Stifling a yawn (and a snigger or two) I’ve just read in The Drum that “Marketing 'renaissance' trends are back.” Seems stuff we’ve always done, and channels we’ve always used (and which have always been known to work) are back in fashion!
Truth is that, for those at the coal-face, they never went away. And when you’re trying to squeeze the best value from your marketing budget, and your data, direct mail marketing has consistently delivered the goods. Here’s why:-
1. It’s tangible
With so many of the other channels sitting in the ether, direct mail is “to have and to hold”. Likely comprising stock, ink, finishing, glue, binding and probably an outer cover or envelope, it touches and has been touched. It’s real, has substance and so lends weight to the message it conveys.
2. It lasts
Email, social media and SMS may all be super-speedy but they have no permanence and leave no lasting impression. Bits and bytes are easily deleted, and immediately forgotten, whereas direct mail is often retained and an average of 23% of all mail is shared between people in a household.
3. It cuts through the noise
With estimates that we’re exposed to more than 5,000 marketing messages per day, and that our senses are bombarded with over 11 million bits of data every SECOND, direct mail is a “non-interruptive medium”. Quietly and patiently it waits for attention – the polar opposite of a telemarketing call or SMS message.
4. It boasts brilliant response rates
Direct mail response rates leapt again in 2016 with a recorded 5.3% response rate to house lists and 2.9% to prospect lists. The other channels don’t come close with none of them even hitting the 1% mark.
5. It’s influential
According to the US Direct Mail Association (DMA), nearly two-thirds of people have been influenced to buy something because of a direct mail piece they’ve received. Not only that, 70% of customers have re-started a relationship because of direct mail.
6. It works with other channels
Include mail in a multi-channel campaign and watch the ROI jump by an astonishing 12%!
7. It’s personal
Using a combination of variable data and digital printing, direct mail pieces can be as unique as the recipient. Talking to someone as an individual, rather than a “one size fits all” advertisement, makes for a conversation rather than a broadcast.
8. It’s valued
Do you welcome the prospect of a marketing email? Of course not. But 57% say that receiving mail makes them feel more valued and 36% of people under 30 look forward to checking their physical mail each day. Offers by mail are perceived to be worth more than the same offer sent by email.
9. It appeals to more of the senses
The sensory appeal of mail – not just clever design that appeals to the eyes but, for example, the application of fragrance, a tactile finish, etc. - has the unique power to create an emotional reaction to it. This was borne out by 38% of Mailmen respondents who confirmed that physical properties of mail influenced how they felt about the sender.
10. It’s trusted
People are far more likely to believe and trust what they read on paper as opposed to on screen. Which is probably why fundraisers, financial services, banks and retailers still rely on it and count among its highest users.
We’re all about multi-channel of course, and always keen to hear about “the next big thing”, but for us direct mail still rocks - whatever the marketing fashionistas say!