How Direct Mail Can Help Build Brand Awareness

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.

Engage Customers with Direct Mail Automation

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. 

3 Email Marketing Problems Solved by Direct Mail

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. 

Build an Effective and Long-lasting Real Estate Direct Mail Strategy

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.

4 Simple Ways to Create Winning Direct Mail Campaigns

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. 

 

Maximize Digital Marketing Campaigns by Engaging Direct Mail

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. 

3 Direct Mail Tips for Digital Marketers

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It’s probably an understatement to say that most marketing teams put more focus and energy into their digital campaigns. And why shouldn’t they? Most of their intended audience spends hours a day online, either surfing the web, checking social media, or sifting through emails. However, marketers that focus solely on the digital aspect and forget about the age-old practice of direct mail are missing a substantial opportunity to connect with their consumers. 

Below are 3 tips for digital marketers that may fit into the category of those not giving direct mail campaigns their due. Digital marketers that take heed to these tips and learn to utilize both marketing formats will see a substantial increase in their bottom-line and end goal. 

 

  • Recognize the Importance of Direct Mail

 

The first tip for digital marketers is to recognize the importance of direct mail and how it can contribute to the success of a digital marketing campaign as well. To drive this point home, here are some stats:

These are just a few of the many reasons that direct mail marketers should recognize the importance of direct mail in their campaigns. Although more traditional and considered “snail mail” by most of the population today, it’s still an incredibly effective and efficient way of reaching your intended consumers. 

 

  • Integrate Direct and Digital 

 

Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you of its significance, the second tip is to understand that it’s not a “this vs. that”. 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. 

A few of the best ways to integrate the two mediums is through display ads, social media ads, or email. For example, you can 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 Facebook. Increasing your exposure to consumers and prospects by using direct mail and digital aspects in tandem will increase response rates, and in turn, profit margins.   

 

  • Don’t Ignore Data

 

Believe it or not, direct mail is one of the most effective methods for gathering important data on current and prospective consumers. Marketing teams can measure the response rate from direct mail campaigns through a number of sources, ranging from standard call-tracking to trackable URLs to coupon or QR codes. This tracking can eventually be put into categories and overtime a substantial database is being developed. 

Before these data-collecting tools are implemented, however, marketers should develop a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will show how well a campaign is reaching set goals. KPIs such as response rates, conversion rates, average order size, ROI or cost per acquisition are some of the most effective KPIs for direct mail. 

The best marketing strategies not only recognize the importance of direct mail, but understand how to effectively make direct mail work together with a digital marketing strategy. Once your team understands the importance of these two mediums, use the large amount of data that will come from them and tailor your strategies accordingly. 

5 Interactive Direct Mail Marketing Ideas

Most marketing teams know that even in our digital age, direct mail is still one of the most efficient and effective methods of reaching your consumer base. However, it’s the simplicity and popularity of direct mail marketing that also make it vulnerable to being tossed in the garbage along with credit card applications and cable bills. 

Direct mail that stands out and separates itself from the myriad letters and bills that stuff our mailboxes is the optimal way to ensure your message is read and received. And one of the best ways to do this is to get creative and allow your reader to interact with the message.

Below are 5 ways to enhance your direct mail campaign and bring some interactivity into an otherwise ordinary marketing scheme.     

 

  • Augmented Reality 

 

Right off the bat we’re suggesting something that may seem foreign to most marketers that have stuck to traditional direct mail campaigns. Augmented reality (AR) provides an amazing interactive experience for readers and can be a great way to showcase not only your product, but also the creative and edgy side of your business. 

Check out or HP Reveal or Layar and see just how cool AR can be when used in direct mail.

 

  • 3D Images 

 

Similar to AR, 3D images are a great with to make your message launch out (in a good way) at consumers. By throwing in a pair of 3D glasses, you really spark the interest of your audience and allow them to interact with your mail in a way they may have never done before. 

 

  • Embedded Codes and URLs

 

Adding coupons and the like is an age-old tactic in the world of direct mail marketing. However, you can bring the digital world into this space by embedding QR codes that allow consumers to download coupons, or personalized URLs that allow you to send maps of events or other personalized messages. 

Keep in mind that while URLs can be lengthy, QR codes are a quick way for consumers to point, scan, and obtain information quickly. 

 

  • Creative Cut-outs 

 

This may seem like a throwback to the old school after mentioning AR and 3D images, but the effectiveness of cut-outs is not lost. And here, the more creative you are, the more effective you’ll be in sparking the interest of your audience. 

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. This illusion is not only fun to interact with, it also means that the consumer is spending that much more time with your mail.

 

  • Secret Messages 

 

Speaking of illusions, how about a piece of mail that requires your audience to actually perform some sort of act before the message can be revealed? A great example of this comes from our friends in Belgium. 

For World Water Day, a corporation in Belgium wanted to reach their audience and at the same time underscore the importance of water. To do this, they created a piece of mail that could only be read once the reader ran the mail underwater, revealing a secret message. This creative and exciting direct mail campaign not only raised awareness of World Water Day, but it became an overnight sensation on social media. 

So there you have it digital mail marketing teams – 5 of the best ways to get creative and offer some interactivity to your direct mail campaigns. Although direct mail is still king when it comes to advertising, if you can allow your audience to interact and spend more time with your piece, the more effective you’ll be at achieving your end goal.  

