In the wake of 2020 and 2021’s unprecedented hurdles, many companies have shifted their efforts and marketing budgets to focus 100% on digital. But if everyone sends their marketing pitch over email, social, and other web-based media, how are consumers supposed to cut through the noise? More isn’t always better. With an influx of digital overload, consumers are increasingly in search of non-digital connections. The mailbox offers a clear, pre-existing path to cut through the clutter and gain the undivided attention of your customers—making direct mail more important than ever before.
Why should brands revive direct mail marketing?
Despite a sharp decline in 2020’s second quarter, direct mail has steadily bounced back as a powerful tool for businesses to keep customers apprised of operations, safety precautions, and new products and services. According to The Harris Poll Essential 100, the USPS has been the most essential organization during the pandemic—beating out major names like Google, Walmart, UPS, and even Amazon.
In the digital age, direct mail is often perceived as old-school, but nothing could be further from the truth. Even though pandemic restrictions are lifting, social isolation, depression, and anxiety continue to affect people post shutdown. People still have a strong desire for authentic connections, and they’re finding that desire met through a renewed excitement for hand-delivered mail.
A survey conducted in the summer of 2020 shows businesses using direct mail as a facet of their marketing strategy are 11% more likely to report a “good” response rate and nearly 2 times more likely to report a “very good” response rate than their counterparts who are not using direct mail. The key is ensuring a cohesive campaign across all channels—traditional and digital.
If you send a mailer and follow up with recipients through an email reminder, you’ve gained two touchpoints with one message—and the first was a physical interaction that left an imprint, prompting your audience to open that email instead of ignoring it. Why? You’ve started to build trust. Through this omnichannel approach, you’re amplifying your marketing campaign and can drive more customers to your business.
The newest development in direct mail, Direct Mail Plus, makes omnichannel approaches easier. It’s a powerful package that can be added to any direct mail campaign. Direct Mail Plus allows you to add recipients by name and customize mailings based on their previous interactions with your brand. You can even send messages to specific neighborhoods or households based on demographics and purchase behavior. When you layer in lifestyles, behaviors, and interests, you can fully personalize your direct mail marketing campaign specific to each subset of your customer base.
For instance, you can send a flyer to someone’s mailbox with a tracking phone number that allows you to measure how many calls came specifically from that mailer. Then a few days later, with Direct Mail Plus, you can retarget that same consumer with digital ads when they’re on their mobile devices through IP addresses.
You can also get custom designs—which makes building brand recognition easier than ever. Adjust, pivot, or relaunch based on real-time results to boost response and allocate budgets more effectively. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you might consider Targeted Direct Mail or Every Door Direct Mail.
BE. AUTHENTIC. B. E. AUTHENTIC.
Allow us to tell a short story. You just started working remotely for the first time and are loving the laidback lifestyle. No need for slacks. No honks in traffic. Heck, you never have to leave the house. Great, right? But then you realize the only real-life interaction you’ve had all week is when you apologized to the table you walked into. The table. Sound familiar?
For a large population, a typical week is spent working in front of the medium screen to then go home and watch the big screen while they scroll through the little screen. And with Covid-19, the average time spent with digital media has increased to nearly 7.5 hours per day. Email. Webinars. Virtual events. Yet, according to a report by Sendoso, 80% of audiences are fatigued by digital and virtual engagement.
Although email is essential to a successful marketing strategy, it’s unquestionably one of the most heavily trafficked, oversaturated channels. And once the browser is closed or the email deleted, the chance of the consumer seeing that message again significantly decreases. Especially with Google implementing the removal of third-party cookies from Chrome later this year.
Due to its physicality, direct mail is harder for consumers to forget because it’s on their dining room table or in their recycling bin—even when discarded, it’s still in sight. What’s more, this visibility can extend beyond the target audience to others in the household or place of business.
Post-pandemic, there’s even less competition for people’s attention through the post, and people are more open to receiving mail than ever. With 88% of purchase decisions being made, or at least discussed, in the home, there’s an obvious benefit to having your brand’s materials around customers’ houses.
Three touchpoints. Three messages. Three moments of connection. As discussed in our previous post on “Why Direct Mail Should be the Headliner of Your Media Mix During COVID-19,” we recommend viewing the approach to your audience similarly to how one might pursue a courtship.
Call your audience to action with each mailer, even if that means only asking them to call or visit your website for more information. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: A clear call to action elevates your mail campaign from a sheet of paper to a useful bridge between the target and your marketing channels.
But don’t rush in. It’s best to extend your direct mail—your courtship—by sending these three mailers over a six month period. If you bombard your audience, they may feel overwhelmed, spammed, or even dismiss your message.
Direct mail is a powerful way to maintain personal interaction with customers—especially if you tailor your direct mail to individual recipients rather than sending out a one-size-fits-all postcard. Direct mail needs to stand out. Which is why we’re seeing a resurgence of the use of QR codes.
Partly due to the need for a touch-free option for businesses during the height of the pandemic, and thanks to the Apple iOS11 update that allows QR codes to be scanned directly through the mobile camera app, consumers are more aware of how to use and interact with QR codes. As a simple, effective tool to connect the online and offline worlds and track engagement and conversion, a QR code is an ideal pairing for direct mail campaigns. And they’re easy to set up and customize through QR code generators.
With many of those being digital, direct mail customized to your brand and message is a great way to stand out—especially if you connect it back to your other marketing channels on or offline.
Direct mail remains an important part of marketing, despite its old-school origins. With the right partner, developing an efficient, affordable, and customized mail strategy can be done in just a few weeks. Not the long lead time you were thinking, is it? Even if you don’t have a direct mail campaign in your plans, you can get one up and running in time to boost the second half of your year. The ROI of direct mail, especially Direct Mail Plus, is swift and substantial, and the time to harness it is now.
Ready to separate yourself from the crowd? Triad can help.