Direct mail continues to show strength and resilience in the face of growth in digital marketing. The reasons are simple — it works. Let’s look at eight pieces of direct mail advice to live by.
- Just do it.
Each channel has its strengths and weaknesses, and while digital marketing has the halo of excitement and interactivity, direct mail remains the solid bedrock of marketing communications overall. There are a lot of channels out there, and one doesn’t replace the other. Make sure you’ve got the right mix.
- Don’t ignore Millennials.
Although Millennials love their digital media (especially mobile), they respond to direct mail, too. According to data cited by Direct Marketing News:
- More than 50% of Millennials get print deals from newspapers and 33% look to direct mail for information on offers.
- Teens and twentysomethings are twice as likely to be introduced by an offline ad to a product they later bought.
- 90% of 25- to 34-year-olds say they think direct mail is reliable, while 87% say they like getting information and offers from retailers in the mail.
Just because someone is 18 to 34 years old doesn’t mean they aren’t influenced by direct mail—they are.
- Reinforce with email.
Channels are better together. The Direct Marketing Association finds that response rates increase up to 38% when direct mail and email are used together (“2015 Response Rate Report”). Email can be used to generate interest in advance of a direct mail piece or direct mail can be reinforced by a follow-up email.
- Strategize with lead nurturing.
Prospects are motivated by different channels depending on the stage of the sales funnel they are in. For example, digital marketers cite email marketing, social media, and online display ads as the top channels for generating interest, while they see websites, email marketing, and direct mail as the top channels for closing the sale (“2014 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report,” Experian 2014).
- Go print-to-mobile
Print is a key way to get people engaged on mobile devices. QR Codes and augmented reality (AR) create interactivity, and if you’re looking to build a database of mobile numbers for SMS marketing, print is a critical way to gather them. When you think mobile marketing, think print!
- Don’t forget the call to action
One of the cardinal mistakes of print marketing is forgetting the call to action. This happens even on the best, most creative direct mail pieces. Be sure to include a CTA and place it in a highly visible location. A CTA buried is no call to action at all.
- Over-size it
Not surprisingly, over-sized mailers get more attention and higher response rates than traditional sized mailers. Especially if you’re offering a high-value product or service, the extra investment in an over-sized delivery vehicle can produce a high return.
- Test, test, test!
How do you know what works if you don’t test it? Get in the habit of testing each time to see if certain offers, images, or variables create better results. Build on what works and jettison what doesn’t. Remember—what worked six months ago may not work today. Make continual refinement part of your marketing best practices.
Want more ideas on how to create best in class direct mail campaigns? Want to explore one of these ideas in more detail? Let us help!