Business to business, or B2B, marketing encompasses a large array of challenges that most marketing teams aren’t subject to. Indeed, you’re attempting to establish your brand to an industry that is well versed on the tricks of the trade. And in order to stand out among like-minded professionals, you must develop a creative and holistic view toward your marketing campaigns. 

One of the most overlooked ways to do this is to incorporate a marketing technique that many assumed would go out with DVD’s and slap bracelets: direct mail marketing. In this article we discuss five of the best practices when incorporating direct mail into your B2B marketing strategies.

 

  • Personalize & Follow Up

 

In a busy world focused on speeding through the junk mail, box in your mailbox at home and the one on your phone, any winning mail campaign will add a touch of personalization to their message. As I’m sure we’ve all noticed, every piece of mail begins with, “Hi, Ashley” or “We’d love to hear from you, Tom.” 

This isn’t what we mean by personalization. 

Truly personal messages that seek to not only market a product to a consumer, but also take the time to personalize a message will help build a relationship with your audience. In the long run, this will substantially help sustain long-term revenue. Here are a few statistics we’ll leave you with in case you’re questioning this last way to create a winning direct mail campaign:

  • In 2019, 72% of consumers engaged only with marketing messages that provided a customized message that matched their specific interest. 
  • Personalization engines that are used to recognize customer intent can increase digital business profits up to 15%.
  • 92% of online shoppers will complete a purchase if there are personalized recommendations or promotions on a business’s website.
  • A recent study by Gartner shows that 87% of consumers claim that personally relevant content will positively influence their outlook on that particular brand. 
  • Nearly 50% of consumers have purchased a product they did not intend on purchasing merely because they could personally engage with the content. 

 

  • Refine Your Audience

 

A current and comprehensive mailing list is the foundation of any successful direct mail campaign. Indeed, if you have inaccurate or nonexistent addresses, your direct mail goes nowhere. Unfortunately, the mailing list often gets glossed over and receives the least amount of attention in the marketing campaign process. 

Before you even begin crafting your message or putting together your package, go through your mailing list and remove customer addresses that are no longer applicable, ensure that the remaining addresses are accurate, and consider possible addresses you may have missed or are not part of your list. A list that isn’t clean and lean will lead to delays or inaccuracies in mailings.  

Proper organization and a final edit are also important aspects of a refined mailing list. By putting your list in an Excel spreadsheet, for example, you can manage your recipient addresses as well as data for future mailings. Also, wrong punctuation, incorrect spacing, or a missed letter or number means that your mail will wind up in the garbage. A quick final edit can save you from wasted time and money, in addition to failing to reach a targeted customer.  

 

  • Integrate Digital with Direct 

 

A lot of marketers (or businesspeople for that matter) view direct mail campaigns as a competition against digital formats. It’s hard-copy versus digital. It’s a tangible piece of mail versus an email. It’s “we’re a 21st century company that solely focuses on digital aspects of marketing.

This is a mistake. 

Instead, organizations should be considering how they can integrate digital tools such as data and technology into their direct mail campaigns. For example, match your direct mail data file to an IP address file, then target specific consumers on your list. Similarly, you can match your direct file to social media outlets, such as Facebook or Instagram.

Think of direct mail and digital marketing as more of a partnership. Each must give and take, but when they function properly together, they’re unstoppable.

Although most of the country has transitioned to a largely digital lifestyle, the “email vs. direct mail” battle continues to thrive in the marketing world. And many are surprised that although there was an upswing in email marketing over a decade ago, there is more than enough recent research to show that direct mail has made a significant comeback. 

For example, direct mail is now tied with social media as the second-most used medium, and has a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing outlet. Additionally, 76% of consumers say they trust direct mail over digital channels when making a purchase. Even large companies are taking notice. Goldman Sachs Group recently invested $25 million dollars to integrate direct mail into email-based marketing automation platforms.

