It’s true, the world has gone digital. So much so that businesses have taken their advertisements and placed them into the palm of our hands. Now every time we scroll through social media, browse the web or check our emails, there’s some type of ad.
Digital advertising has an impact in some way or another in every aspect of our lives, every day. With that being said, how can your brand stand out from the rest?
While digital may be a great tool for gaining brand awareness and tracking engagement, direct mail (DM) remains one of the more critical tools for driving transactions, including traffic (both in store and online) and purchasing. DM advertisements can be anything from postcards, informative letters, offers, posters and so much more. Although digital presence is important in today’s society, that doesn’t mean you can rely on it solely. The combination of DM campaigns and digital can have significant impact on your marketing strategies. Here are a few other reasons companies should use DM and how it could further benefit their campaigns.
Direct Mail Allows Businesses to Reach the RIGHT Customers
Through the use of national databases, advertisers are able to target their campaigns to a granular segment, or very specific audience. How? Consumer information is collected on a regular basis by several national compilers. By using the available data, businesses can target the right audience for their particular product or industry - from new homeowners, parents, regular “dining out” customers, people who shop a particular product regularly, to certain age demographics, outdoor enthusiasts, fitness aficionados and so much more.
Example: A grocery store wants to target all households that have children between the ages of 5 thru 10 yrs old, within a 5-minute drive time to their store. By utilizing these databases, they are able to compile a list of their specific audience that has been cleansed and cross-checked on multiple levels, the grocery retailer then is able to send a tailored message to families with children in that specific age group, and market their products that are specific to family needs. (ie. kids lunch items, kid-friendly snacks, family size meals, etc.)
In addition to finding the right audience, businesses are also able to target consumers at the right time, using data specific to household birthdays, seasonal trends, national holidays and more.
Example: During back-to-school season for college students - businesses can directly target this consumer segment with computers, furniture and clothing store offers before the new school year starts.
With technology being a significant source of information in today’s world, one would think that digital ads might be the most cost effective, but true campaign success boils down to are these two questions:
How many impressions are you trying to achieve?
How many transactions and purchases did you get out of those impressions?
You shouldn’t just look at the number of clicks but ROI as a whole. Keep in mind that Americans consume between 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day, according to Forbes Magazine. This makes the odds of a digital ad catching the attention of the right customer much harder. There is also the fact that not all consumers have or are on social media.
Direct Mail Creates a Lasting Impression
While both DM and digital campaigns allow businesses to get personal using creative imagery and tailored offers, DM has been proven to be remembered more than digital. A neuromarketing study done by USPS stated that 70% of consumers are more likely to remember a DM campaign over digital advertisements, and 90% of direct mail pieces caught the attention of the consumer right away.
Much of the reasoning for this idea comes from human senses, they physically see, touch and hold the DM piece that is personalized to them, which resonates more than generic messages. DM also allows for more creative flexibility in branding, messaging, offers, eye-catching artwork and formats including envelopes, self-mailer, paper size, paper type and more. Personalized DM pieces are able to target specific households and/or businesses, broadening your transactional probability, while digital ads only touch one member of each household or business, and only use one of the senses.
DM can also be interactive, which is good for tracking and analyzing the success of a campaign. When a direct mail piece incorporates an offer that encourages the customer to visit a business’ physical location or redeem a code online – they are more likely to redeem. The number of redemptions allows you to gauge the success of the message, creative, or delivery rate.
Direct Mail Drives Transactions
Some consumer groups have adapted to viewing ads online via email or social media, but virtually all Americans still check their physical mailbox every day. In another USPS study, 41% of Americans get excited to receive mail; as a result 42.2% of people look through each mail piece as soon as they receive it, and the piece could stay in the customer’s house for up to 17 days. Since mail is still a part of daily life, people are more likely to notice and remember a DM piece over a digital ad they have missed when quickly scrolling passed.
Because customers have to take physical action to redeem an offer, DM becomes more transactional than digital. Digital advertising does bring brand awareness and engages customers with click throughs and tracking, but DM is proven to bring in more traffic and drive more purchases. According to USPS Americans who receive direct mail pieces 24% of Americans purchase more items and 13% spend more money than those who don’t receive a direct mail piece.
In a time when technology has become a part of everyday life, some brands are turning to strictly digital marketing. Although, Direct Mail is still driving in traffic, sales and customer retention through capturing consumer attention, and building brand awareness while driving more transactions. Utilizing DM in a hyper targeted geography with a highly segmented and targeted database, along with personalization is what is delivering significant results and increasing ROI. And the combination of digital with DM makes the campaign that much more successful and impactful.
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