Advantages of direct mail marketing
With other forms of marketing and advertising, it is impossible to be absolutely sure who has taken note. Direct mail allows you to target a very specific audience, so you control exactly who gets the message.
This is because you can control mailing lists using certain criteria to extrapolate your mailing data. Before you select your criteria, it’s important to identify what you want to achieve from your campaign. If you’re seeking to raise general brand awareness, you might seek a wide audience. If you’re looking to increase sales, then a quality mail out will generate a greater return on investment (ROI).
In practice, Business to Business (B2B) direct mail might specify an audience based on job title, company size, geography, or even industry. B2B direct mail is a great way to reach decision-makers, who may be difficult to reach through other channels. Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing might choose criteria such as age, or gender, household income, or hobbies and areas of interest.
Whether B2B, or B2C, using highly targeted criteria provides the best possible results.
Direct mail is a personal form of marketing. The intimacy of opening a physical piece of mail addressed to you can’t quite be replicated in the digital world. It creates a physical and mental connection between the sender, and the recipient.
Direct mail excels at helping you build and nurture relationships with your customers. On average, direct mail is engaged with more than four times as indirect mail. 45% of direct mail remains in homes for a month or more. 31% of direct mail leads to commercial actions. Direct mail definitely drives consumer activity.
Businesses often choose to invest in direct mail marketing as part of an overall marketing strategy. In 2020, the RSPCA utilised cold addressed mail (no previous relationship between the sender and the recipient) to find highly targeted prospects, and Partially Addressed Mail (PAM) and door drops to extend the campaign’s reach. The results were phenomenal.
Across the campaign, donation revenue was 87% above target; 47% more donors were recruited than target numbers; cold mail delivered 150% more donors than target; revenue from PAM was 88% higher than predicted; ROI on door drops improved by 59%.
Another advantage of direct mail is that you can control when it is delivered, and to how many people. This allows you to protect against overwhelming response.
In 1998, Crown Wallcoverings & Home Furnishings was forced to reschedule its direct response TV campaign just one week after its launch.
Crown’s advert featured a pure white room, as viewed through the eyes of the occupant, and a voiceover that asked “Need Inspiration?“, along with details of how to obtain a Crown brochure. This prompted an unprecedented 4,000 calls on the first day alone to Crown’s call handling service and Crown was forced to defer some of its commercials because of the overwhelming response.
A positive reaction to each response generated is essential, to maximise the results of your direct mail campaign. A poor reaction will damage your customer relationship before its even begun. Controlling the direct mail means you can control the response, and resource it appropriately.
Direct mail is flexible. Campaigns can be created to fit most budgets, large or small: you choose.
As we’ve already noted, it is not possible to be absolutely sure who has seen, and acted, as a direct result of indirect marketing.
When you know who you’re targeting, you can measure their response. Using a well defined call to action (CTA), such as a voucher, a specific landing page, or telephone number will help track response rates.
To quantify your response rate, sometimes called a conversion rate, divide the number of people who took action, by the size of the total audience.
It’ll also help you understand what worked, and what didn’t, for your audience, and that will help you better target future marketing communications.