An interesting blurb caught my eye in the DMW LinkedIn feed, which led to a post titled “How to Use Direct Mail in the Modern Marketing Mix.” The teaser read:
ATTENTION MARKETERS: Direct mail gets a higher response rate than it did more than a decade ago.
The post, from the American Marketing Association’s blog, is good and worth a read. It includes some interesting stats I hadn’t seen, and cites recent response rates for direct mail.
What the post did NOT have, IMHO, was a payoff to the post’s actual title: how mail plays a role in today’s increasingly digital media world.
Yes, there was some discussion of URLs, digital tracking, and data. And catalog sales vs. website sales. But similar to most content I see about direct mail, the medium is discussed in a rather time-warped perspective: as an analog medium compared and contrasted with digital media. Whereas, in fact, they play together in complementary roles to drive sales together.
Here’s how the one-two punch works
#1 The Left Jab — Direct Mail delivers and impacts in a way no other medium can.
Until we develop “segment-audience-seeking drones,” direct mail is the only medium that reaches out and places messaging into consumers hands (as well as field of vison) … with delivery assured and with timing you set as the marketer.
This is in contrast to other channels. To see search ads, consumers must elect to go online and enter search terms. They have to decide to log onto Facebook to see Facebook ads. Tune into TV, or drive down a specific highway (and look up) to see TV spots or billboards. When you select and mail to a household, you know within a few days when your target audience will check their mailbox and they will both see — and physically touch — your message and offer. CONTACT!
#2 The Right Cross — the digital combination closes knockout blow (aka “sale”).
Mail snags targeted consumers in your specified timing window, then typically drives response to a highly trackable web presence or phone number. Now you need to seamlessly pick up the sales conversation, and walk them through the final steps of that cross-channel Customer Journey. With a sales chat, download, hard-selling online video, and smooth UX (User Experience).
Making that connection is the real trick to “using mail in the modern media mix.” This presents some distinct challenges. Fortunately, you’ll find tips to to make that work here. And then … you close the sale: SCORE!
It’s 2019: Time to lose the media silos.
Rarely does the oft-cited customer journey — especially for a considered purchase — go start to finish in a single medium. Cast your mind back over a purchase you made, and your experience is likely like mine: a cross-channel trip from awareness, to discovery, to purchase.
You might do some search, visit websites, watch videos, check message boards, look for reviews and testimonials. You peruse online ads … flip through catalogs, open mailings, see TV spots. Even leave the house (what?!) to check out goods at a retail store, talk with friends and family, maybe a sales person.
The final question: Do you NEED this 1-2 punch in your corner?
Well, if you’re selling tickets for the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau field, or Beyoncé/Jay-Z concert seats, your prospects’ customer journey may be really short. People have been known to camp out for concert tickets, and que up in line to be the first to get the latest electronic gadget or “go-to” toy.
Most businesses live in a different reality. Are people standing in line to buy from you? Especially when your product or service is a considered purchase, your prospect needs some convincing to buy. If there’s a hurdle to overcome, direct mail stands ready to add unique impact to your current marketing mix.
Mail brings a critical ability to up your game. Each medium, channel, and platform you select gives you unique pros and cons. Whether you’re battling competitive pressure, consumer apathy, or any other foe standing in the way of making the sale, be sure mail is in the ring doing its part to fight for you. How, exactly, does it work? Check out some case histories here, or contact our team to explore giving your next campaign a winning 1-2 punch.