No Junk Mail, No Junk Marketing

Junk mail is anything irrelevant to the end consumer, that is of no interest to them whatsoever, and it generally leads to a lot of wastage

As an example, the majority of Domino’s Pizza advertising is door drop, which means it targets postal areas rather than customers directly. Worse still, the minimum door drop that can be done in a postal area is 2,500, which doesn’t allow for a great deal of targeting. As Domino’s is a huge brand with relevance to most people, their mail is arguably not junk mail at all although it may be interpreted as such.

There are three other types of mail: partially addressed, addressed, and insert. Partially addressed is similar to door drop but slightly more granular, addressed is targeted towards a specific householder and an insert is put into something else like a box or parcel and given to the customer that way.

Rhys makes the point that none of these categories is inherently junk mail, and that mail only becomes junk mail when the targeting is wrong. For example, brands that are not mass-market may be in danger of sending junk mail if they adopt door drop or partially addressed as their marketing tactic. However, door drop and partially addressed are the only ways to prospect through the mail unless you are buying cold data. In this case, with no cold data at hand, the digital route may be a better option as it usually leads to less wastage.

Rhys argues that “remarketing in print is huge”. Digital is effective and is working for a lot of brands, but the print is a quiet market at the moment and may be worth looking into as digital channels become more competitive. As the doormat becomes more empty, there could be a gap for your brand. Luke points out that “there are not many other channels where you can get into someone’s house”, highlighting the potential that print still has in marketing.  

Customers may also feel valued when their favourite brand sends them something in the post, due to the infrequency of print in remarketing now that it has been seemingly usurped by digital. In terms of building brand loyalty and advocacy, there is huge potential here.

Luke gives an example of a beer company that offers him discounts every 3 months or so, despite him not being a subscriber for 2 years and ignoring these offers. Although the company has used its channel to identify Luke as a previous customer, remarketing to someone who hasn’t acted on any direct mail for such a long time is likely to lead to junk mail and wastage. The brand may be better off excluding this kind of customer from future marketing.

Rhys claims that print is not best suited for prospecting, and digital is a better means of doing so. Digital allows you to get much more granular with your prospecting, as it allows lookalike audiences to be created and targeted through a large number of channels, rather than just a letter through a post-box. However, digital still allows for junk marketing, so this needs to be considered. An impression number is a good way of showing this. An ad can get a large number of impressions, but this usually just tells the same story – the ad is reaching a lot of people who aren’t interested in the product.

Excluding people from seeing your ads can be a step in rectifying this. For example, Marcus, a Tottenham season ticket holder, was advertised an Arsenal season ticket the other day, when he should very clearly have been excluded from that ad’s audience. 

Digital doesn’t get as much stick for bad targeting as print does because print is physical and demands a physical response like putting it in the bin. However, digital has far greater wastage than print, and this often goes unnoticed.

Brands need to start focusing on their targeting on social platforms like Facebook. Although click-through rate may not be a top priority, sacrificed for revenue and other issues, it should be. This is because engines like Facebook often reward advertisers with lower costs for higher click-through rates, as they get money for each click-through. Getting more click-throughs means less wastage and presumably happier customers, and this should be a top priority of yours.

There is such a thing as positive wastage, which is wastage through which you can learn something. This is done through testing and learning, which allows you to see what works and what doesn’t work. There is always going to be wastage, but you should focus on trying to limit it where possible. 

Understanding your customers and where they are on their journey with your brand and making the most of all of the tech possible will reduce your wastage. This is good for everyone but is ultimately best for your brand. 

People do home in on junk mail, but junk marketing is massive and that needs to change.