That said, there are still plenty of businesses and organizations that prefer email as the foundation of their marketing strategies. In this article, we point out three of the largest problems faced by email marketing strategies, and how they can be solved by direct mail. 

Problem 1: Unsubscribes

Although most of us love seeing the link to “unsubscribe” at the bottom of an email, this can be devastating to marketers trying to reach a broad audience. The chance that your email message will catch your customer at a time in which they are busy, or maybe just not in the mood to receive another email. When this happens all the customer has to do is unsubscribe from your email system, and they can be lost forever. And it only takes one time. 

If your organization relies on email as its sole form of getting messages to your customer, you are one click away from losing that customer. Direct mail eliminates (or significantly decreases) the possibility that your message will forever be directed into a junk folder. Typically, if you catch your customer on a bad day, the worst they’ll do is toss your mail in the trashcan. You’ll still have tomorrow to reach them. 

Problem 2: Lack of Personalization

Email has become so popular in recent years that it’s nearly impossible to find a company or organization that doesn’t have an email list to which they send consistent updates. One of the main problems with this is that there isn’t much room for creativity or personalization. Each message is put together quickly, and sent to bombard the recipient’s inbox. 

However, even more than just popularity or the ease of use, email and the associated digital technology is sophisticated. When you visit a website, that website can track your IP address, gather information on you, and start sending you email regarding their product. 

Direct mail brings back the personalization that is lost in the standard email blast. Approximately four in ten people look forward to checking their mail every day, and this isn’t by accident. Direct mail adds that personal touch that allows consumers to interact with your message and they don’t see themselves as just another name on an email “bcc”.

Problem 3: Overkill 

Similar to the problems of lack of personalization and the dreaded unsubscribes, email can suffer from a significant overkill to a consumer’s inbox. With the amount of emails that individuals receive on a daily basis, any email that isn’t immediately read is almost guaranteed to wind up in the trash. This is even truer when you consider recent changes to platforms such as Gmail, which may try to assume where a recipient would like an email placed (e.g., the Promotions folder). This overkill almost guarantees that your message will not be seen.  

Direct mail solves this problem in more than one way. First, recipients only receive direct mail once per day. Although they may receive multiple pieces per delivery, they aren’t bombarded with mail throughout the day. Moreover, sending a piece of direct mail, with content, postage, etc. is not as simple as throwing together a standard email draft. It takes more time to create these messages, thus, there aren’t as many sent to assault your consumer. 

Although many marketing teams continue to believe that direct mail is dying, those that see through this false narrative are already in a much better marketing position. By finding a medium that effectively and efficiently utilizes email and direct mail, you will see increased revenue, and more importantly, happier customers.

Do you remember the last time you received a postcard in the mail? 

These days, postcards don’t come around as often as they used to, but when they do, they usually stand out. According to a study, 43% of people find print marketing to be less intrusive than online advertisements and tend to appreciate receiving a nice custom postcard in the mail once in a while.

Many brands find great value in mailing postcards as part of their cross-channel marketing strategy. We’ve put together this list explaining the top reasons your business should consider adding custom postcards to its marketing mix:

  1. Postcards are a great way to build brand recognition. The internet has helped brands easily connect with their customers, which is why most brand interactions happen primarily online. But in this digital era, studies show people enjoy receiving things in the mail they can hold on to. The physical interaction that happens when people receive postcards helps create stronger emotional responses, making their message more memorable, and thus increasing brand awareness and brand recall.
  2. Postcard mailings can be highly targeted. Printing companies can now help your business streamline the postcard printing and delivery process with the help of automated software. Just like online ads, sending out postcards can also be a highly targeted strategy. Curated and personalized mailing lists can help you reach existing customers and prospects based on specific geographic locations, previous order history, and in some cases, even by household income. 
  3. Postcards are very affordable. Out of all the different forms of direct mail, postcards are one of the most affordable ways to reach customers. They are easy to design, print, and mail. The postcard size makes it perfect for sending short and compelling messages. Brands use postcards to highlight special offers, send thank you notes, extend holiday wishes, or to build brand recognition with minimal investment.
  4. Better response rates. A study by InfoTrends shows direct mail still resonates with people in different age groups, particularly with Millennials. According to this article by Prinova, Millennials respond to direct mail calls-to-action quicker than other generations, and they usually follow through and make a purchase from that brand within three months of receiving an offer via mail.
  5. They are a tangible reminder of your brand. Postcards are easy to distribute. They’re lightweight yet sturdy, which makes them ideal to be sent via mail, circulate from person to person, or include with other print marketing materials. They are also easy to keep; most people are likely to hang on to well-designed and colorful postcards. If you are trying to help increase brand awareness, a custom postcard can help you achieve this.  

