Many businesses these days are opting to use email and online advertising as a replacement for direct mail. However, successful brand marketing isn’t about one or the other but how to use both to build an effective and integrated campaign. Direct mail should matter to your business because it’s proven to be both effective and cost-effective. Here are 9 choice facts to consider.
1. Direct mail gets opened.
When you send a marketing message by email, it can easily get ignored or deleted, or end up in someone’s spam box. In fact, only 22% of marketing emails sent by UK SMEs are actually opened – that means nearly 4 out of 5 people aren’t even reading your message, let alone responding. In contrast, a piece of direct mail is a tangible thing that’s hard to ignore when it turns up on your doorstep. That’s why 9 out of 10 direct mails are opened by the recipient, an unbeatably high rate.
2. Direct mail is highly targeted.
Not only will 9 out of 10 people be opening your direct mail but you can make sure they are the right people to receive it. Marketing your business through direct mail enables you to pinpoint your target audience more accurately. For example, you can choose who you want to send your mail to based upon postcode, age, prior purchase history and more. Make sure you gather as many personal details as possible from your existing customers – providing a little incentive if necessary – to create the most accurate customer profile.
3. Direct mail gets acted upon.
Direct mail has a much higher response rate than other forms of marketing. According to research, 79% of consumers react to direct mail immediately with 34% searching online and 44% visiting the brand’s own website. In addition, 72% of people who received direct mail subsequently made purchases online, proving the power of direct mail to drive traffic to your website and increase online sales.
4. Direct mail is trustworthy.
Many of your customers are rightfully wary about clicking on online advertisements or opening emails from unfamiliar sources. As a result, they’re likely to skip past your ad or delete your email. However, everybody knows and trusts Royal Mail so people won’t have the same doubts about receiving a piece of direct mail. Your customers will be more receptive to a trusted format such as mail and this is especially true if your target audience is older. In fact, 56% of people surveyed think that printed marketing is the most trustworthy marketing channel.
5. Direct mail lasts longer.
Unlike an email which – even when read – is likely discarded soon after, customers tend to keep printed marketing material and return to it later. More than 1 in 4 people surveyed said that they keep printed mail for future reference. This means that your brand will stay in people’s minds longer and a single piece of mail could lead to repeat purchases over time. Your customers will certainly hold on to printed sales vouchers or coupons so don’t forget to send these regularly.
6. Direct mail provides better returns.
While sending a piece of direct mail obviously involves postage costs, bulk mail rates make direct mail marketing very economical. Direct mail marketing is calculated to bring in an average return of £3.22 for every £1 spent. This makes it better value for money than digital advertising, which only generates £3.12 for every £1 spent.
7. Direct mail builds customer loyalty.
Because direct mail gets opened and kept, it’s a great tool for building up a relationship with your customers over time. Effective marketing isn’t just about the hard sell – vouchers, coupons and other promotions – but the soft sell too, establishing the right credentials for your company to keep customers coming back. Direct mail can be used to tell your customers more about your company values and achievements – such as your investment in the local community or your commitment to customer service. A piece of direct mail is a more personal form of communication than an email so it can help to establish a closer connection between you and your customers.
8. Direct mail supports other marketing methods.
Brands that create an integrated marketing campaign using online platforms together with direct mail will get the most out of their advertising budgets. Research by BrandScience showed that an integrated campaign featuring direct mail was able to boost the online component by 62%. While online marketing may be good for reaching out to a younger audience, more than half the over-65s have not even used the internet in the past year. Combining new and more traditional marketing tools will therefore ensure your brand reaches a wide audience.
9. Direct mail works.
There’s a good reason direct mail marketing is still around – it delivers results! More than 14 million UK adults have made a purchase as a result of receiving printed marketing through direct mail, while 10.5 million have used a voucher or coupon they received through the post. In addition, it’s the most popular form of marketing with customers. When asked how they preferred to be contacted by businesses, 32% of people – nearly 1 in 3 – said they wanted to be contacted by direct mail. This is far higher than the 6% of people who preferred the internet or the 9% who chose broadcast TV.
While online and email advertising may seem like better value for money, statistics prove otherwise. Direct mail should matter to your business because – simply put – it’s one of the best marketing tools out there. Used effectively and in combination with other marketing methods, it will deliver unbeatable results for your brand.