Too many businesses wrongly assume that direct mail is yesterday’s news, preferring to opt for online advertising and other tech-based marketing campaigns. Such a decision could be costing your business money as direct mail marketing has consistently proved to be the most effective – and cost-effective – way of promoting your business to new customers while retaining loyalty among old ones. Here are some of the reasons why.
- Direct mail marketing is highly targeted. While targeted TV and radio campaigns are still estimated to reach at least 30% of the wrong people, marketing your business using direct mail allows you far greater accuracy in pinpointing your target audience. You can send mail to a specific audience based on postcode, demographics, purchase history, interests and much more besides. Requesting additional personal information from those on your mailing list – in exchange for a gift or discount – will ensure the most accurate customer profiling.
- It provides a very high response rate. Unlike online banners that people click through without looking, mail is a physical, tangible product that seems more reliable and is harder to ignore if it arrives on your doorstep addressed to you personally. That’s why more than 9 out of 10 direct mails are opened and over half of all UK adults act upon receiving direct mail.
- Direct mail marketing campaigns last longer. Having something physical like a newsletter, coupon or catalogue means your customers are more likely to keep it and return to the contents at a later date. Nearly 20% of direct mail is retained by recipients – this means your single mail could lead to repeat purchases while your brand stays in customers’ minds for much longer.
- Mail is a trusted format. Thanks to that great British institution, Royal Mail, everyone knows and relies on the postal service. While many of your potential customers may be wary about new marketing media, they’ll be more receptive to marketing messages delivered in a format they’re familiar with and depend upon.
- Direct mail marketing is highly versatile. You won’t get much out of your campaign if you stick to the same old coupon at the same time of each year but businesses that create a careful strategy with diverse and novel formats will reap rewards. Newsletters, magazines, postcards and brochures, catalogues and more – the range of options available with direct mail makes it a great marketing tool for almost any type of business.
- It builds customer loyalty. Marketing your business is not just about sending news of a sale or other time-limited discount. You can also use direct mail to build knowledge of, and interest in, your company among customers. Does your business have a unique point of interest or human angle that your audience should know about? Using a direct mail newsletter or magazine to introduce staff or explain your company ethos is a great way of building loyalty for your brand.
- Campaigns are straightforward to create and deliver. If you – or someone in the office – knowa bit about desktop publishing, you can easily create a direct mail to market your business. There are also direct mail programs available online that enable businesses to do everything from designing mail items and importing mailing lists to printing and sending out the campaign.
- Results can be easily measured. You don’t need to rely on complicated analytics to see how well a campaign is working. Simply tally up the coupons redeemed or the number of phone and mail enquiries made as a result of a particular marketing mail.
- It provides better returns. Despite the postage costs involved, bulk mail rates make direct mail marketing surprisingly economical. That’s why it still beats digital advertising in terms of value for money. While online advertising is calculated to bring in an average of £3.12 for every £1 spent, direct mail marketing provides a return of £3.22 on the same investment.
- Direct mail supports and improves additional marketing efforts. Companies that build a cohesive marketing campaign by employing new technology – such as online platforms – together with traditional approaches like direct mail will maximize their brand potential. Recent research by BrandScience showed that an integrated campaign including direct mail boosted the online component by 62% and the TV component by 37%! It’s also worth remembering that new technology tends to be favoured by younger audiences while more than half of over-65s in the UK have not even used the internet in the past year. As such, combining traditional and newer marketing tools ensures you reach a much wider audience.
- Direct mail marketing is proven to work. Direct mail marketing has been used for a long time and is still around because – simply put – it works. Annual statistics reveal that a whopping 14.2 million adults in the UK made a purchase as a result of receiving a direct mail, while 2.8m tried a new product or service and 10.5m took advantage of a direct mail voucher or coupon. Customers also buy more and more often, with direct mail marketing boosting purchases by over 70%.
While new forms of marketing get a lot of attention, direct mail marketing continues to be an indispensible tool for any business. If you’re neglecting this most valuable and cost-effective marketing strategy, it’s time to find out how direct mail can deliver for your business.
James is a SME content writer for
The Mailing Room
, offering small businesses and start ups tips and advice on saving money on business mail processes and postage costs.