"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
- Mark Twain ...and direct mail.

Direct mail will be a marketer's secret weapon in 2021 and a strategic differentiator in a digital world.&

DIRECT MAIL: ALIVE AND WELL

Digital marketing is an important component of your overall marketing strategy, but there are some things digital alone simply won't allow you to do. For example, connecting with your audience in a way that's tangible and touchable. An equally important element is that direct mail gives you the same ability as digital to segment your market and target key buyer personas, as well as personalize your messaging.

Related: Targeted Direct Mail

As Entrepreneur correctly points out, direct mail provides an unparalleled way to send precisely the message you want to any segment of your target audience:

"Major corporations know that direct mail advertising is one of the most effective and profitable ways to reach out to new and existing clients.  What's the advantage? Unlike other forms of advertising, in which you're never sure just who's getting your message, direct mail lets you communicate one-on-one with your target audience. That allows you to control who receives your message, when it's delivered, what's in the envelope and how many people you reach."

BY THE NUMBERS

Still not convinced? Then consider these eye-opening direct mail metrics from Small Biz Genius:

  • Almost half of consumers read the direct mail they receive.
  • Customers who receive a direct mail piece, on average, spend about 30% more than those who didn't.
  • Almost 75% of consumers say they prefer direct mail to other forms of advertising because they can read it whenever they want to.
  • About 60% of consumers say they enjoy receiving direct mail pieces about new products.
  • More than 60% of consumers who get catalogs in the mail visit the website of the business that sent it.

WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO MAXIMIZE THE IMPACT OF YOUR DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGNS?

Those are some persuasive numbers, but it's important to remember that they reflect average direct mail performance. In other words, some businesses do much better with their direct mail campaigns than others.

What separates the leaders in direct mail marketing from everyone else is their use of best practices, including the following four strategies:

1. MAKE IT PERSONAL

Direct mail response rates tend to be significantly higher when direct mail pieces are personalized. You can, for example, merge data files with direct mail pieces to include the recipient's name or address in your pieces. (There are experienced digital and print marketing consultants who can help you with this.)

Related: Variable Data Printing

2. USE DIRECT MAIL FOR BOTH NEW AND CURRENT CUSTOMERS

One of the big mistakes some marketers make is assuming that direct mail is only for acquiring new customers. Actually, direct mail is one of the best ways to engage current customers and tell them about new offers and products. And remember, it costs (on average) five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

3. IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...

Just because a prospective or current customer doesn't respond to a direct mail piece, don't assume they won't respond if you send a follow-up piece. After all, they might have tossed it away by accident, or simply have been too busy when they received that first piece. Begin thinking of direct mail campaigns as a series of interrelated mailings to get optimum results.

Related: How Many and How Often?

4.  GO HYBRID

Some of the most innovative and successful direct mail campaigns are the ones that link print and digital strategies. For example, you could send direct mail recipients an email (or series of emails) asking if they had a chance to review your catalog (or other direct mail piece). Or you could include a "QR" (for "quick response") code on your direct mail piece, which recipients can read with their smartphone.

FINAL THOUGHTS

These are just a few of the ways a smart direct mail strategy can help your business generate more leads, boost conversions, increase website traffic, win over new customers, and keep the ones you already have. Of course, pulling together the kind of marketing strategy that combines the best of print and digital can be both complicated and confusing. That's where we can help.

To learn more about the ways our team can help you achieve your top marketing goals — and take your business to the next level — schedule a chat with us today.

EXPERT HELP IS ONE CLICK AWAY

Written by Blake Leppert

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