In this day and age, many businesses consider using direct mail in their marketing campaigns nearly obsolete and instead prefer to use email, which is quicker and cheaper.
If you fall under this category, you could be making a big mistake and missing out on a big opportunity.
Have you ever paused to consider why Google, the biggest online company in the world, still uses direct mail?
It’s not uncommon to see the giant online company sending its customers mail promising them free ad credit if they advertise their businesses online. Google will usually send the usual emails to customers, then follow it up with physical mail. It appears somewhat counter-intuitive that a company that controls more than 60% of online ads would even consider using something as mundane as snail mail to reach out to its customers.
Benefits of Using Direct Mail in Your Marketing Efforts
Many businesses might be unaware of the fact that direct mail can be a highly effective marketing strategy. Whereas emails can easily be deleted (we all do that don’t we?), people still check their mailboxes.
According to United States Postal Service, 98% of people in the U.S. retrieve their mail daily, and a good 77% sort it out immediately. This gives businesses a good window of opportunity to directly reach potential customers.
One of the main reasons why businesses prefer using email is because of its lower cost. A typical direct mail sent to a customer might cost a company about 55p whereas a typical email will cost five times cheaper – just £0.10. But, the higher ROI (Return on Investment) of direct mail can more than recoup the extra cost. People are much more likely to act on highly personal direct mail than with generic emails.
Direct mail is highly targeted. For instance, if you send a donation to a non-profit, it’s highly unlikely that it will acknowledge the gift by saying something like ‘Dear friend, thank you for the gift you sent us.’ It will more likely be ‘Dear John, thank you for your gift of £250 that you sent us on 7th November.’ Addressing your customers directly and using specific details instead of some generic messages makes them feel like they really matter to you. The person might not act immediately, but is likely to take note of you and be open to your future messages.
Integrating Direct Mail in your Marketing Campaign
Many businesses get it wrong when it comes to using direct mail. For instance, many companies have cut out print newsletters in favour of e-newsletters without incorporating the opinions of their subscribers. As a result, businesses have been encouraging subscribers to sign up to the electronic version. But, a better way would be to use print newsletters and encourage your print subscribers to sign up to the electronic version.
Granted, that takes some time. You have to ask, prod and cajole your subscribers to move to a new channel. And even after doing this, there is likely to be a group of folks that will refuse to budge and change their old ways. As a business, you should be ready to respect their choice. You never know, you could be shutting out a potentially highly profitable customer who just won’t sign up for your e-newsletter.
Borrow a leaf from Google and ensure you have well-coordinated efforts across your electronic and print communications. Although the content by the two channels might be nearly identical, the effect on potential customers might be miles apart.