10 Benefits of Direct Mail
1) Personalised: How do you feel when you receive a letter addressed specifically to yourself? Acknowledged?… Empowered?… Important?… It’s fair to say that in the initial moment that you receive a letter, you have a positive reaction. Excitement, perhaps. Imagine this concoction of emotions and this is what is installed into every customer who receives a direct piece of mail. When they open the mail, they see that it is addressed to themselves personally as opposed to directing a mass market. This in itself treats the customers as the individual entity that they are, rather than treating them as a small speck in a large margin.
2) Direct: Of course direct mail is just that – direct. You are directly imposing your campaign upon the person, which is likely to stimulate engagement. A customer may be oblivious to advertisements. such as billboards on their routine commute to work, but with direct mail, it refuses to be ignored, as it is directly sent to them. The direct approach immediately catches their attention, whilst an indirect approach can sometimes be ambiguous and easily overlooked.
3) Believable: Journalist Michael Feeley from the drum stated: ‘Marketers that remain fixated with digital channels might need to rethink their strategy. New research has revealed that 87% of consumers consider mail communications to be ‘believable’, while only 48% feel the same way about email. The same research found that mail is regarded as ‘more likely to grab the recipient’s attention’. Therefore, we see how the customer finds mail to be more believable than emails. This means that direct mail is likely to improve engagement, because if the customer finds it more believable then they will be more likely to take it seriously, carefully read it and engage with it.
4) Measureable: This type of marketing is highly measureable. You can track the response rate a lot more efficiently than some other forms of marketing. This is an important factor as it’s about the effectiveness and efficiency of the marketing, so we need to measure how the customers are reacting to this. Results are highly valuable, so to be able to track this, means that you can clearly measure the success rate of the mail and you can maybe look at implementing different approaches in direct mail to consistently be moving forwards.
5) Traditional: Letter writing has been around for centuries, and historically was a means of communication for a long period of time. In the 21st century, we are sometimes referred to as ‘the technology age’ as technology has evolved rapidly during this century and is regularly used by most individuals on a daily basis. Direct mail has a traditional and timeless quality, as it brings back the nostalgic ideas of letter writing, which used to be used more regularly used by previous generations. In this case I think it’s important to be reminded of classical advertisements, as it is a refreshing approach, which can move away from the generic approaches.
6) Technology: Direct mail does have a traditional approach, but thats not to say that it doesn’t have technological elements. Each direct mail can use technology to create good quality mail, that is designed efficiently with memorable elements to leave a lasting effect on each customer.
7) Physicality: Jon McGregor’s at the guardian stated ‘Because here’s something I’ve noticed: people really do like having something to hold’ and (in response to emails) ‘It seems as though the format is too ephemeral, too transient; the very opposite of the letters.’ I think whether it’s a handwritten or typed letter the recipient is able to physically hold the item, which makes it more sentimental and is something for them to permanently keep. With technology being at the forefront of our generation, sometimes we can become absorbed into the cyber world. A letter reminds us of the physical world by it’s infinite presence.
8) Loyalty: Leonie Sidwick at the drum stated: ‘This is about creating a connection on an emotional level and really engaging with both prospective and existing customers to build brand loyalty and leverage ROI.’ Therefore, we see how direct mail creates a more imminent connection with the customer, which as a return promotes customer loyalty as they feel valued. If the customers builds a connection with the brand, they will have a sense of trust, which will mean they are likely to have a continual connection.
9) ROI: Rosie Niblock from the Digital Doughnut states that: ‘So why are people still saying direct mail is dead? Whilst print costs have fallen over the past few years, postage costs have risen. This means despite the higher response rate of direct mail, email with it’s low start up costs still receives a larger return on investment. A study from Citi Post Mail states direct mail has an average ROI of seven pounds to each one pound spent, whilst email has an average return of £38.’ Therefore, we see a higher ROI as a result of direct mail.
10) Response: A youtube video states: ‘The average response rate for direct mail is 30x higher than it is for email.’ Click to listen more about creating successful direct mail.
“Saying direct mail don’t work, is like saying planes don’t fly” – If you would like to know more about the benefits of direct mail, list to the podcast: ‘Interview with Jon Webel on the power of digital direct mail and EDDM.’