Are you looking to incorporate postcards into your next marketing campaign? Pel Hughes of New Orleans Louisiana can help!

Take advantage of the high-response rates of direct mail, and get your business noticed with high-quality postcard printing, design, and mailing. If you’re interested in learning more about our print marketing services, contact Pel Hughes today!

Direct mail is one of the most established marketing tools of our time. For as long as any of us can remember, receiving a brochure or letter in the mail from our favorite stores has been a staple of the American household. But with the arrival of digital marketing, many view direct mail as an old-fashioned and outdated marketing medium.

This is a dangerous assumption for those in the marketing industry. 

In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true. Direct mail is providing advertising companies in the US with a 1,300% return, with an average ROI of between 18 and 20%. Moreover, last year direct mail had a response rate of 4.9%, the highest since 2003, and still pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium. 

Direct mail hasn’t continued its dominance in a vacuum, however. Largely, this success is due to the emergence of programmatic direct mail. In this article we discuss what programmatic direct mail is, how it works, and look at the impact it’s had on the “old-fashioned” direct mail marketing system. 

 

What is Programmatic Direct Mail?

A simple way to consider programmatic direct mail is to think of it has a marriage between digital data and retargeting. Platforms such as PebblePost search for specific indicators as consumers browse the internet, and focus on how an individual interacts with a brand or product online. For example, it will track a consumer’s website browsing and make a note of when an item is added to a shopping cart but not purchased, or when a particular social media post about a product is made or read. 

At this point you may be thinking, “Well, this is nothing new. Plenty of algorithms do this.” And this is true. But here is the difference: instead of simply delivering a programmatic advertisement on the consumer’s screen, the programmatic direct mail algorithm will send direct mail.  

Here is a quick example to demonstrate how it works: You are a customer who just created an account on Nike.com to get a new pair of kicks at 10% off. You open the email that was just sent to your inbox and shop around the site for a bit. You add a couple of pairs to your shopping cart that you’re on the fence about, but you leave without making a purchase. Instead of another algorithm meant to flood your screen with annoying ads (which may happen anyway), the programmatic direct mail algorithm will kick in and send you a post card with a personalized offer inside.  

 

Connecting Online and Offline Behavior 

As we saw above, programmatic direct mail combines data-driven decisioning with automation to enhance marketing efficiency and optimize consumer response. And it does so by connecting the online and offline behavior of consumers without trying to change their behavior altogether. 

Lewis Gersh, CEO of PebblePost puts it nicely

Unlike digital advertising, Programmatic Direct Mail doesn’t attempt to change a consumer’s behaviour. If you think about how consumers use their devices, it’s very task-oriented. . . If that consumer is predisposed to engage with a piece of Programmatic Direct Mail, they can do so when the situation is best for them, as we provide a tangible, physical reminder. We make it easy and desirable for consumers to engage with that brand message — on their terms — and act on it however they like, by returning to the brand’s website or visiting a store, for instance.

 

As Mr. Gersh points out, programmatic direct mail leverages consumers actions online and their task-oriented approach on digital devices. While many digital marketing tools expect (or assume) immediate responses by consumers, programmatic direct mail allows them to respond on their terms.

