose them after a few months. Onboarding new leads and converting them to customers is one thing, and retaining the customers is an additional challenge.
The popular opinion is to deliver consistent value to your customers. And it's not fluff. It works. Customers' retention is about building relationships. Going all the way to ensure that your products, services, and content gives your audience value.
Direct mail can help when it comes to building a relationship with customers. For instance, sending direct mail on a customer's special day, on national holidays, seasonal holidays, etc., is a great way to leave your business in the good books of your customers.
Critical Factors for the Success of a Direct Mail Marketing Strategy
One can consider a variety of factors before waging a direct mail campaign. However, we'll concentrate on the three elements of direct marketing propounded by Ed Mayer, called the 40-40-20 rule.
The 40-40-20 rule suggests that 40% of your direct marketing campaign depends on your mailing list (your target audience). The second 40% depends on the offer. And the last 20% is the plan you execute to reach your audience (format, design, copy, etc.).
Let's take a closer look at the provisions of this rule.
# 1: Your Mailing List
Lists are likely the most crucial factor to consider in your direct marketing campaign. If you present your product or service to the wrong people, your campaign will fail.
Yet, finding the correct information to make up your list doesn't have to be a complex task to complete. It's okay if you still don't have an in-house list of your prospects. There's an option of renting or buying a list. You can also automatically collect and verify address data at the checkout to form your own lists.
Besides, you must have a good understanding of your ideal customers. The ability of direct mail to reach the right persons interested in what you sell is the first step to the success of your direct mail campaign.
#2: The Offer
Now, you have a well-specified list. The next thing to work on is to give your audience an offer it cannot refuse.
The offer is a limited-time-based value-added incentive to consumers in exchange for their responses. It has to be attractive enough to make customers unable to resist. Combine the offer with a call-to-action, which guides the recipient on how to get it.
If you do these two steps right, you're a long way through to your success.
The mailing list and the offer hold a high proportion of the marketing strategy, but the last 20% is the salt of the whole campaign. It's the design, copy, imagery, and format used.
Maintain consistency in design and brand colors. Keep your copy short. All in all, format your mail piece to be engaging and straightforward.
Finally, Implement a Direct Mail Testing Strategy
A severe mistake most marketers are guilty of is not testing their campaign.
It's harmful to send out direct mails in bulk without testing them. Testing your direct mail campaign with a small portion of your audience enables you to understand which mail piece will be more successful.
Here are a few direct mail strategy tips you can use to test your direct mail campaign.
- Choose a limited target audience to test mail before bulk mailing.
- Focus on specific KPIs
- Run a frequency testing analysis. Test the impact of sending two or more mail pieces to determine how your customers respond to it.
If you're not tracking your direct mail campaign, it'll be challenging to measure the success of your campaign beyond sales or leads. Ultimately, tracking your responses to your direct mail will give more insight into ups and downs and may serve as a guide to improve your next campaign.
Nevertheless, there's a goal every direct mail campaign needs to achieve. Thus, what you set as a benchmark of success influences what method you apply to track.
Inkit Send For Direct Response Automation
Before, marketers avoided direct mail marketing because of the overwhelming processes involved. Typically, it would take weeks or months to launch a direct mail campaign strategy.
With direct mail automation offered by Inkit Send, direct mail delivery happens in days, not weeks. Send is a direct mail automation software that leverages technology to help companies of all sizes create and send direct mail to customers easily. It's an API you can integrate with your current software to enrich marketing with trigger-based offline mailings. Send fully controls mail execution, from printing to tracking. Such mailings are personalized and aligned with user interactions across other channels.
Are you ready to launch automated direct mail marketing? Click here to get started with Inkit Send for free.