Have you checked your mail today? If so, you have probably answered the first part of this article.
That is: Direct Mail is factually alive. If you have checked your mailbox, at home or in the office, you have already seen firsthand some samples of current direct mail. From a pre-approved credit card application to some catalogs and menus from local restaurants, among many others. And most of them, if not all, addressed to your full name (sometimes to the wrong one). Indeed, this already sixty-something direct marketing channel is not only alive but getting stronger, thanks to its coordination with digital marketing platforms.
Of course a big part of Direct Mail ends being discarded, thrown away in a garbage bin, but those that happen to “go through” are truly efficient.
Yes, there is a reason why Direct Mail is also known as “Junk Mail,” but that doesn’t take away the fact that it’s -still- one of the most effective ways to reach new customers and keep current ones. And its success is on the rise: according to the latest 2018 DMA Response Rate Report (membership required), the average Direct Mail response rates are at 9% for House Lists and at 5% for Prospect Lists. That’s a notable improvement, considering that the previous year 2017 that average was 5.1% and 2.9%, respectively. That’s an increase over 170% for both House and Prospect Lists (in one year).
And that rise is even more remarkable if compared to other more popular direct marketing channels, like email marketing, with an average response rate of 1% for both House and Prospect Lists. In fact, letter-sized Direct Mail’s average response rate in 2018 was 15.1% (the best Direct Mail performer based on lead generation).
Matching Direct Mail with Digital Marketing strategies is an extremely effective combination.
Adding Direct Mail as part of a Multichannel Marketing strategy can improve response and conversion rates, while providing better quality in the communication with customers (we can get a faster response, facilitate quicker access to our promotions), and more control over our actions (measurement in real time, easier A/B testing), especially thanks to our digital marketing tools.
This kind of multichannel strategies are generally omitted, what give us an additional advantage.
Disclaimer: We are not associated with Simple Minds, but we love this song!
We might be tired of getting “junk mail,” but we still like to receive things, especially those that can be touched. We just need to be smart and creative on our way to approach our (current or potential) customers. Something as simple as sending an attractive Direct Mail, followed by an inviting email and a persuasive phone call; or something more complex, like including QR codes in your Direct Mail, allowing your customer to download an App or contact you directly, in just mere seconds.
These and several other options are already available to us.
*About that fair opportunity:
Someone could say: “Well, advertising is not that fair when there is a big difference between budgets.” And I would reply: “The opportunity to promote is fair because it’s available to everybody; but the extension, size and range of that promotion is limited by a budget and the market.” And we should remember that the efficiency in advertising is not related to the size of a budget but the quality and precision of the message. It doesn’t matter if your message is all over the place (TV, billboards, print, Internet…), if it’s the “wrong message.” But with the “right message” all doors will open.