Direct Mail is back! Here’s How to Get Started.
In an age of all things digital, you might think direct mail has gone the way of the dinosaurs. After all, people are spending more time online than ever—why not just try to reach them there?
While it’s true the volume of mail the United States Postal Service handles is declining, fewer pieces of mail actually means great things for direct mail marketers. Here’s why:
Direct Mail Has Less Competition
After reaching a peak of around 213 billion units in 2006, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has experienced a year-on-year decline in mail volume every year since; by 2019, this number had dropped by 33 percent to just 142.57 billion units. Reasons for this decline include online bill pay and more advanced direct mail targeting methods.
Now consumers receive, on average, just two pieces of mail per day.
The good news is that less mailbox clutter means more opportunity for your business to stand out, and it means more valuable attention from your prospective customers.
Take that a step further and compare the competition you’ll have with just one or two other pieces of USPS mail vs. the competition faced on digital advertising platforms. Consumers, on average, receive 107 emails and view 63 display ads every day.
Now, where would you rather compete?
Direct Mail Response Rates Are Increasing
With fewer pieces of mail in play, direct mail is receiving more attention, so it makes sense that response rates are on the rise in the United States. Direct mail response rates range from 3% to 4% based on urgency of the offer.
And email? Send out a promotional email blast and you can expect a 1% return.
Display ads? Online display ads will return just 0.3%.
While email and display ads have a place in an overall marketing campaign, they’re best used as tools to increase brand awareness or remarketing. Direct mail is still better at driving actual dollars through your door.
The Case for Direct Mail During COVID-19
It’s a strange time we’re living in. With the dramatic drop in activities, events cancelled and business doors shuttered, more people are working and shopping from home and traveling less than in any recent decade. All of these things are coming together to make B2C direct mail more effective than it’s been in years.
Companies and brands that advertise now also have a chance to reach out to their customers during a stressful time. In one recent survey conducted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, 43% of respondents said it’s reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust, while 40% said they want to learn about what brands are doing in response to the pandemic. It’s worth noting that just 15% said they don’t want to hear from brands at this time. Overall, this research shows consumers have a positive attitude toward brand communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That All Sounds Great. How Do I Begin a Direct Mail Campaign?
What’s old is new again, and direct mail is officially back! Right now is a great time to achieve results using direct mail if you follow a few rules of the road. Remember that customer sensitivity will be critical during the pandemic and into the foreseeable future, so be careful with your messages.
Many methods from the old way of handling direct mail are still true (perhaps, even more so), such as carefully selecting your audience, carefully crafting a message and paying special attention to photos or imagery.
A few tips to get started on your direct mail campaign:
- Know your audience. Start with your own in-house client list, see how many contacts you have and go from there.
- Craft a call to action. Make sure your offer provides a sense of urgency.
- Consistency. Make sure the call to action on the mailer is reflected exactly as-is on your landing website.
- Keep the message and the design simple. You have their attention—don’t give them an easy reason to turn away.
- Track, track and track again. From landing pages or website visits to coupon codes, always monitor the results so you know how to adjust and improve.
Ready to take your marketing to the next step? Reach a knowledgeable and experienced marketing professional, and get advice on your next direct mail campaign. Call today at 800-909-8742.