It’s often said that the rise of online and digital marketing has killed off traditional direct mail and print marketing. This is far from the case.
While it’s true that the total number of promotions has declined, there is a good reason why many business owners are still using direct mail as an important part of their marketing campaign.
1. Effective Targeting
Whether you have a traditional brick and mortar store or an online business, there’s no doubt that building a responsive list of prospects, leads and customers is an essential part of your success.
This inevitably takes a considerable amount of time. One of the great advantages of direct mail is that it is possible to use many highly targeted lists which are ready made and available to be rented.
The Standard Rate & Data Service can provide information on more than 100,000 lists. You also have the opportunity to review these lists by market sector, cost and any other criteria you may have.
Alternatively, it’s possible to enlist the services of a list broker who will be able to source a number of possible lists appropriate for your business and perhaps negotiate a discounted rental fee.
The great advantage of using such a list is that it will give you access to the people or businesses who have already proven themselves to be responsive to direct mail promotions in your market sector.
2. Return On Investment
With any form of marketing what really matters is the Return On Investment (ROI). One of the great things about direct mail promotions is that they can easily be tested using a small – and therefore less expensive – list, to assess the likely ROI.
If successful, promotions will then be mailed to increasingly larger lists, the ROI, of course, being constantly monitored to see how your promotion is doing.
3. Opportunity For Variety and Personalization
Personalization is the key to making your direct mail campaign stand out.
It might be:
- the envelope copy
- the addressing
- a personalized sales letter
- names on the coupons
- a postcard
- a catalog that catches their eye
Direct mail promotions can offer a much wider variety of eye-catching and attractive items than a simple e-mail could ever do.
4. Flexibility of Testing Options
However brilliant the marketing copy may be, an e-mail is still only an e-mail. The different components of a direct mail package, by contrast, can be individually tested and refined. Giving you more opportunity to get the perfect campaign piece out to your potential customers.
5. Ability To Reach A Wider Audience
Although a very high proportion of the United States population uses the Internet – around 88.5% according to Internet Live Stats – there are many users who are resistant to online advertising. “Banner blindness” and the annoyance of pop-ups may severely restrict the effectiveness of online campaigns.
6. Get Their Attention
While it’s undoubtedly true that e-mail marketing can be very effective, it’s also true that many e-mails – even those sent to subscriber lists – go unopened. According to the leading e-mail service provider, MailChimp, typical open rates range between 14.63% for daily deals and e-coupon offers to 28.64% for the “Hobbies” niche.
Even more importantly, the click through rates – which equate to direct mail response rates – are as low as 2 – 3% for most commercial business sectors.
7. Simplicity of Measurement
When compared to online advertising platforms such as Google Adwords or Facebook, the success or failure rate of direct mail promotions are easier to measure.
There is no need to monitor the performance of multiple ads and ad groups or compare the effectiveness of numerous different keywords.
The responsiveness of the list mailed out can be very easily and quickly determined – whether by the number of reply cards returned, coupons redeemed or telephone inquiries received.
So whether you want to generate immediate sales or gather more leads and prospects, direct mail is still a valuable part of your marketing strategy.
With 50 years of experience in the industry, Ballantine offers a wide range of print, creative services and analytic services, so contact us for expert help with all of your marketing needs.
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!