Solving Direct Mail Problems 

A few of the main criticisms of direct mail over the years is that there are often long lead times to production, data is either difficult to collect or out of date, and it often requires significant capital resources to keep the tool moving. Indeed, it’s difficult to match consumer needs with direct mail campaigns when most of the consumer’s data is now tracked online, and by the time data is collected, the time it takes to produce and deliver direct mail leaves it obsolete.

Programmatic direct mail integrates the benefits of digital (e.g., data optimization, targeting, etc.) with the consumer preference of direct mail. The marriage of the two mediums produces a new, high-functioning marketing channel that can be used across web and delivered to anyone with a mailing address.

When the argument for effectiveness of direct mail comes up it’s undoubtedly compared to its digital counterpart. And for good reason. In our modern technology-driven world, it’s generally assumed that anything coming in digital form is more efficient and more effective. 

Although this is largely true in many facets, ranging from online shopping to digital reading, to how we communicate with friends, family and customers, recent studies show it may not be the case when it comes to building brand awareness. 

This article discusses how science, statistics and appeals to human emotions are proving that direct mail is having a larger impact on brand awareness than its digital equivalents. 

Trust the Brain

Despite the growing popularity of marketing and advertising across online media channels, little research is conducted into the lasting effectiveness these outlets have on the human brain. A recent study by Temple University shows that online ads are actually being outperformed in eight out of nine categories by direct mail. 

Temple’s study used 40 digital (email) ads and direct mail ads, and three monitoring methods with their study participants, including eye-tracking measured visual attention, fingertip sensors measured bio-response to reveal emotional engagement, and MRI scans uncovered deep brain activity. 

“While participants in this project showed no preference between physical and digital advertising when responding to surveys, neuromarketing techniques revealed different subconscious physiological responses among participants,” according to the researchers. 

The study revealed that although digital ads are grabbing consumer attention faster, direct mail marketing holds consumer attention longer, generates stronger emotions, and has a more significant lasting impact of brand recognition. To put it simply, the human brain recognizes and retains information better when it comes in a tangible form, such as direct mail. 

Look at the Numbers 

In addition to scientific research studies such as those at Temple, statisticians are also proving that direct mail has a larger impact on brand awareness that we may have thought. A sample of these statistics show that direct mail is outpacing digital ads in response rates, popularity, and the tangible effect that direct mail has on brand recognition. Below are a few figures that help draw this conclusion:

  • It takes 21% less thought to process direct mail vs. digital ads, and it creates a significantly higher brand recall. 
  • In 2018, direct mail had a response rate of 4.9%, the highest since 2003, and pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium. 
  • Direct mail is providing US advertising companies with an average ROI of between 18 and 20% a 1,300% return
  • Direct mail is the second-most used medium at 57%, and a staggering 81% of advertisers plan to maintain or increase usage of direct mail in the next year.  
  • As seen from the Temple study, 76% of consumers trust direct mail when they want to make a purchase decision.
  • US households receive approximately 121.2 billion pieces of mail annually, and across all ages, over 40% of these households look forward to checking their mail each day.

The constant popularity of direct mail, even with the rise of digital platforms, is largely due to the tangibility and activity that direct mail offers. The motivational response that direct mail offers is 20% higher than that of digital media, and it requires 21% less cognitive effort to process.

Establish an Emotional Connection

Now that we’ve tried to make the point by pointing to cold, hard numbers, we can move on to try to appeal to your creative side. Consider the emotional or poignant effect a piece of tangible mail has on you when you open your mailbox vs. receiving a canned email message. Direct mail allows companies to establish a closer connection with their intended audience. 

Although technology (and the internet more specifically) have made a myriad of tasks easier, its simplicity has also lowered our ability to establish any emotional connection. The tangibility of direct mail provides a sensory experience that is lost in the digital world. Companies or organizations seeking to build brand awareness can capitalize on this and establish a connection that just isn’t possible outside of direct mail. 

Moreover, this connection signals to your audience that they are more than just an email address thrown on a bcc. They are a valued part of your organization and direct mail will help not only increase brand recognition, but will also build trust with your customers. In today’s technology-driven world, this trust is exceedingly difficult to gain. Let direct mail help.

