When to use Direct Mail for Maximum Effect

It is estimated that there are around 269 billion emails sent a day. An average office worker receives 121 emails a day. The percentage of email that is spam is around 49.7%.

With statistics like this, it’s no wonder that whilst email marketing is cost effective, it’s becoming highly competitive and increasingly hard to stand out from the noise and be heard.

Especially if you are sending emails to people who haven’t heard of you before. No matter how much thought goes into the content, subject line, personalisation, it may well find itself deleted or even worse in the junk folder.

People still sort through their mail…

Have a look at your own email inbox right now. How many are waiting for you unread? Out of these emails, how many will you open?

However, unlike unread emails, people still sort through their physical mail that gets posted through the door and (according to an Epsilon study) 77% often do so immediately.

You have a strong chance of capturing your target audience attention. All you have to do is design something that will catch their eye and make them want to open it.

Sounds easy, right?

Like any other marketing methods, direct mail does have its challenges and getting people to pay attention to your message isn’t as easy as you may think.

Whilst it is hard, it is not impossible. Below are some tips and ways to use direct mail for maximum effect.

Targeting people on a specific geo-location

A common tactic for restaurants, dentists etc. is to target a specific postcode or geographic area near their location. Geo-location targeting allows businesses to take personalisation a step further. Rather than just including a map of their location to prospects, businesses can actually show the route from their prospects’ door.

Is this just another gimmick or is there any advantage to sending mail this way?

This shows the prospect that you did your research and this is personally for them. Many people will keep a piece of mail rather than an email. They may be thinking of trying out a new restaurant, so will hang on to the mail until they’re ready to make the decision to go. This piece of mail will serve as a reminder and provides clear directions of how to find the restaurant.

Consider how you might use this strategy in your own business – can you use geo-location to add that extra touch of personalisation?

Targeting demographics that are difficult to target online

Direct mail allows you to target demographics that are hard to target online e.g. household income, age, marital status.

Let’s take age for example. Studies have shown that the older generation (65+) typically react better to traditional methods and this is because of a lack of adoption of digital media. If your target audience is the older generation, you’d be much better off spending your efforts on a direct mail campaign rather than social paid campaign.

Let’s take household income as another example. Through direct mail, businesses can target an audience dependent on their household income, which can’t easily be done online.

Target very specific personas

Direct mail allows businesses to send campaigns that zone in on personas in laser-like fashion. Use this personalisation to your advantage and really impress the recipient.

For example, a new veterinary could send out a postcard which uses geolocation to show the recipient where they are based. In addition to this they could also send out branded dog bowls. This will be memorable for the recipient, meaning they will be more likely to check the new vets out.

Again, bringing this back to your own context, have you created your personas? How does understanding your audience in this detailed manner help you figure out the value that you can deliver via such a campaign?

Be different…

In today’s digital era, there has been a trend in businesses moving offline and spending most of their marketing efforts online, due to cost effectiveness and traditional methods being seen as outdated.

Why not be different? Instead of designing an aesthetically pleasing email to be sent out to the masses with little engagement, why not send a handwritten note or an imaginative promotional item? This will receive better engagement. Why? It adds a human touch and is personal. Your target audience will be pleasantly shocked and surprised.

You are showing to the recipient that you have done your research and care about their likes and dislikes.

Boost your overall marketing strategy

Direct mail can be used as an additional method that enhances and boosts your overall marketing strategy. For example, you may have decided to host a local event and are currently promoting through your website, social and email lists. In addition to this, why not send handwritten invitations to key people within your target audience. Choosing to handwrite invitations gives that personal touch, that we have previously discussed. If you’ve taken the time to write it by hand, the recipient will be more inclined to respond.

The invitation could include a link or QR code (bear in mind that not everyone has QR readers) that takes them to a registration page with more information. This registration page could be a bespoke landing page, so you can measure how successful the handwritten invitations are.

So, there we have it! We hope you enjoyed our pro tips and you’re now ready to start implementing some killer direct mail campaigns?

Remember, one of the best benefits of direct marketing is how measurable it can be e.g. results can be measured by tracking phone calls, use of promotional codes, traffic to a specific landing page etc.

We’ll end with a quote all businesses should live by:

“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work today” – Amrita Sahasrabudhe

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