Nowadays, many companies have taken to online marketing. The reason is simple; it’s convenient and affordable. In some cases, it can even be automated. Not to mention that it allows for a wider reach. Just take a look at social media—it’s become one of the most popular platforms for marketing. If anything, most brands nowadays are active on multiple channels. It’s not too surprising when you think about it—after all, it’s a great way to drive your brand’s presence!
With that said, offline marketing is still a thing. Traditional strategies might not be as popular as they once were, but that doesn’t mean that they’re dead. Take television ads, for instance—they’re still going strong. The same goes for billboards and signage. When done properly, they can be a great complement to digital marketing!
Other Benefits of Offline Marketing:
- They are easier to understand for consumers, which makes them more effective
- Campaigns are generally more memorable
- Strategies can be personalized aka tailored for your target market
- Allows you to engage directly with clients (i.e. higher authenticity value)
On this page, we’ll be focusing on direct mail—a type of offline marketing. What is it? How does it work? What are some ways to make it more effective? These are some of the things that we’ll be exploring below. So be sure to keep reading!
What is Direct Mail?
Direct mail is a traditional type of marketing that involves sending promotional materials to homes and businesses. Due to the fact that it’s not requested by the recipient, it’s sometimes called “junk mail”. Despite that, it still holds value. In fact, numerous organizations utilize this method to reach their prospects. For instance, it’s not uncommon for supermarkets to send coupons. Similarly, many charities have a tendency of sending campaign postcards.
Do They Work?
Yes, it does. In fact, there’s been an upward trend in response rates over the past few years. Perhaps even more surprising is that is it has a higher response rate than all types of online advertising combined. Given that, it’s easy to see why so many companies are utilizing it for their business.
Advantages of Direct Mail Campaigns
Now that we know that it works, let’s take a look at why it’s better than some of the other strategies.
It has a High Return on Investment (ROI)
Direct mail gives you more bang for your buck in that it has a higher ROI compared to paid ads and searches. To give you a better idea, these types of campaign have a median ROI of 29%—that puts it in third place behind social media and email marketing. The number might not seem high, but it’s actually quite impressive, especially when you compare it to others. If anything, direct mail is definitely holding its own against other channels.
Want to know how effective your direct mail campaign will be? There are several sites that you can use to calculate the ROI. All you have to do is plug in a few values (e.g. campaign size, cost, conversion rate, etc) and it’ll give you a percentage.
It Works Great in Combination With Digital Marketing
Direct mail works great in combination with other strategies. Put it simply, it’s a great adjunct to digital marketing. For instance, you can display ads in conjunction with your promotional materials—that will give you more opportunities to persuade your potential customers. Another thing that you can do is to send them an email. Ultimately, the goal is to remind them of the preposition in your direct mail campaign. Let them know that it’s perfectly fine to respond whenever it’s convenient for them.
It is Highly Targeted
One of the best things about direct mail is that it’s highly targeted—that is, each campaign can be tailored for a specific audience. In other words, you’re able to boost your success rate by sending materials to those who are most likely to respond. How does that work? You can easily purchase mailing lists from various distributors. Simply tell them what you’re looking for client-wise and they’ll be able to provide you with the necessary information. From there, you can start targeting your ideal audience with your marketing campaign.
Results Can Easily Be Measured
You can measure the results of a direct mail campaign easily. Assuming that you’ve included some sort of coupon with the promotional materials, you can simply count the number of coupons redeemed. Alternatively, you can see how many inquiries were made regarding the given mail piece. In doing so, you’ll be able to keep track of all your responses, which will give you the information that you need for future campaigns. Not to mention that it’ll let you calculate your profits.
It is Cost-Effective
Direct mail campaigns are cost-effective. For one thing, it doesn’t take much to create the promotional materials—you can easily put together something yourself. Even if you decide to hire someone for its design, the costs are limited. What’s more, is that the actual mailing is economical. Assuming that you’re sending numerous at once, you’ll probably be able to get lowered rates at the post office.