In our ever-evolving digital world, email has become more of a standard nuisance rather than a creative tool to engage products. On average, business people around 120 emails per day and the ordinary Gmail account contains over 8,000 messages

So what’s the alternative? 

Direct mail is still a front-runner when it comes to messages that are actually read by consumers, and generally people prefer receiving a piece of mail as opposed to an email. However, direct mail is time-consuming to create, post and mail, and it can get expensive when you’re sending hundreds, or even thousands or parcels. Not to mention it’s harder to track and measure. 

So, then, what really is the solution? Enter a happy medium combining digital technology with the old fashioned postcard: direct mail automation. 

What is Direct Mail Automation? 

Direct mail automation is software that—as the name implies—automates the process of sending direct mail to your customer. The tool allows marketers take control of creating personal messages through digital software, then provides the capability to automatically send the message and track the results. Once an algorithm is set and applicable information updated, marketers can automate repetitive marketing campaigns, saving time, money and headaches.

Direct Mail Automation in Practice 

Now that you have an understanding of what direct mail automation is and how it works, I’m sure you’re wondering how it works in the real world? Great question. 

Customer Engagement (or Reengagement) 

People are busy and have an exorbitant amount of options when it comes to making purchases. A customer that bought a product from you six months ago may have forgotten about your company, or even the item they purchased. They may need a little reminder. However, they last thing they want is ANOTHER item in their inbox that they have to move to the trash. 

If your business incorporates a direct mail automation algorithm into your marketing strategy, the consumer’s inactivity will trigger the system, and a friendly reminder through direct mail will be sent letting them know how much they are missed. 

You can even include a discount code or other incentive. Moreover, after the automation system has been used for an extended amount of time, you can begin to collect data on how many parcels are sent out, to whom, and how effective your campaign is. 

Personalization is Key

Another great example is personal follow ups or thank you notes. Recent studies have shown that 84% of people prefer a personal thank you, and over 85% say they would open a personalized piece of mail over the alternative. The personal aspect allows you to stand out from the endless bombardment of messages they receive. However, writing personal thank you notes to each customer is time-consuming, and let’s face it, just way too much work. 

Again, direct mail automation solves this problem. 

A marketing team can develop digital handwriting through direct mail automation software that acts as a personal hand-written thank you note. Then, these personalized notes can be triggered based on the actions of your audience. Don’t believe the notes look hand-written? Take a look at a few examples.

Direct mail automation is the perfect way for your business to engage (or reengage) consumers in a way that is appealing to them, while it provides less hassle and is less expensive in the long run for you. The best marketing teams understand that it’s never an all-or-nothing endeavor that will succeed. Finding the right combination of technology and personalization is the best way to reach and engage your consumers. 

To nobody’s surprise, the debate lives on: email vs. direct mail marketing. Although there was an upswing in email marketing over a decade ago, there is more than enough recent research to show that direct mail has made a significant comeback. 

For example, direct mail is now tied with social media as the second-most used medium, and has a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing outlet. Additionally, 76% of consumers say they trust direct mail over digital channels when making a purchase. 

That said, there are still plenty of businesses and organizations that prefer email as the foundation of their marketing strategies. And that’s OK. What this article is meant to do is point out three of the largest problems faced by email marketing strategies, and how they can be solved by direct mail. As with most things in life, everything works better in moderation. If your business can effectively utilize both forms of marketing, you’ll be ahead in the game.  

Problem 1: Lack of Personalization

Email has become so popular in recent years that it’s nearly impossible to find a company or organization that doesn’t have an email list to which they send consistent updates. One of the main problems with this form of communication is that there isn’t much room for creativity or personalization. Each message is put together as quickly as possible and sent to bombard the recipient’s inbox. 

However, even more than just popularity or the ease of use, email and the associated digital technology is sophisticated. When you visit a website, that website can track your IP address, gather information on you, and start sending you email regarding their product. 

