Why Your Company Should Try Direct Mail Printing
While e-blasts certainly help your marketing campaign, direct mail printing actually has proven to be invaluable. Here’s why your company should give it a try.
As businesses vie in a fragmented marketplace filled with aggressively skeptical consumers, it’s a small wonder that they’re searching for any marketing method that works.
While online marketing is still indispensable in this landscape, many businesses are turning to an older approach that many believed was doomed to extinction – Direct mail printed materials that go straight to the customer’s door.
It may seem quaint in the digital age, but direct mail offers businesses things that digital marketing can’t. Not the least of which is simple tangibility.
Customers can physically interact with the marketing, which is first up in the discussion of why companies should try direct mail marketing.
Direct Mail Printed Materials Are Tangible
Physically interacting with a direct mail printed piece can actually influence a person’s perception of the offer. For example, thicker stock paper creates a subconscious association with trustworthiness.
The act of holding something and interacting with it also contributes to memory formation. In fact, 75% of those who handle the direct mail piece can recall the brand after the fact.
It makes sense when considered in the context of how processes are learned. Recall is typically better when someone performs the process compared to when they only observe it.
There is an added bonus to that recall. It improves the odds that even those who didn’t respond will seek out that brand when making a later purchase, simply because they’ll remember it.
Free Gift Included
Direct mail also allows businesses to do things they simply can’t do online. For example, they can make an envelope lumpy and print “Free Gift” on the outside. That creates curiosity and enhances the chances that someone will open the envelope.
It’s a time-honored ploy because it gets the recipient one step closer to the marketing collateral inside the envelope. It’s also nearly impossible to replicate with email.
Sure, a lot of people will just keep the gift and toss the rest, but not all of them. A small subset will sit down, read the pitch, and respond to the offer.
If a business uses a prospect list, that subset of people is solid gold. They almost certainly aren’t people already using the company’s product or service, but they do fit the demographic profile of an ideal customer.
If they responded, they’re already predisposed to want what the business is selling. At least some of them will sail through the sales funnel. Just as importantly, they probably never would have become customers without that direct mail printed piece.
Measurability and Response Rates
One major challenge in many forms of marketing is measuring response rates. Some online marketing methods enjoy click-through rate metrics.
The increasingly popular content marketing doesn’t lend itself well to direct measurement of response rates. It’s tough to pin down whether one white paper or the accumulation of all the content on a site was responsible for converting a visitor to a prospect.
This is one area where direct marketing shines. It’s easy to measure response rates by calls to a specific number, coupon use, visits to a specific landing page, or claimed offers.
Direct mail also gets superior response rates. It averages a 4.4% response, while emails average a rather dismal 0.12%.
A big problem with new marketing approaches, no matter how promising, is that there’s no data to evaluate. A new social media site might be the next big money maker for businesses, but it might also be the next startup blip.
Direct mail has a very long history, which means that there’s an abundance of data. A business doesn’t have to trust the direct mail company’s pitch or depend on a gut feeling about it. They can ask to see the data.
The business can evaluate the numbers on everything from matte vs glossy stock to long-form sales letters vs postcards. The information is available. That puts businesses in a position to make informed decisions about whether or not direct mail can meet their needs
A key advantage of direct mail printing pieces is that they allow for incredibly specific targeting.
Businesses often do demographic targeting, that can focus in on age groups, nationalities, and even known preferences. Targeting can also focus on something as broad as a specific zip code or as narrow as a specific neighborhood.
For example, a business selling luxury yachts isn’t going to want to blanket all of New York City. It’ll want to focus in on the areas where the wealthy congregate, like the Upper East Side.
For especially niche businesses, they can even use psychographic lists that focus on intangibles. A few such intangible might include values and habits, which play a role in purchase decisions.
Less Cluttered Channel
Very few people check their email and eagerly open every single one.
Instead, most people scroll past numerous emails they mentally label marketing or junk, and look for contacts they recognize. Online marketing channels like email are ever more saturated, which means recipients must pick and choose what to pay attention to.
Physical mail, on the other hand, has become consistently less cluttered as more organizations transition to online account and bill management systems. The total volume of mail sent dropped by around 27% between 2007 and 2016.
That means every recipient of a direct mail piece is less hard-pressed to pick and choose what to give their attention. That improves the odds that they’ll take a moment to look at a direct mail piece.
Direct mail is never going to supplant content marketing, TV ads or email marketing.
What it can do is offer businesses an alternate and effective way to reach customers or support their other marketing efforts. A business can use a printed direct mail piece to sell a product, or just get people to visit a site by offering a discount. It’s limited only by the imagination of the people developing the printed marketing materials.
Borns Group specializes in commercial printing, marketing, and mailing solutions. For more information about direct mail printing options or to get started, please contact us today.