Like any good entrepreneur, I’m always thinking of ways that I can develop and grow our businesses and brands. One of the best marketing strategies does not occur in the digital world. Each week, one of my companies sends out over 1,000 pieces of direct mail. We have an excellent response rate, even with a younger demographic target audience.
Think about it; people are deluged with emails, social media posts and instant messaging. In the digital world, it’s a novelty to receive a great piece of direct response material in the mail. However, there are a few differences in what we do in our direct mail than what was done in the old school days.
- We experiment with all types of colorful pieces.
- We rarely send any letter.
- The pieces are always vibrant with images and very little copy.
There are a couple of reasons why your business should consider direct response to prospect and grow your business.
- Response Rate: Last year, Compu-mail noted, “Direct mail household response rate is 5.1% (compared to.6% email,.6% paid search,.2 online display,.4% social media). This is the highest response rate the DMA has ever reported, since coming out with the Response Rate Report in 2003.
- Personalization: When your prospects receive mail (not including bills), particularly those who are of Generation X or older, there is a familiar feeling. The older generations still like to receive something in the mail with their names on it. They can touch the piece, and there’s something novel about it in today’s world.
- Generational Myth: Believe it or not, a sizable portion of Millennials also like direct response because it’s something they too can touch and hold. According to a Forbes article, 36 percent of people under the age of 30 like to check their mailboxes, and 95 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 have a favorable view of mail, such as personalized cards.
- QR Codes and PURLs: Companies have been experimenting with testing QR and PURLs (personal URLs), which redirects a person who receives a piece of mail back into the digital age. Since most people now have a smartphone, these codes can be scanned by the target audience for more information.
- Messaging: If you’re doing a particular project or sale, consider using direct mail to bolster the urgency. My team and I have gotten high response rates to direct mail pieces that have had a deadline to partner with our companies. One of the key reasons we have seen this work is because with all of the emails people receive, lots of times they are dismissing this form of communication quickly just to get through their email box.
- Multi-channel Marketing: Direct response is an excellent way to support your digital marketing efforts. We know that people have to see your brand and logo multiple times for it to begin to “stick” in their minds. Direct mail helps reinforce your brand’s digital efforts. Prospects not only see you in the digital world but also in the “real world.”
- Testing: Direct mail provides your business with an opportunity to test another method for reaching out to your prospects. We’ve tested direct response with high-level prospects in our target audience, and the new accounts we’ve obtained has paid for the mailing expenses
- Easy Analytics: Direct mail results are straightforward to understand. You don’t need to have anyone on your team sign-into a digital platform to pull a report for you. Direct response provides you an easy way to see how much you spent against the amount of new business you achieved.
- Credibility: Direct mail, because it’s familiar and tactile, gives the recipients an automatic sense of your credibility. We live in a world of “fake news” and raging social media debates about content in the digital space that is authentic and real. Direct response cuts through the noise and instantly gives credibility because of the investment and its familiarity.
- Creativity: Direct response is an excellent way to experiment with color, size, shape and different packaging for your pieces. Sophisticated marketers are experimenting with many different types of mailings to stand out from a regular sized and traditional letter and envelope, which encourages people to look at the piece.
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has reported that direct mail has declined. However, in a digital world where people are inundated with massive amounts of content, direct mail stands out as a creative way to cut through the noise. At the very least, direct mail is an excellent complement your digital efforts, and at best, it’s a great way to obtain new business.