Direct mail brings back the personalization that is lost in the standard email blast. Approximately four in ten people look forward to checking their mail every day, and this isn’t by accident. Direct mail adds that personal touch that allows consumers to interact with your message and they don’t see themselves as just another name on an email “bcc”.

Problem 2: Unsubscribes

The chance that your email message will catch your customer at a time in which they are busy, or maybe just not in the mood to receive another email. When this happens all the customer has to do is unsubscribe from your email system, and they can be lost forever. And it only takes one time. 

If your organization relies on email as its sole form of getting messages to your customer, you are one click away from losing that customer. Direct mail eliminates (or significantly decreases) the possibility that your message will forever be directed into a junk folder. Typically, if you catch your customer on a bad day, the worst they’ll do is toss your mail in the trashcan. You’ll still have tomorrow to reach them. 

Problem 3: Overkill 

Similar to the problems of lack of personalization and the dreaded unsubscribes, email can suffer from a significant overkill to a consumer’s inbox. With the amount of emails that individuals receive on a daily basis, any email that isn’t immediately read is almost guaranteed to wind up in the trash. This is even truer when you consider recent changes to platforms such as Gmail, which may try to assume where a recipient would like an email placed (e.g., the Promotions folder). This overkill almost guarantees that your message will not be seen.  

Direct mail solves this problem in more than one way. First, recipients only receive direct mail once per day. Although they may receive multiple pieces per delivery, they aren’t bombarded with mail throughout the day. Moreover, sending a piece of direct mail, with content, postage, etc. is not as simple as throwing together a standard email draft. It takes more time to create these messages, thus, there aren’t as many sent to assault your consumer. 

Although many marketing teams continue to believe that direct mail is either dead or dying, those that see through this false narrative are already in a much better marketing position. By finding a medium that effectively and efficiently utilizes email and direct mail, you will see increased revenue, and more importantly, happier customers. 

Although it may go against the current notions that digital is taking over, the fact remains that direct mail is still one of the most effective methods of reaching your customer. In fact, the response rate of direct mail is approximately nine times greater than that of email, paid searches, or social media.  

A strong direct mail marketing campaign can be one of the most useful ways to reach consumers and increase brand awareness in the business world. And this is no different in the real estate industry. 

An effective and long-lasting real estate direct mail strategy can be one of the best ways to advertise property, develop professional relationships, and ensure your name is always front and center in the market. Whether you’re buying or selling real estate, the value of direct mail should not be overestimated. This article provides a few of the most important aspects to consider when developing your strategy. 

Know Your Message and Your Audience 

Arguably the most important part of establishing an effective direct mail campaign is having an accurate and up-to-date mailing list. Not only will you ensure that you are reaching all of your intended recipients, you will also minimize postage and related costs by not sending parcels to non-existent addresses or to customers that have moved. 

However, you can’t develop a systematic mailing list without first knowing to whom you are going to send mail. 

The best way to begin this process is by asking a few questions to determine your intended message: Are you targeting home buyers or home sellers? Is your desired result to get leads or to build brand awareness?

Once you have a firm grasp on your audience and your message, you can update your mailing list to prospective buyers or sellers that will drive your end-goal. Without this understanding, your direct mail campaign essentially fails before it even begins.  

Timing is Key

As most realtors and investors know, the real estate market is a timing game. While timing is important for most direct mail campaigns, it is even more critical for those in the real estate industry. Often, timing can be predictable, such as the best time of year to sell a house. However, timing can also be based on factors outside our power: divorce, death, cancelled listings, etc. 

From a direct mail marketing perspective, this means that you must be aware of the real estate market in your area and get your message out as quickly (and correctly) as possible. In addition to following the seasons, (i.e., the best time to sell a house is in the spring, while the best time to buy is in the winter) keep an eye out for changes in the real estate market that might not be as evident. 

