Direct mail may appear complicated at first due to issues such as personalisation and practicality. There may also be concerns about people’s lack of general experience in how things are produced, which may instantly make this method unappealing. However, if done right then direct mail can be both simple and incredibly effective as a marketing strategy. Here are some key points that you must know about direct mail in order to maximise the effectiveness of your campaign.
It’s cheaper than you think
The myth that direct mail is an expensive strategy has been a long-standing one based on false assumptions. The truth is, quality direct mail can cost as little as £0.30p per item, (delivered to a customer’s door!) meaning that large-scale campaigns can be carried out with little financial commitment.
It IS measurable
Just like digital, direct mail is measurable. Unique offer codes, custom URLs or phone numbers make it easy for you to check the reach and effectiveness of your campaign, from which you can ultimately gauge its success. Bespoke landing pages are another easy way of measuring this. The wealth of options on offer when it comes to measuring different aspects of your direct mail campaign make judging its effectiveness very simple.
It IS targeted
As direct mail is targeted and usually sent to a customer’s house, it’s important to collect as much data on your customers as possible. It goes without saying that you’ll need their address, but other information such as emails and phone numbers could come in handy as well and should be collected if possible. A direct mail campaign should be built like a digital campaign in the sense that customer data collected daily by brands has to be utilised effectively. Even if it doesn’t seem especially relevant at the time, it can’t hurt to collect and eventually use all of the data that can be obtained.
It’s often more personalised
In a direct mail campaign, you must try and go above and beyond where possible. It is not good enough to just use a name and address, but you must delve deeper into a customer’s interests and data. With the right planning, customers can receive bespoke messaging consisting of imagery which is relevant, and this can go a long way when it comes to making a customer feel like a part of a brand. For example, instead of sending a Spurs fan something generic about football, you could use what you know about their support for Spurs to send something personal to them based on their interests. Another case could be in travel, where an agent could send a customer something about the last trip booked through them alongside similar or relevant holidays, in order to evoke positive memories which make them desire similar experiences.
It integrates with your other channels
Direct mail can be integrated into CRM (customer relationship management) platforms which allow campaigns to be fully automated, just like email or other online channels. This makes it even more straightforward to carry out an effective campaign which targets exactly the right customers. It also allows for trigger mailings such as abandonment baskets, new sign-up welcome journeys, winning back lapsed customers and promoting new offers, which help personalise mail based on a customer’s purchase history.
Fewer people are doing it
Direct mail numbers are dropping, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Brands are getting smarter with their targeting which is reducing the ‘junk mail’ waste of the past and replacing it with meaningful advertising. If the doormat is getting increasingly empty, then there lies a great opportunity for brands to be seen and heard. It reads well for marketers that millennials appear interested in direct mail too – nearly half of millennials ignore digital ads whereas only 15% ignore direct mail according to a 2016 study by USPS Delivers, showing that although other forms of marketing are being favoured over direct mail, it is an easy way to get your brand noticed by nearly a whole generation of customers at a minimum…
In conclusion, direct mail is a simple and effective way to target consumers, and although there are grey areas and misconceptions about this form of advertising, if it’s right for your brand then don’t ignore it.