Common Misconceptions and Opportunities to Consider
The New Year has arrived and it’s time for a familiar conversation.
With all the new tech being debuted in 2020, we begin to wonder where marketing is going and which tactics are still relevant going forward. Inevitably, this leads us to the same direct mail conversation we always have: Is direct mail dead?
We’ll offer you the same answer we always have: It’s evolving.
Direct mail is constantly improving — marketers are abandoning and embracing certain aspects of direct mail, like trading the “casting a wide net” approach of junk mail for an approach focused on a highly targeted audience.
Let’s take a look at the misconceptions and opportunities surrounding direct mail, the many ways its evolving, and why it’s still an important part of most marketing campaigns.
Misconception 1: Direct Mail is Too Expensive
Of course, it costs more to create a physical piece of marketing material, send it through the mail and deliver it at a consumer’s door, than to blast an email out to your audience. Perhaps, counterintuitively, this is where its strength lies.
Direct mail is considered a high-value marketing tool, which means that in the long run, the cost per acquisition is comparable to an email campaign yielding a lower return.
Misconception 2: Good Direct Mail Takes Too Long to Produce
Again, it’s easy to see where this line of thinking comes from. It’s not a huge jump to link ultra-personalized direct mail offerings with longer turnaround time in production.
Variable data printing, however, streamlines the process, making production go much faster and more smoothly than ever before. This digital printing method allows printers to make large runs of personalized collateral on a similar timeframe as their standard counterparts at no significant bump in cost.
Misconception 3: People Don’t Like Receiving Mail
Direct mail conveys positive attributes like investment and value, and that message resonates with consumers. People like receiving mail. What they don’t like receiving is junk mail. Make sure that your direct mail campaigns focus heavily on what you offer the consumer rather than simply soliciting their business.
Interestingly enough, there is one demographic with a particularly strong response to direct mail marketing efforts — Millennials. Considering that the market is currently turning over and Millennials will continue to be a major driving demographic for the foreseeable future, direct mail will continue to be a powerful way to appeal to that audience.
The Opportunities of Modern Direct Mail
Direct mail has undergone some major changes in the last few years, particularly when we consider the rise of variable data printing and our ever-increasing abilities to incorporate digital elements into our traditional direct mail offerings.
Opportunity 1: Hyper-Personalization
Hyper-personalization allows the marketer to close the gap between themselves and the consumer.
We’ve touched on this countless times in our blog series, so let it suffice to say that one-to-one direct marketing — or as close as we can get to one-to-one direct marketing — is the ultimate goal of every marketer. Hyper-personalization gets you about as close as you can get.
Opportunity 2: Experiential Direct Mail
The desire to build relationships is reciprocal between you and your audience. You want to build a relationship to understand the consumer and offer them useful products. They, on the other hand, want to build a relationship with brands they trust to offer them those products.
The best way to do that is through communication, and when you communicate with your audience via direct mail offerings, you should focus on the user experience those offerings provide.
Giveaways and promotional items are great, but when you offer your audience interactive, user experience focused content, you offer them something truly special. Tools like augmented reality and navigable video content are two excellent resources we’re able to send through the mail.
Incorporate them into your UX toolbox.
Opportunity 3: Omni-Channel Response Options
Omni-channel response options give your audience options, and when you give your audience options, they feel empowered.
Including elements like PURLs and QR Codes leading them to landing pages, instead of just dropping an email or phone number, can be excellent ways to initiate a dialogue between you and your audience at their absolute convenience.
Don’t guess what they would prefer, give them options.
Evolving your marketing and embracing best practices does not mean abandoning trusted resources. Direct mail is one of the most trustworthy tools marketers have at their disposal.
By incorporating exciting new elements, like experiential mail and digital updates into your direct mail campaigns, you can have the best of both worlds and reach your audience on a level previously unachievable with digital or direct correspondence alone.
Could your next direct mail campaign benefit from cutting edge best practices like these? Contact us to see what we can do for you.