Make the Message Stick

Direct mail marketing is still one of the most effective tools in the industry. Although many marketers refuse to believe this and choose to stay in the digital realm, most do not. This means that in order for your message to stand out and not get thrown away with the cable bill, you need to connect with your audience and give them the information they need.

Consistency is usually the key here. If you have a logo, be sure to include it in your mailing. If you have a theme or particular set of colors that represent your brand, use them consistently throughout all of your correspondence. You want the reader to know who the sender is before they even read a word. 

Once they know what to expect, provide information that really drives the point home. Consider including a personal photo or other graphic that the reader can recognize. Also, make sure to keep your mail topical so your audience doesn’t feel like they are just receiving another piece of spam. 

If you can help your audience quickly identify whom the message is coming from, but not allow them to instantly predict what the message says, you’ve reached a happy medium that a satisfied customer is sure to appreciate. 

Contact Pel Hughes if you’d like to discuss your direct mail campaign.

Although it may be lost on the general population, marketers recognize that direct mail is still one of the largest drivers of business in the game. For the non-believers, consider this:

  • Direct mail is the second-most used medium (57%), tied with social media.
  • Direct mail pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium.
  • Direct mail has the third highest median ROI, behind email and social media marketing (only 1 percentage point behind social media). 

Now that we have your attention, it’s important to not only know the importance of direct mail marketing campaigns, but understand what it takes to create an effective operation. This article provides four simple ways for your business or organization to take advantage of direct mail, and create a campaign that pleases your audience and increases your bottom line. 

 

  • Integrate Digital with Direct 

 

A lot of marketers (or businesspeople for that matter) view direct mail campaigns as a competition against digital formats. It’s hard-copy versus digital. It’s a tangible piece of mail versus an email. It’s “we’re a 21st century company that solely focuses on digital aspects of marketing.

This is a mistake. 

Instead, organizations should be considering how they can integrate digital tools such as data and technology into their direct mail campaigns. For example, match your direct mail data file to an IP address file, then target specific consumers on your list. Similarly, you can match your direct file to social media outlets, such as Facebook or Instagram.

Think of direct mail and digital marketing as more of a partnership. Each must give and take, but when they function properly together, they’re unstoppable.

 

  • Get Creative 

 

After we just ranted about the importance of utilizing tech into your campaign, it’s also crucial that direct mail campaigns don’t lose the pillar of effective marketing: creativity. 

As we noted in the outset, most of the population views direct mail as an out-of-date system that will eventually fall by the wayside. And although statistics show this just isn’t the case, it is true that many people will disregard tangible mail without giving it a second thought. The best way to combat this is to not allow them to do so. 

A creative marketing campaign will help your business or organization stand out from the rest, and bring your audience in to read what you have to say. 

Creative cut-outs or secret messages are classics that never die. For example, one company used a wine glass printout on their mail with a cut-out that filled the wine glass as you pulled the top piece up, revealing a message in the glass. Another is from a Belgium company. There, they wanted to reach their audience and underscore the importance of water. So they created a piece of mail that could only be read once the reader ran the mail underwater, revealing a secret message. 

Or, if you’re too “techy” for these ideas, you can even work with 3D images or Augmented Reality to set your campaign apart. Check out or HP Reveal or Layar and see just how cool AR can be when used in direct mail.

 

  • Look to and Utilize Data 

 

In line with our discussion in number one, data is one of the most important tools in a marketers’ arsenal. And direct mail is one of the most effective methods for gathering data on current and prospective customers that can be used to tailor your campaign, or determine where your business should be headed in the future. 

Marketers can measure data such as response rates from direct mail through sources ranging from standard call-tracking, to trackable URLs, to coupon or QR codes. The data that is produced from these mechanisms can then be categorized, and overtime you will have a substantial consumer database upon which to make more informed decisions. 

However, it’s recommended that before these data-collecting tools are implemented, marketing teams should create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as response rates, conversion rates, average order size, ROI or cost per acquisition. These KPIs will show how well a campaign is reaching goals that you set.  

