Direct mail heading

Customer communication today is all about embracing digital technology and using the internet, email, social media and mobile.

Or is it? While these methods of communicating are flexible, quick and cost-effective, they lack the staying power and tactile nature of a piece of direct mail. Mail is the only media you can hold in your hand, possess and carry around with you. 

8 OUT OF 10 OPEN DIRECT MAIL

According to the latest fast.MAP Marketing–GAP survey, 34% of consumers asked open all direct mail and 45% open mail from companies they have a relationship with. Furthermore, marketers are consistently underestimating how many people open directmail. This year, the marketers polled predicted 8% fewer people would open direct mail from all companies than actually do.

This shows not only that direct mail works, but that it is more effective than most marketers think.

23% OF UK SALES ARE GENERATED BY DIRECT MARKETING

And businesses believe in it. According to the Direct Marketing Association’s study, ‘Putting a Price on Direct Marketing 2012’, the companies polled in their survey attributed almost a quarter (23%) of their overall turnover in 2011 to direct marketing. As a medium, this makes direct mail stand out as successfully delivering sales.

17.86M PEOPLE PLACED ORDERS AS A RESULT OF DIRECT MAIL LAST YEAR

The proof is in the pudding. A Royal Mail study into Direct Mail effectiveness has shown that response rates to it are on the rise. Whilst in 2004 the percentage of mail where customers took action was 4%, by 2011 that figure had jumped almost 2% to 5.9%. Almost 18 million people placed orders last year after having browsed a mail order catalogue first. And in a survey of women aged 18-29, when asked how they browsed before ordering, 62% said in the mail order catalogue – only 1% less than those who went online.1 This is incontrovertible proof that, despite the ‘digital age’ we live in, mail remains just as effective as technology in getting responses.

MULTI-TASKING

Direct mail performs a number of tasks well. While making a customer a direct offer it can also perform a number of other tasks at the same time. 
Generating revenue – direct mail can drive revenue through including specific offers or carrying coupons that are personalised to the recipient to encourage purchase. 
Brand awareness – a piece of direct mail will reinforce your brand  positioning and build your brand equity.
Relevancy – personalising your direct mail will increase the relevancy of the offer. With digital printing becoming ever more
prevalent the text can be personalised along with the colours, images, photos, product offers, backgrounds, geographical
references and calls to action. This gives a huge amount of power to communicate effectively and directly.
Reminder – direct mail can act as a reminder on its own – customers keeping a mail pack to remind them to go on your website – but can also include something for the recipient to keep. This can also be personalised and carry customer information to increase the personalisation and relevancy. 

IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER MEDIA

Research shows that direct mail used in conjunction with other media magnifies the effect of the advertising overall. So a TV advertising campaign will show better results if it is aired in conjunction with a mail campaign. Technology is also encouraging the use of print and web in combination.
QR code – The use of a QR code – which is simply a smartphone readable barcode of a URL, phone number or web application
– allows the recipient to scan the direct mail and go straight to the desired webpage without needing to type a web address. This helps to focus the recipient on your website rather than seeing competitors’.
Augmented reality – the use of a smartphone in conjunction with printed media is increasing and allowing customers to enjoy a 3D experience.

COST EFFECTIVE

Direct mail has many options that can make it cost effective. You can send it to as many or as few people as necessary, directly
targeting your most responsive customers. It is easy to test direct mail – a 10,000 piece test can be sent in advance of a larger run to see what the response rates will be.

Format development can help to reduce costs.

Effective formats