In a landscape where digital and mobile advertising have seemingly made past marketing methods look like old-school relics, many experts argue that direct mail is still very much alive today—thriving, in fact. After all, email inboxes have become more clogged with an endless stream of offers, while mailbox loads have considerably lightened. “Consumers get hundreds of emails per day, so direct mail pieces stand out, especially pieces that are aesthetically pleasing among your everyday white envelopes,” asserts Brittany Johnson, marketing executive with Our Town America in Clearwater, Florida. “Direct mail will always be relevant.”
Direct mail in the 2000s: Marketing on the move
Direct mail, like any kind of marketing, has evolved with the times. Today, pizzerias can take advantage of cooperative mailers, sharing the cost with noncompeting businesses, or tie in their efforts with online, social media and mobile marketing tactics. And by targeting the right customers and tracking results, you can ensure maximum ROI for your efforts. Here, direct mail gurus share the best ways to make old-fashioned “snail mail” a winning part of your marketing arsenal.
Data and Analytics Lead the Way
Darrell Edwards, CMO of Mspark in Helena, Alabama, shares an interesting stat: According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail response rates were at an all-time high in 2017—higher than competitive media. “There’s a misunderstanding of direct mail’s abilities and relevance in a digital age, while there’s a new generation of marketing and agency professionals who were immersed in digital media from the very start of their careers,” Edwards explains. “They had a lot of success with it and made tremendous strides to evolve it to what it is today. But what makes digital media so impactful is not unlike what makes direct mail impactful: top-notch data and analytics, combined with the ability to precision-target anyone.”
Rachel Ankersen, marketing research manager for Mspark, adds that many smaller direct mail companies have struggled by failing to leverage data and analytics to help their clients run effective campaigns. Without the capability to precisely target recipients, and without optimized operations to help keep costs low for clients, direct mail efforts often faltered. “This isn’t evidence of a dying print industry; it’s a much-needed symptom of change in an industry that needs to work in harmony with digital media,” Ankersen says. “The direct mail companies that have seen major growth have almost become tech companies, where data and analytics lead the way and everything about operations is technology-focused and geared toward integrating digital with print products, reducing costs for clients, and increasing ROI.”
As technology continues to evolve, pairing direct mail with a mobile component has also helped direct mail evolve in recent years. “It is no longer just a piece of mail,” Johnson says. “Many times, that single piece of mail is tied into a mobile application, an online offer, and more.”
To demonstrate direct mail’s ongoing relevance, Ankersen shares more 2017 data from the DMA: Average response rates (for a house list) for direct mail were 5.1%, compared to 0.4% for social media. However, regarding cost per acquisition, direct mail is typically higher in cost than digital media. The DMA reported median ROI for direct mail at 29% and social media at 30%. Paid search came in at 23%, and online display at 16%. Therefore, to get the best bang for your buck, increasing response rates and reducing costs remain paramount.
Direct Marketing for My Pizza Please…
We totally understand that what may seem “daily routine” to us, working in the Direct Mail industry for over 40 years now, it may give a big headache to a small new company, just getting started, or even a growing business, where the owners decide they want to “get serious” about advertising and direct marketing.
As such, of course it can get hard to figure out how to pick the perfect mailing list (who will be your audience), let alone how to design your mail piece and how to execute a mailing campaign and measure your results to improve on the next one (after all you want to learn how to spend less and earn more from every campaign as you repeat them).
At Homeowners Marketing Services, we are happy to talk to you, provide samples, advice and moreover, listen – find out who you are, what your business is about and what are your goals and dreams for it, so we can put it to work using our technology and advanced database of leads, so we can help you find the right target audience, the exact demographics that will yield success, while helping you construct the right message that will help sell your products and services efficiently.
Give us a call, toll free, at (888) 743-3037, or fill out our contact form and let us help. We would like nothing more than a chance to earn your business or simply dispense a helpful advice.
Based on article from PMQ