It Allows For Personalization
Direct mail can be personalized. For instance, you can customize the pieces to include personal information such as names. Why is this important? People are much more likely to read something that’s directed at them as opposed to the generic “to whom it may concern.” In some cases, it can even prompt them to buy some of your products. Avoid sending generic pieces whenever possible as that will lower your response rate.
Disadvantages of Direct Mail Campaigns
As with all marketing strategies, however, direct mail does have its disadvantages.
Long Lead Times
The timing of distribution is important when it comes to direct mail. For instance, it’s probably not a good idea to send your materials out in January, after everyone has exhausted their wallets for the holiday season. With that said, it can be hard to predict when your advertisement will get into the recipient’s hand. After all, it takes a while to create a direct mail campaign. Not only do you have to make it, but you have to mail it and wait for it to get delivered.
Many companies make use of recycled materials when it comes to direct mail, but not all of them. As you can imagine, that can have serious environmental implications. For one thing, you’ll probably be producing hundreds if not thousands of advertisements. Despite your efforts, however, most will probably end up in the trash—that’s just the ways are. Naturally, that will have a significant effect on the environment. In fact, some people are against direct mail for this various reason—it’s not good for the environment.
It Can Be Intrusive
Let’s face it—most people are not a fan of “junk mail.” Depending on what it is, it can easily be perceived as intrusive. After all, they didn’t sign up for it. What happens if the recipient finds your marketing tactics annoying? They’ll be less likely to purchase your products. Not only that, but it can give them a bad impression of your brand. For this reason, it’s important to target your audience. The more targeted your recipients, the higher the chance that your mail pieces will be relevant (aka they’ll be less likely to find it annoying).
Increasing the Effectiveness of Your Direct Mail Campaign
As you can see, there are several reasons why you might want to go for a direct mail campaign. Thinking of going for it? Here are a few ways that you can boost its effectiveness:
Include a Clear Call to Action (CTA)
If anything, the CTA is the most important part of your campaign—it’s the thing that will encourage them to respond. The last thing that you want to do is to include a weak statement; that can easily jeopardize the entire project. Ideally, you want to keep it nice and short. At the time same, however, you want it to be clear. Use actionable verbs—ones that are impossible to misinterpret. At the end of the day, your recipient should know exactly what you want them to do when they’re reading the mail piece. For the best results, consider separating the CTA from the rest of the text—that will help to make it stand out. Alternatively, you can emphasize it by using a different color or font.
Include Handwritten Notes
Americans receive 18 pieces of mail every week on average. In other words, there’s not a lot of competition. Make the most of your campaign and you can easily get noticed. One of the best ways to do this is by personalizing your message. How? Consider including a handwritten message. For instance, it might be a good idea to handwrite the address. After all, that’s what people will see before deciding whether or not to open the envelope. Because let’s face it—printed packages are much more likely to go in the trash.
Aside from the address, you can also include a note. Chances are, that will help you connect with the recipient. It might seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. After all, there are many sites that offer handwriting services like Loyalty Notes! Feel free to check out what we have to offer—we have many styles for you to choose from!
Consider the Timing
Timing is important when it comes to direct mail campaigns. You don’t want to send them out randomly—you want to make sure that the packages will reach your recipients when they’re most receptive. For instance, you might want to send them out in April. Why? Many people will have extra spending money from their tax refunds. On the flip side, you might want to avoid January. This reason is simple—people are generally less likely to make purchases following the holiday season.
Don’t forget to consider production times when you’re timing your campaign. Depending on the format, it might take a while for everything to come together. From there, you still have to mail them off aka don’t forget about delivery times!
Offer Exclusive Coupons
People love good deals. Considering that, you might want to tempt them by including some exclusive offers with your campaign. For instance, you can include a promo code that will reduce the price of an item if used within a specific period of time. Trust me, this method definitely works.