Direct Mail & Digital Outreach: How They Work Together

In today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected world, it seems everyone is on social media. On the surface, it makes digital marketing appear to be the ultimate medium for marketers. The issue with that assumption is that digital advertising fulfills consumer demand that has already been created by another source.

With traditional forms of media such as direct mail, advertisers can get in front of the consumer well before any interest to purchase has been created. With this approach, you essentially create demand that did not exist before, and as a result, gain access to a new audience.

Direct mail marketing today is more critical to have as part of your marketing mix than ever. The largest digital companies in the world, such as Amazon and Google, rely on direct mail as part of their customer acquisition strategy.

There is a specific place for both types of marketing and for the highest chance of reaching your marketing goals, you must use both in your strategy.

Why Direct Mail?

Consumers are spending more time of their day online than ever before. From video streaming to social media, marketers are always looking for new ways to increase reach and engagement between their brands and consumers.

The constant desire to stay on the cutting edge of trends and move on to the next big thing in marketing often leads to abandoning reliable tactics like direct mail. Direct mail can target and personalize its audience, which provides an incredible return on investment.

Think customers are ignoring direct mail? Think again. A lot of companies are relying on digital marketing as their only engagement tool. Consumers on the receiving end are inundated with clutter. An estimated 1 in 4 people use ad-blocking software. Those that do not are so used to being flooded with digital advertising that they have become ad-blind, learning to ignore content that resembles ads.

Brands can engage with consumers on platforms outside of digital marketing and experience positive ROI. Direct mail still proves to be a robust marketing tool that keeps customers actively involved with a brand’s products and services during a moment where the reader’s mindset is more attentive to your message.

According to a recent case study, 93% of people said they use coupons from the mail in 2018, up from 88% in 2017. Reports by Digital Marketing Analytics have shown that direct mailed coupons continue to remain a viable approach because they have a high average response rate of 5.1%. Though it doesn’t sound like much, this is nearly three times the average response rate of paid search, email, online display, and social media combined.

Direct mail marketing is a wonderful engagement tool. Still, to realize its full potential, it is best used as a supplement to other marketing campaigns, whether it is digital, traditional, or social. Direct mail marketing capabilities can enhance any of your engagement campaigns targeting customers that may have otherwise ignored the marketing strategy.

More than half (57%) of Millennials have made purchases based on direct mail offers, and using the two channels together provide up to a 35% lift compared to a single channel.

Not only this, but data shows people spend more time with physical advertising than digital. People have a stronger emotional response to physical ads and remember them better because they are tactile. The tactile factor also makes it harder to ignore.

How to Use Direct Mail in Your Strategy

Connect with Non-Digital Responders

Regardless of how clever your digital marketing campaigns are, there will be people who ignore or block your messages. Keep a list of the people who are not responding and create a direct mail marketing campaign to target those individuals. You may be surprised at how many of those original non-responders you thought you’d lost respond to the direct mail approach.

Create a Single Hub for Digital and Direct Mail Offers

Look for a solution that provides direct mail and digital marketing services under one roof. A service like this can make it easier to create both digital and direct mail campaigns with cohesiveness to boost your return on investment. Working with us here at Sachs Marketing Group, we can integrate direct mail into your strategy to make everything easier for you to manage.

Combine Personalized Websites with QR Codes

Though QR codes haven’t been able to sustain a marketing campaign by themselves, using personalized URLs with these campaigns allows marketers to gain actionable insights into who their customers are and where they’re engaging with your print materials.

Here’s a suggested campaign to help you get started:

During the first week, send 1 to 3 email introductions. Flag the targets need or pain point and introduce your company product or service as the answer, perhaps including an offer. During week 2, send a postcard or a letter package that starts with the prospects made and introduce your company’s solution with an offer.

During week 3, send one to two emails, recapping your message. Recap the earlier message and introduce new support points. During week 4, send one to two emails with social proof to reference the fact that others like the target have already responded. Recap your offer.

During week 5, send a last-chance postcard designed to drive urgency and include a more attractive offer. During week 6, send a last-chance email, further promoting the urgency and perhaps including an even more attractive offer.

As your prospects convert, move them out of the flow. After week 6, the remaining prospects should be rested and set aside for a future effort.

Best Practices

Use the 40/40/20 rule. 40% of your mailer success will come from the list, which involves targeting the right prospects at the right time. 40% of it will come from the offer, which needs to be both compelling and relevant. 20% will come from the creative. The copy and artwork need to be motivating and attention-grabbing.

Use eye-magnet words such as free, now, new, announcing, and introducing. They have been scientifically proven to attract above-average readership. The words easy, improved, and quick have been shown to lift product sales, so you need to use them.

Use social proof. The principle states that when people aren’t sure about what action to take, they do what they see others like them doing. Highlight customer testimonials and indicate the number of satisfied customers as social proof will increase direct mail response rate.

Use what you know about your customers, including their preferences and past behaviors, to inform your subsequent communications and frame new sales opportunities. Take a programmatic approach instead of a series of unrelated one-offs.

Use the principle of consistency. Research has shown that once someone makes a decision, they will want to act on it in ways that are consistent with the decision. Remind customers that they have already made the decision to buy from you, and doing so will increase the likelihood they will buy from you again.

Don’t try to sell another service or a product. Instead, focus on selling a solution to a problem because that is what people buy.

Use the power of exclusivity. Offer customer-only discounts and sales that are not available to the general public. Having preferred access increases loyalty and spurs additional purchases.

Communicate with your customers regularly. Reinforce their smart decision to purchase your product. Keep them up-to-date with product enhancements and news before you inform the general public.

Capitalize on surprise and delight by providing unexpected offers or services such as sending a birthday message or percentage off coupon. Show and tell your customers that you appreciate their business.

Though the internet plays a significant role in the day-to-day life of consumers, brands need to remember that marketing can depend on so much more. For successful campaigns, marketers have to think about the variety of mediums they can use to interact with their customers.

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