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Direct Mail: Old School or Really Cool?

When targeting the right audience, it seems that many marketers have abandoned good ol’ snail mail for the more contemporary world of digital marketing. In all facets of life, as new trends emerge, we tend to leave the past behind. For example, we quickly trashed our cassettes for CDs, and when MP3s came along, we dumped those, too. Then, when it came to our personal and business organization, we abandoned our trusty day planners for PalmPilots for BlackBerrys for iPhones. In most cases, the introduction of new technology has proven to keep us more organized, provide efficiency and speak to those who we might not otherwise be able to reach.

I challenge this thought process, however, when it comes to the subject of direct mail. While this was one of the very first marketing channels to be used, it is not obsolete in the wake of the more advanced method of direct marketing. The following are four arguments for the integration of direct mail in a diverse and effective marketing strategy:

  • ROI. The goal of every marketer is to grow business. We conduct campaigns to build brand awareness and to sell products and services. A measure of a successful marketing campaign is the return on investment (ROI). Ideally, the business should make more money than was spent on the effort. SmallBizTrends.com reports that, on average, direct mail campaigns generate an ROI of 18 to 20 percent.
  • Targeting. Using geographic and demographic filters, recipients of direct mail can be customized, ensuring a targeted audience is reached. This way, we can be confident that our message will make it to consumers who are likely to need and/or want the products or services that we offer.
  • Consumer engagement. A survey conducted by MarketingSherpa revealed that of all the various types of communication available, the majority of consumers (54 percent) prefer to receive information in the mail. It is reported that consumers read 80 to 90 percent of the mail that is received. Assuming that the mail piece is visually appealing with a well-crafted message, it’s safe to assume that the consumer will take note.
  • Cost effectiveness. Direct mail can be sent for as little as $0.13 in postage per piece. There are few other channels that can be executed at such a low cost while reaching a large volume of consumers. For budget-conscience businesses, this is a tactic that can allow for repetition in messaging, building brand awareness over time.

There are so many effective ways to advertise and reach your intended audience. One doesn’t have to replace the other. Direct mail should be considered as one piece of a marketing plan that will contribute to the achievement of your business goals. Points Group’s marketing and strategy teams can work with you to determine whether this is a viable approach for your organization. Contact us to learn more.

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