Everyone seems to have an opinion about what defines effective marketing. A quick search on Google uncovers myriad articles with different views on the best way to market your business. Many websites and blogs will tell you that online marketing is the new and best avenue, and old school direct mail marketing is dead, but we beg to differ.
While there is no question about the power of online marketing, in 2013, TargetMarketing.com revealed that $45 billion was spent on direct mail, an increase in spending from 2012—so direct mail is clearly alive and well. Direct mail marketing is in the midst of a resurrection, and it's coming back stronger than ever.
It's undeniable that technology has changed marketing, but just because something is not new doesn't mean it serves no purpose. Just a few years ago, direct mail did lose its effectiveness—everyone was doing it, and it was nearly impossible to stand out from the noise. Now, most companies have switched to email, so direct mail is your opportunity to engage customers, create demand and collect information without the pressure and competition of email.
In an article by Craig Simpson, he mentions a study conducted by Epsilon which showed 77 percent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. To further support that, the U.S. Postal Service found that 98 percent of people check their mail daily. While direct mail marketing is proving effective in our digital world, its true potential is realized when it is executed as part of a broader content marketing strategy.
Make It Different
A successful direct mail marketing campaign has the potential to show your customers you're not like everyone else. Personalizing your envelopes, using certified mail, creating oversized postcards, sending a high-impact mailer ̶ all of these methods can help you get your prospects' attention. The holidays are in fact a perfect time to send calls to action for free assessments or onsite demos.
Make It Interesting
Direct mail provides a unique opportunity for creativity you cannot achieve with other marketing tactics. The key to email is simplicity of design and messaging. With direct mail, you have more freedom to design to get attention and fascinate. Think about your audience. What would get their attention in the middle of a hectic day? Work with your creative team or agency to design a piece with a strong message that will not end up in the circular file but instead be shared throughout the office. But do not depend on theatrics alone. Make sure the piece answers the questions, "What's in it for me?" and "Why should I read this?"
Give Them a Reason to Respond
In today's digital marketing environment, it is easy to integrate direct mail into your entire marketing strategy. Not only is it easy to make your direct mail congruent with the rest of your content, but you can also track behavior by including QR codes and/or coupon codes that can be entered online to download valuable white papers or trial offers. You can also include a call to action to tweet using a hashtag to be entered into a drawing, or receive a high-value analyst report or white paper.
We find it fascinating to witness the resurgence of this once lost marketing art form. When used effectively and as part of an integrated marketing strategy, direct mail can be, once again, an important part of your overall content marketing strategy.