One of the most powerful and effective marketing methods available, direct mail has been around for many years. Despite this, in this digital age, it can sometimes be overlooked, meaning that many companies are limiting the results of their cross channel marketing campaigns and ignoring what could potentially be one of the strongest channels. So, why does direct mail continue to produce such impressive results despite the advent of email, and where does it fit into the modern sales funnel?
Direct Mail Boosts sales funnel Performance in Other Channels.
If you are not currently using direct mail as part of your marketing efforts, you are missing out not only on the leads and sales that can be generated by the direct mail itself but also on the healthy boost that it can give to your other marketing channels. A recent study by the Royal Mail Group found that using direct mail as part of an integrated marketing campaign boosted ROI by 20% and helped improve the lift of local adverts by 44% and online adverts by 62%.
How Direct Mail has Moved with the Times
Direct mail has come a long way in recent years. With the advent of automated direct mail, it is easier than ever to include it as part of a cross channel marketing campaign. Gone are the days of sending out a mass mailing and then hoping for the best as automated direct mail technology has completely revolutionised the process, making it quicker, easier and more affordable.
With advances in data-gathering, marketers now have the ability to group and target their prospects. This ensures that direct mail is only sent to those who may be interested in the product or service and likely to make a purchase. Accurate targeting can further be built upon by customising your campaign material with personalised messages, images and offers to appeal to specific groups or even individual customers, increasing engagement and helping to maximise your ROI.
It’s not just the process of creating and sending direct mail that has become simpler, it is now also much easier to track results and customer behaviour by using technology such as QR codes and personalised URLs, giving direct mail many of the benefits that were previously only associated with digital marketing.
Digital vs Direct Mail Response Rates.
One major benefit of incorporating automated direct mail into your sales funnel is the fact that it produces a far higher response rate than email marketing. A well designed direct mail postcard, for example, will produce a response rate of between 4.25% and 5%, compared to an email which averages just 0.7%. A number of studies have been conducted to find out why the difference is so sizeable, and some of the main reasons were found to be:
With so many funnel marketing communications received by email every day, many people simply ignore all marketing communications or even don’t notice them at all as they have begun to subconsciously filter them out. Of course, there is also always the possibility that an email may be caught by the SPAM filter and never even make it into the inbox.
Direct mail has less competition for attention.
The amount of mail that people receive has declined significantly in the past decade, so marketing materials sent through the post are more likely to catch the recipients attention, especially if they are well designed and feature an eye-catching message.
The personal touch.
In a study by Royal Mail, recipients reported that they felt direct mail was more personal and receiving it made them feel closer to the company that sent it.
Many people are concerned about marketing emails posing a security risk. Some will not even open an email if it is not from a personal contact for fear of it containing malware, while many others report that they will not click on links. Items received through the mail, however, were perceived as more safe and trustworthy.
Because direct mail is a physical item which people can touch and feel, it is perceived to be of greater value and higher importance than digital communications.
A longer lifespan.
Whereas email is read and then quickly forgotten, direct mail can be kept as a reminder of your product or service. Retailwire reports that the average lifespan of an item of direct mail is 17 days, compared to seconds for email.
Boosting your Online Sales Funnel with Direct Mail
Direct mail can be a great way to supplement an online sales funnel by getting both potential and existing customers to visit your website. In fact, 64% of people report that they have visited a website as a result of a direct mailing that they have received. Follow these simple tips for a successful campaign:
1. Focus on intriguing rather than selling.
If your goal is to get people onto your website then you want your direct mail to pique their interest and intrigue them, not to include lots of information trying to sell the product or telling them about the history of your brand. Focus on the idea of the product or service and get your prospect excited about the possibilities to draw them to your website.
2. Keep it simple.
Your prospect should be able to get an idea of your message at a glance. Copy should be short and to the point, and any images should be relevant.
3. Make it easy for the customer to find you.
Include a clear call to action and make sure that your website address is easy to find and read. You may also consider adding a QR code so that your prospect can simply scan the code with their smartphone to visit your website.
Whilst it is clear that technology has changed marketing greatly, it has not made direct mail obsolete. Instead, with the use of technology, direct mail has become more effective than ever, making it a great choice to include in any cross channel marketing campaign.