5 Ways to Improve Your Direct Mail Campaign

A strong and efficient direct mail marketing campaign can be one of the most useful ways for businesses to reach consumers and increase brand awareness. It can also be one of the most challenging methods to perfect. With the many variables that go into direct mail campaigns, determining which work and which don’t can be overwhelming. 

Below are five proven ways that you can improve your direct mail campaign. If followed, these tips can help you put your marketing on track and recognize an immediate increase in your ROI. 

  • Refine Your Customer Database

An up-to-date and accurate customer list is the foundation of any successful marketing campaign. This is especially true with direct mail campaigns where you want to minimize postage and related costs as much as possible. 

A current and accurate list makes it easy to identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and provides an opportunity to call your customers to action. This drive to act can also reveal how your customers have shopped in the last and you can tailor custom messages to each recipient. However, all of this is lost if you are sending direct mail to an uninterested individual or a non-existent address. 

  • Take Advantage of Data

In line with tracking customers and keeping your customer list current, take advantage of the many opportunities available gather customer data. Your database provides vital insights into your customers buying habits. Look for patterns or consistencies in this buying behavior and use it to your advantage. 

Moreover, by providing a QR code or trackable web address on a piece of digital mail, you can begin recording data on which customers are acting on your direct mail campaign and which may be better suited to receive different marketing material. 

  • Integrate Marketing Channels 

A common mistake among many businesses is focusing on one campaign strategy. Your direct mail tactic should be integrated with your digital strategies, such as email campaigns. In fact, marketing strategies that incorporate both a strong direct mail scheme and one or more digital experiences can see an increase in their response rate of up to 118%.

By planning your direct mail campaigns to be delivered around the same time your email campaign arrives in your customer’s inbox, you can provide them with multiple ways of responding, and in turn, increase the overall number of customers that will act. 

  • Set Your Campaign Apart 

Getting creative can be one of the most difficult aspects when it comes to direct mail. However, remember that your marketing material is a representation of you and your business. Just like the product you sell or the service you provide, it stands out from all the rest – make this show through your direct mail campaign. 

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get a little creative with your mail. Try ditching the white envelopes with standard lettering that likely get mistaken for a utility bill. Catch your customer’s eye and make them want to open your mail. 

  • Personalize & Follow Up

As with most aspects of marketing, personalizing your message can be the difference between your customer acting on your message, or throwing your mail in the garbage. Adding a personalized touch to your mail, such as remembering a birthday or referencing a past purchase, can be crucial to the success of your direct mail campaign. You can also take advantage of consumer data in this area as well. 

Follow-up messages also show your customer that they’re not just another sale. Follow-up with a thank you message accompanied with another call to action and see your ROI rise. 

Direct mail marketing campaigns are one of the best and most effective tools in a company’s marketing tool belt. By integrating your direct mail campaign with another digital media outlet, and using data to make your messages personal and original, you will immediately see why direct mail still reigns as king in the marketing world. 

Develop a Successful and Sustainable Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail marketing continues to be one of the most effective tools for reaching consumers and bringing them to action. In fact, a recent study by Temple University shows that direct mail is outperforming digital ads in eight out of nine categories, and direct mail marketing holds consumer attention longer and has a more significant impact on consumer purchase decisions.

However, developing a successful and sustainable direct mail campaign can be more difficult than anticipated. This article provides some of the best strategies for optimizing your efforts, and how these strategies will lead to increased ROI. 

 

Refine Your Mailing List

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.  

 

Creativity is Key

Once your mailing list is refined, organized, accurate and ready to go, it’s now time to start on the message and how that message will be delivered. As you embark down this road, remember one thing: creativity is key. 

Households across the country receive thousands of pieces of mail on a daily basis. Successful direct mail campaigns have one or several aspects that make it stand out from the monthly bills and junk mail that fill mailboxes. 

However, a large mistake that many marketing teams make is trying too hard and delivering a convoluted message that’s difficult to discern. And this is surprisingly simple to do. When considering how to develop a brand and deliver a creative message, many marketers seem to focus on visual elements and believe that copy and format take a backseat to the former. 

This is a mistake.   

Headlines are crucial for communicating your value, and value is what turns recipients into customers. It’s still possible to be creative with your wording while producing a clear and concise call to action. In the same vein, you can be creative with your format while giving your product the space it needs to grab your reader’s eye.  

It may not be the easiest task, but finding that happy medium of creativity and simplicity is what leads to the most successful direct mail marketing campaigns. 

 

Make it Personal and Follow Up 

70% of Americans say direct mail is more personal than the Internet. Consumers react well to physical mail and enjoy engaging with the story of a product. However, you must find a way to get your reader to embark on the story first. The best way to do that is to make the message personal to them. 

Making your campaign personal is going above and beyond focused targeting. By adding personal names and including data from your (now) organized and refined mailing list (such as interests, past purchases, etc.), you can instantly show your reader that what they’re reading wasn’t just sent to anyone. You took the time to know your customer and personally engage with them. 

This personal touch significantly increases response rates, and with higher response rates comes higher ROI. 

Another technique to make your message personal is to follow up after the initial mail is sent. Sticking with a single passive communication limits your response rate. Whenever possible, follow up with both initial responders as well as non-responders. The quick and easy follow up may show your audience that you appreciate their business and can lead to an increased ROI.