The power of direct mail marketing

With all the new approaches to marketing that are evolving and changing at a speed never before seen, it can be hard to keep up, and often, effective old-fashioned methods are forgotten about. One of the biggest mistakes brands and businesses make these days is thinking marketing is all online. Optimisation, algorithms, keywords, SEO and blogging are the buzzwords of today’s marketing industry, but they are only ingredients in a larger recipe that makes the most successful campaigns.

Direct mail is still a hugely influential form of marketing, and in some ways, its impact has increased during the digital age. A couple of decades ago, homes were bombarded with mail, both personal and promotional, and people would sort through the rubbish to find the important ones. When emails became mainstream, inboxes started filling up with hundreds of messages each week, and the roles became reversed. Where it used to be a novelty to receive an email, it is now exciting to hear an actual piece of physical mail slipped through your letterbox.

Direct Mail Marketing Statistics

According to independent Irish research commissioned by An Post in 2013, 65 per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds are excited to check the post. And with 87 per cent of Irish consumers joined up to at least one loyalty program, it is important for brands to get their rewards system right. Of the consumers surveyed, 70 per cent said they preferred to receive loyalty rewards by post than by email or online.

More than half of those surveyed said receiving mail addressed to them personally made them feel like valued customers, with 48 per cent of the Irish adults surveyed saying direct mail made them feel more valued than any other medium. That is compared to 29 per cent who chose email and 22 per cent who chose television.

Direct Mail Marketing Benefits

Television, radio and online marketing have their place in reaching a broader audience and new potential customers. However, they do not have the impact that direct mail has in building genuine customer loyalty. Irish adults surveyed in the An Post commissioned research, and particularly those under the age of 25, said the experience of receiving personally-addressed mail made them feel valued in a way that no other advertising channel could.

Direct mail is considered as powerful as television in making customers feel more loyal towards a brand. That means Irish businesses that don’t have a marketing budget big enough for television advertising still have an effective budget-friendly option. Direct mail also leads to more customers redeeming vouchers compared to email, online and text.

Among the many benefits of direct mail, a particularly important one is the fact that it is tangible. It is delivered directly to a customer, so the guarantee that they will see and read your message is far higher than any other form of advertising or marketing. The physical touch of the piece of mail also instils an idea in the consumer’s head that its content is reliable.

How to Implement Direct Mail Marketing

There is so much creativity and fun that can go into direct mail campaigns, starting with the wide variety of format options, including postcards, brochures, flyers, catalogues, magazines and, of course, vouchers.

The way to approach a direct mail marketing campaign is to decide firstly what you are trying to achieve with it. Are you trying to win new customers? Are you trying to reward existing customers to keep them loyal to your brand? Are you trying to highlight a specific sale or event? Once you’ve decided what you are trying to achieve, it will be easier to narrow the many options down to one or two that are suitable for your particular campaign. For example, if you are advertising a sale, perhaps a catalogue is the best options; if it is a discount, a flyer with a tear-off voucher is an effective method; to make existing customers feel valued, either an exclusive voucher or a free gift is a great option.

Our Top Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

Tips on how to approach a direct mail marketing campaign:

  • Use a short line or a couple of words as a ‘teaser’ to encourage the customer to read on
  • Don’t go overboard with buzzwords, or your mail might be thrown straight into the recycling
  • Make your offer easy to respond to or avail of
  • Always address the customer by name if you are targeting existing customers from your contact database
  • Free trials add credibility and uptake by decreasing risk to consumers
  • Use eye-catching colours, graphics and appealing designs
  • Hire a marketing professional and/or graphic designer to increase your campaign’s professional look and appeal
  • Always include contact, website, email and social media details so that customers can verify your credibility and find out more

By mixing traditional marketing approaches, such as direct mail, with new technology, such as blogs and social media your brand will be reaching a far wider audience.