By John Tan
Essentially, because it works. When integrated with personalization, data, and target audiences, direct mail is one of the most effective marketing channels with some of the highest response rates. The physical nature of direct mail has a more pronounced emotional impact, while also allowing companies to highlight their brand and messaging.
Direct Mail is no longer spray and pray
Businesses are sending direct mail using audience targeting, demographic information and location data along with tailored content. They are also using automated systems to send mail triggered by web activity. For example, a web visitor who abandons a cart can now be automatically identified, their address appended, and a sample sent to them within days.
For the past two years, Amazon, the epitome of online retail, has been sending a direct mail toy catalog to millennial parents in the vein of the Sears-Roebuck catalog. The catalog, uses QR codes instead of prices is targeted to kids, but also captures the imagination of parents who remember toy catalogs from their childhood.
Zig when they zag
Millennials have grown up in a digitally saturated environment, leaving companies to fight for a small slice of their digital attention. Physical mailers highlight a company’s brand and message. Contrary to what we may think, 70-80% of direct mail is actually opened.
Even more effective are forms of dimensional mail; samples, kits, posters, popups. They stand out and can offer a tangible value beyond a simple flat mail piece. Many businesses need to reach senior decision makers at other companies. B2B direct mail campaigns have been shown to be an effective channel to reach senior level audiences.
It’s more prevalent than you think
Showing up in a mailbox might appear old school, but for many businesses direct mail is an integrated part of their marketing strategy. Although email and social media are the most used marketing channels, personalized direct mail, along with a multi-channel approach is one of the most effective ways to reach target audiences.
Digital ads allow you to quickly and cost effectively deliver your message, but direct mail allows businesses to reach their audience on a more emotional level. For this reason, businesses interested in making a personal connection often choose direct mail.
Physical is real
Physical objects drive our behavior more than advertising on a screen. Research conducted by the Canadian Post and Neuromarketing firm True Impact, found the physicality of direct mail is a more action-oriented marketing tool because it more directly drives consumer behavior and decision making. In a study conducted by the USPS, research found physical advertisements captured more attention, desire and stimulation for the product shown than digital advertisements. Print advertising was found to be a better choice for marketers looking for a more pronounced emotional effect and long-lasting impression.
A critical component
Although it might sound like a marketing tool of the past, direct mail is a critical component of a sophisticated integrated marketing strategy. When companies combine direct mail with personalization, target audiences, multiple touches through timed, IP targeted, digital ads, and attribute their campaign data, Direct Mail turns out to be a powerfully persuasive tool.