In the face of steadily rising postage costs, coupled with the cost-effectiveness and real-time track-ability of interactive marketing efforts (such as email, web banner, and PPC ads) Direct Mail seems to be fighting a losing battle. But in spite of all the challenges, direct mail marketing is on a come back and it’s precisely because of those very challenges.
The days of stuffing physical mailboxes with direct mail is over because of sheer cost. Four times in the last six and half years, the United States Postal Service has dramatically increased bulk postages rates, which pushed the need for conversion percentages higher than traditional results will bear. Because of this, direct mail marketers now have to dig deeper into their demographics to find the perfect candidates for conversion. Using the technique that email marketers have steadily perfected, direct mail marketers now finesse their mailing lists to eight and ten specific designations (age, income, location, education, career, etc.) instead of just two or three. Gone is the age of “quantity is king.” Quality rules the roost now. To be direct, you must speak directly to the individual, not to the masses, which leads me to my next point.
With the advent of certain technologies in printing, software development, and list acquisition, businesses can easily personalize their marketing messages down to the household. You can add the receiver’s name, which is nothing new, as well as speak directly to their specific requirements. Recently, the United States Postal Service in an effort to boost awareness of these new technologies, promoted a banner ad campaign that asked interested users to personalize a deli menu by answering simple questions about their food preferences. After เว็บตรง a user submitted their information, they would then be mailed a direct mail piece that displayed all their particular selections. You should keep in mind that the particular design elements that personalized the direct mail piece (the cheeses, deli meats, bread, and even side items such as potato salad) where put together automatically by software, not by an art department or creative team. The automation of personalization dramatically cuts down on development costs as well as mailing time.
Direct mail’s rebirth has seen its move to a more supplementary marketing effort. Among other things, direct mail is now the follow up to successful one-two punch campaigns that begin as behavioral marketing online. Much like the USPS’s campaign mentioned above, websites, banner ads, and emails are where businesses begin to collect the individual and behavioral information required to create an individualized response. Hotels can send a brochure tailored around the fact that Mr. Smith makes his decisions based on water amenities, while a custom home builder can send a postcard designed around the fact that Mrs. Brown is only interested in a two story home that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway.
Direct mail has now become track-able. By adding unique web codes on the end of your url’s, or by purchasing specific phone numbers or web addresses for individual campaign pieces, a business can now monitor the success or failure of their direct mail efforts. This gives direct mail similar benefits as email campaigns.
Many businesses ask, “Why should I send a personalized direct mail piece when I can easily send a personalized email for less and much more quickly?” Think of it this way. Email is now being toted as the most successful marketing tool that we have today; much like direct mail was defined in the 90’s. But just like direct mail’s fall from grace (we’ve all heard the term junk mail) email is facing the same fall in the form of SPAM. Direct mail pieces (because of their personalization, because of their physical qualities, and because of their design capabilities) give a business much more credibility than an email and they do not face the same onslaught of barriers to overcome as an email does. So, yes, it may cost more, but its reception is worth more to your business.