As we all know, Google, eBay and Yahoo are all online organizations. As such, you would expect their marketing communications to be 100% focused on email, pay-per-click, banner ads or other online techniques. But, guess what? They all use direct mail in their marketing efforts.
Why are these successful online organizations using direct mail? Because it works!
While we all love our smartphones, QR codes, social media and email, we also love receiving relevant and personalized mail. In fact, for business communication, it has been reported that 69% of us prefer direct mail, as compared to 28% preferring email.
While email is an excellent tool for customer retention, direct mail is the most effective tool for customer acquisition. So, why not integrate email with direct mail to both attract and retain clients?
In fact, none of our marketing efforts should rely on a single marketing channel. Research shows that customers who interact with you over multiple channels will:
- Buy more
- Buy more often
- Generate more profit
These are great reasons to integrate your marketing efforts!
If you use direct mail effectively it can be:
Direct mail allows for an infinite variety of messaging, creative and strategies to be sent to an infinite number of targets. But, sending the same message or offer to all of your targets is not likely to get you the results you want. You will find that the most effective direct mail is that which is personalized and relevant.
To insure your mail pieces are relevant, use what you know about your target. Things such as:
- Industry vertical
- Past purchases
- Income level
- Geographic location
Of course, this list could be endless. So, focus on the data that you have that is relevant to what you are offering. For example: If you sell appliances, it would be logical to market your washing machines to your targets, EXCEPT if they had just bought a washer. Then the logical offer might be for a dryer instead. Don’t insult your customers by marketing to them what they’ve recently purchased.
A personal example would be from a department store. Based upon the fact that I use my department store credit card whenever I purchase, because of the discounts available, they know exactly what I’ve purchased in the past. If they’re paying attention, they’ll notice that I never buy men’s clothing or housewares. I do, however, purchase lots of children’s clothing, women’s clothing and accessories – and I can do a lot of damage in the shoe department.
So, why would they spend large amounts of money mailing weekly 16 page circulars to me? Over half of those 16 pages are for products I never purchase. Why not mail me an 8 page circular featuring the types of items I’ve purchased in the past? This could help them cut their printing and mailing costs, as well as sending the message that they really do know me and are trying to cater to my needs. That would be relevant AND personalized!
For many years, I have received beautiful postcards from lawn care companies, expensive gardening catalogs, brochures from a pool company and flyers from roofing companies. The problem with all of these mailings is that I live in a condominium. I have never purchased, and never will purchase, lawn care, roofing, gardening materials or swimming pools. And, I’m betting that every other condo owner in my complex gets the same mailings. This is obviously a great example of being irrelevant and wasting lots of marketing dollars!
So, while you’re making your marketing plans for 2014, focus on sending personalized and relevant offers to your current clients and prospects. We can help you put your marketing ideas in motion! For an article on targeted direct mail and other helpful tools, visit our Resource Center!