As a core part of the Data HQ team since 2004, David is an expert at unravelling complex data and making sense of intricate client requirements.
Direct mail has long been considered a dying form of direct marketing. Even before social media, the advent of email dramatically reduced the use of printed advertising materials posted to recipients. Not least because the scale and relatively low costs of digital marketing is a hook that many marketeers have been unable to resist.
“Marketing, at its core, has always been about people. ‘Digital Marketing’ is something of a misnomer because Marketing is still about people. The digital piece just gives us exciting opportunities to connect with audiences and scale in new ways”.
Joseph Puthussery, Vice President, Marketing, Cisco
But, could direct mail be making a comeback. And if so, how and why?
Direct mail helps you to stand out from the crowd
Royal Mail stats show that in the UK, around 12 million direct mail letters are sent per day. That’s versus 115 billion emails (not to mention all the communications sent via the various social marketing channels). This creates a fantastic opportunity for your direct mail to stand out from the crowd. Particularly if it is well targeted.
What’s more, unlike email marketing, there is no filter determining whether or not your prospect will see the marketing you have carefully constructed!
The Royal Mail research goes onto show that between 54% and 71% of direct mail is opened by the recipient, depending on whether they have ordered from the sender before or not. These are engagement rates that marketeers can only dream of with email marketing. A staggering 21% of these promotions are shared, and, on average direct mail is kept for 17 days.
How to make your direct mail timely and relevant
Just because direct mail is seen as an ‘old-school’ form of marketing, that does not mean that you can’t apply modern technology and techniques to drive success. Today, platforms exist that allow you to react to how your customers and prospects are engaging with your brand over various channels, in near real-time.
For example, with programmatic mail, if a customer is browsing your website and places something in their shopping cart before abandoning the transaction, you can use direct mail to send them a hyper-personalised mail specific to that product. Sure, you could also use email to do this, but all too often these get ignored and deleted.
You can win new customers with direct mail
By understanding your data, and integrating it into your marketing strategy, you can trigger highly targeted and personalised direct mailers at various points within your customers’ journeys. So, these mailings are particularly effective for nurturing, growing and reactivating your customer base. But we have also seen tremendous success in acquiring new customers with direct mail.
By connecting all of your data sources, modern technology helps you to understand and segment your prospects and customers with a much higher degree of accuracy than ever before. Furthermore, highly personalised, relevant and timely campaigns can be automatically sent to maximise on the data you capture during their buyer journeys.
So, while direct mail has a higher up-front cost, in conjunction with modern technology and data science it is a fantastic means of marketing – one that lets you exploit the full value of your data.
Furthermore, by turning insight into action in this way, you will be able to accurately measure and report on responses to campaigns across all direct channels, and significantly increase the ROI of your activity.
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