 

  • Personalize & Follow Up

 

In a busy world focused on speeding through the junk mail, box in your mailbox at home and the one on your phone, any winning mail campaign will add a touch of personalization to their message. As I’m sure we’ve all noticed, every piece of mail begins with, “Hi, Amanda” or “We’d love to hear from you, Chris.” 

This isn’t what we mean by personalization. 

Truly personal messages that seek to not only market a product to a consumer, but also take the time to personalize a message will help build a relationship with your audience. In the long run, this will substantially help sustain long-term revenue. Here are a few statistics we’ll leave you with in case you’re questioning this last way to create a winning direct mail campaign:

  • In 2019, 72% of consumers engaged only with marketing messages that provided a customized message that matched their specific interest. 
  • Personalization engines that are used to recognize customer intent can increase digital business profits up to 15%.
  • 92% of online shoppers will complete a purchase if there are personalized recommendations or promotions on a business’s website.
  • A recent study by Gartner shows that 87% of consumers claim that personally relevant content will positively influence their outlook on that particular brand. 
  • Nearly 50% of consumers have purchased a product they did not intend on purchasing merely because they could personally engage with the content. 

 

As the digital landscape continues to shift, many marketing teams feel pressure to rollback or abandon their direct mail campaigns completely. With the popularity of digital formats and various options for receiving digital content, the perceived logic goes that tangible mail is a thing of the past. 

This is the mindset of unproductive marketers that either misunderstand or are ill informed of the power digital mail can have on digital marketing campaigns.   

In order to truly maximize digital marketing operations, increase consumer response rate and witness higher ROI, marketing teams must engage (or re-engage direct mail) into their marketing schemes. 

 

Recognize Strengths 

First off, it’s vital for businesses to recognize the strengths of direct mail and the positive effects it has, not only on consumers, but on the bottom line. It’s also important to understand the benefits of these two mediums acting in tandem. Surprising to many, this is especially the case with their most common target audience: millennials. 

Despite the hyper-wired connectedness of millennials today, millennials as a group report that they open 66% of the direct mail they receive, and 63% of them who respond to a mail piece within three months made a purchase. According to a recent report by Mintel, millennials are more likely to agree that reputation is the most important aspect of a business—and 76% say that they trust direct mail over digital channels when it comes to making a purchase.

Aside from its widespread use among millennials, direct mail also boasts the highest response rate among consumers generally, and is the second-most used medium (57%), tied with social media. The best marketing strategies recognize the strengths of direct mail, as well as understand how to effectively make direct mail work together with a digital marketing strategy.

 

Utilize the Power of Social Media

As mentioned above, direct mail is second only to social media when it comes to widespread use. One of the reasons for this is due to the ideal position social media channels are in as a means for immediate engagement with consumers on a day-to-day basis. Businesses should recognize this position, then use direct mail as a way to engage consumers in a more personal, tangible way. 

For example, if your business runs a survey on Facebook to ask about a specific topic, you can then use the collected data in your direct mail campaign to showcase the popularity of your product or service. Something along the lines of, “95% of our Instagram followers agree that (enter product or service, here) has helped them X.” 

Social media is also a powerhouse when it comes to obtaining reviews or opinions from consumers. It’s a simple way for a customer to provide there feedback without expending virtually any energy. Take advantage of this in your direct mail strategy. With consent, social media reviews can be placed in direct mail pieces to reinforce your product or highlight the favorability of your service by consumers. 

Closing the Loop

Direct mail is also a great way to follow up with consumers after a social media or other digital marketing campaign. Businesses can use the data gained from these campaigns, such as visitors to a site or products added to a shopping cart but never purchased, and follow up with a reminder or similar piece of direct mail. 

According to the USPS, 67% of consumers feel that direct mail is more personal than the Internet, and over half will purchase a product if they are reminded through a more personal medium, such as direct mail. The one-two punch of a digital campaign followed up by a piece of personal mail is an ideal combination and will show consumers how important they are to your business.