As the days get shorter and summer begins to wind down (unless you’re in Arizona), schools and universities start to come back into session. Football season is right around the corner too. But for the majority of us, it also means that business is about to pick back up. From financial institutions to restaurants, summer is our off-peak season. Generally there’s less foot traffic in our institutions as people go on vacation and spend time with their family. While there’s a decline in profits, summer is the perfect time for us, as businesses, to sit down and plan for the future.
While we’re trying to figure out how to increase sales, foot traffic, or whatever your goals may be, one thing that shouldn’t be missing from your planning is marketing.
So as you plan your marketing strategy for the upcoming school and holiday season, I’m here to let you know that one channel of marketing is making a comeback. While the argument can be made that it never left, direct mail has definitely seen a resurgence in the last year as long held misconceptions about it and its relation to millennials gets broken down.
In this post, we’ll break down four reasons why direct mail should be in your marketing mix this season. To begin, here’s a great statistic from Compu-Mail on direct mail’s impact on consumers.
40% of consumers try new businesses as a result of receiving a direct mail piece.
If you’re a business owner, that’s a great way to get traffic through the door.
Here’s four more reasons why you should consider adding direct mail to your marketing communications moving forward.
1. Inbox Overload
Think about the number of emails that you wake up to each and every morning. Do you reach each and every single one? Or, do you, like most people, sift through them to find the ones that interest you and delete the rest? The average person receives 124 emails in a day, according to a report by The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm out of California. That’s 123 messages that your email is competing against on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, most mailboxes are sitting empty as marketers made the switch to email a couple of years back. Since then, they’ve been sitting at their desks wondering why their returns have stayed stagnant or declined. In a recent study done by Epsilon, consumers sifted through 77% of the physical mail when they got it. In another study by the US Postal Service, 98% of consumers checked their mailbox daily. If you want your message to be seen and heard, then direct mail is the place to be right now.
2. Feel & Touch
Can you touch and feel your email? Not yet! That technology doesn’t exist. However, you can definitely do it with direct mail. From the vast selection of paper types to color options, to finishing options, the opportunities are endless for a great feel and touch with your direct mail piece.
Unlike email, consumers can interact with your piece. Depending on your finishing options and selections, mail pieces can greatly stand out to consumers, separating them out from junk mail. And unlike email, they’re more likely to stand out in a sea of grocery ads and bills. Give your end user a reason to interact with your piece.
How cool would it be to receive a piece of direct mail that feels like it’s been made just for you? Customized offers, your name in big, bold, texturized letters and a personal greeting that doesn’t sound like it came from an automated email.
In fact, 70% of Americans feel that direct mail is more personal than the Internet (Compu-Mail).
Consider the effort that goes into crafting a piece of direct mail versus a simple email. Wouldn’t you feel more appreciative of receiving a tangible piece of stationary over an intangible set of pixels on a computer monitor? I think your customers would.
Don’t forget that the more targeted you get with your piece, the higher your return on investment becomes. Instead of looking at direct mail as a way to flood consumers with your message, look at it as a way to connect with them instead.
4. Wow Factor
You can certainly come up with a million and one ways to create a design for an email, but in the end you’re still looking at a screen. Whether it’s mobile or desktop, a screen is a screen.
Not with direct mail. Because the options are virtually endless. Designers, print houses and marketing agencies are getting creative with direct mail. Everything from spraying catnip concentrate onto paper that would have a flyer printed on it, to video and sound in a direct mail campaign. New technologies such as augmented reality are giving marketers more options than ever before. The US Postal Service, in an effort to increase revenue and boost awareness for new technologies, frequently offers discounts for pieces utilizing such new technologies.
Direct mail should by no means be the only marketing you do. It’s going to require a combination and mix of marketing tools to spread your message to consumers and to connect with them, but it certainly shouldn’t be one you continue to ignore.