Digital marketing gets the most press, but direct mail marketing still has plenty to recommend it, especially as part of an omni-channel marketing strategy. As a means of connecting with well-qualified leads, direct mail has the highest response rates of any channel, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s most recent DMA Response Rate Report. The key to implementing direct mail well is working from a clean list, so pay attention to your list management choices and to data hygiene to get the best results.
Here are some other reasons to make room for direct mail in your marketing program.
Digital marketing can appeal to the eyes and ears with great graphic design, animation, and video, but it lacks the tactile appeal of direct mail. When people hold your marketing message in their hands, your words make a bigger impact. You’re not constrained to the size of a screen and can mail out information in any shape and size that fits your needs. Including an item in the package, even if it’s as inexpensive as a logo-imprinted pen or a pad of sticky notes, makes a mailing almost irresistible; people just have to see what’s in the envelope. Get creative with sizes, shapes, textures, and extras to get recipients’ attention.
Direct mailing lists are outstanding for reaching a highly targeted audience. With marketing automation and database management tools that divide lists into precise segments, you’re able to select your audience with pinpoint accuracy. You can also expand your message to new audiences that align with your best customers by matching their demographic, firmographic, and behavioral profiles. Because direct mail requires a greater initial investment than other channels, it’s vital to get the specifics right and match your message and your audiences as precisely as possible.
Digital marketing is readily trackable, but direct mail offers unique benefits here too. Coupons and special offers aren’t just enticements for recipients to take action; they’re important tracking tools. You know exactly who’s opening your mail, how they respond, and who else might be interested in it from tracing these markers of engagement. Including QR codes with mailings and establishing personalized URLs, or PURLs, will instantly connect direct mail activity to the digital sphere.
B2B companies that invest in direct mail are sending a clear signal to their audience: “We’re in it for the long haul.” Mailings have a sense of permanence that underscores digital messages and lends them greater authority. You also have greater ownership of the marketplace with direct mail marketing as you have fewer competitors investing in it, which also contributes to your authority in the direct mail arena.
Open rates for direct mail can reach over 20 percent in some industries, and response rates with house lists average 3.7 percent, according to the 2015 DMA Response Report. Once you’ve identified your target audience and outlined your campaign goals, those numbers increase. When working from a managed third-party list, response rates stay high, giving you another way to grow your audience and keep performance standards high.