Think direct mail is dead? Think again.

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Think direct mail is dead? Think again.

18 March

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How often does something drop through your front door and onto the mat? Probably not as often as it used to. How does it make you feel when you do get mail now? Especially if it is from a company you like or have purchased from before. It’s nice isn’t it?

So nice that research from Royal Mail found that 71% of people will open a brochure from a company which they have ordered from before. In addition, 60% of people will open a letter about a product or service which they don’t have.

Direct mail is thriving

Once you’re quite literally through the door, you and your company’s marketing messages may end up staying there too. Research shows that door drops remain in someone’s home for an average of 38 days. Ok, it may be tucked away somewhere rather than earning a pride of place. It should, however get into the hands of the right person. In fact, 29% of brochures from a company which someone has ordered from before are passed onto the right recipient. It also gets your brand onto a level of awareness and familiarity which may not be achieved elsewhere. This is especially the case when you consider that 51% of emails are deleted within two seconds.

Unlike digital marketing, GDPR doesn’t mean that you specifically have to opt-in to receive direct mail – it just means that legitimate interest must have been demonstrated for a customer to want to hear from you. This should streamline the amount of post we get which is headed directly for the bin from companies who we want to forget about us. It also ensures that the people you are posting stuff to are warm to your brand as well as the products and services which you offer.

Does it beat digital marketing?

In comparison, digital marketing is somewhat of a guessing game. Even with targeted advertising, it can be hard to reach your ideal customer. In addition, we’re increasingly annoyed and frustrated by those pop-ups or retargeting ad campaigns which fill our screens long after we have clicked onto another website. From a marketer’s point of view, digital advertising can generate clicks without conversions or numbers which have been been falsely generated by bots. Direct mail, particularly in light of GDPR, largely removes this problem.

Direct mail can provide a pleasurable experience for someone to enjoy rather than endure. We can enjoy the craft, the time, and the skill which has gone into creating something tangible which stands out. Rather than aggressively competing for our attention in a crowded inbox or computer screen, direct mail can enjoy a coveted position amongst the one to three pieces of mail we generally receive every day. When designed by an experienced and knowledgeable creative team, your direct mail will catch the eye of the people who matter to you. In fact, 56% of people say that postal mail grabs their attention compared to 31% of email recipients.

“Print isn’t dead – far from it. It gives us authority, tangibility and longevity.” Tess Macleod Smith is Vice President of Publishing & Media at Net-a-Porter.

In order to prompt a reaction from your target customers, they need to have some form of emotional connection to the brand. They need to feel something in order to do something. 92% of people said that direct mail made them feel something and, interestingly, 92% of people who felt something also did something too.  So, consider what response you are looking for in the first place. There’s more to a marketing campaign than just sell, sell, sell. Brand awareness, encouraging word of mouth, attending an event or even becoming a brand advocate may be the purpose behind your campaign. Direct mail can do all of this and more. For example, 39% of people who received direct mail used it to gather information to make a future purchasing decision.

So, it may be snail mail but, when it comes to delivering results, fail mail it isn’t. Direct mail still has – and deserves – a strong place in a marketing campaign. GDPR has just refined the experience to make it easier to reach the right people. Digital marketing should not be ignored though – it should be married up with direct mail. Customise a landing page, provide a discount code, use a specific URL – and measure the real impact that mailer has had on your target audience. Then, use that insight to drive your results.

Theme Group can look after your full suite of marketing communications from direct mail to digital marketing. Contact us to find out more.

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