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Old but gold direct mail marketing – all you need to know

March 18, 2020 Judyta Pękala 9 min read
Judyta Pękala

Digital marketing world is a place where everybody tries to do their best to survive while shouting “hey, my offer is the best, look at me!”. That’s the reason why all the marketing gurus come up with new concepts and bright ideas while online business owners try to implement new innovative ways of advertising and brand promotion.

Innovation and creativity are essential for a decent digital marketing strategy. Nevertheless,  dozens of entrepreneurs forget that simplicity is the key and sometimes it is perfectly okay to come back to old ways instead of trying out millions of new ones every single week. One of these supposedly obsolete ways that today is commonly used by financial & insurance services (89%), is direct mail marketing. Do you even know what marketing form is that?

Once you read this article you will know:

What is direct mail marketing?

Direct mail elements: postcards, brochures, targeted mail lists, collateral

Source: https://www.turbomedicalmarketing.com/agency-services/direct-mail-marketing/

These days, direct mail marketing is definitely not on the lips of marketers. A lot of people who haven’t heard about the concept before, usually relate it to the email marketing concept. However, that is not correct at all. The name itself indicates that an important part of direct mail marketing is mail – but used quite differently than in email marketing strategy.

Direct mail marketing definition states it is a form of offline marketing centered around sending promotional materials such as letters, postcards and brochures to your potential customers’ mailboxes. Sounds a little  old-school, doesn’t it?

Since we live in the era of advanced technology and smart solutions, sending tangible promotional materials to clients may seem odd and obsolete. You may ask yourself:

  • “who would purchase anything from a company that sends their offer to a mailbox instead of an email box?”,
  • “what if customers assume that my business is not innovative, because it uses ancient methods?”
  • “and what if it ruins my brand?”.

Well, surprisingly or not, the studies proved the opposite. And this is what brings us to the benefits of direct mail marketing.

What are the benefits of using direct mail marketing?

Easiness of understanding

The first and major benefit of direct mail is the easiness of understanding, which has been proved by this neuroscience study. Not only did direct mail marketing outperform digital channels but it also did it in a significant way, which only emphasizes the importance and usefulness of direct mails.

The study also proved that it takes 21% less cognitive effort to process direct mail compared to emails! It means that potential customers have to invest less time and brainpower to grasp a traditional mail when compared to an email. Pretty groundbreaking, right?

 

Neuroscience study proved that it takes 21% less cognitive effort to process direct mail compared to emails

 

Better memorability and persuasion

An average office worker receives 120 emails every day at work. And what about those emails sent to personal email boxes? They may add up to even 200 emails per day. Who would really remember what was in every single one of them unless it was something truly personal?

Even though everybody checks their email box on regular basis, at the end of the day we don’t really remember all the  details. Moreover, for sure we don’t remember some offer received from some business during the day. However, when it comes to direct mails, the situation looks differently.

Direct mails with offers are rather an exception. They are tangible, way easier to stick to the recipients’ memory, and are said to be more persuasive. In direct mail marketing you can act on all the senses of your potential customers, which makes receiving a direct mail offering a significantly more memorable and above-average experience.

Better responsiveness

Believe it or not, but direct mail marketing has also unquestionably better response rate than emails! Even though responding to emails is significantly quicker and more effortless than replying to a traditional mail, consumers tend to be more responsive to direct mail, almost 40 times more!

The study showed that email marketing has an average 0.12% response rate, but when it comes to direct mail marketing it is 4.4%. I am sure you haven’t expected that, have you?

 

The study showed that email marketing has an average 0.12% response rate, but when it comes to direct mail marketing it is 4.4%

 

Less competition

In today’s digitized world the vast majority of business owners try to reach their potential customers using emails, as it seems the most up-to-date strategy. What it more, it’s considered comfortable for the recipients. However, it makes email marketing a highly competitive area as it’s cluttering email inboxes of potential clients. And no one likes that.

Luckily, you can spare the nerves of your potential clients and stand out from the competitors by using direct mail marketing. It seems to be an obsolete strategy, coming from old days of marketing. Nevertheless, it is also a highly uncompetitive area with a lot of space to fill. You should use it for the sake of your online business, as the chances of getting noticed will genuinely increase. And people really do like opening mailboxes. Way more than email inboxes.

What are the best direct mail marketing ideas?

direct mail mistakes to avoid

Source: https://www.ballantine.com/direct-mail-marketing-campaign-mistakes-avoid/

Once you have understood the importance and power of direct mail marketing, it’s about time you took action. A successful direct mail marketing campaign comes as a result of following the best practices which also prevents you from being repulsive for your clients.

Get recipient’s interest and be creative

Boring letters won’t be effective and customers will most probably mix them up with bills. In order to avoid it, the best idea is to come up with something extraordinary. Non-traditional forms of mail arouse imagination and make customers feel special. Try to think outside the box and make up a creative ideas to surprise recipients. You can utilize forms such as:

  • 3D mailings,
  • pop-up boxes,
  • interactive letters that customers have to do something with before they can read the mail,
  • personalized postcard design,
  • foldable origami,
  • scented envelopes.

If you use one of these forms or – even better – come up with new, innovative ones, your offer will stick to the recipients’ minds for a long, long time.

What would you remember more – a traditional mail in an envelope or a pop-up box you can play with?

Interact with the recipients

If you add additional elements like coupons, free samples or loyalty cards to your mails, you reinforce your message and have better chances of increasing the response rate. A sound idea is to attach brochures, scratch cards or small demo versions of your products. Not only customers will have an opportunity to check the quality of your work, but also it will impose an instant interaction with your brand right from the moment of opening a mail.

Make it personal

By using personalization you can make your customers feel truly special. You can segment your audience by their:

  • gender,
  • geography,
  • age,
  • names.

Once you do this, you are able to inspire more trust and seem more reliable to potential leads. It also results in building a solid fundamental for durable business-customer relationship, increased brand awareness, boosted sales and better customer loyalty. These days, personalization is the one of key aspects of effective sales, and you should not underestimate its significance.

Stimulate all the senses

As mentioned before, direct mails beat emails when it comes to stimulating the senses, which is crucial in direct mail marketing. Emails have at their disposal only sight and hearing while mails also stimulate:

  • touch,
  • smell,
  • taste.

These three are able to significantly boost customer’s experience and make your business or product way more memorable.

You can easily stimulate smell (with scented envelopes), touch (with high-quality smooth paper) and taste (with some samples – if you sell coffee, a small free sample of coffee beans would be a great idea!).

Think about how to affect your customers’ five senses and take advantage of it accordingly.

As you can see, direct mail marketing is a powerful concept enabling you to reach potential customers and to impose action from them in a more powerful way than simply sending emails. These days, email inboxes are usually over flooded with messages from numerous businesses, and consumers neither truly trust nor remember them. However, recipients do pay attention to traditional mails and usually go through all that ended up in mailboxes outside their houses. Don’t underestimate the power of old but gold direct mail marketing, as it can significantly improve your business performance.

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Judyta Pękala

Judyta Pękala

Email specialist @Landingi, passionate about design thinking and overthinking.

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